“No girl, everything is good,” I had lied. It was the third lie in five minutes or so, I knew Rose knew it too. We were on the phone, Rose was my best friend and I couldn’t help staring at the clock. I had fed the kids, laundered, finished cooking the tofu, and still he wasn’t home yet. I was hoping Rose couldn’t hear it in my voice. The last time I called and called his number, he had been upset saying I was being ridiculous. I was getting pissed.
“So did you watch the new movie Bird Box?” I was trying to change the subject because I knew Rose was going to ask me for him soon. My boyfriend was everything and everyone knew that. We had two young kids and were a modern-day Jay and Bae duo, at least up until lately. Rose had been my friend since I was four and we both knew she knew when I was hurting. My man loved me and I knew that but something was amiss. We had been down since my Engineering college days, Ice had been Pre-Med. I had gotten pregnant after Spring Break and his mom was not trying to hear it; so, we had gotten our own place. Everything was copasetic for a while until I was cleaning one day and found Ice’s stuff. I told his older brother and he scolded me for not being a good woman and protecting his little brother’s confidence. I never brought it up again, but ever since then I secretly wanted out.
“What are you going to do?” Rose had, had me on hold. “About what?” I asked. Now I was forgetting the conversation. We both laughed out loud. Rose knew I disliked American life. I loved to visit and shop, but I missed the camaraderie from my friends back home, Rose especially. “Oh about living this boring life of a wife. Well you know I am missing out right now.” It was March back home which meant it was carnival time. Everyone would be partying till the wee hours of the morning and I was stuck here in Brooklyn of all places. I mean don’t get me wrong, I loved my children and I loved Kings County. But, I damn sure was not happy sitting home waiting on this man.
I mean Rose was right, I just couldn’t move back home abruptly. My grandma had already rented my second bedroom after all, I was so spoiled I HAD TWO. The kids and I could get our own place, but could I afford it? I was 21 years old, a mom of two, with a degree in the fast life. Plus, I would have to deal with the shaming, naming and blaming that would come from my father’s snobbish sisters. I was stuck at least for now I thought. We ended our conversation, and I hung up. Rose was truly a great friend I thought. I showered, prayed, smoked, drank some Malbec and he was still not home. Well, I checked on the babies one last time, checked the doors again and called it a night. It was 3:00 am.
Someone was walking outside, I could see the silhouette and legs from my home security camera. I jumped up. The loud bang of a dutchy pot-cover hitting our marble floors startled me. I guess it meant Ice was home. I must have fallen asleep and I laid there quietly. Suddenly I heard loud noises and more footsteps, they were running to my room. What the hell was going on? I scrambled forward on my belly to grab my 0.9 taurus from under the mattress. I truly hated guns but I was no fool to who the man was that I was loving with.
The room was dark and I could hear the steps slow, they were at my door. My heart was beating so fast I was sure my neighbors could hear it. I was hoping it was Ice but almost sure it wasn’t him. The door started to creak open, and I felt someone spring towards me, “Don’t move Bitch, the voice shouted. I froze but I had hid under the bed already. They started to rummage through the drawers I was trying to count, it sounded like two maybe three of them. I couldn’t see well but they were pulling out my dresser drawers and just throwing them to the floor. I was afraid, terrified and fucking mad at the same time. Who were these criminals and where the hell was Ice?
The babies. Oh my God! My thoughts were racing and I couldn’t see well. Not to mention I had smoked a joint before I went to sleep. I was very aware my central nervous system was still very much depressed. I took aim anyway, I laid flat on my belly, turned my head, with my face to the side, the marble tile cold, the gun heavy and I looked at the figure closest to the side of the bed, I looked, closed my eyes and squeezed and squeezed and squeezed “bap-bap-bap-bap“. The silencer was on, but it was still too loud, I heard the baby scream and a loud thud. Someone was hit, oh my GOD.
They started shooting frantically and thanks be to all my ancestors I only got scraped up by the bed. It was too damn low, so they couldn’t take good aim at me. “Evil bitch, where is she?" One of them shouted I decided to re-load and as I pressed the little metal tab on the side of the gun and released the clip. I felt the slight sting as wire from the bed stuck me. Shit! I was too frightened and in action mode to care. I jammed the new clip up into the slot, cocked it, and then fired again. The first dude I’d hit was on the floor, his flashlight rolled across the ground and I was able to see much better. I started to beat it again and I wasn’t sure who or what I was hitting but I knew they were running away, definitely in retreat.
I heard the footsteps scamper, the perpetrators were dashing down the stairs, cursing and shouting loudly and chaotic. I was still too shook to move, and just laid under the bed my chest heaving and breaths still panting. I had an alarm in the babies room and it hadn’t gone off. I was afraid to come out, I crawled closer and tried to peep, I didn’t see anyone. I was too worried about the babies now, what if they took them? I crawled out, sliding to waddling and got out. As I looked around in the dark, grey light, only figures and silhouettes.
I flicked the light switch on and I ran over to the babies room. They were fine. In a split second, I grabbed my shit, my arm was scraped and my back bruised but in light of all the shit that went down I was fine. I grabbed the kids, loaded them into the car seats and backed out my new gold range rover. I had enough money all over to hold me out for a while. I was just so confused, where the hell was Ice? Was he alright? I wanted to call someone, but I was too scared. Who could I trust? Rose was too far, and I didn’t want to hear it from grandma. My mind was spiraling, and I seriously needed a spliff. I fed the kids, went to a mall, then checked myself into the down town Westin. Here, I could organize a nanny for the kids and get my head together. I called Ice’s emergency phone and left a message with Garry his right-hand man. They would clean up my apartment and figure it out I hoped. I was tired.
I decided to leave and since most of my money was in off shore accounts in the islands anyway, I chose Kingston as it was a busy metropolitan, an hour from the US and had flights out to just about everywhere. I was going to leave in the morning…..TO BE CONTINUED