chapter 1 - Adriyel
I heard the gun shots from a couple doors down so i didn't move from my spot on the floor . They rang out : one , pause , another one . I wouldn't say i was scared though . i've had more guns pointed at me and have seen more guns fired than a fifteen year old should . But it's apart of life . Well , at least it's apart of my life .
" What you doin' in there girl ! " my mother banged on my bedroom door and shouted .
I was searching underneath my bed for my diary . But it wasn't there . That's where i had always left it so my mother couldn't get her grimy hands on it . If she saw half the shit i'd written in there it would probably be curtains for my ass .
" Open up i say , unless you want this damn door knocked down , " now that was my grandmother .
Grandma may didn't play either . She was twice as bitter and heartless as her daughter , my mother . she'd knock me upside my head in less than a heartbeat if i even walked wrong . Ain't that some shit ? !
They had something against me . My mama and her mama , they just didn't like me and i really couldn't figure that shit out ! I went to school everyday , came home every evening , cleaned up after that , cooked dinner every night , and if i had time i'd do my home work and get ready for school the next day . That shit wasn't cool , at all ! But i didn't have a choice so i kept my mouth closed and did what they said . But damn was that shit getting tiring .
I stood up , walked over to my door , unlocked it and it swung open .
" Who do you think you are little girl , " my mother rushed in followed my my grandmother " You are not grown . You get no privacy in my damn house unless i say so . "
And then it was my grandmother's turn " Bet not be no lil' boys in here ! I know that much . Unless you want a ass whoopin' . yo lil' fast tail runnin' around in short skirts and too little shorts . I'm your grandmother remember that . I run shit . Not you or ya mama . As long as i'm alive i got this . "
I just listened . My anger was rising by the minute but i some how kept my cool . Maybe knowing that if i went off they would both beat my ass at the same time with nobody to protect me .
I could feel sweat forming in my palms , Heat rising in my body , ringing in my ears .
I imagines just for a moment that i killed them both but , that could never turn out good . I thought of different plans , different ideas but they all had the same ending : me doing 25 to life .
I laughed at that thought , my pretty ass wouldn't last 2 days in jail .
"Oh you think it's funny ! ? , " my mother took off her shoe and swung it , it landed directly on the left side of my neck " ain't shit funny ! "
The left side of my neck stung like you wouldn't believe . But she didn't stop . She swung it 3 more times , all landing blows to my head .
I shook my head a little , the shit was hurting , bad . " You gon' punish me for your miserable childhood ? oh now , that's just crazy ."
They looked at each other and walked out the room . My grandmother returned a few seconds later wit my red notebook that i called my diary in her hand . She threw it toward me and i caught it " You called me a evil bitch in there . You called me the devil himself . you gon' pay . believe you gon' pay . "
The rest of the night was quiet . I took a shower and laid out my outfit for school the next day . I put out my journal late at night and began to flip thru it . That's when i realized every page had shit written on it like " you never gon' be shit " or " little bitch " .
I flipped to a clean page and proceeded to write :
dear diary ,
i'm fine , i guess . I'm alive at least . Do yo believe it ? they're mad at me for telling it like it really is ! what the fuck kind of stuff is that ? anyways , i keep thinking about the gun shots i heard earlier . I wonder who the target was and who really got shot because around here the original target is never the one who gets shot . . .

I drifted off to sleep .

chapter 2 - blue
"Come on baby please . "
After the police arrived and took away Lady's and Neo's bodies i was feeling horrible . Keshia was in the living room crying . I didn't tell her Neo caught me fuckin' lady and that's why he killed her and himself , i just kept my mouth shut and comforted her .
I kissed her cheek " baby , you gotta stop crying for me , it's not healthy for the baby . please . "
She sobbed " i cant ! Neo was like my own brother , now Lady i didn't care for her skanky ass . But , i loved Neo . You know that . I treated your brother like he was my own . He was our baby's god father damnit ! "
I held her in my arms and rocked her back and forth kissing her constantly to let her know it was gonna be okay .
Meanwhile inside my chest my fuckin' heart was damn near crumbling . My own fuckin' brother ! How could i sleep with his girl man . How ? ! He was all i had in this world and i fucked that up . If we hadn't have all moved into this house me and Lady wouldn't have start checkin' for each other and Neo would still be here right now ! It's all my fault . When our grandfather died and left us this house we should have just sold it and split the money . But at the time moving in sounded like a good idea . Damn !

chapter 3 - Adriyel
" Dri ! Wait up shorty ! "
Xavier ran down the school hall to catch up with me . I really didn't have time to socialize . I was already 20 minutes late for my first bell class .
So i kept it pushing .
He grabbed my arm and spun me around to face him " i cant get a hi or nothing like that ? "
" nope - "
His eyes traveled down my face and landed right on my neck where my mother hit me . There was a bruise starting to form on my extremely light brown skin . I put my hand on my neck to try and cover it but it was way too late .
He grabbed me and pulled me into a embrace , so warm . His tall , athletic body covered my small frame " Adriyel , man , -"
I cut him off and tried to pull away from his hug because i felt tears threatening to fall from my eyes but he wouldn't let me go . with a shaky voice i mumbled " let me go , Xavier . I'm okay . "
" no , im not letting you go , baby . You can tell me to all you want . "
I couldn't breath . And it wasn't because he was holding me too tight or anything but because i felt embarrassed . Xavier had already known abou my home life but he never saw a bruise or anything like that until now .
Hot tears streamed down my face " I'm okay . I'm fine . "
He loosened his hold on me a little bit and let me take a step back but his eyes never left me . I could tell he was concerned but i didn't like the way he was looking at me . He was looking at me like he was screaming for me to let him help me but there was really nothing he could do though .
" come with me ."
He grabbed my hands and led the way out the school building . I didn't object , i just followed behind him . I was too wrapped in my own thoughts to object .
We walked , a few blocks over to the park . We sat on the bench and he pulled me onto his lap .
He looked deep into my eyes before he spoke " You know i love you , right ? And i want you safe and protected at all times . Matter of fact , i want to protect you . But i cant do that with you all the way over there . Like , i need you near me , baby . "
I kept quiet because i knew where this was going , he wanted me to live with him . And i really couldn't . no doubt i love him and of course he was always my baby since we were toddlers . we'd had our fair share of ups and downs . And i loved him . That's for sure .
He could see i wasn't gonna talk " come on Adriyel ! I need you on this . You want to keep getting yelled at and beat and shit ? ! Do you ? "
I took a deep breath " no . "
" okay then . We don't even have to stay here . My homie snake lent me his homie's black Mercedes Benz for a small fee . All you gotta do is say the word baby . "
I thought for a minute . It all sounded so good . It really did . But , i still wasn't sure .
He kissed me " we can get our on place and everything . i'ma take care of you baby . And if you want i can put a lil jr in yo belly too . "
I gave him a look that said HELL NO ! He laughed so i just had to join in .
"i was just playing baby . Damn , you still cant take a joke . "
We laughed and kissed and i agreed to leave town with him the next night .
It really was getting worse and worse by the day . And when i arrived home that confirmed it .
The first voice i heard when i closed the front door was my grandmother's coming from the kitchen " And where you been ? school let out at 3 , it takes you 10 minutes at the most to get here , and it's 4 o'clock . "
I went into the kitchen and sat at the table across from her " i sat outside with a friend . "
" ain't nobody tell you you could sit outside with no damn friends but get the hell outta my face . "
I left the kitchen and headed upstairs to my room . I was surprised to see my mother sitting on my bed waiting for me . she didn't look happy either .
I took off my book bag and stayed at a distance " hi . "
" come here girl ! "
I took a few steps toward her .
" bitch , i said come here ! " she reached out and grabbed my arm to pull me to her " the school called today . So i guess you just skippin' now ? huh ? "
she let me go and swung a belt she had on the bed next to her . The belt whipped right across my face leaving a burning feeling on my face . I wanted to yell out in pain but i was too in shock .
Before i could do anything she swung again , and again , and again , all in different spots on my face .
I could feel blood trickle down my chin as she continued to hit me . I fell to the floor and rolled into a fetal position to try to protect my face but she still swung . And she didn't swing at my body , but just at my head .
When she finally stopped i could feel my face swelling up . It felt like i had been repeatedly kicked in my head and my face . I never knew a whoopin' could hurt so bad .
I waited for her to leave before i sat up . My hair was standing all over my head , my face was on fire too . I was pissed and so fed up but i couldn't utter not one word .
I decided right there that i was done . I admit , skipping school wasn't smart on my part but i shouldn't be bleeding from my face .
I cleaned my face as best as i could , dumped all my school shit out my book bag and filled it with clothes , then i found my cell phone and dialed Xavier's number . I had to get out of there , asap.
" Adriyel ? "
" yeah , can you come get me ? I cant stay here . "
He paused but agreed .
I waited a few more minutes , slung my book bag over my shoulders and climbed out my bedroom window . By the time i made it around to the front of the house Xavier was pulling up . I jumped in the car and he sped away .
His head turned back and forth between me and the road , i could see the muscles in his jaw working . He was pissed but he kept his mouth shut and drove .
I was glad he didn't say anything because i wasn't ready to talk about it .
we must have been driving for 25 minutes in complete silence before i heard police sirens behind us . I looked back and then turned to Xavier who was pulling to the side of the road " baby ? "
He didn't say anything . He looked at me though and his face was telling me he knew exactly what this was about .
I shook my head " i can't fucking believe you . What is this about ? "
The police officer knocked on the driver side window and Xavier rolled down the window " sir , i'm going to need you to step out of the car . "
He followed the directions , put his hands on his head , and was patted down and hand cuffed . A second officer walked up to my window and told me to step out " ma'am how old are you ? "
If i told the truth they'd send me back home . no , i couldn't go back home . I wouldn't go if they threatened to kill me . Either i was gonna die out here or i was gonna die at home . And i'd already made my choice , i'd die out here .
" 19 . "
He shinned his flash light in my eyes but i didn't budge , i didn't even blink " got some i.d. ? "
I shook my head " nope . now , what is this about ? "
" This car was at the scene of a robbery no less than 30 minutes ago and your boyfriend over there , " He pointed to Xavier who was being put in the back seat of the police cruiser " matches the description for the robber . now - "
His radio cut him off " shots fired at 246 Leeper ave . I need all available units whithin 8 blocks ."
We were 6 blocks over from Leeper avenue so he had to go . He looked at me and shook his head " ma'am , it's your lucky day . But don't let me catch you out here again . "
He knew i wasn't 19 , the look on his face said it all . But he walked away anyways . I thanked god at that very moment .
He jogged back to his cruiser and him and his partner were on their way .
I looked at Xavier sitting in the back seat and tears escaped my eyes . He was my everything . He mouthed the words " do it for us . "
I knew what that meant . A few months ago we'd had a conversation as he walked me home from school .
He smiled at me while we walked " you know i'm gon' take you away from all this one day . just me and you . "
I laughed " yeah , i'll be waiting on that day . "
" no for real babe . i'ma put you threw college and the whole 9 ! one of us gotta do good . And if i cant then i'ma make sure you can . "
I stopped walking and turned to face him " you can do it , you just choose not to . "
He pulled me into his arms " well , do it for both of us then , baby . 'cause a nigga like me ain't built for no shit like that . "
I got in the driver side of the car , i didn't have a license but i had learned how to drive long ago . So i drove . I drove until my back hurt . I drove until my eyes were watering from looking at the road or from thinking about Xavier . I drove until my hands cramped . I drove until the car stopped .


Publication Date: 06-17-2011

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