Chapter 5b: Tension
After lunch, Khalil returned to his cell and got the cold shoulder from his boy.
Jirani and I were lying down on our respective bunks and he was writing on a sheet of paper that he got from Tongis.
"What you writin', punk?" Khalil asked.
Jirani did not respond.
Khalil reached through the bars and poked Jirani in the leg.
"Leave me alone," Jirani finally opened his lips.
"What's wrong with you?"
"Nothing. Just leave me alone, I'm busy."
"Pssshh..." Khalil got back off of his bed and left the cell.
I felt like I should at least make sure that Jirani was cool. I looked down at him from my bunk.
"Yeah," he said, but wasn't very convincing.
I got down from my bunk to use the toilet.
"Are you sure? You know you can talk to me."
"I-I-I'll get over it. It's just... it's really hitting me. This ain't high school anymore. It's prison."
"Yeah," I said.
"I guess after spending 24 hours in a cell talking to Khalil, I really thought that we were gonna be friends."
"I feel you. I was the same way when I first got here. One of my first roommates was a Mexican. We were best of buddies in the cell, but outside of it, I couldn't hang with his people. But it wasn't his fault, just like it's not Khalil's."
"It's mine, for being so stupid to get sent here. 6 years of this shit? I'm not looking forward to it."
"It gets easier. After a while, the days start to blur together and you start to mark time by huge events."
Jirani looked confused.
"Ok... 4 years ago was when I arrived. 2 years ago was when Jermaine died and Cypress took over the Bloods. However, everything between me arriving and Jermaine's passing is just a blur."
"And then you lost your buddy a couple days ago," Jirani looked sad.
"Yeah. And most of the stuff in the last 2 years is a blur once again."
"So in theory, as long as no one dies and there are no gang wars, then 6 years should go by real quick."
"It won't go by quick, but when it's passed, you'll look back on it and think that it wasn't so long."
"I hope so."
I got down onto Jirani's bed with him.
"You crushin' on Khalil, ain't you?" I asked him.
"Ewww no," he obviously lied. "Why you ask that?"
"You seem to be cliquing up with him. I was just asking."
"He's a funny guy. His personality is similar to my ex-boyfriend. And it didn't hurt that he actually enjoyed talking to me."
"Oh. Well, don't take what happened personal. That's just the rules of The Well." The two of us got quiet, not knowing what to say. In our silence, our minds relaxed and somehow became extremely tranquil.
Shit! I woke up in the middle of the night. I don't know when I went to sleep, but I knew that the lights were on then, and the lights were out now. I hated taking naps in the middle of the day. If I took a nap, I'd be up all night in the dark with nothing to do. After our talk, I got a little too comfortable on Jirani's bed. I guess I started meditating for a little bit and then my eyes got tired. I fell asleep before Jirani did but he wasn't far behind me.
My eyes opened to darkness and a flashlight being shone in my face. I felt blinded by the bright ass light.
"Terry," the person holding the flashlight whispered.
I looked up.
"It's Officer Freebush," the officer still whispered. I tried to creep off the bed making as little of a disturbance for Jirani as possible. I got up and walked over to the door of the cell, only to notice that Khalil was at the door of his cell too. Officer Freebush waved both of us to the adjoining corners of our cells and began to whisper. "You guys were Hakim's best friends, right?"
"Yeah," I said.
Khalil, still half asleep, nodded.
"You want revenge, right?"
"What?" I asked.
"Thomas pissed me off this morning. He punched me in the back of the neck and I've had a kink in it all day."
"Wait a minute," Khalil started. "What exactly are you saying?"
"I'm saying that Officer Stinger, who normally guards the hole at this time, is on lunch. He's taking an extra-long lunch today actually. I figured you guys might want to pay Zachariah Thomas a visit."
"You would let us beat his ass?" I asked.
"Yeah. No weapons though. If he winds up with razor cuts or some shit then the warden will know that somebody went in there with him. Only clean fighting, do you hear me?"
"Alright," Freebush quietly unlocked our cells. "You have up to an hour. When you get back, come to the guard's station so I can lock you back up in your cells. Don't get smart, and try to do something crazy while you're out and don't make a lot of noise."
Khalil and I had our fair share of times in the hole. Khalil got sent to it more times than me though. Back when he was a Blood, the hole was like his vacation cell; a jail-home away from jail-home. I've been there a few times, mainly it was whenever me and Hakim had an argument and wound up fighting (it only ever happened twice).
When we got to the hole, we saw Officer Stinger, a big white guard that looked like a professional wrestler. He had his own personal problems with The Aryans. The thought came into my head that this might be a set up. But I knew Freebush wouldn't do that. He liked us, he loved Hakim, and fuckin' hated Zach and the Aryans.
Stinger looked at us walking down the hall, he nodded and then pulled his keys off his belt and set it on the podium that he was standing on. Then he turned and walked away.
Was I dreamin' this shit? It felt unreal. The guards were on the same page with us, and were really going to let us beat the shit out of Zach in the hole.
Khalil went to grab the keys and I tried to find out which door was Zach's. There was a huge mail slot on each of the 15 doors. The first one had no one inside. The second one didn't either. The third was a white neutral meth head from cellblock C. The fourth door hosted this big ass thick nigga. He was about my height, and his arms were huge. His shoulders and chest were very broad, but he still had man boobs. His stomach was wide and extremely thick with this string of hair that went down the center of it and led to his pubes. His limp dick hung about 4 inches between his legs. He paced the floor back and forth. This must've been ole boy, Sugarman. I could even see the dragon tattoo on his arm that Jirani mentioned. I closed the slot.
"Yo' Khalil, come over here man."
Khalil came to the door I was at and squatted down to his knees. "Is this Zach?" he asked.
"Nah. You familiar with a Blood named Sugarman? He came in on the same bus with Jirani."
"Yeah, yeah. The dudes from C was tellin' me about him at dinner."
I opened the mailslot so he could see him. He stared in at Sugarman and all his girth.
"They said he fought 6 Bloods, and 4 of them are in Medical," Khalil said.
"He is a big dude, but do you believe that?"
"I believe it. The so-called Bloods are a lot of weak niggas. I could see him takin' down 4 of them."
"Hmmm..." I closed the mailslot. We moved to the next door. I opened the slot and there was Zachariah Thomas. He was sleeping on the ground with his head facing the opposite way but I would know that silver hair anywhere. "It's him," I said.
Khalil handed me the keys and I selected the one that would open this door. I unlocked it and looked to Khalil to make sure he was ready. This nigga was gettin' undressed.
"Khalil, no! You are not about to rape this man," I said.
"Eww nigga, you sick. Ain't nobody thinkin' about raping that old ass fart. I ain't trying to get blood on my clothes."
"Oh," I said. That was a decent enough idea. If we woke up with bloody clothes and somebody saw it, they could tell the guards or something. I pulled off my shirt and then my pants. Our underwear remained. "You ready?" I asked Khalil.
"Yeah, let's do this shit."
I opened the door and we both stepped in. The sound of the metal from the door woke Zach up.
"Good," he said. "It's finally time for me to get out of here." Zach assumed that it was a guard getting ready to take him back to his cell. He stood up before even looking toward the door and saw us standing there. When he did see us, he jumped lightly.
He grunted. "Oh... lemme guess. Shaniqua sent you two niggers to come and teach me a lesson?" Shaniqua was the name that he would call Monica to be ornery. He thought for a second as we both took steps closer to him. "Oh no, it wasn't her. It must have been Fagberg."
The name Fagberg was one of the main reasons that Freebush hated Zachariah and the Aryans. They started a rumor and took it to the warden that Freebush was allowing the prisoners to fuck him. As far as I knew, it was false, but Freebush got suspended for a full month without pay. When he came back, the Aryans started calling him "Fagberg" to mock the fact that he was openly gay and Jewish.
"Tell me why you did it," I said.
"I didn't! Billy is a fucking liar! I haven't talk to him in months and he knows that."
"Now, you lying nigga. I saw you and Billy go into the cleaning closet a few days ago during lunch," Khalil said.
"That wasn't about that porch monkey. That was about something else."
"But you just said that you haven't talked to Billy in months," I said. "Why did you go in the closet with him?"
Zach didn't want to answer this question. He sighed. We took another step closer to him, and he stepped back from us. "Fine! We fucked! Are you happy now?"
"You fucked Lil' Billy in the janitor's closet?" I asked. "You know Lil' Billy has fucked just about every race of guy in cellblock B, yet you still fucked him? What would your fellow Aryans think?"
"You tell them I said that and I will deny it until my last breath."
"That won't last long," Khalil swung on him first, punching him in the jaw with his right hand. When Zach's head shifted from the force of that punch, I hit him with my left hand and sent him flying back in the opposite direction. I grabbed Zach by his neck and threw a couple of uppercuts his way. I hit him in a variety of places, ranging from his abs to his chest to his chin. Then, I swung him into the cemented wall face first.
Khalil shouted, "Get up! Get the fuck up!"
Zach refused, so Khalil grabbed him. He held his arms behind his back. Zach already bled from the mouth and his whole chest turned red from my jabs. I punched him in the face repeatedly. His head kept swinging from left to right like he was watching a tennis game. I threw one more punch in Zach's face. The punch had so much force that it actually threw him out of Khalil's grasp. Zach stumbled to the left and his head banged right into the cemented wall. After impact, Zach slid down to the ground, knocked out cold.
I checked my knuckles and the skin on them had broken. I wasn't thinking about it while I was fighting, but now that I saw it, I sincerely hoped that this nigga didn't have HIV or something. Khalil noticed my focus on my fingers.
"Yeah," I said to him. I shook the tension out of my hands and my shoulders.
We left the room and I made sure the door was locked while Khalil got dressed.
"That felt fuckin' good to do," he said like he was breathing in fresh air.
"Yeah," I said. I put on my clothes too.
"You don't sound so happy."
"I'm just thinking."
"About?" he asked.
"I don't know. I might believe him. Maybe he didn't have anything to do with it."
Khalil laughed. "That's good timing," he said sarcastically. "You start wondering if he's telling the truth, after you beat his ass."
"I said, I don't know, man."
"Seems like you're full of I-don't-knows now."
"Fuck you talkin' 'bout?" I asked.
"Rani. I saw ya'll cuddled up and shit."
"Nigga, please. There wasn't no fuckin' cuddling. And besides, he's into you, not me. He was cryin' about how you broke his lil' heart earlier today."
"What the fuck did I do to him?" Khalil asked.
"He was just mad about dinner, but I explained the shit to him. He's startin' to breakdown about being in jail. It's starting to become more real to him."
"Oh, so then he ain't really mad at me?"
"Oh no, he's mad at you," I laughed. "But it's more about the situation than it is about you. Dude is just young and fragile. I had to tell him, 'Ay, you can't just follow Khalil around the prison, cuz he hang out with niggas dat would fuckin' hurt you.' He just needed some time to grasp that."
"But he'll be alright."
We walked back to cellblock B in silence for a second.
"You know Jirani was holding your hand when I came back to my cell, right?"
"Huh!?!?!" I asked, I came out of my low volume and my voice actually echoed through the hall.
"What the fuck do you mean ?"
"You was sleep, but he was still awake. He was holdin' yo hand," Khalil said.
"Nigga, you lyin'."
"If I'm lyin', I'm flyin' and you see my feet on the ground nigga. I think ya' boy is into you. And I think you mo' into him than you lettin' on."
"Get the fuck outta here nigga," I laughed. I noticed he wasn't laughing along with me. "You serious? You think I wanna fuck him?"
"You claimed him, son. In front of everybody in da block, you claimed him-"
"-To help him out."
"Hey, if dat's what it is, den dat's what it is. I was just sayin' dat it don't always look that way."
"I ain't dat type of nigga, and this ain't dat type of party. Son, you ain't even gotta worry about that."
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