Chapter 7b: Abandon
The next day, Jirani and I kept along with our tradition of playing every Goddamn card game we could think of and even made up a couple of our own. At this point, we were playing Go Fish. We even included Khalil in on the... "fun." Jirani laid on his stomach, while I was sitting at the opposite side of his bed. And Khalil lied on his back.
"Do you have a jack?" Khalil said. He was rusty on how you play when you have more than 2 people.
"You have to ask a specific person," Jirani reminded him.
"K, fine. Rani, you got a jack?"
"Nope, go fish."
"Lyin' ass nigga..." Khalil picked a card from the deck.
I didn't pay much attention to the game. It was another one of those days when Khalil and Jirani would flirt and flatter each other, so I faded into the background gradually.
"Terry," Jirani started. "Do you have an ace?"
"Yeah," I passed the card to Jirani. Rani, you got a 2?"
I pulled a card from the deck.
"Hey," a voice from the cell door. All the relaxation that we had while playing this game faded away at the sound of his voice.
"Hey," I said back to him, even though I really didn't want to.
"I um..." Elijah started. "I wanted to say I'm sorry."
"Sorry for what?" I asked.
"For what I said and for my contribution to the fight between us." It had been weeks since that fight, and Elijah and I hadn't really bothered to even look at each other. It didn't faze me, but now that the Bloods were disbanded and Cypress threw his ass to the wolves, he was looking for as many friends as possible too. The nigga was transparent. "And I knew better than to bring up-" he was about to say it again, and I was well prepared to attack. "-your situation. A real friend would not do that, and that's why I'm apologizing."
"Ok," I said, neglecting to say anything else that would make him think he was welcome in my cell. He didn't get the memo though. He stayed in his position.
"So... what's going on? How are you and the ho doing?" Elijah said.
Jirani, who was looking at the cards in his hand, dropped his hand and viewed Elijah through his dark and penetrating eyes. "What did you just call me?"
Elijah looked confused. He assumed that since Jirani had been in prison for 3 weeks now, that he'd understand the prison vocabulary. "I said ho. I mean... you are Terry's ho, right? You guys do everything together, he never lets you out of his sight, and he's fuckin' you, ain't he? You're his ho."
"No, I am not." Jirani prepared himself to sound the fuck off on Elijah. Before things got to that level, I got up and grabbed Elijah by his arm and walked him away from the cell.
"Chill out," I told him.
"What did I do? I was making conversation with your ho. Does he not know that he's a ho?"
"So you're not fucking him?" Elijah asked.
"It's not your business."
"You're right. It's not my business."
"What do you have against Jirani?" I asked.
"I don't have anything against him."
"Yes, you do. Anytime you talk to him, you have that condescending tone."
"I don't either. And I have nothing against him," he lied.
"Yeah, you do. You're still mad about him and Cypress."
"I said that I'm not mad. I have nothing against Julani or whatever the fuck his name is."
Of course he did. There'd been many times that the hos squabbled because one of them got attached to a prisoner, but the prisoner moved on to a different ho. This happened a lot in the Bloods camp. "In fact, I would even like to offer him a job in the booking office. Ever since Lil' Billy went into lockup, I've been short a player." Elijah worked the booking office every Wednesday, doing data entry of the new prisoners into the Wellside computer database. He was one of the first faces the prisoners saw when they walked into Wellside.
"He's cool in the mailroom," I declined.
"Really? What's wrong? The little ghetto boy doesn't know how to use a computer?"
I wasn't going to waste time exchanging catty, gay ass comments with this nigga. "Look Elijah, I'm only going to say this once. Leave him alone. And as for your apology, you can shove it up your ass and stroke your prostate with it."
I walked back to my cell, and left Elijah with that dumb ass look on his face. As soon as I walked back into my pod, Jirani started running his mouth.
"You know..." he started. "I'm gettin' mighty tired of hearing your friends call me 'your ho.'Especially because I'm not even getting any dick out the deal."
What the hell did I just walk into? Not even 2 seconds back into my cell, and this conversation officially made me uncomfortable, but Jirani kept right on talking.
"I'm just saying, the only time I've ever been called a ho was when somebody was smacking my ass."
The ever-so nonchalant Khalil, who was still lying on his back, reached through the jail bars and slapped Jirani on the ass. "Do you have any Jacks ho?"
Jirani had to smile at how silly that nigga was. "Go fish!"
Tongis got on the loud speaker. "Terrius McCord. You have a visitor. Please come to the guard's station so Officer Melee can escort you into building D."
"Well, my brothas. I got people to see." I was about to just jet off, when I realized I'd be leaving Jirani alone. "Uh... Rani?"
"Stay in here until I get back," I ordered him.
"Are you serious?"
"Yeah ho," I smiled. Jirani found no humor in this at all. I went out to the guard's station and waited for Officer Melee. As soon as he stepped out, I had to ask him. "Who is it? Who came to see me?" I did this every time I had a visitor. Melanie's been saying that she was going to bring the baby up here to see me one day, but hadn't done it yet.
"I don't know Terry. They didn't tell me."
"Did they tell you her name?" I asked.
"What about a description? Short? Asian?"
"They didn't tell me. It might not even be a female," Melee answered.
Nah, couldn't have been no male. I didn't know any niggas that would come up and visit me. I guess my Ma might've done something stupid like tell the Pastor to come up here and pray for me, but other than that, I couldn't see any niggas comin' to see me. Man, I wanted to finally see my daughter in person. The only person that's been up here to see me was my moms. It was always a joy to see my mom, but I really hoped it wasn't her.
Navia Alexander gave birth in 1987. Her son grew into an intelligent teenage boy with a sexual thirst for teenage girls that got him sent to the Wellside Correctional Facility for 10 years. Navia Alexander is my mother.
I walked into the huge visitor's room and saw my mother sitting near the exit. I sat down at her table.
"Hey Terry," she said, forcing a smile from her lips. "You look like you're going through."
"You say that every time you see me ma."
"It's true every time I see you. How have you been?"
"I'm awesome, you?"
"I'm good," she answered. Ma looked at me and really took in the sight. "My God, I can't believe how big you became. When I talk to you on the phone, I imagine that scrawny kid that came in here 4 years ago. Then, I come in and see biceps and pectorals. You're transitioning into a man, and I'm not there to see it," her eyes watered.
"Ma stop that," I told her. "I don't get to see you all the time, the few times that I do see you don't need to be tainted with tears. Be happy, think happy thoughts. Like, how's my baby."
"You haven't talked to Melanie?"
"Not since the last letter she sent me a few months ago."
"Oh," she said. We sat and looked at each other for a while. "I have to say this," she said.
"I'm heartbroken. I put on this strong face to come see you and pretend that everything is ok, but everything is not ok, Terry," she lectured. "Why did you do that Terry? I mean, I want to ask you what's the youngest that you've ever been with but the thought of even asking that question scares me." Her eyes watered even further. She pulled a Kleenex out of her purse to dab her eyes. "And I'm really upset that I had no idea. Melanie's mother came up to my house with the police accusing my son of having sex with her underage daughter. I'm sitting there and calling her a liar, but you were doing it! And had done it with so many other girls too. It breaks my heart!"
I sighed. "Ma, calm down."
"No! You've got to stop running around town having sex with all these little girls and telling them that you love them, because these bitches are believing you! And then I lose my son!" she dabbed her eyes with the Kleenex again. "I'm angry, Terry. I'm pissed off!"
"There's nothing I can do about it now. I'm here, I'm serving my time."
"But that was disgusting! I could not fathom that my son would have done that. You robbed those girls, you robbed your own daughter from her father, and you robbed me. Mama wants to be happy. And it'll be at least 6 years before I'm ever happy again."
I continued to let my mother vent.
"You took that from me," she took a deep breath. "I-I can't even look at you right now."
Ma grabbed her purse, got up and then left.
I wasn't sure why Ma broke down the way she did. Anytime she visited, she may not have been a bowl of sunshine, but she never broke down like that. In a way, I can understand her. This was 4 years of pent up frustration, and she had 6 more to go. I just didn't know why she exploded. There must have been some sort of trigger. Everything she said was right though. I lived dangerously in my late teen years, and I was spending 10 years in a maximum security prison to pay for it.
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