Quinntella strolls to the next apartment and sits down across from me. I know it’s her, yet I don’t make it obvious that I want to gaze into her eyes in another showdown. She’ll likely want to discuss her newfound contents, of which I choose to display no interest. Promising that I wouldn’t give up on her again, I’d have no choice when she brings that up.
She speaks as I hold my stare down at the table, picking the dirt from my fingernails, “You mad at me?”
She knows that I am and knows that it won’t stick for long but I like that she doesn’t wait it out.
I plainly answer, “No.”
“Look, we’ve been through worse than this, I don’t see the big deal.”
“You seem to be pretending like you don’t know who Bruno Yigarin is and what he can do.”
“And you seem to be forgetting who I am and what I can do.”
“Quinn, people are afraid of you. That doesn’t negate the fact that Bruno won’t do what it takes to keep his secrets a secret.”
“I don’t give a fuck what he thinks he can do to keep his secrets a secret.”
“You might not give a fuck but I do. I lost my best friend once already and you know I won’t let it happen again.”
She responds quickly, “Then don’t.”
There’s no way Quinntella can be so naive, making me wonder what she really has in store. I know her well enough to know that she’s always got some kind of hidden agenda for whatever she comes across. Any opportunity that has ever fallen into her lap, regardless if she doesn’t know what to do with it, she just plays with it. Eventually the opportunity will work for her, or she’ll just break it so it’ll work for nobody. For Bruno to flip a colleague’s bank over to Quinn, there must be something important that he wants to hide from his people; something Quinn can play with.
She can never see too far down the road because she refuses to look that ahead, only down at her feet. She spent two years in juvie and seven years in prison, so I understand her attitude toward things. Wanting to be the biggest badass is working in her favor but it doesn’t last forever. She’s not naive enough to believe that it will but she doesn’t give a shit about the alternative either. She’s stared death in the face too many times that there’s an invincibility complex surrounding her.
Brandon comes over with a laptop and slams it on the table, excitedly demanding, “Check that shit out!”
His behavior doesn’t surprise Quinn nor myself, thus his loud slam gains no negative reaction. Quinn looks at the bright screen in the dark room, taking notice to me not surfing with her.
She loudly requests my eyes by mocking Brandon, “Hey Jordan, check this shit out.”
A slight smile etches on my face, ultimately doing what she says. The information is a transaction list of the people Bruno’s dealt with in mainly money laundering. The drug front of the avenue is run by another esteemed member of the High Table.
Quinn states, “This is like a who’s who of drug dealers and gambling fronts. We just struck gold.”
I facetiously ask, “What? You gonna try to put him outta business and flip his partners?”
“Don’t see why not. Better than my idea, I was gonna go down the list and start burnin’ shit down. It’ll be much better to compete with him and bring in more money ourselves.”
I lean back and reply with frustration that she’s actually considering what I said, “You don’t even care about the money.”
She nods over at Brandon and confirms, “He does.”
Brandon expresses his love to me with a sweet voice, “There’s no greater partner to have. I like to just be around it, hold it, snuggle and count it, take it everywhere I go. It’s a well-known fact that most people, especially men, spend more time with money than their own spouses.”
My attitude remains, “What the fuck are you even talkin’ about?”
I explain to Quinn, “Look, you don’t know what kinds of ties these people have to Bruno. If he catches wind of what you’re considering, he’ll do everything in his power to wipe us out.”
Brandon suggests, “Not if we wipe him out first.”
I quickly raise my voice at him, “Would you shut the fuck up?!”
Quinntella chuckles and says to me, “Calm down, it’s alright. We’ll figure all this out in the morning. Right now, we’re sitting on three and a half million dollars, so just do something with that. Go get some pussy… or dick, Brandon.”
Brandon agrees as he walks away, “Dealer’s choice tonight baby. See ya.”
Quinn raises her voice, “One bag, Brandon.” Without any acknowledgment, she speaks to me, “You and Trane get two. You guys did good today.”
She returns to the list as I acknowledge, “If you say so. Be careful.” On my way out, I stop, “What else was in that deposit box?”
A list of millionaires associated with Bruno is pretty beneficial on its own; worth much more than anything we made out there today, and up ’til this point. In my two years being back with Quinntella, we’d trampled through enough shit that I’d wanna trample through in a lifetime. Having millions set aside doesn’t mean anything to me without her; therefore, these bags just get tossed in my apartment for when she finally hits her breaking point.
Most people have them but I simply push through mine at every turn for my dream girl, meaning I don’t have a point. Admittedly, the things I’ve seen her do to people and things she’s tried to do, I’m not certain she has one either. As much as I attempt to talk her down, there’s nothing on this Earth I wouldn’t do for Quinntella Wallace. She used to be everything I ever wanted and I know that the real Quinn is still there somewhere; whenever it’s just the two of us hanging out together, doing regular things, she shows me her softened interior.
The normal side of her is just as beautiful as it was when we were teens and I still can’t get over it. My goal is the point where she sees the light and just can’t do the shit that she does anymore. When will that be? Will I actually survive her escapades long enough to live for more than just a better day? Everyday, it’s the same questions, and everyday, it’s the same blank line waiting for an answer to be written in.
I approach the bags, and with two fingers, signal Trane that two of the bags are his. I hold one bag over my back then the other at my side as I leave the apartment. With his one bag, Brandon trails out behind me, and Trane soon comes out behind him. A strong part of me hates Brandon because he’s an enabler and dickhead wrapped into one. His kind of person likes to live life on the edge as he fucks with people who’d soon tend to end it for him. Trane and I clicked, since the beginning of my joining with their crew. I was the last in and first to reach her side in the invisible ranking system that exists in everyone’s heads except her’s.
When we all reach the elevator, Brandon says, “Trane and Jordan… whose dick did you have to suck to get a second bag ’cause I’d love one?”
I ignore him, but Trane doesn’t. with a serious question and disgust on his face, “Dick or a bag?”
Instead of answering, he simply grins from ear to ear at Trane. The brief smile fades away at the arrival of our lift down to the lobby. The elevator jumps before carrying us down toward the lobby, soon becoming occupied by others from the party two floors down. We back up to the wall, giving the couple room to comfortably enter in. The first thing Trane does is stare at the ridiculous ass on the girl that spun her back to him. The elevator door closes, continuing our descent. The guy takes notice to Trane staring at the girl he’s with, facing forward with annoyance on his face. His left hand raises up to his chin and he caresses the stubble underneath it. The tired girl slides over to her man and rests her head on his shoulders, giving him his confidence back; enough confidence to look back at Trane with a smile, having proven ownership of who she wants. Trane smiles at the guy and pulls his shirt up to his waistband, revealing his pistol. The guy stiffens up and faces forward, letting go of whatever grudge he thought it was a good idea to have. The elevator opens to the lobby and we all exit in a casual fashion. The guy begins gradually rushing ahead with his girl, speeding out of the next exit. Trane holds the door open for Brandon and I to go out.
Brandon takes the lead, walking backwards as he asks, “What’re you guys gonna do tonight? Massive titties need to be in my face within the next twenty minutes or I’m gonna lose my shit.”
I reject his invitation, “I’m good on the strip club.”
Trane rejects him as well, “Unlike you, I had to rob a bank today. I’m going home.”
Brandon explains, “After what happened last time, I wouldn’t step foot in a strip club with you two again. I was just looking for more ideas on what I could do later. But clearly you two have diaphragms that need to be changed so I’ll be on my way.”
Brandon turns away, immediately accepting two gunshots on his continuing approach to the curb. The loud bangs startle me into dropping my bags and yanking out my pistol. When his body falls, I blindly fire past it, not caring about who I hit. Two people in all black come into my visual and their guns are lighting them up in the dark. It’s hard to see them, as I sidestep right to prevent them from hitting me.
One of the bodies drop, not knowing if it was me or Trane that gunned the attacker down. After pulling up to the curb, a black car smashes on its brakes, screeching up a whining echo. The attacker turns to the obvious escape vehicle and bolts toward it. Machine gun fire from the side windows occupies my sight, transforming my sidestep into a run for cover. I reach a small wall near the entry doors that divides the BBQ area and lunch tables from a walkway to the building’s side entrance.
Bullets bank off of the concrete wall to my left, spewing into the first floor apartments also. I dive over the three foot wall onto the hard ground and inch as close to the wall as possible. A car door slams shut and screeching screams over the music from inside the complex, leaving a brief absence of gunfire. I stand and watch Trane instigate more shooting at the fleeing car. Instead of wasting more bullets, I jump the wall and run over to Brandon’s body on the ground, seeing slight movements.
I kneel down at Brandon, whose hands are covered in his own blood as he asks, “Is it bad?”
I reply with uncertainty, “It’s not good.”
He lets out a grunt as he clutches his right side, “Fuck… I hate getting shot.”
He releases another grunt and Trane tosses me the keys as he commands, “I’ll carry him, get the truck.”
I leave Brandon’s sight, rushing to get the black truck we left parked up front. I jump in and turn the engine over, immediately mounting the curb, closing in on Trane. Quinn and Warren, whom I didn’t even know was here, are carrying the black bags to the truck. I get out and open the trunk then the back door, going back to get the final bag that Brandon dropped. Making my way to the driver side, I hand the bag off to Warren as he’s getting into the passenger seat. Back in the car, I reverse us back off of the curb and take off to anywhere but here.
Quinn loudly asks as I swerve through traffic, “What the fuck happened?!”
Trane explains, “Nothin’. We walked outta the front door and two muthafuckas started shootin’. We ain’t even see ’em. They jumped in a car and took off.”
Brandon’s dying voice fades in, “Did you get my bag?”
I ask, “Where’re we goin’?”
Quinn answers, “We gotta take him to Doc.”
“We can’t, remember? Thanks to you shooting him in the leg, we’re not welcome back there.”
She responds sarcastically, “Then let us take him to a fuckin’ hospital.”
Trane intervenes, “Look, Doc will take care of us for one of these bags. Just get us there.”
Paying attention to the cars up front for too long, and the sudden silence, alerts me to a speeding engine behind us. Before I can look in my rear view, the vehicle slams into the back of our truck and knocks away my control. Trying to straighten the wheel without tipping us over, I sideswipe a car in the opposing lane, causing it to crash into a parked car on the right. Fixing back into my lane, I speed up and sift around cars in an attempt to evade whoever’ following us.
Quinn shouts, “Who the hell is that?!”
I state, “They must’ve followed us from the complex. That’s not the same car from before.”
A gunshot bangs from the car behind us, shattering the tinted back window. Without hesitation, Warren flings his Uzi into the back seat and starts shooting out of the back window at the car. The car behind us swerves out of control, or in control to avoid the bullet storm. At each swerve, more of Warren’s bullets are punching through our pursuer, until a crash breaks them away from us. Who is after us this hard? Quinn convinced a biker gang to shoot up a police station for us, in hopes of them getting profit. Did screwing them over come back on us this fast?
Shouldn’t they be chasing us around on choppers or something obnoxiously loud in sound. Warren sits back down in his seat. In my thoughts of who’s chasing us so hard, headlights brighten blindingly on my right. The car isn’t going to stop fast enough and I’m at top speed already. The bright lights smash into our truck, throwing us into a spin and crash into oncoming traffic. My side gets rammed into, knocking my lights out on the driver door’s glass.