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Paid Dues chapter 2

"I'll never fade away I'll never fade away I'll never fade away, I know my fate!" SING ABOUT ME, KENDRICK LAMAR

"I saw this Eddie Bauer Stroller I'm about to order, I already got ten outfits for him, we'll be matching cause I got the same outfits, they got baby AIR Force 1's, I'm gone get him three pairs of those and me three pairs too, my baby gone have the best of everything!"

WARNING: "It ain't as easy as it seems, take it from a friend who's had his first one .. they grow outta that shit, and they grow fast! Worry about the necessities."

"My baby gone have everything!!.."

What you just read was a recollection of a real conversation, it took place over twenty years ago, but real just the same..

As I was writing this, I recalled having damn near the exact same conversation twice, about ten to fifteen years apart, with two different women. The outcomes were similar, but because of different backgrounds, one was a little more dramatic than the other, as I'll attempt to explain in this blog.

To be clear, this is a story of a woman that I knew intimately, we were very young when we first met. I'd walk a particular route to school so that we would cross each other's paths. I did this for a few weeks at least before shooting my shot. I probably would've kept doing it if it hadn't have been for homecoming night.

Growing up, my neighborhood was just as real as anyone else's in the 90's.. Back then, me and my friends of the same age happened to fall into something that was fully formed and in it's strength, and because of that thing we were protected in our neighborhood. As it offered us protection, it also put us into danger, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

It had been my first high school homecoming, and also my first time really being drunk. As I said, just a few of us were the same age that night, the other fifty or so with us had been graduates, and or had already dropped out, while few of em only had a year or two left.

Taking the back streets that led from our neighborhood to the school, we drunk our bottles of beer openly that we had purchased from the liquor store. By the time we made it, most of us were done, besides those that had bought an extra forty ounce for when we arrived.

Initially, I had no idea how lit I was because it hadn't came over me yet, but I'd soon find out! As we were confined to congregating outside the school, due to the enormous crowd that showed up, I made my way to the young lady I had been too shy all those weeks to talk to.

Freed of the fear of rejection, I managed to be confident, making her laugh and even getting her phone number. Without sounding corny, it had been my night, right up until it wasn't!!

From what I recall, the police had began clearing the steps and the front lawn of the school. I guess the lights and rush of getting my crush's phone number combined in my stomach, and all of a sudden I met Erl for an extended period in the grass. Luckily for me, everyone had been scattering, so no-one paid much attention to the freshy losing his shit in front of the whole South Side, more important was that my new friend hadn't saw me either.

With that night aside, me and "Janet," started seeing each other frequently. We had very similar interest, and our vibe was always natural and genuine. We more or less trusted each other with the burdens of truth, in other words, we kept it honest. When we no longer felt we wanted to be exclusive, we agreed to keep it moving, while the friendship remained. She'd tell me about who she was seeing, and usually she knew about whatever I was doing before I had the chance to tell her.

In the spirit of keeping it honest, we'd occasionally be intimate again, almost like a one night stand but between friends. "Janet" and I had a kinda kinship, we respected each other as individuals, hustlas even because of the way we refused to settle in getting the things we wanted. We both had dabbled in different things, when the guy she had been dating went to jail for a while, he had left her with some work (dope), and she used that to make money to pay her bills. By this time, we were almost out of high school, and they had gotten an apartment together.

I came to visit her at the apartment a few times, and each time she wouldn't let me leave. I'd wind up staying for a few days, it'd take at least that amount of time reconnecting. As much as she seemed to want my company then, I needed that time away just as much or even more. Day one she'd have something cooking, even before I arrived. She was real old school with that, her mom had given her and her sister the game coming up on how to treat a man. Knowing her mom as I grew to, I know that she was well skilled in that area.

It would always be the perfect set-up for those days, besides eating, we played cards, talked about everything, took baths together, dranked, smoked weed, listened to music, danced, and had an adequate amount of lovers sex. When it was time to leave, it was always bittersweet. Although we probably both felt we could've stayed together longer, we appreciated the time we had, leaving each other fulfilled, having left everything on the field so to speak.. we hadn't cheated each other of what we had to offer, we'd totally given it up, and both of us knew that life was waiting for us to get back to it

Without a doubt at that point, "Janet" was my dearest friend, I knew that no matter what happened I could count on her to hold me down, and in turn I did all I could to be there for her, until the day came that I couldn't!..

to be cont:

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