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Authors: Carl Weber

Up to No Good (3 page)

BOOK: Up to No Good
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Like someone hit by lightning, anger struck me. I sobered up completely within a matter of seconds. Before I could think, I took three long steps across the room, grabbed the ceramic lamp off the night table,
and smashed it as hard as I could into Omar’s head. The lamp shattered as Omar rolled off Keisha, screaming in pain.

I turned my attention to Keisha, and for a moment, time stopped. It was like our entire relationship flashed before my eyes. I saw our first date, our first kiss, the first time we made love, the prom, our apartment, the day I proposed, the last time we made love, the rehearsal dinner earlier tonight, and now her lying in front of me. I don’t know how my eyes must have looked, but Keisha began pleading, “Don’t get crazy, Darnel. This is not what it seems.”

I couldn’t help myself. I slapped the shit outta her. “It’s not? ’Cause it sure as hell seems like you fuckin’ my best friend.” I slapped her again, then turned to Omar.

“I’m sorry, man,” Omar whimpered.

I looked down at his dick, and rage filled my entire being. “Motherfucker, you ain’t even wearing a condom!”

I lunged at him and started whaling on his ass. I beat him fiercely, kicking him in the face and trying to stomp his fucking guts out.

“I thought you was my boy,” I kept repeating with every punch I delivered. My blows fell into some kind of rhythmic pattern: Fist, fist, kick, kick. Fist, fist, kick, kick. “I thought you was my dog, and you gon’ do me like this? Fuck my girl without a condom? I ain’t even fucked her without a condom. Oh, hell naw. I’ma kill you!”

Omar never returned any blows. I guess he knew he was wrong, or else he was just too hurt to muster a defense. He covered his head the best he could, but I was relentless in my fury.

I could feel Keisha trying to pull me off. “Stop, Darnel! You’re going to kill him!”

“Bitch! Get the fuck off, you fuckin’ ho!” I was so full of adrenaline that I threw her across the room with barely any effort. Then I returned to Omar.

I couldn’t stop beating O until I got all my venom out. I’ve never known such pure hate. And pain. Yes, I was in just as much pain as I’m sure Omar was. I wanted him to feel my agony, to know that what he did had crossed the boundaries of human decency. It reminded me of when I was a little boy and my mom would whoop me and say, “This hurts me just as much as it hurts you.”

I saw Omar’s nose gushing bright red blood, and his eyes were blackened and swollen. He was bleeding from his mouth. I think he was trying to say, “I’m sorry,” but I didn’t care. I already knew he was sorry. He was a sorry excuse for a friend and a man; that’s what he was.

Keisha must have called security, because two men in blue uniforms came out of nowhere and pulled me off Omar. It took both of them to get me loose from him.

Finally, I relented and stopped kicking his ass. “Let me go. I’m cool.”

Jamie
3

I slammed my foot on the brakes, cursing under my breath when I spotted his Lexus parked in the driveway. Behind it was one of those compact cars that car-rental companies have hundreds of. I had a good idea who had parked it there too.

I ’d been calling his ass for the better part of two hours, both on his house phone and cell phone, but got no answer at either. Whenever that happened, it was pretty much guaranteed that he was with some woman. And now that I saw the cars in the driveway, I knew that they were in there, in his bed.

He is so fucking predictable.

I sighed and reached into the glove compartment for the set of keys to his house. I ’d made them last month when he let me borrow his Lexus while my car was in the shop. I ’d had my own set when I was living with him, but when I moved out a few months ago, he changed the locks so I wouldn’t catch him in the act with one of his whores. I’m sure he thought he was being smart by taking my keys, but I guess he forgot:
Smarter
was my middle name.

Keys in hand, I got out of the car and headed up the
walkway, checking the rear bumper of the car parked behind his for a rental-car sticker. Of course, you know there was a black-and-yellow Hertz sticker there, just as I suspected.

I was pissed. No, I was more than pissed. As much as I loved him, I just couldn’t understand why he always had to sleep with her when she came to town. It was just so damn disrespectful. Not to mention the fact that she was such a damn slut for doing it. I mean, he was a man; men do this type of thing because they’re dogs. But she was a woman. Didn’t she have any shame? She was married, for Christ’s sake!

I opened the door, then walked into the living room. Not much had changed since I had been there two nights ago. On the coffee table, however, were two empty champagne glasses and an open bottle of Cristal, which I assumed came from the liquor he kept down in the basement. That stash was supposed to be for special occasions. I guess getting some ass from her was considered a special occasion—never mind the fact that they’d probably done it a million times before. Well, no matter, because it was a special occasion I was gonna break up.

I picked up the bottle of Cristal and selected the glass that didn’t have any lipstick marks on it. I poured myself some champagne. As I sipped, savoring the way the bubbles felt on my tongue, I contemplated whether I should act ghetto or ladylike when I confronted him. I could very easily run up the stairs and bum-rush his bedroom like a maniac, yelling and screaming like a fool. Or I could act like a lady and just holler up the stairs. That way they could get their shit together and come down so we could handle our business like adults.

I weighed my options for a few seconds, then came
to a final conclusion:
Fuck that!
It was five o’clock in the morning, way too late to be a lady about any-damn-thing. I was going upstairs.

I finished my champagne with one gulp and headed for the stairs. When I got to his bedroom door, I could barely contain my anger at hearing the two of them rustling around on the bed. It sounded like I was about to catch them right in the act. As angry as it made me, I had to give him some credit. For a man his age, he sure had some stamina. I knew damn well they had been screwing all night long and were expecting to keep it going, but that wasn’t about to happen.

I chuckled, wondering how long he would be able to keep it up once I entered the room. Well, I was about to find out. I took a deep breath, then reached for the doorknob. I threw open the door, stepped in, and flipped on the light.

There they were, doing exactly what I thought they’d be doing. She was on top but quickly retreated under the covers.

He, on the other hand, yelled at me and sat up. I knew he was angry, but I didn’t give a damn at this point. Just the sight of her had angered me so much that I ’d momentarily forgotten why I was there.

I walked toward the bed with a purpose, pointing my finger at her. “I knew you was here with her!”

His forehead creased and his jaw tightened as he glared at me like he was trying to burn a hole right through me. I ’d seen this look from him before, and it was usually followed by an angry tirade.

“Jamie!” he yelled. “What the hell are you doing in my house?”

I froze right where I was standing. For the first time since I entered his house, I had serious second thoughts about how smart it had been to bust into his room.

“Ah … ah … Daddy, you wouldn’t answer your phone,” I stammered, “and …”

“And what?” he demanded.

I stared at my father, suddenly dumbstruck. I hadn’t seen him this mad in years. Here I was, twenty-five years old, and I felt like I was sixteen going on twelve. Why the hell hadn’t I just hollered up those stairs, or at least knocked on the bedroom door?

I glanced over at Crystal, my half brother Darnel’s mother, who was now sitting up with a sheet wrapped around her upper body. This was all her fault. If that wench could keep her panties on, my father would have answered his phone and I wouldn’t be in this predicament. What the hell did Daddy see in her anyway? Damn, I hated that wench.

“Don’t look at her! She’s got nothing to do with this, dammit. Now, what the hell are you doing here?” He actually seemed to be getting angrier.

I turned back to him, avoiding eye contact. Then, suddenly, my brain started working properly, and I remembered why I had come here in the first place.

“Darnel,” I said, breaking my silence.

This time Crystal jumped in. “Darnel? What about him? Is he all right? There wasn’t an accident, was there? Where’s my baby now? He’s not in the hospital, is he? Is he all right? He’s not dead, is he?” She was talking so fast and asking so many questions that I could barely understand a word she was saying.

When I didn’t answer quickly enough, she stood up from the bed and approached me, naked. “Where the hell is my son?”

My father stopped her from getting too close. Good move on his part. He’d probably noticed the way my fingers curled into fists as soon as she came near me. “Crystal, calm down and let her talk,” he advised.

“I’m not gonna calm down. I wanna know what’s going on with my son.”

He glared at her and she became silent. Daddy’s eyes had a way of talking to you. “What’s going on with your brother, princess?” His voice had lost its edge, and the fact that he had called me by my pet name made me feel better.

“He’s been trying to call you two all night. Daddy … Darnel’s in jail.”

Darnel
4

“Sign here and here and here.” The corrections officer pointed to the places where he wanted my signature. I did as I was told, and then he handed me a brown paper bag that held my wallet, cell phone, keys, and court documents. He pointed toward a door at the other end of the corridor. “You wanna head down there.”

“Thanks,” I replied, then turned to walk toward the door.

“No problem, Black. And good luck to you. I think you can beat this case.” He sounded sincere, and I knew it was probably because he felt sorry for me. Everyone in the Queens courthouse building had heard my nightmarish story by now. Most of the corrections and court officers were going out of their way to look out for me, doing things like giving me an extra bologna-and-cheese sandwich and a second cup of the watered-down Kool-Aid they fed us as we waited to see the judge. One CO even brought me to his office so I could call my sister when I was unable to reach my parents.

Yep, I’m sure they felt sorry for me. Who wouldn’t feel sorry for a guy who caught his fiancée and his best
friend screwing the night before his wedding? What man in his right mind wouldn’t have tried to kill both of them?

I walked down the corridor, and another CO patted me on the back for encouragement, then let me out the door. My stomach immediately began to churn when I spotted my father standing next to my sister. Sitting on a bench across from them were my mother and my stepfather, Milton King. I ’d seen them in court a few hours ago when the judge set bail, but I hadn’t expected them all to be waiting for me, especially not my father. He’d always told me that if I ever got arrested, I was on my own.

When she saw me, my mother jumped up off the bench and grabbed me in a bear hug, like I ’d just come home from war. It was obvious from the mascara streaks running down her face that she’d been crying. This didn’t help the churning in my stomach, which had become more like the spin cycle on a washing machine, the result of a combination of anger, pain, and embarrassment.

When she finally let go, my mother’s face was wet with tears. She stepped aside and my father approached.

“You okay?” He sounded genuinely concerned, but I knew it was just a matter of seconds before he started one of his high-and-mighty lectures about how I should have used some self-control. To hell with the fact that I was hurt and that two of the people I loved most in the world had just ripped out my heart.

“Yeah, I’m all right.” I nodded, avoiding eye contact with him.

To my surprise, he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me as tightly as my mother had. Then he whispered, “I love you, son.”

One of my eyebrows went up.
I love you, son?
Where the hell did that come from?

It took me a few seconds to respond, because we didn’t have a kissy, huggy, I-love-you type of relationship. That had always been reserved for my sister, my father’s unquestionable favorite. Our relationship, on the other hand, had been built on the fact that whatever he said, I did. I respected him as my father and my elder, but in truth, I didn’t much care for him as a man.

It’s funny, because as a kid, I thought he was the most wonderful, attentive father in the entire world. He never missed a Little League game or a school play. I can’t remember a Sunday he didn’t come by and pick me up for Sunday school. He even dressed up as Santa Claus for Christmas every year, up until I was eight. But none of that mattered when I realized he was a womanizing bastard who basically stole my mother’s youth.

My mother loved him so much that she used to cry herself to sleep when he wouldn’t answer his phone. Many a late night she’d throw me in the car so she could drive around, knocking on strange women’s doors, looking for him. I think I was about ten when I realized what was really going on. That was about the time I found out that all the women who came by his house when I spent the night weren’t really related to us. Before that, I just took my father’s word for it when he referred to every female visitor as yet another auntie.

This was also around the time when I found out my parents weren’t really married. Somehow, I ’d always believed they were, even though we lived in separate homes—probably because he always seemed to be around. Things really kicked in when an older bully realized that calling me a bastard and my mother a whore
would piss me off. I didn’t even know what those words meant. But when I did find out, I asked my father to marry my mother, and he refused, giving me one of his lectures. This particular lecture was about sticks and stones and that nonsense about how words can never hurt you. I didn’t give a damn what he said; words can hurt. I know they hurt me.

It took a long time and a lot of coaxing from my mother before I got over the fact that my father wouldn’t marry her. Actually, I was still not really over it and probably never would be.

BOOK: Up to No Good
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