Jadezo Part II
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It was real cold outside. I didn't want to go out today because a party really wasn't my scene. My scene was back in my room, where I was comfortable. The four walls made me comfortable. I didn't have to care about how I looked when I was high. I knew people were looking at me as I stumbled into the party. Felix had given me a different kind of pill today...it was supposed to be something new. It had me fucked up. People seemed to notice. I didn't care...they'd get over it. A lot of them did it too.
"Josh," Mya said, "You didn't hear me calling you like eight times."
I crossed my arms and rolled my eyes as I saw her, "Well, it's probably because my name is Jadezo now...not Josh."
I hadn't heard her. I could barely see anything much because I was high and the damn party was already noisy as hell. It was just another ghetto party. It wasn't in the Grove though. The party was down the street at this dump that belonged to some drug dealer people called Yoshi. Yoshi was like the big drug boss around these parts. Everyone who sold drugs worked for Yoshi or was in direct competition with Yoshi. Yoshi also happened to be Felix's older brother.
Drugs were everywhere. People were snorting and shooting up on the damn porch. The cops wouldn't come around today unless violence broke out. Yoshi was most likely cutting them in on some dope and that was all they needed to let everyone do their thing.
There was one reason I came out...Mya said she was bringing out her new friend...Malik. I couldn't help but wanting to see him again. I had no idea what a guy like that would see in being friends with Mya...it was unheard of. It was really a mystery. Why did I have such an attraction to him? Why was he even at this party to begin with? Its like leaving your job at the white house to work in someone's greenhouse. I had to figure this out. I felt so connected to him and I didn't know what it was. I'd just seen him once...why was I thinking like this. I'd never felt this way before and I couldn't explain it. It was almost as though I had a crush. I'd never had a crush...on anyone! Felix was the only real lover I knew. Everyone else was just sex. He was the only person I'd ever loved and I didn't know why. He wasn't nice to me...he didn't provide any support and he probably cheated on me...but maybe it was because he wasn't going anywhere. It was rare to find someone who you knew would always be there and never go anywhere. The world could betray me but Felix would be right at home in the end, wanting me to come back to bed.
"This party seems...interesting," I remark as I look around.
The hood rat girls were playing cards near a little bedroom. By the way they were shouting into the bedroom I could tell that they probably had a whole bunch of kids in there. It was no doubt that my cousin Janette was in that crowd somewhere. Then they had the drug dealers who were gathered in the shadows of the room quietly stalking everyone that walked in to see if anyone was tweaking for some product. There customers were the ones most likely dancing. The only people that danced at these drug dealer parties were the people who were high off crack or some type of other drug.
The fags were scattered all over the party, but the real feminine ones hung out near the entrance trying to get a glimpse of the "trade" or straight boys outside. In the kitchen were the girls who thought they were some type of classy bitches when they really were just hood rats who were a little prettier and didn't have kids. I knew a couple of them. There were two twins named Rita and Anita. Their best friend was the popular catch around those parts that all the guys wanted, but couldn't have her because her boyfriend was something like a local drug pusher named Dorian who worked under Yoshi. I couldn't remember her real name but I knew they called her Boo.
"You are high aren't you?" Mya asked me with this disappointed look on her face.
I pushed past her rudely in an attempt to sit down. She knew damn well I wouldn't leave the house without taking a pill or two. I didn't take half pills. I wasn't a damn beginner. I needed it just to get to my normal self.
"Leave me alone girl," I tell her.
Mya grabs onto my collar and I see her pull me close so that she can whisper into my ear, "Stop doing this...I understand you think it helps you out with your art...but that is just an excuse. You aren't even drawing now. You are officially addicted Josh...I mean, Jadezo."
"You might as well just grow a mustache and a dick so you can be Dad," I tell her and push her hand away from my collar.
She'll never understand.
sit down so you don't stumble. You are going to embarrass me.
You know I brought Malik
to the party. I already feel stupid
bringing a guy like that to a party like this, but he insisted. At least you
can show him that people in my `immediate' family act decent.
Janette already hit on him and tried to suck
his dick, showing how people in my `extended' family behave."
"Janette tried to do what?" I asked looking at her as though she was speaking Chinese.
"You heard me," Mya said and laughed, "She was impressed by what he was saying. You know he's all smart and shit. Out of no where she said that he's smart but she can give him more `head', if you know what I mean."
I slapped my hand against my forehead. Janette was a mess. I wouldn't doubt it if she was somewhere with him now fucking his brains out.
"Didn't she tell you he was gay?"
"Yea, that doesn't mean she stopped trying to talk to him though. He is fly and he pulled up here with a damn BMW. You know the girls are on him like white on rice. He's in the kitchen now with those plastic bitches."
Rita and Anita's squad were called the "Plastics" after that movie Mean Girls came out. It was because the girls were living in a fantasy where they felt like their good looks would get them rich men and move them out of the ghetto for good. Till then they just messed with the best that the ghetto had.
"You just let him stay in there?" I asked.
I was kind of shocked and kind of jealous. I wanted to spend some time with him.
"I mean, I rather him be in there with those bitches. At least they can fake being civilized especially after Janette embarrassed me."
I looked in the kitchen. I couldn't see him but I could tell there were at least ten plastic girls in there just standing around talking about their nails or some shit. I looked at Mya...and I saw the look on her face. She had her mouth open as she stared at me.
"What?" I said as she stared.
"You know what...why all of a sudden are you interested in what Malik is doing. I was trying to get you to meet him for the longest time and you didn't want to."
She was laughing.
"Whatever...come with me to say hey to him," I tell her.
She shakes her head furiously, "Hell no. I do not like those plastic bitches and they don't like me. Let's keep it like that."
I make a loud huff. It wasn't until I had gotten up and tried to make my way to the kitchen that I realized how crowded this house really was. It was like everyone and their mother had come to the damn party.
"Watch yourself nigga," somebody had told me as I pushed past people.
I didn't care. There were so many damn people. All of them looked slightly familiar and I knew I probably could name all of them if I really thought about it. They were playing some Lil' Wayne song on the radio and all the hood rat girls were singing all the words in perfect unison as though it was church and they were getting into gospel.
I finally make it through the damn storm and get into the kitchen to immediately get these unwanted stares and eye rolls for no specific reason from all these girls who swore their fake ass Gucci bags were real and Dereon was something special.
I saw him all the way in the back. He was having a conversation with one of the twins...I couldn't tell which one it was. I walked past a girl named Eva, who had fought one my sisters about a year ago and still didn't like anyone in our family.
"Damn...you always trying to be around girls huh?" she said to me and then turned around to her friend, "I wonder what that means."
I huffed, "Bitch...you call yourself a female...I call you a mistake."
These girls had a whole lot of mouth on them, but they could always be shut down real easily. She knew it wouldn't mean anything for me to call one of the many female members of my family to beat her ass again just for the sake of doing it. She turned around and rolled her eyes to continue with her conversation as though I had never walked in.
My comment had brought even more attention to me. The girl Boo, who was probably one of the few plastic girls who didn't have a huge mouth on her, had been partially in the conversation with Malik and one of the twins, but turned around and noticed me walking in. She gave me a smile, but I couldn't tell if it was fake or not so I didn't smile back. I just waved at her and didn't say a word. I stared right at Malik.
"I mean the Piazza isn't that spectacular," he explains to one of the twins, "It
kind of gets lonely."
I could have figured that out. He talks to Mya for godsakes. Mya is the damn
cleaner. I could tell Malik wasn't uppity. He had a down-to-earth side to him. I doubt strongly that he's always been able to afford to live in a place like the Piazza. I mean, he wouldn't have been so comfortable in this environment if he had always had money.
"Hey...anytime you need some, we can come over," one of the twins's said in this flirtatious tone, "We should have a party down there."
He wasn't even noticing me.
He still didn't hear me. My voice wasn't really reflecting over the twin's for whatever reason. I guess it was because they seemed like they were in their own little world for whatever reason.
"Hey!" someone had said, calling his attention.
I turned to notice that it was Boo who had done it for me. She smiled at me again and this time I could tell that she wasn't fake. It was kind of nice to know because of all the false shit going around. It was almost like she was offering some kind of truce even though she and I never had any "personal" bad blood. We just didn't run in the same crowd.
He seemed surprised when he saw me. He smiled at me as well and I approached him in the little corner that he stood with the twin.
"Jadezo," he recognized me and reached out his hand, "It's nice to see you again."
I reached out and shook out his hand. He was staring at me...it was awkward because I didn't know what else to say. The twin who I realize now was Anita because of her bracelet was staring at me now but her expression seemed a whole lot more irked that I had interrupted her conversation.
"It's nice to see you again. Mya told me you were here and I just...uh... kind of wanted to say hey...um...or whatever."
Or whatever? What was I thinking? I sounded like a straight idiot. What was it about this guy that made me nervous? I'd talked to rich attractive guys before. I mean he was a bombshell, but there'd been many guys as attractive as him before. I hadn't stuttered as bad as I was now. I never stutter!
"Hey," he said.
I paused, speechless. He was smiling as though waiting for me to walk away or say something else. It would be awkward to just say something now after the pause, but it would be even more awkward to just walk away after standing here.
My palms were sweating.
My lips parted without me making them do so and I started out with these incomprehensible mutters, "I...uh...uh..."
"Are you ok, it sounds like you have something stuck in your throat," Anita said with this sassy attitude to me, "Or maybe it's you want to get something stuck in your throat."
My face had gone red. She was a little harder to deal with then Eva. She had a really smart mouth just like her twin sister. I blushed red. I would have to let that one go. She had completely embarrassed me. With one little smart ass remark I was back in high school again. I was back to being the unwanted gay boy with low self esteem that needed Felix just as much as I needed a pill. This was unknown territory for me. I didn't know how to talk to another boy.
I turn to walk away. Damn, either way it was looking like a complete idiot. I had planned my night in two seconds. I would go in the bathroom, pop a pill and drink it down with a 40. Then I would go home, probably get into a fight with Felix about where I'd been all night and go to sleep, helpless and high.
It didn't happen though.
I felt a hand grab onto me and a voice say to me, "Wait."
It was Malik. He had grabbed onto my hand and was gently pulling me back just so much that I could get the idea. My heart almost wanted to thrust out of my chest as he pulled me back.
"Yea?" I asked.
I was thinking the worse. What if I was played? Maybe he was going to ask me to call my sister or even to get him a glass of water. He didn't though. He just stood there with the same awkwardness as I had and smiled.
"Why don't you stay around and talk for a while," he offered.
"Wait!" Anita said suddenly and got in between us, raising her finger to Malik. See...all of a sudden classy-wannabe turns into ghetto hood rat chick, "This is our time! You know this boy is gay don't you?"
"Anita...I'm sure he does," Boo suddenly says and grabs her friend. She smiles at me as they walk away, "Excuse us."
I wave again and she winked at me. Not all the plastic girls were fake. I realized now that I don't mind Boo at all. They walked to the other side of the kitchen leaving the entire corner for Malik and I. Probably if the house was quieter, it wouldn't have made much difference, but with all the noise it seemed like Malik and I were the only ones left in the world.
"So..." he says as I lean up against the wall.
I am smiling. I can't help it. I tried to sober up before I came in the kitchen, but I could tell I was still slightly high and slightly shy. I crossed my arms and he crossed his arms too as though he was mocking me...but in a cute way.
"So...did Mya tell you..."
"Yeah. Damn...I was wondering if you made that connection," he said to me.
Damn he was sexy. He had the most sexy full lips in the world. It was one of those lips that seemed like it had permanent moisture. He stared at me with this deep stare. Damn...just looking at him stirred something in my genitals. Felix never gave me this kind of reaction.
"I do want to apologize. She was trying to hook us up on a blind date for the longest time, but I've been so busy," I explain to him.
He shakes his head and smiles, "No problem. What do you do?"
I get quiet. What do I do? I sit around at home, take drugs, splash paint on canvas and get beat up by a boy, who I call my boyfriend but have no idea if he is, so that I can get turned on enough to have some aggressive sex. That is what I do with my life.
"I'm an artist," I tell him.
He doesn't laugh. I'm surprised. Everyone else seems to laugh. Who says that is their profession any longer?
He raises an eyebrow, "Oh really, that's really interesting. I work with a whole lot of art collectors. Are you selling any of your pieces?"
Probably just the comic sketches I do for clubs and events. That's it.
"Yeah. What do you do that you work for art collectors?" I ask him.
"Well...I usually don't like saying my profession to people who I feel like have a lot of potential. It makes things a little intimidating and awkward," he tells me, "but lets just say I manage a hotel...maybe when I get to know you a little better I'll let you know which one."
said potential. I'm a potential what?
My smile had gotten a little wider.
"I'm sure there's no reason we wouldn't get to know each other better."
"Me either. Mya seems cool. If there are any similarities within the family, I'm sure I'll like you as well."
"Why are you here?" I ask him.
It had been bothering me since I found out that he was coming to the party. He didn't seem surprised I'd asked the question so out of the blue. He'd probably been expecting me to ask it. He didn't ask me to elaborate. He just answered.
"I don't mind coming back to my roots. I used to live in the Grove...actually...I knew you. We were in 4th grade together. Back then...everybody used to call me Trim...that's my middle name. Trim Brooks."
Trim...Trim Brooks. Immediately my heart seemed to stop a little. I remembered EXACTLY who Trim Brooks was. It wasn't that we had known each other. Trim Brooks was one of my best friends. I'd known him most of my life until middle school came around and he had moved away with his family after his father had gotten this raise in his job. It was one of the saddest days in my young childhood.
I remember now that Trim's first name was Malik. Only his mother called him that. I had gotten completely silent and Malik just looked at me. Did Mya know all along that Malik and Trim was the same person? I don't know if I would be able to forgive her. Trim was more like a brother to me then a best friend. He was that one friend that I discovered things with growing up. We discovered life together. We discovered what sex was flipping through magazines. We would disappear after lunch into cemeteries and forests. Trim would always be my guide. He would explain why the skies was blue and the grass was green. They were all made up explanations, but I believed every word. He was something like a protector. He was a little older and he didn't have any younger siblings so I was like that little brother to him. I remember one time he convinced me to go with him hiking up these woods. I had fallen down some rocks and sprained my ankle. It was my first serious injury. Trim had come over my house every day until I had gotten better almost a month later. That was a big deal back then because going out to play was like getting into heaven for us when we were younger.
"Seriously?" I ask.
was going to wait for the right time to talk to you.
Actually when Mya
was interviewing for the job...I made sure she was hired because I remembered it
was your sister. That was why I was so set on seeing you."
For a moment I figure that means that he really isn't gay. That was just his excuse in finding a long lost childhood friend. I don't care either way, I hug him. When we were younger boys we were never shy about hugging or anything like that. It's because we really sincerely cared about each other. All these long years have passed. We were completely different people now. He looked completely different to me. Even as I hugged him, I realize his smell is so much more stronger, attractive. He still squeezes my sides like he used to when we used to hug. I can feel his warm cheek against mine. It feels so different and yet there are some things that remain the same.
"Oh my god! Kid, how have you been?" I ask him.
It's weird seeing him. Big head Trim turned out in the end to become one of the sexiest men I'd ever seen in my life.
been looking for you ever since I graduated high school," Malik
explained in this excited tone, "You have no idea.
I even came down to the Grove a couple times
asking if a guy named Josh was still around."
"Yeah...no one knew who I was talking about."
"Well everyone calls me Jadezo now."
"I noticed. I been meaning to ask you about why."
"Well kind of like my artist name. Josh was a little bit boring so I go by Jadezo now. I just made it up."
"I like it...but I'm not going to lie, I miss Josh," he said and he licked his lips in this way that made a chill run up my spine. Maybe he was really gay.
I wanted to ask him. I didn't know how to. I smiled and stared into his eyes. His eyes slowly moved from off me and focused on his waist. I didn't even realize I had my hand wrapped around his waist this whole time because I didn't fully come out from hugging him. I let go and he let out a short, almost unnoticeable sneer.
We started to stare at each other again and then we laughed again. This was almost unreal. Is this how people felt on Maury or something when they got reunited?
"You look so different," I finally said. I didn't know what else to say. It would explain why I was just standing there staring at him in this obsessive kind of worship.
He did a little flex, "Yeah, got built a little."
A little...he probably had a complete R&B singer body under there. I laughed a little trying to break the tension that I was probably the only one feeling. He was just...under this feeling of euphoria. Nothing like this had ever happened.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" I heard a voice say.
I turned around and saw who it was. It was Felix. Damn...I knew those jealous fags that saw me walking in probably called him to let him know I was there. I didn't think he would actually come out of bed to get me though.
what the hell?"
"Nigga, what the fuck are you doing here? You over here with this lil' nigga flirting or some shit! Is that what the fuck you are doing?"
Felix was the only one who could get away with this. People were scared of Felix. It was because he was Yoshi's younger brother. Yoshi was more laid back but Felix was always known as the brother that was slightly crazy. I could see all the plastic girls moving out to the entrance of the kitchen. They wanted to see what was going to happen, but didn't want to be too close. They heard Felix going off as he usually did and they knew what it was probably hitting for. Damn, I knew what it was hitting for. He had embarrassed me out in public before...just like this. It was exactly how a lot of my family found out I was gay.
"Lil' Nigga?" Malik asked, raising an eyebrow, clearly offended.
Felix made a move towards Malik, "Yea lil' nigga. Jadezo, I told you about acting like a simple ass faggot hoe didn't I?"
Malik took a step towards Felix as swell, "Ay, watch your mouth! You ain't going to keep calling my friend no faggot or a hoe and you're not going to call me by the n word."
Right at that moment Malik wasn't some corporate rich guy anymore from the Piazza that impressed everyone with his Bachelor-of-the-year look and BMW. He was the same Trim that I had known before. We hadn't spoken in 12 years and all of a sudden I was his friend again like before? Yet still I could see that confidence that Trim used to have in Malik's eyes. For a moment I almost felt like he was unstoppable, just like how I used to think.
If people hadn't noticed that Malik wasn't from here by the way he dressed and the way he carried himself, they could tell by now. People really wouldn't fuck with Felix in Yoshi's house. Yoshi was always known as the muscle behind Felix's talk .
I knew what he was going to do before he did it.
As Felix lunged forward I jumped in between and grasped him up with all the strength I could muster. It was enough because Felix's fist got only a few inches away from Malik's face.
"Get off me!" Felix exclaimed, struggling to get at Malik who was standing there as though he didn't care much about Felix's threats at all.
"Let him go," Malik suggested as well.
All of a sudden someone ran into the room and yelled, "Boo and Janette are fighting out on the porch! The cops are probably going to have to come break it up! Everyone needs to leave now!"
Damn...this was the 2nd time Boo had looked out. I knew for sure this time, she probably didn't mean to though. The cops...they only came around when one of the nosy neighbors called and forced them to. That meant now. Damn...I turned around and gave Malik a stare. He seemed bothered by Felix and Felix seemed bothered by him. They stared each other down in this great showdown of eyes. It was crazy and intense. They acted as though they didn't hear the girl just walk in and say that.
"Come on!" I shouted at them...we have to leave.
There was still nothing but silence and it felt like some kind of cowboy movie. Everyone had left the kitchen. I'm sure they were already arresting people outside. I could hear the sirens. I could hear the commotion.
"Come the hell on!" I shouted one more time.
I grabbed Felix and pushed him out the kitchen door. I looked back at Malik. He grabbed his drink and gave me a look as though there was something wrong with me.
That was when he said something I never thought I'd hear in my life, "You don't have to go with him, ya know?"
God...who was this man...
"You don't understand..." I say.
That's all I say to him and I walk out. He doesn't understand. All of a sudden I am angry as though he had cursed me. He just felt like he could come back all this time and play the "HERO" again. He couldn't. Now Felix was here and that was all I had. I felt Malik's eyes trailing me as I walked away. He probably was realizing I wasn't the same little brother figure he had as I did it.
Why was I so upset? I was leaving with Felix. That is what my body said to do. That is what my head said to do. My heart wasn't so sure any longer.
I could only think about those words as I walked through the commotion. It was noise everywhere, people being busted by the cops, girls cursing each other out, Felix threatening me because I went out without him knowing. All I could think about was what Malik said.
...You don't have to go with him...
It was the first time I had considered what would have seemed before that day to be the impossible. It was the first time I thought about leaving Felix.