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Icarus is supposed to be the son of some great inventor. So how I knew the story was that the great inventor and his son was stuck in a tower. They were stuck there for a long time. Why? Don't ask me that no dumb ass questions.
For all I know they were hiding from the Suwoo Gang. Everyone hides from that set of the every popular Blood Gang in my hood.
Any way, so the great inventor makes him and his son wings of wax see. Why wax? I don't fucking know that either. They didn't have know shit back in the day.
The inventor tells his son, "Don't fly too close to the
sun, cause it'll melt your wings."
Icarus... like any silly ass boy from the burb
flys too close to the sun and his wings melt.
Then he dies.
I don't know why I tell you the story. Hell I probably didn't even get it right. They don't teach us shit in the Bottom and the little that someone tried to teach us, my dumb ass sure as hell wasn't going to get it.
I don't even remember who told me the story about Icarus. Hell maybe I made it the fuck up. It's the only thing that I could think about at Daddy's funeral. In my hood, people don't die from fucking melting wings and shit. I wish that's how the hell it was. Hell, Icarus was lucky. He died like an angel. My Daddy was gunned down.
It was a close casket. Everyone knew what that meant. A lot of people was at the funeral. Daddy was a really well known the Bottom. Even Aunt Dee Dee couldn't say anything that they had really fucked up Daddy and she had been trying her best to keep everyone calm throughout the whole funeral.
I could tell the voice immediately was Priscilla. It wasn't hard.
I was all the way in the back. I had been an usher at the funeral. I didn't want to be seen. That's just me. Plain ass Cornelius. I didn't know what my parents were thinking naming me that. Who else but me got a name of Cornelius living in the North Miami?
"Ayo, shawty, sit ya fucking ass down," I heard Trayvon tell my other sister Bonnie.
She of course sits her ass down, dragging behind another one of my sisters by the name of Claudia behind her.
My mother wasn't far from hearing Trayvon talking to my sister like that. Daddy wouldn't have liked it. Trayvon never would have spoken to my sister in that sort of way if Daddy was around. That just was the problem...no one was around to stop him now. Now things were going to change.
"Corny...you need go the hell up there and say a few words," my oldest sister Tonetta told me.
Corny...that's what they called me. That's what they all called me. With a name like Cornelius I kind of had it coming.
"I don't...I don't know what to say..."
"Corny, if you don't stop being a fucking fag. You the man of the house now. Grow some fucking balls you bitch ass nigga."
This was a church that she was talking in as well. She used the n word like there was no tomorrow and she called me a fag every chance that she got since as long as I could remember.
Maybe that was why I probably turned gay in the first place.
I walked up to the stand slow.
People were looking at me. I was the spitting image of my Dad in the face. I had the soft mature wrinkles underneath his eyes that deepened every time I smiled. I had his extremely dark and deep eyes.
"My name...my name is Cornelius Harsh Jr. I'm the son of Cornelius Harsh. I'm his only son and the youngest of 5. My older sisters and I would just like to um..."
Just at that moment some boy walked in. I couldn't breathe. I don't think everyone else noticed him like I did. He was fucking beautiful. God knows why he showed up to my Dad's funeral because I had only seen him once before ever. I saw him around the neighborhood, but he really didn't hang on the east side of the Bottom like I did.
God help him if anyone else saw him there too...especially Trayvon and his set.
I saw him before he put on his hood though.
He was light skin...probably Spanish but probably mixed like most of those west side guys. His had some levi jeans on that hung way below his ass showing off the basketball shorts underneath. He had a fitted on and a black hoodie snug over his. His face was perfect. He had hard set eyes with these full lips. I kept thinking what if Icarus was reincarnated into human or something. Maybe that's what Icarus would look like. Maybe somebody had resurrected the angel.
All of a sudden I realized that it was Tonetta next to me threatening me, "Nigga if you don't finish yo` motherfucking speech before I get in that bitch ass."
I couldn't speak. It was just everything. Seeing Icarus...and Daddy dying. It just seemed like everything was going to change today.
Luckily I had an attention fiend for a sister. Priscilla grabbed the mic away from me, "Like my brother was saying..."
She continued on the speech in her vibrant speech. People always said Priscilla was saditty. I didn't think so. She thought she spoke good language but her vocabulary was just as fucked up as the rest of us down here. She just thought she was grand because she watched a little too much Breakfast at Tiffany's. You would have sworn an old white lady was misplaced in a little black girl's body.
An hour after the funeral was over, I tried to look around for Icarus. He was long gone though. I was disrupted by my thoughts by my best friend Willy.
Mama came home that day but as soon as she walked in she walked right up stairs. She didn't even speak to any of us. It was usual behavior since Daddy died. For the most part no one cared. I did worry though. She and Daddy were so close. They were damn near joined together at the hip. For them to have been broken apart was a crushing blow for her.
I wasn't sure if she would recover. You know how you always have that parent that is the backbone to a family. Usually it is the mother, but in our case it was the father. He was the one everyone respected.
Now he was gone.
I watched tv by myself. I was always too shy to ask my sisters about what they were talking about. I guess after someone expects you not to have a voice for a long time, it becomes awkward once you do start talking.
I was trying to catch anything about the whole Barber High and Emerson school merging together.
There it was. The story right before my eyes.
It wasn't young girl gossip. The anchor was talking about how due to excessive bad performance over many years the schools would be refinanced and a merge was going to happen. Our school...Barber High, was a big school. I believe the kids from the other side of the Bottom used to go to Barber High back in the day as well, but at some point they broke up and the other high school was formed called Emerson.
I was disturbed by a knock on the door. I walked over to it but already should have known who it was by the way the person was knocking.
"Get the fuck up out my way bitch," Trayvon told me.
Tray Dog, as he preferred to be called, wasn't alone either. He had a couple of the dudes from his click with him. Daddy would have never let all of these people in the house at the same time, but then again...Daddy was gone.
The 5 guys that Tray brought with him immediately went into the living room, taking the seat that I had and kicking their feet up...acting as though they were right at home Bonnie came running to the door with a huge smile on her face. It wasn't long before she was locking up on Tray. They started kissing dirty like something off of some cheap porn film.
Bonnie was pretty. She wasn't as pretty as Priscilla to me though, but I think other people may disagree with that. I think it's Bonnie's low confidence that made her a little less attractive looking. Her face maybe was just as pretty as Priscilla's. She had longer hair than all my sisters. A lot of people asked her if she was mixed, because of her light complexion but I was sure she wasn't. Claudia and her weren't identical. Claudia was taller, slimmer and darker.
Tray was...sexy. I had to admit. He had facial tattoos. It was almost as though you knew guys like him would be thugs for the rest of their lives. He kept gold grills in his mouth all the time. It wasn't hard to know he was a gang banger. He had these tight muscles and always had this huge bulge in his underwear like he had a constant hard dick. He shoved it at Bonnie, poking her in her back. She giggled like a school girl and blushed. I knew she liked it, we both knew she liked it.
"What the fuck your little brother keep looking over here?" Trayvon asked all of a sudden starting to stare right back at me.
I stared away. He was talking about me like I wasn't just a foot or two away. I pretended to be closing the door and not catching what he said, but he knew and I knew that I heard.
"He been acting mad funny after the old man died. You would think he'd cry. He was so damn close to him. No, he just sits around even more now...if that were possible."
"Damn, I feel bad for you. Bonnie, you need get homie some pussy. He still a virgin ain't he?"
"I don't know who he's fucking. Ew. I don't want think about that shit."
"Ay, you a virgin, Corny?"
"No I ain't no virgin," I replied.
"Ayo. Yes you are...you a fucking a virgin son," Tray stated, "Either that or you a fag. Either way you one sweet ass motherfucker. Ha!"
I knew what sweet meant. Soft...sissy...
I had years of hearing it from Trayvon but he always had some sort of respect still when my dad was around. At least I had comfort from it at home. Now I didn't just have to deal with it at school but it followed me at home too.
It was one of the boys that Tray had brought with him to the house.
Tray looked over into the room with all the other boys, walking past me like I didn't exist, "What? I'm bout to go upstairs and handle some business..."
We all knew what that meant. He was about to go upstairs and fuck my sister. It didn't matter that my mother was upstairs and just slept a bedroom away. They had no respect for stuff like that.
"Nigga, did you hear about this fucking merger?"
"Fuck it. Let them bring them motherfuckers out of hiding. I know my niggas ride with me. Them M83 dudes don't want none with the Suwoo gang. I told ya some shit like this would happen. Now we going to see the men from the pussies...like Bonnie lil' brother."
One even pointed right in my face and said something like, "Fag ass dude." I wasn't sure what he said but it had to be something like that.
I couldn't believe it. This was my goddam house. Bonnie didn't laugh like I expected her to, but she did roll her eyes and look at me.
"Can you go upstairs, you're embarrassing me," she stated.
I rolled my eyes and whispered softly, "Gladly."
I heard them continuing to talk as I went upstairs though. I heard them talk about the gangs. I heard them shaken up.
Every one was on edge. The reason was that the Suwoo gang was a set of the Blood gang in Miami, especially in the Bottom. The Suwoo gang were mostly African American males. Most guys joined. It was a real gang not like some high school click or anything. These kids sold drugs and killed. I'd seen it myself. The M83 was a rising gang that had a lot of Spanish people but were also attracting other races like some mixed people, some blacks and even Caucasians.
These were race wars for what I knew.
I wasn't sure if the pigs knew or not, but these streets were no joke. This wasn't some bullshit idea for someone to experiment on. The gang was gaining popularity and a lot of the members were up over at Emerson.
See this is the reason that the merger was bad. The rival gangs would clash.
Something was going to go down. Something huge.
The funeral had gone down without anyone noticing he had been there. He tried to sneak into his apartment with the same luck. It didn't work out though. A big roach scurried across the floor causing him to almost without thinking leap forward and step on it.
He did get the roach, but also ended up squeaking the loud floor boards of the apartment in the ghetto as well.
"Where you been Kenny?"
His father had said that to him from the other room. It wasn't that his father had been keeping tabs on him but it was Saturday and the crackheads came out of hiding on Saturday on the Eastside. There was work to be done and money to be made. Kendrick was missing out on all the excitement of the day. He'd been gone since early morning.
His father was sitting in the living room.
"Yo what the fuck?" Kendrick said as he walked into the living room.
His father was sitting there sniffing up lines of crack off of the table. Kendrick grabbed his father, lifting him up by his arm immediately and slamming him up against the wall.
He gritted his teeth, his fists clenching ready to beat his dad death regardless of whether it was blood or not.
"You REALLY touching my stash yo?"
"Ey, I was just testing it out. Why you tripping yo?"
"Get the fuck outta here yo," Kendrick stated, pushing his dad on the floor and going to re-bag all the drugs his father had taken from him, "You been home using all day? This what you do? I'm paying the rent in this bitch and you just sitting here stealing from me?"
"Dog, I was just TESTING your shit out," his dad said, wiping his bloody nose from where Kendrick had dropped him.
Kendrick bagged all his stuff and put it in his book bag. He hated the house. He hated living in the projects of the Bottom. People thought Miami was some beautiful ass place. They didn't know Miami. They knew South Beach. They didn't know Miami like Kendrick knew Miami.
The house was noisy. His baby sister was sitting two feet away from his dad. She was crying. Kendrick was sure that his father hadn't changed the baby's diapers. The baby had been sitting there in her own shit probably all morning. He could smell it.
"You a fucking junkie, pa, you know that? You a junkie yo. Real fucking talk. Don't you hear the baby crying? What the fuck? Where is Mom?"
"I don't know where that hoe at."
Kendrick rolled his eyes. He grabbed his little sister and took her to his room. If it wasn't for him, god knows where little Anna Maria would be right now. His mom was a real hoe. His father wasn't lying. She would sell herself for money and she would use all that money on drugs. She'd never used to be so bad, but over the last year she had really fallen off the wagon.
Kendrick changed the baby's diapers and put her on his bed with a whole bunch of toys. Then he pulled out his favorite Biggie Smalls CD and let it bump in the stereo.
It was how he settled down.
As he lay there, thinking about the day, he realized it was the only peace he would probably get all week. He was trying to make a difference. He was trying to form a better life for himself. It just wasn't working though. He wanted to get off working the streets, but without the streets...he'd die. He'd starve. Anna would starve. People don't explain that part when they talk about crime statistics.
He hadn't meant to fuck up the address.
That's all he kept thinking about. He hadn't meant to fuck up the address and now some guy was dead because of him.
It was 11 at night when he got the call from Luis. Luis was one of the leader for the gang Kendrick was in. He knew that at a time like this, Luis calling him was no good thing.
"Yo is you down to ride?"
"Aight , what you fittin' to do?"
"Don't fucking worry bout that son, is you riding or not?"
"Aight we'll be there in about 10 minutes. Be ready."
Kendrick jumped off his bed grabbing his little sister. He tucked her in his left hand and carried glock on his other hand. He shoved the glock in the back of his belt and put his shirt over it.
He walked right past his father though. Somehow his father had gotten some more drugs or something and was laying down on the floor, high as hell. He hadn't even wondered where Kendrick was taking his daughter at this time of night.
Truth was though, Anna was safer with Kendrick than anyone else in that household and they all knew it. He took her across the street to the lady next door. She was a sweet old lady that everyone in that area called their Tia. It was Spanish for aunt. Kendrick was Dominican and he spoke Spanish fluently. Of course, Tia wasn't anyone's real aunt. She was just an old lady with no kids who grew up in the hood and never made it out. She helped people out. Every ghetto had one of them...
She was happy to take Anna.
the last time, I swear," he stated, "I just don't know where the fuck...I'm sorry
ma'am I mean I don't know where Ma is at right now.
I didn't want to leave her."
"De nada," Tia said and then switched back to a very broken English, "I take baby. Baby ok. You...not ok. Where you go, Dijo? It's night. Stay with your sister. Escucheme."
He kissed her on the side of her cheek.
"Lo Siento, Tia," he apologized in Spanish.
He knew it wasn't what she wanted to hear, but he knew it was the only thing he could give her right now. Just at that moment Luis's car pulled around the block.
It was a low-rider playing some crunk music. It wasn't hard to tell who it was. Kendrick walked to the car sitting in the back seat. He looked back at Tia and his sister going back in the house. He wished he could have stayed with them but the streets were calling.
" What's good though?" Luis asked in the front seat of the car.
There was Luis's brother Digga to his right. In the back, beside Kendrick there was Romeo and Manny. Luis had the highest rank in the gang of all the members in the car. M83 was a direct branch of Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13, but M83 consisted mostly of Dominicans in the Miami area. Right behind him was Kendrick though. Kendrick was ahead of a lot of dudes in the set. He put his work in the streets. He'd been putting in work since he was a kid.
"Ain' t shit. What we fitting to do?"
It was the second time Kendrick asked . He knew Luis didn't like being questioned much but he couldn't help it. He was on edge.
"Yo chill son," Romeo said, trying to pass him the joint, "You all on edge and shit. Get that look off your face."
He hadn't realized what the look was. It was a look of being disturbed. Kendrick should have fit in the procedure now. He didn't though. He took a puff of weed but then quickly drew it back. It was something else in there besides weed. Kendrick didn't fuck with anything else BUT weed. He passed it up to Digga in the front seat.
"Ever since that shooting you went soft son," Luis said, "Why you scared yo?"
"Ain't nobody scared. I just don't want a mix up, like that them. That dude ain't have to fucking die. That's all I'm saying."
"True but he did. It's your fault too papi," Luis laughed, "I wouldn't want take your ass looking for Carmen Sandiago."
The others in the car laughed with him. Kendrick didn't laugh though. He found it annoying. They found all this shit funny. Somebody had died because of them. Somebody had died because Kendrick had made a stupid mistake. It was a mistake that would haunt him forever.
"Yo, whatever. Fuck yaw..."
"Ken calm ya ass down. Guess what we bout to do? Yo it'll cheer your ass up," Luis added quickly.
"School opens on Monday. They think they going to close Emerson down but we bringing Emerson with us. We gon tag the shit out of Barber tonight. We going to cover it up. Let them know M83 was there."
"Man...Luis you could have left me home for this petty ass shit. If it ain't about money or pussy, it ain't about me either. What's the point of tagging this dumb ass school up?" Kendrick asked.
He was pissed. He was steaming. It was probably because he was the only one in the car who actually gave a fuck about school. Despite the fact that he sold drugs and was heavy in gang activity, he still managed to maintain an A average all throughout school. Of course he didn't tell none of his homies that. He didn't want them to start getting suspicious. Kendrick was looking for a way out. School definitely was an option.
Only problem was his sister. What happened to Anna if he went to school?
"We got to show these cowards we run it," Luis stated, "Them boys been trying come up in our territory for a minute now. It's time we shut that shit down."
Digga shook his head almost disappointed, "Kenny don't care. He still worried bout that old man that got dropped. "
Kendrick didn't say anything right away. He let it marinate in his head. Digga was right. He couldn't shake the thought of that innocent man bleeding. He was trying so hard to forget what happened that night. He kept trying to convince himself that it was an accident. He kept trying to convince himself that it wasn't his fault. He made a quick appearance at the guy's funeral hoping it'd make him feel better. It didn't make him feel any better though.
"What the fuck was that guy's name anyway?"
Kendrick immediately phrased it as though the name had been forever engraved in his memory, "Cornelius Bartholemew Harsh."
He has 4 sisters.
Icarus theme of things. Boy killed his father. Story could start with father's death. The high schools are merging.