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I got home in the evening on Sunday. I had been interviewed by the detective about Dad's death. They said they were working hard on finding the killers. My oldest sister Tonetta was certain it was M83. I just thought it was a robbery gone awry. Who knew the details? The only person that had any idea was Mom and she was going through a deep trauma and claimed not to have remembered a thing. She was like a walking ghost.

Usually I'd go to Willy house on a Sunday but I knew my sisters were away so I decided to go home.0 Monday was the first day of school. They would be getting their nails done, getting gossip from other girls in the neighborhood and starting drama overall.

Mom would be visiting Dad's grave.

I unlocked the door. There was a heavy smell of marijuana in the house. This was some shit. I knew all my sisters did weed and Bonnie definitely dipped and dabbled in some harder stuff too. It could have been anyone. I tried to sneaky by without being noticed.

"Whose that?"

It was a guy's voice.

I was confused. I looked at the key rack that we had next to the door. Nobody had their keys hanging up there. Who the hell was it?
I walked into the living room.

Tray was there with another guy. I had recognized the guy. He was just another one of the Suwoo Gang. I didn't know him by name because he'd just gotten out of jail not too long ago. He'd been in there for awhile from what I knew.

I looked around the room. Where the hell was my sister Bonnie? Her boyfriend was in our house...without her?
"What's good shawty, come holla at us," Tray said.

He was high. His eyes hung low and he was talking slow as hell. The boy on the other side of him was staring at me real hard I was a poster or something. He was staring at me like he was surprised to see ME in MY own house.

Man this was some fucking bullshit.

"Where's Bonnie?" I asked him.

"I don't fucking know dog. That's your fucking sister, ain't it?"

At that moment I saw him pass the blunt. Dangling from finger was my sister's key. I could see the big B symbol that she always had on there.


"Ayo...why he stand like that son?" The boy next to him stated, "He a fag?"

Tray rolled his eyes, "Nigga, I dunno. I think so. Why the fuck you asking me, homie standing right the fuck there?"

"You sweet son?" the boy next to Trayvon asked me.

"No, I ain't gay," I replied.

I adjusted the way I stood. My back wasn't so uptight. I made my chest sag a little and my hands drop to my side. My palms were sweating. My heart was racing. I hated feeling like this. That's why I hated school. That was why I cut classes. My home was the place where people didn't scrutinized. Now that Daddy was gone...none that shit mattered.

"Ay, I know you ain't gay nigga," Tray said and laughed, "Come holla at us. You always in a rush and shit. You don't fuck wit me?"

"I'm just busy man. homework to do."

"Come ova here."

"I have to go."

I quickly turned around before I got the chance to stop him. I didn't want to be anywhere near them. Part of me wanted to turn out and walk right out the house, but I knew they would stop me and ask me why I came in just to leave out again. I didn't want to be questioned, but I didn't feel comfortable staying in the house with my sister's thug ass boyfriend either.

I walked up the stairs going to my room and opening it quickly. I slammed the door behind me and put the lock behind it.

Just for a second, I felt safe. Just for a second I felt like I locked that shit OUT there.

That was till I turned around and gagged.

My shit was all over the place. I looked around. Someone had gone through EVERYTHING! Shit was thrown around on the floor. My sisters sometimes looked through my shit trying to find change or something but I knew NONE of my sisters were this messy.

I couldn't believe this.

All of a sudden, I remembered IT.

The only thing I got when my Dad died was his watch. It was his prized possession. He had won it in a bet down in Fort Lauderdale the same night he met my mom. He always told the story. That was his lucky watch, he said.


I ran to the drawer, opening it.


Before I really knew what I was doing, I was running back down the stairs. That was the problem. I didn't think. All I cared about at that moment was getting that watch back. I felt like it would be getting back something that didn't have a price.

It was the only thing that meant anything to me anymore. That watch was the world. It's hard to describe it. I hadn't felt closer to anyone like I did my dad...ever. I needed that watch.

"Yo...please give me my watch back Tray. Please."

Before I knew it I was down stairs. I tried not to cry. I tried my hardest but the tears were already rolling down my face. I knew he had it.

"Man, I don't know what the fuck you talking about," he stated.

"I'm not going to tell anyone. Tray, please take anything else. I'll pay you. Just give me the watch."

"Yo...he sound like a bitch," the boy next to Tray said, "Give him back the watch yo. Can't stand no bitching..."

Tray shook his head, "Haha...true. I'll give it back to you homie. I was just playing with you. Let me hold it for a while though, aight? I got a date and shit I'm trying to impress...oh...shit! Ha, don't tell your sister bout that though."

They started to laugh. They were high as hell. They thought they were funny or something.

"Please..." I begged.

"I said, I'll give you the shit, stop bitching. Ima bring it back tomorrow. Go the fuck away before I bitch slap your ass."

These people weren't bullies. They were convicts. They were dangerous. There was no standing up to them. They didn't care about jumping someone or beating someone to death. They did it every day. White folks had bullies. White folks could stand up to theirs and survive.

In the Bottom, we didn't have that option.

I turned around and started to walk away my eyes starting to burn.

"God Damnnnnn nigga..."

I turned around, "Huh?"

"Come back yo," Tray replied.

I realized what both guys were looking at. There eyes was on my ass.

The dude next to him shook his head, "I'm sorry nigga. A nigga been locked up for awhile. Aint neva seen ass that fat on a dude."

Tray looked up at me, "Why you shaped like a girl?"

I looked over at them. I would have walked away but I wanted my watch. That's all I cared about. My eyes scanned them. I was thinking if I saw it I could take it and run away before they noticed me.

"Ayo...his ass fatter than ya girl's..." Tray's friend teased, cracking up like it was the funniest thing in the world.

"Shut the fuck up," Tray stated, but then turned back to me.

He licked his lips. His eyes were scanning me. I felt...naked. I didn't know how to explain it. Tray was still staring at me with that hungry look. I hated him. I hated him for taking my dad's watch. I hated him for taking advantage of my sister's idiocy. I hated him for looking at that...

"Yo, you right though," Tray stated, "Ey Corny, you want your watch?"


" Come over here and get the watch."

I walked over to him. I kept my eye out for his friend. His friend didn't say anything. They were both high and staring so damn hard at me. I put my head to the ground. I walked over to him. Tray was a thug in every sense of the word. He made Tupac look like somebody's gerber baby. He kind of resembled Tupac a lot though. He had the same facial structures but of course a lot younger.

He had that same devious smile that you couldn't trust.

I walked as close to him as I dared and put my hand out, "Thanks Tray. I really appreciate this. Real talk. Like this means the world to me."

"Ok nigga. Come get it. It's in my pocket. Can't you fucking see I got the blunt in my hand?"

"Nigga, reach into my pocket and get it.""

I hesitated. I needed Daddy's watch. His friend found this hilarious. They both were sneering in this weird way. I didn't know whether it was the drugs or just the fact that they had a ball humiliating me. As I reached through his pocket, I felt his dick was hard under there.

I pulled back immediately, but just as fast as I pulled back he grabbed onto my arm. His grasp was hard. His hands were digging in my skin.
"Did I say you can take your hand out faggot?" he asked me.

"Man, I just want my dad's watch."

" know you a faggot son, why don't you just say it?" he asked me, "You be looking at me all the fucking time. Man, you want this dick don't you. Touch it."

"I don't get down like that," I replied.

"You gon do what the fuck I say pussy. You want the damn watch don't you. How bad you want it?"

"Damn his ass is fat...son, let's ride a train on dis nigga like we did that faggot in the pen. His ass fat yo."

Before I knew it his friend had gotten up and grabbed a handful of my ass. I jumped forward and backed away from both of them. Tray seemed too high to get up but his friend wasn't. His friend was approaching me fast.

All of a sudden I heard laughter and chatter. My sisters were home. You could hear their loud asses from down the block most likely, especially Priscilla and Bonnie.

"I won't tell them, just give me the watch, please."

"You ain't telling them shit anyway. This little convo is going to be continued before we give up this here watch," Tray stated and laughed.

Just at that moment Bonnie walked in her nails done like I thought and a huge smile on her face. Her hair was full of weave. My other sisters walked behind her, but it was Bonnie who walked in with this awkward look on my face.

"What ya up to with my brother?" she asked in a more annoyed way than anything.

He walked up to her. His pants swagging. He was a handsome thug just like she liked. She couldn't resist his charm and as soon as he turned it up she melted.

" I'm just trying get to know my future brother-in-law a little better baby," Tray said.



He walked up to the school. They were 25 deep rolling up to the school. They had sprayed up the school the night before. Kendrick just knew that the lines were drawn and those Suwoo Gang dudes were going to be mad as hell. Of course the cops were there because of it. Spraying up the school the day before the big `merge' was huge.

For a moment Kendrick felt glad to be a part of that movement, but he knew it was all stupidity. He knew it would be ten times as difficult to focus at Barber High.

"Ayo..." Luis said to him before they got to the school, "Tony just text me, he said we got to get rid of all our shit. The cops installed metal detectors. Hector got caught with his burner and they locked his ass up."

All their faces immediately dropped. They were all strapped down to the underwear. There was no place on them that bladders were or that burners weren't hidden. It was crazy they would have to go in the school without anything. It wouldn't last. There was no way. Someone would find a way around the metal detectors soon enough. Kendrick just hoped it was someone on M83.

It was like walking on shells when him and his crew finally got into Barber High.

The hallways were bigger than Emerson. Kendrick knew Barber was definitely a huge school. It was a whole lot nicer. Emerson was the older school. M83 had been around long before the blacks started moving into the Bottom. They were changing them. He felt everyone always felt sorry for the blacks. What about the Dominicans? Weren't they minorities too. The blacks got a nice ass school like this for that long.

The members of M83 that attended the school gathered in the long hallway. At the other side were a group of black kids. Kendrick could tell they were all gangbangers. They probably belonged to a couple different gangs, but most likely they most of them were affiliated with Suwoo Gang or some other type of Blood set.

"Ay, remember dude over here by the gym."
Kendrick looked over at who Luis was talking about. The dude was standing there with this brown skin girl straddled over him. He hand his pants hug low and two cuts in each eyebrow. He had this hard pose like he was trying hard as hell to make everyone know him.

"Hell yeah, Tray, how can I forget?"

They had a couple run in's with Tray and his boys. None of them were nice. By the look on Tray's face when he saw how deep M83 had rolled into the school, he knew there would probably be problems. Tray had probably underestimated how deep M83 really was. Him and his boys looked like ants. If it was in the streets and not in the school, Tray and his boys would be in body bags right now.

Tray had been the one who had broken the truce between the two gangs. He had crossed into the territory and started stealing up the crackheads in the area. He had started dealing and spreading past his territory.

No boundary meant war.

"Son, you fitting to go to class? Cause we trying to gon go tag the gym."

Kendrick y nodded, "Ya, I'm going to check out the class, see what the fuck this school is really bout."

He knew that was all Luis and the others were about. The reason they even came to school was to get new members into M83 or spread the word about the gang. They were trying to take over the city.

Kendrick didn't want that.

He walked away from his crowd. Unlike some members of gangs in the area, he wasn't scared to walk alone. He knew if anything popped off, his boys were around to get his back.

He saw the looks though. He saw the looks especially from that guy Tray.




His classes were mostly better than they were at Emerson. He had to say that he was a little bit impressed. His sat in the back in most his classes. He didn't want anyone to pay too much attention to the fact that he actually did his work in class. Luckily he didn't have to really worry about none of the hood ass gangsters in the upper level classes that he was in.

Lunch was a different story. He was outgunned again. He expected to see Luis but knowing Luis and the others, he knew that most of the gang had probably booked it early. By this time they were probably out in the streets distributing and probably couldn't have given a rat's ass about school anymore.

He did however see a few of his homeboys. They sat around a table.

"Yo you heard bout the new principle?" his one homeboy asked him, "He supposed to be a real hard ass. He trying change the neighborhood, he say..."

Kendrick ignored him. Half of the reason why he ignored him was because he felt like it was bullshit. Everyone tried to change the neighborhood. It never worked. There was nothing at all special about a new principal trying to play the same game.

The other half of the reason was the girl who had walked in. She was with a group of girls. She stuck out the most though. Her walk was something he hadn't seen before.

His eyes zoomed on her curves.

"Damn, who is shawty right there?"

She was black but she didn't look like it completely. Her hair was dyed red, but such a dark red that it looked almost black. It went well with her light brown complexion. Kendrick was always the cool dude. He always had the girls chasing him. He never stared too long at a girl. He never cared too much about a girl...but damn...this one was different.

His eyes embraced every part about her. He was fascinated. His heart was skipping for a moment or something. He had to know who she was. He never felt that feeling before.

"Yo, leave her alone son," his homeboy said, "Not that one..."

"Why? She look familiar as hell..."

"Her name is Priscilla. She probably would look familiar to you."

"Cause of who her Daddy is. Her last name is Harsh."

His heart froze. Fuck it couldn't be. Harsh? He remembered now. He had seen her at the funeral. He hadn't been around long enough to know who he was.

He continued to stare, his eyes almost bleeding at how beautiful the girl was. She was confident too. Her huge earrings bouncing as she laughed loudly with her friends. She knew she was the prettiest one in the group too. She knew a whole bunch of dudes were looking at her.
Just at that moment when he decided to give up, he heard footsteps coming up.

"Oh where all ya fucking border faggots go?" a voice said.

The guy was Tray. Tray had went and found himself some guys from somewhere. They were rolling deep, just as deep as the morning when Luis and the others were around. Tray's homeboys started to make little comments.

"Who the fuck you talking to?"
Kendrick had said it loud. He had said it loud because he knew that the girl was there. Girl's like the red haired girl loved thugs. He knew she was off limits but something in him still drove him to cause a scene, just so that she would notice him. He just wanted the chance of her knowing he existed.

She did too. She was one of the many people who turned around when he called Tony back out.

It was obvious drama was about to start.

Kendrick didn't care if he didn't have too many people to back him up. He started towards Tray and his gang. He had his fists clenched behind his back.

He was going to knock homie right in his face in front of the entire school. Just as he went close though a tall thin man with no hair stood in front of him.

"Sit back down, young man," The bald man stated.

"Who are you."

"Sit back down, young man."

Kendrick looked at the man. The man was tall as hell. His posture was all heavy. He wore a suit but for some reason he was pretending to be security or something.

Kendrick looked the guy up and down, "FUCK YOU, YOUNG MAN!"




I somehow made it to detention. I had been cutting class and hiding out in the basement of the gym the whole day. I didn't know what to do. I was scared to go home and scared to go to school. I just kept thinking I didn't want to be around Tray.

I didn't want him to keep my Dad's watch, but the way Tray looked at me...I hated it.

I couldn't be around him.

I tried to hide all day. I had done pretty well too, until I ended up falling asleep and waking up to a football coach screaming his lungs out.

They sent me to detention after that. It was a small room. I mean, who really got detention the first day. I was the only one in there.

I looked out of the window wondering. No one would miss me. Willy would probably wait about ten minutes then probably assume I got beat up again and sent to the emergency room before he'd leave. No one cared about that.

Just then the teacher in charge of detention came in. He wasn't alone. It was...the boy from the funeral.

I couldn't believe it. I felt almost like I had seen a ghost. I didn't think I'd ever see him again, but now here HE was. He was in the flesh. His skin was the same. He had no hood on now. He looked better without the hood. He had such swag to him and it all came natural.

"How was I supposed to know he was the principal, it's the first fucking day. Are you serious?"
"You have detention till 5."

"That's fucking ridiculous! I hate this fucking school yo. I wasn't even bout to do shit. Ya fucking racist. That black dude can start with me but because he black he can pull the race card. Man, fuck that shit."

I tried not to look at him. I put my head down to floor and stared hard at the floor. A part of me just wanted to be fly and stare at him all day without him noticing, but that was impossible.

He didn't seem to notice me though. I just stared at the back of his neck as he sat there fuming like a mad man. He had a temper. I could tell by the way he was shaking. I wondered why he didn't leave though. Most of the other gangster kids like him just didn't give a damn. They would have just bounced. Why the hell was he staying?

He had the most beautiful neck and broad shoulders. He had to play football or something. I got lost in them. Damn...who the hell was this guy? Why was he

"The fuck you looking at?"

I had got lost in my thoughts and here he was, his face looking back at me. His eyes were hard onto mine. He wasn't happy with me staring at him. No...he seemed pissed actually.

I put my head down again, "Nothing."

He turned around still fuming. I couldn't believe I got caught staring at him.

I put my head down and didn't say anything else to him again. I wanted to though. At times I wanted to spark a conversation about why he ended up there. I wanted to start a conversation about anything under the blue sky, but it wasn't going to work like that. He wasn't going to give me the time of day.

I snuck a couple more looks at him. He was irresistible.

I was a school boy again.

Just at five, I got up from my seat and started out the door.


I turned around. At first I thought it was a dream, but no...HE had actually spoken to me. He was actually looking at me. It didn't matter if he was going to open up his sexy lips and call me a "fag" or say that I'm "sweet".

I felt as long as I was part of his existence for even a couple seconds in all his life that would be all that was necessary to make me happy.

It was an immediate infatuation.

"Sorry for being rude earlier bro," he replied.

I tried to reply. I just wasn't expecting it. No one had ever really apologized to me about being rude or something. I figured it was just what came with living where I did.

I opened my mouth and everything. I thought about saying something cool like it didn't bother me, but not too nonchalant because I wanted to make him know that I still actually appreciated his apology. I wanted to sound grateful, but in a manly way. I didn't want to make him uncomfortable with me or anything.


That was all I got out. He raised his eyebrow, nodded his slowly head in a confused but also passive way. He didn't give a damn.

He walked past me and I just stared and only one thing came into my mind.

Icarus...don't fly too close to the sun.