I grew up knowing I was the shit. “Keep the bitches in check, and don’t let these broke niggas hit,” my mother instilled that in my head at an early age, so I was well respected. My father wasn’t around, but I was far from neglected. I stayed with a designer bag, popped hella tags, hair and nails always done, surrounded by drugs and guns, and I knew that if this is what I needed to live like this I didn’t want none. But it’s all my mother knew; definition of a “Bad Bitch,” my mother had it down to a science. She could pull any nigga she wanted, her figure she flaunted. The house was right in the middle of the hood, and to this day I still have flashbacks; no one ever broke in, but I suffered from constant panic attacks simply because I knew what we had, and I knew that the niggas on the block wanted it bad. My life was ideal to the young girls on my block, and even the girls from the burbs wanted to be me. I was privileged, and it was rare that a girl with the things I possessed came from such a mess, but I digress, I was blessed. My father, Antonio “Tony” Lugo was a God. Still is to this day, even though he’s been away. So the block was my throne. They say misery loves company, but me, I just wanted to be left alone. Some peace and quiet every now and again would do justice, but simply that was too much to ask; the sun shined on me and in it I basked. This is the story of a girl. Soft spoken, but focused. Even tempered, but don’t tempt me, pockets never empty, logic, good and plenty, so don’t lend me your two cents. Your opinion is worthless, my mind state is get it by any means. It’s a complicated simplicity; life just came easy to me…
Growing up was heaven and hell. I stayed secluded in my own little shell; nobody fucked with me, but everybody fucked with me; it’s complicated but it’s simple. I was pretty, 5’4”, dimples, my shoe game was detrimental. J’s, to Giuseppe’s, I was definitely hood, but I kept it preppy. Skirts and knee high socks I rocked it so nice; bet every nigga and his bitch looked twice. Stayed with A’s in B’s all through school, mama was a product of the streets, but she didn’t raise no fool. I was a nerd no doubt; I knew there was only one thing I wanted from the hood and that was out, or so I thought. I figured at an early age that knowledge would be my main focus, don’t fall victim to these lame niggas and all of their hocus pocus. Promises of this and that when I already had everything I could possibly fathom, and everything any other girl could even ever imagine. My mother usually kept me fly, but I couldn’t get by simply on a beautician’s salary, I had to have options; I was a victim to flattery. So when Gayla offered me a ride home from school one cold winter afternoon, I knew then and there that even though my mother wouldn’t comply, Gayla was exactly who I needed to get by. My father kept me straight even behind bars, but half the time I saw none of it; my mother would keep it for her own ventures, opening her own shop, and upholding her hood stature. Gayla made it happen for me and she and I have grown so close over the past 6 years.
Summer of ’06, I drove the Acura TSX, was still a good girl, had never had sex, and didn’t give a fuck about what was coming next. I lived in the moment, and of course DeShawn rode shot gun, hanging out the sun roof, it was all about fun and of course stunting. Who else on the block could say they got a ’06 Acura for their 16th birthday? My pops may have been locked up, but he always came through, year after year, he made every birthday memorable. Bending blocks, banging Yung Joc, “It’s Goin’ Down” out the twelve’s, life was swell, I had every reason in the world to smile and I did all day until it was time to head home to pure dysfunction and chaos. Pulling into the driveway, I already hear the music playing.
R. Kelly’s TP2 blasting only meant one thing; mama had company. Opening the front door, I had no idea what I was in for. I’ve walked in on some craziness in the past, but thank God this time was not like the last. Mama was chilling on the couch with some random nigga, go figure. Walking past them trying to go unnoticed, I head to my bedroom consumed in weed smoke and incents, I close my door, grab my pen and pad, and I vent.
My phone rings, its DeShawn,
“Yea,” I answer, irritation all in my voice, not at her of course and she knows that.
“What’s wrong? Ya moms got some dude over there, huh?” She reads me like a book, that’s why we’re so tight. She’s been my girl since preK, she fight, I fight, it’s only right.
“You know she do,” I roll my eyes.
“Same dude, or a new one?”
“What do you think?” DeShawn and I are so close because we complement each other, that and the fact that her brother kind of made us befriend each other so he wouldn’t have to sit at the park on P.A with us as kids. I lived directly across the street from it and my mother would watch us from the porch, DeAnte was like 10 swearing he had business; some things never change.
“Damn, girl, ya moms need to get it together. Wanna come over?” I knew right then she needed a ride somewhere and DeAnte wasn’t going. He hardly ever let her get the car and when he did he’d send like five or six niggas with us.
“Where you tryna go?”
“How you know I’m tryna go somewhere? I just know you don’t wanna be over there, you can come chill over here, we can get into something…”
“I’m on my way, I’ma walk down there ok?” I knew this would force her to let me know what was really up.
“Why you walking, its dark and it’s dangerous on these streets girl.” She says with a laugh. “Pick me up in 10, it’s a party on the Westside.”
Hanging up, I knew it was something. I don’t really do the party scene, but maybe tonight I should, maybe tonight it could be my thing. And you know I had to be the flyest one there, but that came with ease, tonight I didn’t want to be a “tease,” I wanted to go out and see what all the fuss was about. I wanted to be normal. Sounds cliché, but it’s really the feeling I yearned the most. I wanted to be a normal 16 year old girl, but my subconscious wouldn’t allow me. I was born into royalty, and anything other felt wrong. Pulling up to a brick house over on the Westside of the city, my attitude is cocky, I’m pretty and sadity as I step out of the car. I’m well clothed, a t-shirt, some leggings and some J’s, it’s a house party for crying out loud, and I don’t need to be scantily dressed to impress. I can style and profile in a paper bag, and I’m just being modest, at the least honest. DeShawn on the other hand is the complete opposite, she’s got a bit of confidence to come dressed as she did; barely anything hid, she steps out in heels and a tight fitting dress. I’m pretty sure DeAnte didn’t see her before she left, but DeShawn does her own thing, and I won’t complain, that’s just who she is.
The party is jumping and I’m standing on the wall. I’m holding DeShawn up so she doesn’t fall, and I spot him across the room staring me down. I’ve never seen him around, and he looks so out of place, but I can’t help but notice the smile spread across his face. I’m taken aback by this dude to say the least, which is extremely rare, but this feeling I’m feeling is new. I’m not going to approach him because that’s not what I do, but I will take his number if he’s giving it, money if he’s spending it, because emotions aren’t eminent, so anything is possible. No one is stopping him, but it looks like he would rather admire from across the floor. As soon as he looks away, I grab DeShawn and head towards the door. Of course she’s fucked up, drunk beyond reason, trying to find someone else to leave with, but I won’t allow it. I’ll at least I’ll try to get her home safe, but she is her own woman and should have never gotten this drunk in
the first place. Pushing through the crowd we finally make our way outside, looking around I spot my car and hate that I chose to park so far. Dragging DeShawn, I feel someone grab my shoulder. I turn around in a frantic; who the fuck is grabbing me and what are their antics?
“My bad, my bad, shorty…” I’m staring into the face of ‘Mr. Stare-a-bitch-down.’ He’s smiling, and I can’t help but notice the chipped tooth and the gold fangs. My first thought is ‘How the fuck could he afford the gold fangs, but couldn’t get his tooth fixed?’ But I keep my thoughts to myself, I check my surroundings, I see no one else, so this nigga is really calling me “shorty.” It’s a pet peeve of mine. Obviously he’s not from around here, because everybody in the hood knows who the fuck I am.
“It’s Toni.” I somewhat spit at him, crossing my arms as DeShawn leans on some strangers minivan. “From the looks of it, your name should be ‘Bad Bitch,’” he says referring to the tattoo written across my forearms. I got it on my 15th birthday, surprisingly with my mother’s permission, and quite ironically she has the same one. I smirk, not because I like him, but because he’s unfamiliar. He reminds me of nothing or no one, so I decide to entertain the situation.
“Yea, so what’s your name?”
“Ricky, but everybody calls me Doc.” He smiles, showing that horrible chipped tooth that oddly enough is drawing me in.
“Ok, Doc,” I say in the most sarcastic way,
“What’s you angle, what game you tryna play?” “Oh, so you used to those type of dudes huh?” “What type of dudes?” I say full of attitude. “You don’t know me, or what kind of dudes I’m used to.” His skin is smooth, caramel brown, lines cover his forehead when he frowns, not out of anger, but out of curiosity. I hate to admit it, but he kind of got to me.
“Regular ass dudes, tryna push up on you. Using generic ass lines because you’re so fine, but instead of getting somewhere with you they end up fucking themselves up from jump. See me, I ain’t looking to fuck you, I’m just looking for conversation because I can read between the lines, and this ain’t no part time persuasion. I’m looking for friendship
Miss Toni Lugo.”
His smile is gradually starting to grow on me, but it’s making me uneasy to know that he knows of me on a first and last name basis and I know absolutely nothing of him.
“So, Toni what’s up? Can I give you my number?” His 6’0” frame surrounds me, “Yes, I’ve done my homework, I know who you are lil mama, it ain’t no secret that you’re hood royalty, and me, I’m just an admiring bystander. I want to get to know you better, if you’ll allow me.”
I can’t do anything but smile, and it’s been a while. I take down his number, who knows, one day I may be bored enough to call. I watch as he turns and walks back into the party. His Sean John jeans pulled securely around his waist, his white tee impeccably white, and his J’s look fresh. Yeah, he’s definitely different, and I like that. A lot.
“Oooooh, Toni got a boyfrannnnnnn!” DeShawn drunkenly twirls in the middle of the street, catching herself before she falls face first in the street.
“Shut up, and let’s go.” I say, shaking my head as I laugh at her drunken slurs.
“Girl, I’m not ready to go home yet!” DeShawn says as she falls into the passenger side of my car. “Look, don’t throw up in my car or I’ll kill you!” I joke.
“Whatever, I’m good!” Turning on the radio in the car, Nelly’s ‘Grillz’ blast through the speakers as DeShawn stands up through the sunroof. She really needs to stop drinking, but I love going out with her, we always shut shit down. Usually I’d be turning up with her, but right now the only thing on my mind is this Doc character, and I hate it. Usually it’s the other way around.
“Sit down DeShawn!” I laugh as we fly past a squad car in a vacant parking lot. I head across the bridge, checking my rearview mirror to make sure the police didn’t get behind me.
Pulling into Mobil on Prairie Ave, Deshawn finally sat her ass down, nodding her head to the music. I get out and put $10.00 on pump 2. Walking out of the gas station I spot Money Marcus and DeAnte. I panic because if DeAnte sees DeShawn fucked up like that, he’ll be pissed and drag her ass home.
“What’s up Money, DeAnte?” I nod as I rush to the car and begin pumping the gas.
“Let me get that for you shorty.” Marcus gestures as he takes the pump from my hand. “Look, DeAnte gone fuck you up if he catch his sister like that. Take this and get the fuck up outta here, aight?” Handing me a stack of $20’s he hangs the pump back up and heads back to his truck, grabbing DeAnte up as he begins to head to my car. That’s why I fuck with Money, that’s why everybody fucks with Money, he’s always looking out. He saved me and DeShawn’s ass tonight. I pull out of the gas station with a half of tank of gas and over $200.00, that’s what’s up.