It’s been an exhausting three days. For everyone. Especially me.
Beginning on Sunday, I was called to report to the hideout house for instructions on what to do the following week. I hitched a ride from Blake again and my mind was all over the place. I wanted to sincerely talk to him; to ask about our almost-kiss and ponder if maybe it could happen again, except it’d be the real thing.
But I knew better than to bring that up with Blake. He had looked lost anyway. A far away glint shone bright in his dark eyes and I knew this wasn’t natural for him to look as such.
“You okay Blake?” I questioned, making him snap out of his trance.
He tried to manage a smile, but it didn’t work this time. Something was truly bothering him and I didn’t know what. Could it have been me, or a matter more serious and dangerous than I could ever imagine?
Upon arriving at the hideout house, Blake had looked me in the eyes and said, “It’s time.”
Blake had shown me the ropes of the drug dealing process once more to make sure I was ready to deal the upcoming week. When asked if I understood everything, I completely lied.
“Yeah,” I said too quickly.
“Don’t bullshit Ron,” Blake warned, voice stern and solid. “if you don’t understand I can explain it again.”
And so he did. He showed me how to weigh the marijuana in the basement and how to cut it up and distribute it accurately. He reiterated that I didn’t have to worry about separating the coke but that I would still have to sell it the next day.
“I thought you said we didn’t have to worry about dealing the coke?” I panicked, barely grasping the reality of handling a drug as simple as weed.
“I did, but that was before I stepped in shit and started facing expulsion,” he laughed, although I found nothing comical about the situation. I was scared!
Blake reassured me that I’ll do just fine.
“Hell, if anything all Barbara, Valerie, and Antonio gotta do is just recommend you as another plug in our system and those drug addict babies gone come running to you.”
“What if someone snitches me out for having drugs on school property?” I grew worrisome, thinking about all the God-awful possibilities out there.
“Ron, do you really think they gone fuck with you knowing you associated with me now?” he smirked, looking dead in my eyes.
“I mean, I don’t know. I get bullied all the time and people hate me you know? Someone might have it out for me and...”
“I’ll kill them if they fuck with you,” Blake said, eyes growing darker and posture a little straighter. ” and they know that, so stop worrying.”
I wondered how Blake was able to have such power over the student body. People at school were afraid of him, but why? How was Blake able to get respect and authority just by shooting stares and commanding his way? What did he have to do and how long did it take?
His words would still dawn on me even in this precious moment.
"I’ll kill them if they fuck with you, and they know that..."
How do they know that though?
Starting Monday, I was a nervous, unsteady cannonball. I could barely chew my food at breakfast thoroughly as scenarios of me getting arrested and thrown in jail for possession of drugs on school property kept replaying in my head like a movie. Everywhere I looked, it seemed like someone knew I had drugs on me and were gonna run and tell somebody.
This weed has such a strong odor, how the HELL am I gonna get away with hiding it?
Oh my God Ron, look at that red-haired bitch over there by the water fountain. She’s staring at you. You don’t even know this girl but she knows you’re dealing and she’s gonna run and tell and get you locked the fuck up.
Why is everyone STARING at me today? I know I didn’t grow a third eye overnight did I?
Antonio was the one who saw how tense I was and gave me a kind pat on the back.
“Loosen up esé,” he smiled, taking a look around as well. “you want somebody to run and tell on yo ass.”
“Is it because I have my gang apparel on? The denim and purple? They know now huh? That’s why they’re all staring at me?”
“I think they’re all staring because of how handsome you look today,” Antonio bit his lip, flirtatiously nudging into my shoulder.
Oh hellll no.
My body became even more uncomfortable and Antonio brushed it off with a shy laugh.
“I’m just kidding,” he said, and moved to head back to the pod. But not before finishing his statement. “but not about the handsome part.”
I blushed, and Antonio walked away with a sly grin and a wink in my direction too.
There is no way Antonio is gay too. Although that’s not entirely impossible, but if he were, why would he like me? I am a fucking mess on wheels here!
But I had to admit that he did take my mind off the crazy scenarios playing in my head. Maybe his goal was to distract me?
But all of Monday had been a big distraction. Blake was right. People kept flocking to me left and right asking if I was the new plug in Blake’s gang.
“Dude, I had no idea you were dealing now! Can I buy an ounce?”
“Little Ron Mitchell is dealing drugs now? No way...”
“Meet me after school for a gram?”
“You didn’t stick this weed up your ass or anything did you?”
Left and right, from behind and in front, people were in my face nearly all day. It got easier each time I sold to a new person.
But besides people being utterly shocked that little Ron Micthell was dealing drugs, they were even more utterly shocked to discover that I was the new addition to Blake’s gang. I still received a few snarky comments such as I’m a bitch and needed protection for me not to get my ass beat.
No one did anything though. It’s like they knew their limits. Just like Blake said.
Once school let out and I dealt my last amount of weed, Valerie stepped up to me out of nowhere and said, “You better be careful who you sell to. There are a ton of pests that run around this school acting innocent.”
This made my stomach ache. I knew it. I knew someone would be sneaky and try to turn me in behind my back.
“W-What do you mean?”
“Use your head idiot. And be careful.”
Then she disappeared. I had to watch my back and really pay attention to who I was selling to.
When Tuesday rolled around, I was smarter about my actions. I paid attention to people who were actually loyal customers and had been supporting Blake’s business, and I kept a close eye on the people who just randomly wanted to sniff their nose around what I was doing. Clapping back at the sarcastic, smart, and homophobic comments was also a step up too. I tolerated zero bullshit from anyone that day.
“Blake took you in too huh? He seems to do that a lot with sorry specimens like you who’ll suck his dick just to be a groupie in his little gay circle.”
“The only people sucking his dick is sorry specimens like you who always talk shit behind his back but won’t say a fucking word when he roams these hallways,”
The guy who thought he had one over me suddenly backed down. I felt proud of myself. Being bold Ron was a must as I had too many things to be aware of. Who would take me seriously if I was still meek and sensitive and bitched about every little thing said about me? I was a representation of Blake and his gang now. Assholes or smart-asses would not be tolerated anymore.
Then today came around. Early in the morning, Blake texted me saying that he was on his way to take me to the hideout house. It was only five am.
“What the hell Blake?” I muttered after reading his text, still being half asleep. But nonetheless, I got my tired ass up and showered, brushed my teeth, and threw on some clothes to wait to be picked up from Blake.
In doing so, my mother caught me moving around the house and stopped me just as I was pouring myself some pineapple juice. She snapped the lights on and was confused to see me all ready and dressed.
“Ronald, what in the world are you doing up at the crack of dawn?”
“Uh...” I stalled, thinking of something valid and smart. “I was just...getting a head start to my morning.”
“You don’t have to wake up until seven,”
“I know, I just thought I could...”
“You know Ron, your father says it’s just you breaking out of your shell and becoming more involved in social activities but I think you’re onto something else,”
My mother has never been a fool. Maybe oblivious in a lot of situations, but never dumb.
I stared into her blue eyes, feeling overwhelmed and pressured to tell her everything.
God mom, I wish I could come clean with you right now. I wish I didn’t feel the need to join a gang and I wish you and dad would just LOOK at me and notice something is wrong.
I opened my mouth to tell her everything. Her stare was breaking me down.
“Okay mom, you got me. Truth is, I-”
My phone vibrated inside my pocket. My cheeks turned scalding red. I knew who it was, and I was scared that my mom would disapprove of me leaving at five in the morning.
She stared me down some more, face wrinkled and gray with sleep. I looked up at her and could barely find words to explain what was going on.
“Uh...I um, have to-”
“Ron, I am growing impatient with you,”
“Mom, I’m trying to tell you that-”
My heart stopped when the door sounded. At FIVE in the morning. This made my mother belligerent.
“You know what, I don’t know what games you’re playing here Ronald, but they stop...today,”
I witnessed her angrily answer the door and there was Blake, looking caught off by her approach. I stood behind her, trying to ask for help with my eyes.
Blake got the message and proceeded doing things his way.
“Now I know better than to think that a study group meets up with each other at five in the morning,” my mother spats, making Blake eye her. “you either tell me where you’re really going with my son or I’ll get down to the bottom of this myself.”
Emergency radiated from me like flashing red lights. I had started to panic. If mom took matters into her own hands, things were bound to get ugly fast.
Blake cooly brushed her off and talked with a sense of authority and calamity.
“Mrs. Mitchell now I know how crazy this all seems, but I assure you that I and the others in our study group have Ron in great hands. In fact, the reason we’re meeting up so early right now is because we have a community service project to do for a school organized event and we volunteered to be the helping staff.”
I couldn’t see mom’s expression but from the looks of Blake’s face she had lightened up. He then moved in for the kill.
“I’m surprised your son didn’t let you know yesterday. I agreed to be his ride and we were gonna head downtown to help set-up station at the elderly home for some community service hours. The rest of our study group is gonna be there too.”
Mom turned to me and relief washed all over her face. She was onto me though. She had gotten very close.
“Ron, why didn’t you just say something? I could’ve gotten up and taken you there,”
“Uh,” I stammered, anxiety piling in my chest. “I don’t know. I’m sorry mom.”
I met Blake’s eyes and he smirked that knowing smirk. He saved my ass once again.
Once in the car, I had informed Blake that he wouldn’t be able to keep getting away with tricking my mother, to which he replied, “Wouldn’t have to trick her if you did your part and made this study group nonsense seem legit,”
We got to the hideout house around six, and to my surprise, none of the other members were there. This made my stomach go wild.
Blake took me inside and I saw that he bought a few things with the money we had made from Monday and Tuesday. A brand new microwave sat on the dusty granite along with a blender and comforter set propped on the living room couch. It felt good to see that the money was being put to good use.
But what didn’t feel good was being introduced to a gun to that would soon be mine to keep. Blake told me that I had to have a weapon at all times, and me, being the paranoid coward that I am, wanted to opt for some pepper spray or a tazor instead.
“You’re adorable,” Blake smiled, ruffling my hair like a pet. “now take this gun and keep it on you at all times.”
The solid black handgun felt extremely heavy to hold, and I wanted to question whether or not the weapon was registered and was even legal for me to possess. Blake saw my question coming before I asked it and that’s when he did something that would make my heart shake forever on end.
He grabbed my face. Looked me deep in my eyes. He was so close that I felt his warm, minty breath caressing my lips. I wanted to kiss him so bad.
“You’ve got nothing to worry about,” he said gently, running his thumb across my cheek. “you are in good hands from now on. You’ve got to believe me Ron. Please tell me you believe me a little bit,”
I sighed, feeling his fingers softly grace my lips and then lift my chin up the slightest bit. My heart was drumming like a mad man. My soul ached to have his precious skin on me.
“I would do anything for you,” I whispered, and Blake’s hands left my face and went to my waist. “I believe you and I would do anything for you,”
“Promise?” Blake held me, grip getting tighter and tighter. Blood rushed to my face and groin as my knees wanted to buckle under his grasp. He was so handsome and so smooth with his words. I wanted him. Not only physically, but mentally and wholesomely. I wanted Blake in my life forever and I wanted us to take over the world together. It was that bad. My feelings for Blake blossomed more and more each time I laid eyes on him.
Blake’s fingers intertwined with mine over the gun. I looked into his eyes. Fondness and a slight glint of desire shined from them.
“Do it for me,” he said, voice growing smaller with each word. “we’re in this together so don’t you ever feel alone or scared anymore,”
Tears fell and Blake wiped my eyes for me. I was happy though. Happy that I wasn’t so scared and lonely anymore. Happy because Blake truly cared about me and I haven’t felt cared for in a long time. Happy that I was slowly but surely falling for Blake.
Our fingers over the gun tightened. I pointed the gun at my stomach. Blake looked down and questioned what I was doing. I smiled at him, tears streaming down my red face.
“Finally realizing that I’m important and that you mean so much to me...”
I pointed the gun at his stomach, our fingers still locked in place.
“...and that the bullets that fly from this gun will be out of love and warfare. I will only do this for you,”
And then I realized that I had to do it. I had to please Blake and myself. Blake and I were in this together. We always would be.
I vowed to do it for us.