Reality swims back just as fast as I escaped from it. Blake is putting his clothes back on and so am I, but I’m finding it to be a little difficult as my left arm feels sore and heavy. That’s when I realize that I was having vigorous sex with a bandaged arm and now this shit hurts like hell.
“I think I may have fucked up my arm even more,” I say jokingly, looking for a good laugh out of Blake. I don’t get one though.
Instead, I’m met with a bewildered Blake whose eyes are attached to his cell-phone screen. He’s mouthing words and trying to process thoughts to no avail. Something must’ve happened.
“Blake? What is it?”
He looks up at me, eyes no longer full of playfulness and joy. I feel my heart sink to my ass. I have a gut feeling that something went wrong while we were getting busy.
“Blake? Say something you’re scaring me.”
“Hurry up and get dressed. We gotta go.”
I practically shove myself back in my wrinkled clothes and run after Blake until we get to his car. Party on-goers are still around but for some odd reason, they have become distractions to another problem.
“Blake, calm down, you’re moving too fast.”
“We gotta go bruh, we gotta get the hell out of here...”
“Tell me what happened-”
“Just shut the fuck up!”
I watch as Blake almost runs two people over to drive away from the lot. My heart is pounding and my head feels dizzy. Being on edge is not the type of feeling I wanted after a special night of intercourse, but expecting anything different from my screwed up life is probably asking for too much.
He speeds down the streets and calls whoever called him back on the phone.
“Antonio? Yeah, where ya’ll at man?”
We hit a huge speed bump and lurch forward at dangerous speed. Blake keeps driving like a maniac though.
“The woods? What woods? I don’t see no woods.”
Darkness envelopes the night and creates an extra pang of fear within me. I’m sore in all places and now I have to be afraid. Hopefully everything turns out alright.
Suddenly, Blake hangs up and keeps speeding until we reach a spooky field filled with large, half-dead trees and unnerving fog. I try and settle my nerves but if our gang leader is scared shitless than there’s no hope for me. The only thing I can do is pray for a miracle and hope that I’m overestimating the situation.
He parks on the curb and shuts his car off. I’m pretty sure people in China can hear the blaring of my heartbeat. I feel Blake shifting around and mumbling something but he still has yet to actually make a move.
“Blake,” I start cautiously, not wanting to set him off. “whatever is going on, I’m pretty sure we’re okay. Just think good thoughts.”
“So having our house broken into and trashed by the Chicago Saints is okay Ron? Having them know where the fuck we are is okay Ron?”
I can’t speak. Not knowing this now. I can barely comprehend it.
Blake jerks himself out of the car and I follow suit. We rummage through the blindingly thick woods to search for the others I’m guessing. Blake uses his phone flashlight to navigate and I swear I sound like a dying animal behind him. Tears are surfacing to the brim of my eyes. I feel like I’m going to pass out at any moment.
Finally, after years of stepping over moss and insects and other strange looking critters, we stumble upon the others. Antonio, Valerie, and Barbara all look as if they’ve seen a demon.
“Someone talk, now. Explain everything,” Blake orders.
“The person who should be talking is you!” Antonio snaps, shoving Blake backwards. I can barely see any of them sans the phone light.
“You do stupid ass shit and expect us to be okay with it! Well enough hiding. Expose yourself Blake. Tell all of us plus your new little boyfriend who you really are.”
“What the fuck is your problem Antonio?” Blake steps up to him, stance alarming and threatening. “I came clean to you all already. I do what I have to do! I don’t see any of you trying to be out here getting it like I’m getting it.”
“What the hell is going on?” I feel Barbara beside me, voice low and hushed.
It’s simple but still unfortunate. The real problem that’s currently happening is that the Chicago Saints decided to declare war, even after their proper warning and after the fact that Blake was made aware to stop selling on their territory already. I feel like that’s unfair, to be given a chance to stop doing something but you’re still punished before you can prove yourself. It makes this whole situation bullshit. But honestly, Blake should have never been dealing in a place where he wasn’t welcome. Sadly, this is Blake’s fault. It hurts me to admit that.
On top of this horrible situation, I haven’t forgotten about Blake coming clean to us two hours ago about him stealing a vast amount of drugs to make a profit off of. We have no idea whether or not we’ll be faced with that problem later, but I honestly can’t even bother to think about it. The only thing I’m focused on is what the hell we’re gonna to do about the Chicago Saints.
My thoughts are interrupted when Valerie comes between Blake and Antonio to break up their petty fighting.
“Stop it!” she screams, losing her tough streak. “Back off of each other.”
“Blake causes us nothing but trouble,” Antonio blames, catching a large breath. “and I’m sick of it. This is all your fault!”
“Ya’ll already informed me about the Chicago Saints and I promised to stop selling up there. How is it my fault they wanna declare war anyway?”
“You shouldn’t have been in Chicago in the first place,” Antonio argues, literally pulling his hair. I have never seen Antonio this distressed and belligerent before. It is super foreign on his rather calm physique all the time.
Blake hasn’t said a word and I want to hug him. His silhouette looks so stiff and bothered that it’s killing me to stand by and do nothing. I approach his backside in the dark and give his shoulder a gentle squeeze.
I still love you Blake. You’ve made mistakes but that doesn’t make you a bad person.
Blake steps away from my touch and I watch him walk a few feet away from us. He’s sighing and continuously rubbing his head.
Everyone falls silent. The night weighs down on us like a brick. The woods circling us feels like a backdrop to a horror movie. I want to speak up and say something but I’m not even sure what to say.
Hey guys, let’s all get along and hold hands and just build another house for ourselves?
But before I can manage to try and break the ice, Valerie approaches Blake and voices her opinion.
“Blake, we don’t have time for you to beat yourself up. We will figure everything out. Let’s hit the road and get out of here before-”
Time stops. I blink once to see it coming before everyone else.
Everything seems to move in slow motion.
A thick, tall figure in the woods cocks a firearm in our direction. The fog of the forest illuminates the figure as ultimately terrifying. His gun is bigger than him.
Nothing but fear and panic takes over. I finally let my voice be heard.