Hopefully Beautiful - "I more than survived... I thrived."

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Chapter 19


It was going on two months since Corn had left the apartment mad. He had not paid any rent and we kept getting letters from the rental office that said rent needed to be paid. Now the letter said we had to move out!

I was sick of Freddie and Anthony! They didn’t work, or find us food; they didn’t do anything but kick box and get high. They were always able to find something to drink or smoke though. “I am starving” I think, as I look at Anthony laying on my mattress and sleeping.

As I get up to go to the bathroom, I see my reflection in the mirror and I do not recognize myself. I am even skinnier than when I lived in the abandoned apartment; my cheeks looked funny.

My hair looked like, “I don’t wantcha phone number!” It had a lot of un-permed new growth, with the old perm still attached and breaking off. I looked a hot mess! I tried to comb it with my fingers, since I couldn’t find my comb or brush since everyone moved in.

Sand stepped into the doorway and she is looking as rough as me. “We need a brush and comb” I say to Sand. “Yeah and a perm” she chimed in. “Our hair looks really bad; we should curl it” I suggested excitedly!

Sand’s stomach growled loudly as we stood in the mirror. I looked at her and we laughed. “I’m hungry too; let’s go get something to eat” I say. Sand agreed. We decided to go and get food from Safeway grocery store on 2nd Avenue.

As we walked up Dixon Avenue, Sand and I went over the list of the things we needed. We were on a mission to come back with:

·Lunch meat


·Vienna sausages


·Wash cloths




·Maxi pads

·Brush and Comb

·Hair relaxer

·Hair rollers

·Curling iron

·Blow dryer

We split the list and talked about the plan as we walked up Scyene Road on our way to 2nd Avenue to get to Safeway. “When we get there you go to the back of the store and I will go to the right side” I told Sand. “When we have everything we will meet near the front”, Sand shook her head in agreement.

We went over the plan again as we walked the rest of the way. We finally reached the store. We were trying to play it cool and not be noticed, as we walked around the store with our hair all over our heads, looking crazy.

I began pulling things out of their boxes and containers that were on the list; stuffing them in my pant legs, my sleeves and sticking things into my bra and panties. I saw Sand heading towards me in the middle of the store. We headed down the aisle to pick up the last two big items; the curling iron and the blow dryer. We look at each other and started walking to the front of the store towards the exit.

Once Sand and I got close to the exit, we broke out running with all of our might! I was out front with Sand in tow behind me! We were out the exit doors and running down the side of the building!

We made it to 2nd Avenue and cut hard right on our way back to Dixon Circle projects. I am in ‘get- the-hell-outta-here mode’ so I’m running!

All of a sudden I hear “Joye!” in this tortured, long distance, tunneled effect voice… My heart was pumping so fast and pounding in my ears, that I was not sure. I kept running and running. “Joye, don’t leave me Joye!” “That’s Sand’s voice” I think and turn my head to look back!

Sand’s arms are folded up behind her back! The store police are leading her back across the street to the store! I slowed down; “Pleeeeaaaasssseee don’t leave me Joye!”, I heard Sand shout. I was like “Awwwe Nawwww” with my arms swinging in the air and stomping my feet; I’m sure I looked something like Florida Evans from ‘Good Times’ when she went “Damn! Damn! Damn!”

I stopped and turned around and walked back to where they had my sister. My feet felt heavy like bricks, as I headed back to where they stood waiting for me. The security guard hand cuffed me and took us both back to the store.

They called out a code to the store clerk which caused everyone to turn and look in our direction as we entered the store. I was so embarrassed as they walked us handcuffed, to the security booth which was on the opposite side of the store.

They yelled at us and threatened to call the police and have us sent to prison! We cried and explained why we were stealing and cried some more! They kept us in the security office for what seemed like hours, finally letting us go with a warning to never come into their store again.

As we walked back down 2nd Avenue on our way back to Dixon Circle, I looked down at Sand’s feet and she had on flip-flops! FLIP FLOPS! Really?! “I’m hungry”…

Anthony and Freddie were waiting when we got back to the apartment. “Where is the food” they asked? We told them what happened and Freddie just looked at us, “Man, ya’ll stupid” he said. “How both of you got caught, that is just stupid” he said again.

“Then you and Anthony go and get some damn food” I shouted! “Ya’ll lazy asses don’t do nothing, ya’ll expect me and Sand to do everything” I continued to yell! “Who you think you talking too” Freddie yelled back!

Sand stepped in front of me, calling him a string of names that sent him reaching for her, trying to hit her; it was on and popping! I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the giant pair of pliers that we used to turn the water on and off with.

I ran charging the length of the living room “Whomp”! I hit Freddie in the back of the head as hard as I could! Anthony grabbed my arms from the back causing me to drop the pliers; trying to pin me down on the floor, but I fought!

As Freddie grabbed the back of his head and crouched down on the floor, I saw blood! Sand picked up the pliers I had just dropped “Whomp” “Whomp” “Whomp” was the sound I heard as she repeatedly hit Freddie in the head, face, back and arms with the pliers! “You hit me” was all I heard Sand say over and over!

“Don’t make me hurt you”, Anthony said to me as we tussled on the floor! “I hate you”, I shouted as we tussled. I hit him with my knee between his legs and he fell over howling in pain. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the one big knife we had and pointed it at Anthony, “Get out my house” I growled!

He got up from the floor and made his way bent over to the front door. “What about my stuff” he asked? “I will give it to you as soon as you leave” I said. “If you both don’t get out, I am going to call the police” I yelled! Anthony left out holding his crotch area; I thought he was going to cry.

Freddie, who was lying on the floor bleeding, sat up on his side and started crying. “I love you Sand, you know I would never hurt you” he whimpered. Sand helped him up, “I will call you later” she said as she walked him to the door.

I grabbed their things that were already in bags since we didn’t have a dresser, and tossed them outside of my front door. Sand went out and cleaned up Freddie’s head and they talked a little bit as they made up. “Get out from in front of my apartment” I barked at Anthony! As far as I was concerned, we were done!

A week later I was evicted from the apartment Corn got me. Sand moved back with Freddie, who had moved back with his sister after the fight to her apartment in Dixon Circle. I didn’t know or care where Anthony went after the fight; I moved into my car.

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