A Payne(ful) Story

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March 29th 2021 | Return of Yvette

I’m a lot like my mom. Very smart at a young age and rouge, just like dad. It’s been three years since I’ve been back home. Not to say that I want to be back, but something told me it was time to come home. The reason I left wasn’t just to run away. It was to understand something greater than what went on our household. You see, with my dad in the Army, my mom started to act differently. When he was here, she would always give off this buoyant attitude. She always seemed full of hope, but when I turned six, things started to change. She seemed more cold than usual and she always stayed at work and didn’t come home til midnight. Whenever she was home, it’s like she didn’t even recognize she had kids in the house. It was as if she was so focused and determined by something so massive that she pushed everything else away.

Now, my older brother Derrick didn’t notice. He was mom’s favorite. He was captain of the football team, had a 3.8 gpa, and to top it off, he was what you would call a “goody two shoes”. When I tried to tell him about my suspicions, he just brushed me off. Telling me my imagination was getting the best of me. I didn’t bother to tell the twins or Josh, mainly because they just don’t care. So, one night I decided to take matters into my own hands.

**********

July 6th 2018 | Operation: Bust Mom

As small as I am, I decided to hide in the backseat in my mom’s car. She has a terrible habit never checking the backseat whenever she gets in. So, I waited for her. I never really noticed how dirty her car was. She had paperwork everywhere, but one stood out from the others. I picked up a note from underneath the driver seat and it read:

You had one job. Stay away or next time I won’t go so easy on you.

Ok so, when I started this whole investigation, I thought I was just being crazy and my mom was actually working long hours and I was being ridiculous, but now her life could be in danger and what is a six year old going to do, look cute and ask them to leave us alone? Yeah, I don’t think so. Just as I was about to get out, mom threw her purse right on top of me and started the car. No going back now.

She was driving for what seemed like an hour until she finally reached her destination. I started to panic because her purse was right next to me and if she opened the door, I would be the first thing she sees and the whole operation is a bust. However, I guess I got lucky because one of her coworkers called her over and I was able to sneak out the other side of the car, leaving her purse in the same spot. I took a look around to see if I could recognize anything, but it didn’t even look like we were in Boston, which is weird considering we didn’t drive for too long. On the other hand, it looked like she works at a plant. It didn’t seem like a job for a woman of her caliber, but I don’t judge.

I ran to the nearest object I could hide behind and waited to see where she went. Yet, another person came to greet her, but they obviously didn’t seem like they worked here. The person was a man, about 6’2”. He had jet black hair with a hint of gray slicked back. He wore shades, a vest with suit pants, and black loafers. The only thing is he didn’t speak. He just stood there as if he was awaiting orders. One thing that stood out about him was a mark on this neck. The mark had two diagonal slashes and a line right through the middle. My mom motioned her hands for the man to speak. It was faint but I was able to hear:

“Boss, there has been news about the Vipers planning on taking over Peak drive. Not to disrespect you, but without Peak drive, we won’t have anywhere to exchange our product. We’ve already lost two ports and three factories. We are on our last legs and it seems you don’t care.”, said the man.

“You seem to forget on why I took over the Cheron’s. I don’t care for the drugs, Raul or the money. The only thing that I care about is taking down the Vipers and the only way to do that is to make it seem like we are vulnerable and then we attack when they least expect it.”, said my mom.

A woman seemed to run in to the conversation. She looked like she was an assistant.

Panting, the assistant said,” Sorry, I’m late, but there is good news! The vipers took the bait on Ben Park. They are moving towards 25th street as we speak.”

“How is this good news, Rachel?”, asked my mom.

“Don’t you see? They believe Ben Park has the soil to plant more of their product, but when you put me in charge of ways to lure the vipers into traps, I made sure to detriment the soil weeks before I spread word around that it was a need for us to land it first. So now half of their income will go down the drain and they will lose a significant amount of their product as well.”

“I knew I could count on you. Now come on, lets go inside and discuss business. There are still much more areas to cover.”

Are y’all confused? Because I know I am. How in the world did my mom become a gang leader and why is she so caught up with taking down the vipers? Everyone knows the vipers are ruthless and they will stop at nothing to get what they want and now my mom works with the Cherons! Who knows when she’ll make a move, but all I know is I got to get back home and warn the others before it’s too late.

**********

I finally get back home and I run straight to Derrick’s room. Of course his door is locked, so I had to pull out the handy dandy bobby pin and make myself welcome.

“What are you doing, kid?!”, asked Derrick.

“Look, you’re not going to believe me, but mom is working for the Cheron’s and she’s trying to take down the vipers and she had this weird note in her car and I think we’re all in danger –”

“Woah woah kid, slow down. Look, mom is okay. I know her being out late and dad being gone is tough but you don’t have to worry. You got us.”

“You’re not listening! I followed mom to work and she literally works at a plant that makes drugs!”

“Look, kid. Your imagination is crazy, I’ll give you that, but—”

“No. No more “buts” or anything about my imagination. I came to you because I thought you would listen, but no. Just because I’m six doesn’t mean you can push me aside just like everyone else.”

Before he could say anything, I slammed the door behind me and stormed off to my room. I couldn’t understand how he hasn’t put two and two together. As smart as he is, he sure doesn’t see the elephant in the room. So, I decided to pack my bags. Yeah, a six year old on the street isn’t the best scenario, but it was better than living with abetting criminals, even if they didn’t know it.

March 29th 2021

And just like that, three years later I decided to come back. I don’t know how long I’ll stay. I might be in and out, but one thing is for sure. Even if my family still doesn’t believe me, I am going to prove to them that our mom is a crook, even it if means putting my life on the line. Pretty extreme for a nine year old right?

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