Chapter 7: Deep In The Valley
Saturday, July 17th, 2010
Jeremiah had ousted Darius and Michelle from his life. Now, who did he have left? No parents, no grandparents, no friends, no one. But that was the farthest thing from his mind. He had thrown away the concept of friendship along with his heart for poetry.
Jeremiah’s mind was strictly focused on making money. And business had picked up with the running he was doing for Deacon. Jeremiah was sure to be careful about not being caught. And even at that, there was a sense of nervousness every time he made a run. Jeremiah became bothered by what he was doing for only a short second, because he felt he had no other way.
On this particular night, however, things were about to get deep. There was a new job on the ticket for Deacon and his crew. And Jeremiah was to be in the middle of it. The dangerous path Jeremiah was going down wasn’t getting any better.
Jeremiah pulled up to the same remote location he had met Deacon on several occasions.
“I need you to make a big run for me on Monday night,” urged Deacon. “You in or are you out?” Deacon asked with an intimidating stare.
“I’m in,” Jeremiah hesitantly answered.
“Good. Six o’clock Monday, you make the run. Meet me here to get the goods at a quarter till. Here is the address you will be making the run to.”
Jeremiah looked at the address and noticed something very familiar. “Deacon, this is the name of the president of IBA, my old job.” The piece of paper read “Ronald C. Burgess. “You dealing to the president of IBA?”
“No, you’re going to deal to the president of IBA. He’s a good customer. Pays top dollar for our merchandise, but only buys a couple times a year,” said Deacon.
“I’m sorry, but he was my top boss. Don’t you get that? I’m not going to deal to him,” Jeremiah said.
“Frankly, I don’t care who he is. I said you’re going to make the run, so you’re going to make the run,” demanded Deacon. “Got it? I would hate for something real bad to happen to you. Wouldn’t you?”
All at once, the other four guys in the crew stood up as though they were a pack of ravenous dogs ready for the attack. Jeremiah slowly looked around at the surrounding figures, backed down and looked back at Deacon. “Alright. I’ll do it.”
“I thought you would see it my way,” said Deacon. “Oh and Jeremiah, I forgot to tell you. We rollin’ with you to make sure you don’t mess this up.”
“I don’t need a babysitter, Deacon.”
“This ain’t about what you need, church boy. It’s about what I want. And we coming along.”
“Whatever,” responded Jeremiah.
“And we going to raid the house after the exchange happens.”
“Raid? Are you crazy? Whatsup with that?”
“We taking the rich man’s stuff from under his nose. No more small time for us, boys. We going big.”
“Yeah, well I still think it’s crazy. And I would like to stay for your hoorah party. But I’m heading out Deacon,” Jeremiah said.
“We rollin’, six o’clock. Remember that. Be here or we looking for you,” threatened Deacon.
Jeremiah looked back with a look of disapproval, but didn’t respond verbally. He walked out and headed to his car.
“Deacon, I’m gone too. I’m getting hungry,” said Trouble.
“Alright, Trouble. Why don’t you take the rest of the crew with you,” said Deacon.
“Cool. Come on ya’ll.”
Trouble and three of the guys left out while Deacon stayed behind, contemplating every move that was going to be made Monday night.
NPD Police Station
Meanwhile, during the time of all this, Michelle decided to go to the police to give them as much information as she could about the attack on her a few weeks back. She went to the NPD Station in order to give a report.
“How may I help you, ma’am?” asked the receptionist as Michelle approached the front desk.
“I’m wanting to speak with Detective Patton Gray about filing a report and see about pressing charges.”
“Ok, let me get Detective Gray on the phone.”
The older lady with dark rimmed glasses and brunette hair picked up the phone to make the call. Michelle stood patiently, purse draped over her right shoulder and twiddling her thumbs.
“Detective Gray will see you now. Go straight back. He should be standing outside the door for you.”
“Ok. Thanks!” Michelle told the receptionist.
“You are welcome.”
Michelle walked down the long corridor until she reached Detective Gray’s office and introduced herself. “Hi Detective Gray. I’m Michelle Nace. I got your information from Jeremiah Washington.”
“Oh, the young man that lost his grandmother. We are still working the case. It’s nice to meet you Miss Nace. How can I help you out?”
“Well, several weeks ago I was approached by someone outside of Harmony café. It was a male who caught me and pinned me against the building. I was horrified. And…” Michelle started crying. Detective Gray handed her a tissue.
“And what, Miss Nace?”
“He stared feeling on me, touching me inappropriately. Then he threatened me.”
“What did he say?”
“He said ‘don’t you move and don’t try to scream. Or I will make it real hard on you’.” At that time Michelle’s mind rewinded back to that one dreary night in her life.
“Ok, Miss Nace. This is important for me to know. Did you see what he looked like? Anything that stood out to you?”
“It was dark. It was hard for me to see anything. But his voice was deep and as dark as the night was.”
“That really doesn’t help me out any. I’m sorry, but I need more to go on before I can do anything, Miss Nace. I need some kind of evidence.”
“So there’s nothing you can do? Nothing? I really need your help!”
“Look, I’m so sorry. But I can’t move an further in this. I need more details. I can’t work off of just a voice you heard. If and when you can get more information to me, then look me backup.”
“Ok,” Michelle said with a sigh. “Well, thank you for your time.” Michelle excused herself from the chair, still sobbing, and walked towards the door.
“Miss Nace. Sorry I couldn’t help you our more. Give me a call if you can tell me more. Have a good day.”
“Ok, I will. Thanks. You have a good day as well.” Michelle opened the door and dismissed herself from the room.
Detective Gray sat back at his desk with an expression of disappointment on his face. He wanted to assist the young lady to the best of his ability and was hurt that he couldn’t as he noticed the look of despair that took over Michelle’s face.
Michelle decided to go to Crosswalk to grab something to eat. As she walked though the double glass doors of the self-seating restaurant, she went to stand in line at the counter. That’s when she heard something familiar.
“Yeah, give me the ham melt plate,” the voice ordered the cashier behind the counter.
Michelle peeped around the line of people anticipating to get their food. She seen four guys in a small huddle as they laughed, talked, and played around.
‘I know those guys from somewhere,’ Michelle thought to herself. After a few seconds, it dawned on her. ’That’s Deacon’s crew!’ Then another revelation: ‘That voice. I’ve heard it somewhere before.’
Michelle quickly flashbacked to another time as her mind continued to wander about this familiarity. Then…
‘THAT’S him! THAT’S the guy!’ she exclaimed silently in her mind.
As the crew got their food, they walked passed Michelle to get to the table they were eyeing. There he was. Terrick Farley a.k.a Trouble. He started staring at Michelle with a sheepish grin as he walked by. But never said a word.
Then Michelle’s ear tuned into something that was key. She heard one of the other crew members slip up and call him by his real name, Terrick. He didn’t like that at all.
Michelle was in a trance for a second, then snapped out of it. She got out of line and hid somewhere Terrick wouldn’t see her. She took her cell phone out of her pocket and dialed Detective Gray’s cell phone number.
“Detective Gray! This is Michelle Nace. I know who done it now! I just ran into him at Crosswalk. His name is Terrick. I don’t know a last name. But it’s Terrick!”
“Can you describe him to me, Miss Nace?” Detective Gray asked.
“Umm…” Michelle took a quick glance and a deep breath. “Uh, he’s about five-ten, braids, dark skin, and slim.”
“Ok. I want you to go ahead and leave the restaurant and come back to the station. I’m going to try and bring him up in the database. You come and let me now it’s him. Can you do that?”
“Yes sir. I’m on my way.”
Michelle was able to sneak out of Crosswalk without being noticed and got to her car. She broke a few speed limit laws to get back to the NPD Station, but she did not care at the time.
When Michelle arrived at the station, she let the receptionist know what she was there for. Michelle met Detective Gray at his office.
“Michelle, I pulled up a profile based on the information you gave me. Let me show you,” said Detective Gray. He turned the computer monitor around enough for Michelle to see. “Is this him?” The picture on the monitor exposed Terrick Farley. “That’s Terrick Farley, better known as Trouble.”
“Yes, that’s him. That’s the one that nearly raped me.”
“Raped? You didn’t say anything about that before, Miss Nace.”
“I know, but I’m telling you now that it could have happened.”
“Ok, ok. Well, at least you identified him. But I need you to understand Miss Nace, that I can only put in a restraining order in regards to your case. However, the good news is that we’ve been looking for him for a while now for other things. He has been good about eluding the police and staying out of sight. But we’re going to get him and put him away.”
“That’s actually a relief for me, Detective Gray. He surely has the right nickname for all the stuff he has done. Oh, and he hangs out with another guy that goes by Deacon. They are a nuisance to Nashville. They were the ones who interrupted the funeral of Mrs. Emma, Jeremiah’s grandmother.”
“I appreciate the info. But I can’t lock up Deacon or anyone else for that matter, without evidence that they did anything.”
“I understand. I just want them off the streets. They are beyond dangerous.”
“We will try our hardest and do what we can, Miss Nace.”
“Well, I guess that’s good enough for me. At least you’ll be going to pick up Terrick, hopefully.”
“We’re going to give it our best.”
Michelle grabbed her purse and stepped towards the door. “Thank you,” she said.
“You’re welcome. Goodnight, Miss Nace,” bid Detective Gray.
Michelle left out and headed home. Detective Gray stayed in his office most of the night, sipping on coffee and finished up some work. Michelle had a sense of semi-satisfaction in what was going to be done. But would the NPD ever catch up to Terrick Farley, better known as Trouble? And what about Deacon? Would he be locked up for his activity? Only time would tell.
Monday, July 19th, 2010
At five forty-five p.m., Jeremiah met up with Deacon and the crew at their hideout. Well, all the crew minus one.
“Fellas, looks like we done lost Trouble,” said Deacon. “They swooped him up last night. He called me and told me that’s where he was. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you church boy?” asked Deacon visually piercing a hole into Jeremiah.
“No, I don’t. Why would you ask me that? Ask some of your other homeboys,” Jeremiah bit back.
“Well, you seem to have known Trouble personally. Maybe he done something before to ruffle your feathers. And just maybe you decided to rat him out.”
“It wasn’t me, Deacon. Can we get down to business now? We’re on a schedule, remember?”
“I’m keeping my eye on you, Jeremiah. Don’t slip up,” Deacon said as he got close to Jeremiah’s face.
Deacon walked off and went to get something in hiding. He picked up a black duffle bag. He then sat it on a table for all the crew to see. “This is the merchandise fellas.” Deacon unzipped the bag to reveal the assortment of prescription drugs inside, all of them to be sold illegally. “Oh, and I decided to bring in a helping hand since Trouble is no longer with us.” Deacon gave Jeremiah the side eye.
Out of the shadows came a young man being initiated into the street game.
“Jerrel??” shouted Jeremiah in astonishment.
“Hey, Mr. Washington. What are you doing here?”
Jeremiah didn’t answer Jerrel’s question. “You don’t need to be a part of this, Jerrel. It’s too dangerous. Turn around and go somewhere else.”
“I need the cash bad, Mr. Washington. You know my struggle.”
“Yes, I know your struggle, Jerrel. But you need to do as I say and get away from here!”
“I can’t go. I can’t leave this. I have to do this.”
“No, you don’t have to do this.” Then something clicked in Jeremiah’s mind. “I don’t have to do this. Why am I even here?”
Deacon looked at Jeremiah with a burning stare. “Are you done? Because you are really wasting my time. I’m on the clock and I don’t have the time for all of this nonsense. Let the boy do what he wants to do.”
“No, I’m not done, Deacon! I dragged myself into this mess, something I shouldn’t have been doing in the first place. I’m throwing my life down the drain for what? A couple of extra bucks? For you? I mean, who are you?”
Jerrel looked at Jeremiah with an attentive ear. Jeremiah looked back at Jerrel and continued. “Jerrel, it ain’t worth it. Listen to me. Walk away for this now. I admit, I brushed you off before because I was too busy wallowing in my own stuff. I apologize to you for doing that. I’m not going to do it again.
“Church boy, remember that those extra couple of bucks is paying for your bills. You are really interrupting my flow and I don’t appreciate it,” said Deacon.
“Well, if you don’t like it, then do whatever you want to me. But there’s no sense in dragging this young man into your dirty work,” responded Jeremiah. “Jerrel, do you really want to end up in jail over something foolish? I know I don’t. Let’s go and get out of here.”
Jeremiah turned to walk the other direction. There stood Jerrel in the crossfire with Jeremiah on one side and Deacon and his crew on the other. Deacon was grounded with his arms folded.
“What’s it going to be Jerrel?” asked Jeremiah. Jerrel peered over at Deacon for a moment. Then he glanced over towards Jeremiah. He decided to walk to Deacon.
Deacon had that same devilish grin he always had, believing he had won the fight. Jerrel looked at Deacon and with a bold stance said, “I’m out!” Then Jerrel went to Jeremiah as Jeremiah wrapped his left arm around Jerrel’s skinny shoulders. There was a sense of being proud that beamed from the spirit of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah and Jerrel began to walk until they were called out by Deacon. “Hey, church boy! I told you that if you ever walked you would pay the price.”
“Yeah, and I’m willing to do that if it means saving this young man. Deacon, you have the same opportunity. All of you do. You have the chance to walk away from all of this,” encouraged Jeremiah.
“No way. Don’t come at me with that stuff. We doing what we do, point blank.”
“Alright, have it your way.” Jeremiah turned back around and walked a few steps further away from Deacon.
“Hey church boy…” cried out Deacon.
“Deacon, I’m done! Now let us go and I won’t say anything about what happened here tonight.” Again, Jeremiah and Jerrel began striding towards the door.
“See, I could let you go. It would be the right thing to do, right? But the problem with let you go is that you could rat me out just like you did Trouble. And I can’t have that,” said Deacon.
At that moment, every exit was blocked by Deacon’s henchmen.
“You know, Jeremiah, I know you do a little poetry,” patronized Deacon. “So do I. Check it out.” Jeremiah and Jerrel again started walking away, but had to figure out how they were going to get out of that warehouse. As they paced towards an exit, Deacon kept talking. “Roses are red, violets are blue. Now you gon’ get what you have coming to you.”
Deacon reached in his back pocket and took out a Glock 9mm loaded with ammunition. He pointed it at Jeremiah’s back and got a good aim. But he was content on pointing it down at his right leg. “You walk from me, then I make sure you don’t walk at all!”
BAM! One shot fired into Jeremiah’s leg. Jeremiah fell limp to the ground. The shout startled Jerrel and he fell backwards to the concrete floor. The shot was so loud that it echoed throughout the steel-walled warehouse.
While Jeremiah was on the ground, blood flowing from his injured leg, Deacon and his crew fled the scene. Deacon made sure to grab the duffle bag on the table on his way out.
“Jerrel, reach in my pocket, get my phone, and call 911!” panicked Jeremiah. He was in a frenzy. “It hurts! It hurts! Please God, help me!”
Jerrel took out Jeremiah’s cell phone and dialed 911. He gave the location of where they were and let the operator know Jeremiah had been shot. Jerrel was visibly shaken up.
Just moments later, paramedics and police arrived. The police questioned Jerrel as paramedics strapped Jeremiah to a gurney to transport him to the hospital. The sirens sounded and the ambulance traveled as fast as it could to the one place that could fully tend to Jeremiah.