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Chapter 3

"Wyetta, why, it's a surprise seeing you here," Aunt Cindy greeted me at the door. She held her favorite Dutch pot in one hand.

"You're alone? Who brought you here?" she peeked outside.

"I took the bus," I clasped my hands behind me.

"Well come on in, don't just stand there. You aren't hungry are you?"

"No maam, moma dished a fine meal before I left the house," I followed her in.

"How is she? The last time I spoke with her, she wasn't feeling too good,"

"Moma's alright, she's been drinking a lot of that stuff you sent over the other day..."

"Oh, before I forget, she wanted some more of those leaves,"

"You mean herbs," she laughed.

What's that you got there?"

"Moma baked her lemon cake today...I have a slice with me," we walked into the kitchen.

She glanced at it, almost afraid to touch it.

"Don't you want it?" I held it in front of her face like a child offering Ice cream on a blazing summer day.

"I'll have it, thank you," she smiled down at me in a reassuring way.

"I won't hold you any longer, I know that you're here for Rhonda. She's around the back,"

As I started toward the doorway to her room, I called out to her. She was dressed when I got in.

"Well, where you off to?"

Rhonda was almost the same height as her father. Her skin was of a light brown cookie, with tiny bits of pumpkin spice chocolate chip freckles on her face. She spent most of her time with the crowd at Bob's Burger. If she wasn't home, she was God knows where.

"Sunshine," she held her fingers out to me as she continued to brush her hair at the vanity.

"It's the latest Revlon Cutex, is the yellow too bright perhaps?"

"It's-"

"You don't like it? Mhm, well, you know what they say..."

"It germinates if you don't terminate," she reached over on the vanity for a nail polish remover and began to scrub her fingers.

"Nobody says that Rhonda," I looked at her every bit bewildered as I moved crossed to the window and stood to watch the sun go down.

The cool of the fall weather caressed my face. Leaves in their colors journeyed about the ground.

"It's not too windy for us to go out, is it?" Rhonda shuffled behind me.

"Us?" I continued to watch the leaves with my back still turned.

"One, you ask too many questions Wyetta. Two, just come! you should go out more,"

"Do you even go out?"

"Yes, I do," I finally faced her.

"Where? let me guess...from school to the grocery store?"

She moved to the closet and wrenched it open. Like a rat with its head stuck in a dumpster, searching for crumbs—she shoveled into the closet. Clothes flew to the four corners of the room.

"Here, It's a two piece" she emerged.

"Where's the rest of it?" I held the shirt in front of me to look at it.

"God, you're innocent," she facepalmed before she decided to sit again.

***
"Who is he?" I asked in an undertone.

"That's Brandon, he's taking us," she coated her lips with Revlon red.

The night soon drew near as we drove smooth down I-95. Meanwhile Rhonda and her colleague smoked their pot.

"Here, take a wisp,"she offered.

"I think you guys should put that away," I mustered the courage and glanced behind me.

"Why?" she bit her lips in annoyance while they passed the spliff among themselves.

"I think there's a police cruiser following us..." I bit my fingers and tried not to look behind us.

"You know, Wyetta, not everybody's like you. Let us live, Jesus..." she rolled her eyes and coughed while she puffed on the spliff twice.

"Oh, man, the pigs are here," Brandon eyed the officers in the rearview mirror.

"Here's a bag, blow it out, and put it in there...they were hiding behind the other cars," Brandon's movements was now frenzied.

"Jesus, why didn't you say anything," Rhonda's face became terrible, she shrieked and took the bag.

"Lower the windows Wyetta, be useful, will ya'?"

They drove up to the stoplight, and looked over at us.

We were young black folks targeted by society. It couldn't have been a good time.

"Pull over, boy!" one of the officers spoke with a megaphone. The officer then said something to his partner with a nasty smirk on his face.

We pulled over on the gravel and sat quiet. They walked over with a flashlight and peered inside.

"Where you off to boy?" the officer began working at his teeth with a toothpick.

"Off to see some friends, sir,"

"Is that so? Is that pot I'm smelling?" he sniffed.

"I think you’re mistaken, it could be a gas leakage, let me chec-"

"You stay right in," the officer tapped the door and walked back to their cruiser to explain something to his partner.
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