“Well fuck” I said quietly, but inside my head I was screaming it repeatedly. Today was going to be one hell of a day. After today everything is going to change, at least that's what I kept telling myself anyway. I take one more breath of fresh air and head back into the garage.
“I need a gangsta to love me better than all the others do. To always forgive me , ride or die with me, that’s what gangstas do;” Dalia sang the song as it was blasting through the speakers in the garage. She sat on top of the hood of my dad's red rusty 1978 camaro, holding her rose gold glock 19 against her lips as if she were whispering secrets to it, secrets that only the gun could keep. She had her eyes closed, and it felt as if the world quieted down in preparation for the storm that would follow when she opened them.
“Dalia, how are you feeling today?”, I asked. I heard she had another episode in class the other day. She hasn’t been back since.
“Keziah” she whispered. “ What do you do when the whole world is against you?”she asked with her eyes still closed. I could see her trying to collect her thoughts, pulling her gun closer to her chest now.
“You just keep moving, Dalia, never letting anyone stand in your way” I answered.
As she opened her eyes, I could hear the wind start to howl, the limbs on trees start to shake, and the earth move.
Dalia jumped off the car and put her gun in the back of her pants carefully, made sure it was secure and wasn’t noticeable. Then she continued on her way to the club.
As I continued sitting in my chair, I thought of the first night I met dalia.
It was 2014 and my high school basketball team had just beat her team 72-68 in the Regional City Championship. The Lady Cougars have done it again and have won the championship three years in a row. After the game our teams went to Rondos Burgers to celebrate how far both teams had come. She was sitting across from me, staring at me like her eyes were daggers. She just kept staring while I shoved my oh so delicious fat filled, greasy, slathered in ketchup fries into my mouth.
“Why are you staring at me?”I asked.
“You know you’d be a killer at 3’s if you released the ball properly,”she stated.
“Uhhhh okay?” I said confusingly.
“Wanna work on drills this summer with me/ “ she asked.
I stared at this curly haired, brown eyed girl in front of me with such confusion. She had her hands on the table, like if she moved them something terrible would happen. I took my chances.
“Sure” I said hesitantly.
“Great! I’m Dalia by the way” she said. She had a huge smile on her face.
Back then, before she went into Wonderland, she was full of life and energy. Now, now it’s like she’s here, but when looking into her eyes, it seems like there is a void of darkness that consumes her from the inside. I thought about all the vacations and road trips we used to take . Now, everything just keeps getting worse with every minute that passes on the clock.
I made it to the club around ten. People were already standing in line outside anxiously awaiting to start dancing or to get a glimpse of our special guest. Buzz, an ex- marine, was the bouncer this evening. He was about 6’2, maybe 220, but the weight was all solid muscle. He checked me for weapons before I entered, slowly and thoroughly. I usually don’t bring anything with me, but tonight was different. After he finished checking, I went inside, and Tissa met me to check my bag. She’s around 25 or 26, I think. She was always wearing a shit ton of makeup, I never did understand why.
“Hey Keziah, the big boys are upstairs waiting” she whispered. She was still holding a fake smile for those behind me.
“Just great,” I mumbled miserably.
“I really hope Dalia doesn’t go off the deep end tonight,” I thought to myself. Tissa finished checking my bag, and the weight of my 9mm springfield XD was still there, along with extra ammo. I was prepared.
I went into the back room to change and there dalia was, passed out in that ugly mint green chair. She hadn’t wiped her face off yet because you can still see the residue of that white powder still under her nose. She’d been doing lines again. We discussed her using before; it just made her episodes a lot worse. I set my bag down and went into the bathroom. I got one of the cleaner towels out of the cabinet, wet it, and returned to place it on her forehead.
“Yo, Yo, Yo, hey baby, what’s going on here?” Joseph asked in his phony brooklyn accent.
“Nothing,” I replied. I held so much anger in that one word. “She’s passed out. How do y’all expect her to work if y’all keep letting her get lined up before we start to work?”
“Call me something other then my name one more time Joseph, and you’ll see just how much of an ‘angel’ I can be”.
“Okay, ba..Keziah, we have enough for you too” he was smiling while he said it.
I don’t remember moving, but next thing I know I had punched him square in his jaw. I left an immediate imprint. The rings on my fingers made my impact slightly more lethal. His beautiful melanin was now tainted, swelling up because of me. I felt bad for a few seconds, that quickly subsided, though.
“ You're going to regret that dollface.”He was angry. I didn’t care.
“I regret nothing.” My hostility was felt with every word I said.
“ Your father is going to hear about this, Keziah. If you apologize now, maybe he will go easy on you.”
“Va te faire enculer” (go fuck yourself).
He disappeared up the steps. He was going to rat on me. Oh well. Dalia was still out cold in the chair. She’d be like that for at least a couple more hours. I left her in the chair and went to change. I took off my clothes and stared at myself in the mirror.
The first thing anyone ever noticed about me were my eyes. They are a beautiful shade of green. They look out of place against my dark skin. People always think I’m wearing contacts, but it’s just genetics, I have my mothers eyes. I miss her. I wish she was here. Coke and heroin are one hell of a drug.
I kept staring at myself in the mirror. Tracing all the scars along my arms, flinching as i reminisced on how I obtained them. The long jagged scar going down my left forearm is the most memorable. My father is the one who gave it to me. I breathed in and out slowly for a few moments.
BAM! I heard something hit the floor. I ran out of the bathroom, springfield in hand. It was Dalia, she fell on the floor.
“ Keziah! Keziah!” she was yelling.
“I’m right here, Dalia” I said while helping her up.
Her eyes were still wide and glossed over. I could hear her heart racing.
“ Why do you do this to yourself?” I questioned.
“I don’t know,”she was shaking her head repeatedly.
I sat her in the chair and continued getting dressed. I put on my black leggings accompanied by my signature black combat boots. I traded my victoria bra for a yellow nike sports bra and placed my jacket over it. I had my bomber jacket custom made to have a built in holster. It gave me more freedom with my hands and body , as opposed to holding a bag. I put my hair in an awkward bun. I’m ready.
“Dalia, let's go. They won't wait forever.”
I helped her to her feet and up the stairs we went. I opened the door. This life is not what I wanted. I don’t think it’s what she wanted either. We were lured into the rabbit hole, but we aren’t like Alice. Her story was a magical adventure, but me and Dalia, we’re stuck.
We went too far, too far into Wonderland.
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