Chapter One

What a mess


Psalm 52:7

Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches and strengthened himself in his wickedness.

 Boom! Boom! Boom! “Who is it?”, Toby asked. But I knew who it was. I was in the bathroom trying to get it together. I threw some water on my face, looked in the mirror and asked myself, “How did you let this happen?” That was actually a rhetorical question because even an answer wouldn't change things. That was “Bank” at the door and he was looking for me, his cocaine or his money. This was the third time he had to come looking for me and I knew this wasn't going to be nice. I had $20 worth of coke left out of a $2000 package and no money. I knew what was going to happen. It had happened twice before but this time would be the worst...

I had one last rock left and I figured after this beating I would get high just one more time. Then maybe I'd go get help, check into a detox or maybe even a program. So I hid the vial of coke in my mouth between my cheek and gum, took a deep breath and opened the door. On the other side of the door stood Bank . He was about 5' 10” tall and he weighed 250 pounds. He had his Timberland boots laced up to the top, ready to do damage, with a 9 mm in his belt.

He had two brothers, Isaac and Morris. Bank was actually the smallest of the three. They were all there. “Where's my stuff ?”, he said. I didn't say anything as if saying nothing would save me from what was about to happen.

--”You smoked it, didn't you?”, Bank said.

--”Yeah”, I answered with my head hung in shame.

He said, ”You mean to tell me that you had $2000 worth of cocaine and you got nothing left??? I told you not to mess up my money! C'mon outside...”

He grabbed me by the back of the neck and dragged me out of the fourth floor apartment at 106 Grove Street in East Orange, that had become my second home. It was Toby's apartment, but it was a crack house, a place of refuge. I couldn't go home... there were too many rules and too much order. So now in the hallway, surrounded by three of the biggest drug dealers in East Orange, New Jersey I was at the end of my rope.

Bank's brother Isaac leaned over to him and whispered in his ear, “Let's just kill him... 'cause I am tired of this mess man!”

He said, “No, we ain't gonna kill him.

This brotha has a problem. We're gonna beat him down! And every time we see him on the block...we gonna beat him down again and again!”

All of a sudden, almost as if in slow motion, I saw Bank's right-hand coming straight at me, but I couldn't move. I guess I was still in shock from the fact that they were ready to kill me.

CRAAAACK! I felt my neck jerk back and saw the $20 piece I had hidden in my mouth go flying across the floor. Bank saw it and just looked at me with disgust and at the same time sympathy. They continued to work me over for about 20 minutes, kicking my head into the wall, stomping my stomach and punching me in the face and head....they even picked me up and body-slammed me a couple of times. This entire scene played out like something out of a bad movie. Finally the beating stopped. Just before I fell into unconsciousness...I heard Bank say, “Now go to the hospital because I know we broke something this time.” Then everything went black.

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