On The Block - EP1: Catch A Vibe or A Body #freeread

Updated: Nov 28


 




"What's up? This ya girl Ti G. We’re back On The Block with some more drama. As always, we got the tea. Last night was one for the books. The niggas was out, and so were the hoes. Somebody we ain’t seen in a while popped their head out and caused a little stir. Yes, Uno, we are calling you out. Meet me on The Stoop, or hit my line so we can hear what really went down On The Block."

Uno

Rolling over, I put my AirPods in and began listening to Block Talk, the hood’s very own radio station. They were playing one of the local’s new tracks. It was pretty dope. As the melody invaded my body, I bobbed my head thinking about last night and how things with Charlie were going to be. Dos and I were childhood friends. Both named Charlie, and both born in May, we clicked instantly. They call me Uno because I'm three days older. Now at nineteen, here we were professing our love to each other over a body. As I smiled thinking about Dos, messy ass Ti G mentioned wanting to meet me at The Stoop. Not being a pussy, I decided I was going to tell my side of the story.

Baby girl wanted the tea, she was going to get the tea. Pulling my sheets off, I rolled over again and kicked my feet over the side of the bed. Still shocked about it, I got up and grabbed the hoodie I was wearing last night and slipped on a pair of Slides. Grabbing my toothbrush off my dresser, I exited my small room to see my Rayne sister coming out of the restroom.

"Going to The Stoop?" she questioned with one earbud in.

"Yeah, and I’mma beat Ti G ass too if she tries to play me. I ain’t do nun to nobody but show up,” I said honestly. “All this was because of the boys and their egos.”

"Do you love him?" She looked me up and down as she stepped out of my way.

"Which one?" I asked, entering the bathroom.

"Dos, duh! The fuck? That's what everybody wanna know. Shit, after last night y’all go together."

Rolling my eyes, I slammed the door and cut the sink on. Dos sure did fuck shit up. We said we weren't going to go there, and there he went.

I squirted a glob of toothpaste on my toothbrush, then wet it a little and started brushing. Looking at my brown glowing skin in the mirror, my short gold finger waves were still cute even though I didn't wrap them and they got soaked. As I wrapped up brushing, I tuned back in to hear Ti G telling me I had 16 minutes left to call or make it to The Stoop. After washing my face, I grabbed a face towel out of the cabinet and began drying my face and hands.

Exiting the room, I headed into the kitchen grabbed an Orange Crush and a slice of toast from my father’s plate he was making.

“We need to talk Charlie,” He looked upset.

Shit, I would be too after yesterday.

"See you later." I chucked up the deuce and made my way out the door and to the elevator. Pressing the down button, I waited two minutes and ate my toast before I decided to take the stairs.

As I opened the door, the wretched stench of the stairwell hit me hard. Instantly I gagged as the smell of trash, piss, and rotten food filled the air. Covering my nose, I took the stairs two at a time trying to get away from the foul odor. At the bottom of the stairs, I kicked the exit open and headed to see Ti G at The Stoop. The Stoop was two buildings down next to the corner store and the Rec Center. It was an old house that the city had donated to the Rec Center. The owner of the Center converted it to a learning studio equipped with a state-of-the-art recording studio. They also use The Stoop to cook for the kids and elderly. Oftentimes my father and I would come help serve or donate food. Growing up, I used to live off The Stoop. Shit all my friends did. Now everyone acts like they never had a free lunch. I laughed thinking about that.

Approaching The Stoop, I rang the buzzer and waited to be granted access. After a minute, Ti came to the door and unlocked it from the inside.

"Oh shit, you came." She stood there shocked. Then came a look of disgust as she spoke on the hoodie I was wearing. “And wearing the same thing Dos had on last night." Dressed in her usual oversized shirt and biker shorts, she brushed her long curly tresses to the side and waved me in. I let the slick shit go for the sake of Dos.

" Yeah, well, it’s comfortable." I entered the room she was in. "Who up in here? I asked as we headed to the computer room. In the kitchen was Carmen, one of the staff members, cooking with one of my homegirls from the block. I greeted them and stole an orange while Ti listed off a few names. I let her enter the studio first then came in behind her. Acknowledging everyone in the room, I took a seat in the center across from Ti. Separating the two of us was a small table and a microphone.

"Alright, y’all, Uno has entered the building and you'll never guess whose hoodie she is rocking. I'll Just say it's not the one, it's the two..." She trailed off as she showed me her phone Screen.

It read: You know how it goes don't get offended girl. Block Talk lives for the shade.

As she continued her little intro, I waited to tell my story.

"So, what you gotta say about the way Dos handled the situation?” she asked. " Better yet, talk yo shit, Uno. Give us the real tea, and we don’t sugar coat shit, but you know that..."

"Alright, so boom. I pull up in the whip looking fly as fuck. Just got my hair done, nails done and all that. You know the vibes..."

Beeping the horn at Dos and his fifteen-year-old brother Trevon, I cut the stereo up and watched as my best friend did a little two step while flashing his gold rings and Cuban link chain. His black fitted was ducked low, and he was rocking all black from head to toe. The hoodie he had on read Cookies.

"Aye! Sunup to sundown!" I shouted at him.

"I’mma stay shining!" he sang back to the song as they got in the car.

"What's up, Uno? " Tre put on his seatbelt.

Fishing the pack out my bra I handed it to Dos then turned my full attention to Tre. "Mama let you off the porch, little nigga? "

He had on one of Dos's chains and a brand new four-finger ring that read TRE.

"I see you, Tre. You look good." I looked at him through the mirror to see him now cheesing.

In his mouth he had a gold bottom grill in. Looking at Dos laid back in my seat with his hat ducked all the way low, I laughed.

"You trying to catch a vibe or a body, nigga?" I asked not feeling his mood or his all-black hoodie.

Two seconds ago, he was just dancing. Now he wanted to be a killer. Playfully jabbing him, he smiled then asked me why I had yet to started driving. He then began playing with my music. Feeling like he was in his little feelings, I hit the gas and pulled off. Five minutes later, I pulled up to the party on the block.

I just knew shit was about to be cracking as the sun set over the palm trees with orange and pink hues. The Los Angeles Skyline in the distance was as clear as day, lacking all traces of the infamous LA smog. The warmth of the summer evening had me all bubbly and ready to party. The smell of the grill going was everything I loved about summertime in Cali.

"June is on the grill. I Just know it. " I hit the lock on my car and walked around to the other side to the boys.

"It gotta be that nigga. You smell that?" Dos wrapped his arm around Tre's neck. "This is your first hood party, lil nigga. You gonna always remember this, ask Uno." Dos looked at me then winked his eye.

Paying the devil himself no mind, I began jaywalking across the street. Halfway across Dos grabbed my hand and pulled me close.

"What’s the fee?" he questioned.

"Two for 30, no less. Cash App only. “I reached in my bra and pulled out my pack then slipped it in my pocket. "No double payments. Tell them get what they need."

"Bet, Boss." He let me go as we stepped on the curb. "Let me show Tre around and help him bag some shorties."

"Have fun, lil nigga. " I waved them off and headed to a familiar face.

"Hey, Melly, ain't seen you around in forever, girl. What’s the tea?"

Melly and I went back. I used to fuck with her older brother, Zeek, on the low. Nobody knew but the three of us.

"Girl, I just moved back again. They got me working out here at the big office downtown. I had a little girl too. She smiled and pulled out her phone to show me photos. That’s when I got the shock of my life. Her lock screen was a photo of Zeek and her daughter. The nigga was free, and if he was free...

"What's brackin, Charlie?" I got a tingle in my spine as Zeek touched that very spot. "Long time no talk."

"You couldn't lead with this, bitch?" I rolled my eyes at Melly then turned to see Zeek standing there towering over me at six foot three his light skin was blemish free, and the kiddy fragrance he used to wear was now replaced with something more manly and intoxicating. Standing there dressed in all white, he looked godly with a gold Rollie chain and diamond earrings to set it all off. I was wet like the rain.

"What's good, Zeek?" I greeted him as he hugged me. "When you get out?"

"Three days ago.” He couldn't keep his eyes off of me as he began apologizing about cutting contact with me. He said he was in a very dark place.

About a year ago, I went to see him like I did every first Saturday of the month. I had my whole outfit planned a week in advance. Got my hair, nails, and all of that done too. As I sat there on the other side of the glass divider waiting, he never came out. Fifteen minutes in, I went to the receptionist and asked why he had yet to come out. They called him again, and I headed back up to wait. He never came. The next week, I made a second trip, and he did the same thing. I got the message loud and clear. He never contacted me, and I moved on with my life, feeling like fuck love and these niggas. I only had love for my Father, Dos, and Tre.

"Glad to see you free, but look, I gotta make some moves." I made my exit from him and started around to the backyard. It was lit. They had the pool filled with toys, water guns, and even a slip and slide. Nigga were shirtless, and prints were showing. Bitches in bikinis and the amount of ass showing was crazy. RJMRLA banged through the speakers. Then there was Dos being Dos. He was posted up in the cut watching Tre talk to some of the young girls.

When we caught eye contact, he smiled then called me over with a head nod. As I walked over to him, I made a couple sales and shook a few hands.

"180," Dos said as I took a seat in a lawn chair next to him.

"Sit down.” I pulled on his pants. "You wanna eat?" A satisfying meal always made him relax and I hated to see him tense.

He nodded then took a seat. Getting up, I went to make us a plate and check our joint Cash App account. Like he said, $180 had come in. Grabbing two plates, I grabbed a scoop of mac salad for Dos and potato for myself. I also grabbed some ribs and links. I couldn't forget his orange soda. With everything in my hands, I walked over to Dos and handed him his drink and plate.

"Thanks. " He took out his grill and I handed him a napkin. "Remember? " He pointed to Tre getting his first kiss. Wrapping his grill in the napkin, he handed it over to me, and I stuffed it in my bra. Staying silent, I thought about our first kiss. It was a summer night just like this one.

"I remember, and this is the second time you mentioned it. I thought we wasn't going to go there? "

"Maybe we should. " He took a bite of his food. "I been thinking about you a..." He trailed off as something caught his eye

“Shit," I mumbled, looking at Zeek.

"What?" Dos tried to focus back on me, but he couldn't stand Zeek and had good reason. Zeek’s father murdered Dos' father when we were younger. That's why I never told Dos about my relationship with Zeek. They hated each other, and it was often on sight between the two.

"Just chill. We are here to catch a vibe. So, tell me what you been thinking about?"

"Us. " That was all he said. "Yo, why that nigga keep looking over here?" He sipped his drink all the while keeping Zeek in his sight.

"Charlie, fuck that nigga. Let's talk about us. So, you think you ready?" I asked, looking at Zeek watching us.

"I can't wait until 40, Uno. I want you, and I want you now. I'm willing to chill out." He finally looked me in my eyes.

"Dos, you're a hoe. You think you're really ready for me?" I sipped his drink. "You know how I get down. I ain’t..."

"You ain't one for the games." He finished my sentence. "Uno, I'm the one who put you up on game. So what's up? We gonna do this or not?"

"Straight like that, Dos? No Chaser?"

"You know my style. So what's good? you gonna make me wait 21 years, or spend the next 21 in love and having fun?"

"Why we gotta do this here?" I took a bite of my rib. "And why now?"

The way it looked, he was nervous about something as he kept looking around.

"What's wrong Dos?"

"Nothing, but I’m ready. I want you, Uno. You already know what I’m on. What I tell you?" He took a bite of salad.

"When you were ready, and if I was single, you would let it be known you were ready. "I took a bite of my salad. "And what I tell you?"

"Make that one shot your only shot because you don't get a second one. This that shot, Charlie."

"You ready for that?" Stealing another drink from him, I waited on my answer.

"I’m ready. " He put his plate down and wiped his hands and mouth. "So I’m saying,"

Taking a second to think about Dos and his player ways, and me and my jealous ways when it came to him had me wanting to say no. Then there was the other side of him that only I knew. That part was tugging at my heart. Dos was always nothing but a gentleman when it came to me. When it came to other women, he was a straight up dog, and I didn't want his doggish ways to fuck up our bond.

Setting my plate to the side, I looked in his eyes. "Don't fuck me over, Charlie. You know I like to tussle, and I fight niggas too."

I got up and tossed our plates. Surprisingly, Dos followed behind me. That's when my favorite song by G-Money featuring BabyyBlue started playing.

"Tell a fuck nigga I can't fuck with ya..." I rapped as I bent down to tie my shoe. Dos Placed his hand on my spine and pressed his body to mine. I began to shake what the Lord gave me. "Main nigga know the deal he a shooter in the field!” I continued to rap and twerk on Dos as some girls cheered us on.

Standing upright, Dos pulled me in by the waist with one hand and started kissing on my neck.

"I been thinking about you all day, Uno. I woke up this morning, and all I could think about was you, baby. Your smile, your laugh, your attitude, and even your vibe…” he whispered in my ear. "It had me realizing something about you. " He nibbled on my earlobe.

"What's that?" I moaned, feeling him press up against me harder.

"I think, I think I love y– "

"Get the fuck off my bitch! " Zeek pushed Dos from behind, causing him to fall on me.

Scraping my palms on the concrete, I quickly got up and grabbed Dos.

"Get Off me, Uno!" Dos shouted as the music cut everyone looked at us. "You gonna let this nigga sneak me?"

"Let’s just go, Dos, please, " I said, embarrassed by Zeek’s actions.

All of a sudden he wanted me to be his bitch. Where was he when I needed him? He left me high and dry when all I did was love and be there for him. All the visits, letters, calls, and cards. He left me depressed and heartbroken. I shared things with him I never told Dos about. Our bond was one that I cherished, and he broke it.

"Let's just go," I begged Dos. "Come on Tre. " I looked at Tre clutching his waist. I shook my head no to him and tried to get Dos to drop it.

"I ain't dropping shit. " Dos took off his Cuban link and tossed it over to Tre.

"Dos, we came to vibe, not catch body. Let’s do that." I grabbed his hand, paying Zeek no mind. I begged him again.

"Okay," he agreed, surprisingly.

Then Zeek had to open his mouth. "Come on, baby. You really gonna play me like that?"

"Who the fuck you calling ‘baby,’ nigga?" Dos poked his chest out.

"My bitch. Now get over here, Uno, " Zeek said, and everyone gasped, including me. "I ain’t gone tell you again."

Zeek bucked past Dos and grabbed me by the arm forcefully. Dos was in so much shock that he stood there looking at me. They both wore the same look on their faces. Hurt, sadness, confusion, and betrayal.

"Get your hands off my girl, " Dos commanded.

"Don’t do this, Zeek, not here. Please. " I tried to pull away, but his grip was too strong.

"How you figure she's your bitch?" Dos finally came out of his shock and started to come closer.

"We locked in, my boy." Zeek grabbed me by the face and jerked it so the Red 88 behind my ear was on display. He removed his shirt to show my name tatted on his chest inside the number 88.

Rubbing my hand down my face, I got a glance at Dos swinging on Zeek before I could brace myself, I was already falling back into the pool. Water filled my mouth and nose as I struggled to reach the surface of the eight-foot pool. When I made it to the surface, I could see them rolling around like pigs in mud trying to choke the life out of each other while arguing about who I belonged to.

With the weight of my clothes pulling me down, I struggled to get myself out by lifting one leg up out of the pool and hoisting myself out. Soaking wet, I marched over to the two still fighting as everyone recorded and egged them on.

"Stop! "I cried out of embarrassment. "Fucking stop!"

I wanted to break it up but didn't know who to grab. If I grabbed Dos, he would know I really did love Zeek. If I grabbed Zeek, Dos would think I viewed him as weak. So I did the next best thing. I jumped in and started stomping Zeek as Dos found his footing and joined in.

"Pussy ass nigga.” Dos spit on Zeek, and that's when I was hit from behind.

"Bitch!" Melly yelled as I stumbled from the sneak, she had given me.

Falling to my hands, I looked over to see a loose brick. Grabbing it, I rolled over and hopped up as Melly tried to kick me. If it wasn't for Dos cracking her in the jaw and sleeping her ass, I would have been back in the pool. With the brick in my hand, I watched as Zeek stood up and began clutching his waistline.

“Dos! Catch!" I tossed him the brick.

Catching the brick, he spun around and brought his arm up as Zeek pulled out the gun the brick collided with his temple. You could hear a crack on impact. Instantly Zeek fell to the floor and began shaking then went limp. Everyone began rushing him to see if he was still alive. I picked the brick up and booked it with Dos and Tre to the car. Tossing Dos the keys, I jumped in the passenger side and Tre got in the back. Pulling off, the car was silent as Dos found the freeway.

"Girl, so who do you really love? My inbox is going crazy with that question.” Ti G asked as I finished my side of the story.

"Does it really matter? Zeek Is dead, and Dos is missing, and I’m sure I’m going to jail. It’s only a matter of time.”

"Is there anything else you would like to say?"

"Yeah, Dos, if you are listening, I want you to know I'm sorry, best friend. Shit was never supposed to go down like this."

With that being said, I got up and walked out of the studio. I told the truth, and I didn't leave out anything. Zeek didn't play his position and in return, he got what he got. Making it out into the sun I spotted the police at my building. Walking in the other direction, I put Dos's hoodie over my head and headed to the corner store. I bought a Black & Mild and a ginger ale then headed to the park while listening to Ti G explain to her audience that I just left, and she wasn't going to answer questions about me without me there. I respected her for that. Taking a seat on a picnic table, I popped open the ginger ale and took a sip to settle my stomach then sparked the Black.

Listening to Ti G give her two cents, I had to agree with her... I was flaw as fuck for fucking with Zeek for any reason. What they didn't know was Zeek was there for me. We had this project for class, and Zeek was my partner. Our class was a mix of all four grade levels. He was in twelfth, and I was in ninth. The teacher paired us up. Zeek called me a bitch and asked to change partners. I was cool with that. The thing was, the teacher didn't allow it, so I was stuck with him. It was a five-week assignment, and by week two we warmed up to each other. I had been over to his house a few times; he was pretty cool. Any reason to hate him was because I was loyal to Dos. As we worked, we got to know each other more. Before I knew it, it was week three, and I was staying for dinner.

"Why you act like you hate me?" Zeek was sitting at a computer chair, looking up at the ceiling. He had a small basketball in his hand and kept tossing it at this poster of Kobe Bryant.

Laid out in his bed, dressed in my school uniform and socks, I thought about it. I really didn't hate him. He was sweet with good manners, attractive, and hella smart.

"I don't hate you. It’s complicated." I rolled my eyes.

"It is. You like me but won’t admit it because that nigga Dos. That's okay, though because I know like you know you're feeling me."

"How you know that?" I asked, sitting up.

He spun around in his chair and sat up straight. "I can prove it.” He called me over with two fingers.

Before I knew it, I was standing in front of him. His deep brown eyes glossed over from the blunt. Placing his hands on my hips, he pulled me between his legs.

"If you didn't like me, you wouldn’t let me do this. " He planted kisses on my neck. "Or this. " He kissed me. First, it was a peck, then it was full on French.

Before I knew it, he had taken my virginity. As we laid in bed, my phone rang, and my whole life changed. It was my sister letting me know my mother had died. I cut my phone off and cried. For the night Zeek held me, fed me, and soothed me. When I finally made it home, I went to my room and stayed there until the funeral. The night of the service, Zeek had flowers and my favorite snacks delivered to me. We been locked in ever since.

"That bitch needs to pay! If she knows where Dos is, she needs to say something!" Melly yelled on air.

I honestly didn't know where he was. I began thinking about last night.

"Where we going? " Tre asked, breaking the thick silence.

"Just sit back and give me the gun. " Dos kept his eye on the road and one hand on the wheel.

"I gotta go pee," Tre complained, and Dos looked at him in the mirror.

Looking back at him, he reached into my cup holder and handed him my custom Starbucks tumbler.

"Use that." He put his eyes back on the road he wouldn’t look at me.

Two hours later, we showed up at the cemetery Dos' Father was buried at. It had been a while since Dos had been here.

He hopped out and told me to walk with him. Tre sat in the car as we walked to Charlie, Sr.'s, Grave. As we stood there, Dos looked at me with heavy eyes just waiting to spill over.

"I forgive you and I love you still, Uno. Whatever y'all had was between y’all. I don’t wanna hear shit about it. All I want you to know is I love you and I always have. I regret being a hoe and not being with you. I thought you would be there whenever I wanted. I was wrong, and I’m sorry." He pulled me into a hug. As I looked into his eyes, he kissed me so deeply and passionately.

All the crazy emotions I was experiencing had calmed. I felt at peace. Then it all came rushing back as our lips parted and tears flooded my eyes. I started to apologize but he put a finger to my lips and stopped me.

“Take this.” He removed his hoodie, and I put it on.

“I’m sorry,” I tried again.

"Go. Just go. Tell Tre come here right quick.”

I made it back to the car, and Tre went to talk to Dos. Ten minutes later, Tre came back and said Dos wanted us to leave. I honked and waved goodbye with tears in my eyes. As I drove home, I got a notification saying half of the money we had saved was gone. He took his cut and left.

8 YEARS LATER

Sitting in my cell, looking out the tiny window with my illegal Bluetooth, I tuned into Block Talk thinking about Dos. I never did see him again, and I often wondered where he went. I had a feeling Tre knew but left it alone. I had three years left on a drug and voluntary manslaughter charge. They raided my house and found my stash and some other shit. They gave me an extra year for some bullshit I did when I got here. Since then, I've been spending my time sharpening my mind and getting right with the Lord. I don't go out unless it's to shower or eat. Other than that, I didn't do much else but listen to Block Talk and all the shit that happens On The Block.

If this has taught me anything, it’s to be careful what you say. I fucked up when I ask Dos was, he trying to catch a vibe or a body. The power of words is crazy. We caught a vibe and a body that faithful Cali summer night.

THE END


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