Thicker Than Water
Thicker Than Water
I heard the phone ringing. I knew I should answer, but I couldn't move. It felt like I had a sack of bricks in my pocket and my head ached like someone had taken one out and hit me with it a few times. My girl, Njeri, lay between the phone and me. She didn't move either. I vaguely remembered her screaming something at me earlier about never being home. My head was full of images from the night before: liquor, weed, and women, so it was hard to tell if the argument had taken place five minutes or five days ago. My eyelids were so heavy they felt like they were glued shut. I managed to pry an eye open and saw the clock on the nightstand beside the bed. It was 7:45am. It had been about a half an hour since Njeri and I had that one-sided argument. I was silly enough to try and sneak in the house like there was a chance she wouldn't be waiting up for me.
The phone continued to ring. I rolled over and saw Njeri pretending to be asleep. She had that little wrinkle on her forehead that pops up whenever she's annoyed, so I knew she was upset. Still, she was beautiful. I chuckled to myself at the thought of her so-called mean face. She could never look mean, no matter how hard she tried-and she really does try. Her high cheekbones, full lips and oval-shaped face give her a classic model-like beauty that nobody can deny. For the third time that week, I silently admitted that she deserved more quality time.
The phone was still ringing. I reached over Njeri and answered it, but didn't say anything at first. I just listened. After a few seconds of silence, my little brother Derrick's voice came over the line.
"I know you ain't sleeping," he said.
"Dee, why are you calling here so early?" I asked.
"What the fuck do you mean why am I calling? Tone, stop playing games with me! It's raining outside!"
"What?" I couldn't believe he woke me up to give me a weather report.
"I said it's raining! Wake the fuck up!"
I was still half-asleep so it took a second for my brain to register what he was saying. It finally clicked, and I jumped up and ran to the window. Not only was it raining, it was pouring.
"Where are you?" I asked.
"Church Avenue train station," he answered after taking a Deep breath.
"What are you doing over there?"
"I was going to check this broad on Eighteenth Street, but it started raining so I called you."
"Where's your boy Jah at?"
"I called his house first. His mother said he never came home last night."
"Fuck him," I said. "Go to Trey's house. I'll call and tell him you're on your way."
Dee didn't bother responding; he just hung up. I dialed Trey's number, and he surprised me by picking up on the first ring.
"What's up?" He answered, sounding wide-awake.
"You up already?" I asked.
"Yeah son, me and Tiffany been beefing ever since I got home. Now she's getting ready for work and she ain't trying to let me get no sleep."
"You ain't alone son, Njeri is tight too," I chuckled. "You see the rain?"
"Yeah, I was getting ready to call you. Shit popping or what?"
"Hell yeah shit popping!" I announced. "Dee is on his way over there to pick you up. We need a fourth man though."
"What happened to Jah?" Trey inquired.
"Who knows? See if you can get one of them dudes off the block. All they gotta do is drive the car. When Dee gets there, y'all hurry the fuck up and get over here. I thought about it for a second then added, "Don't ring the bell, you might wake Njeri up. I'll meet y'all downstairs."
"I'm already up!" She yelled.
I was so busy talking on the phone that she had sat up without me noticing.
"And tell your man Trey you ain't going nowhere this morning!" She added.
I cupped my hand over my mouth and the receiver and whispered, "Downstairs, hurry up."
Njeri watched me hang up and then rolled her eyes as I sat on t