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PETEY PAPERS

Written by: Kareem Rahman

Prologue

   When u look at powerful people or people in positions of power, you probably think to yourself “Wow! That’s a person who really went about doing things the right way.” You know, college, grad school, hard work, or maybe even making some very good contacts in their respective fields along the way. No matter how you think about it, a person looking in from the outside will probably think that the powerful person went about obtaining their power in a legal manner. Working their way from nothing to something. Achieving the American dream, with good ole’ hard work and perseverance. What if I told you that these beliefs were all bullshit? What if I told you that these “beliefs” weren’t even actually your own thoughts? What if I told you that these “beliefs” were a part of a propaganda machine whose intentions were to make every American believe that the good ole’ American dream was something that every person could achieve, even though nothing could be further from the truth? What if I told you that everything you assumed about how powerful people came into power was wrong? Would you think I was crazy? You probably would………..until I told you the story of a knucklehead who turned into the most powerful man in the State of Pennsylvania who went by the name of Petey Papers….

      To a person looking in from the outside, Petey Papers was a shining example of what “The American Dream” was all about. Here was a guy who tightened up his boot-straps and managed to pull himself up out of the very worst of bad situations. Petey was a shining example of “not letting where you were born and your circumstances dictate the way your life goes.” Petey was the kind of guy that parents would tell their kids to aspire to be like. Most of it was true too. Petey had managed to rise from the deepest depths of the ghetto and make something of himself, instead of taking the easy route and going that other way. It was also true that Petey had risen well beyond any expectations placed on him, especially considering the fact that he was a poor kid who didn’t have the luxury of a good, expensive education. Petey had really managed to carve out a nice life for himself. All of this was true. The misconceptions were, how Petey had come to obtain these things. It wasn’t through hard work, perseverance, and being loyal until it was your time to rise. Naw, that wasn’t Petey’s way…… Petey Papers was probably the most successful/conniving/scheming, backstabbing, “I’ll do any and everything necessary to get to the top,” grimey, con-man, scheming, sonofabithch, muthafucka’ that you’ve never even heard of!

CHAPTER-1
Born 2 Do This

   You ever heard somebody say ” some people were groomed to do a thing, and others were born to do that thing?”  Petey Papers was a part of that second group. He was born to be a con-man/scammer. Scamming was in his blood….literally. Petey’s mom, Amanda was a middle-class white girl, raised in the Fort Washington suburbs of Pennsylvania, who watched way too many rap videos on B.E.T growing up, and some type of way, got it into her mind that those videos were her real life. Which wasn’t really a problem…..at first. Amanda was like most kids in her neighborhood. They all had this fantasy in their minds about how great the “hood life” was. None of them had ever actually been to the hood or ever knew anyone in the hood, so their whole idea of what “hood life” was like came from what they saw on television. It wasn’t until Amanda got to high school and met a black girl named Kim, that her hood dreams started to form into an actual reality of sorts. Kim was the person who introduced Amanda to most things “hood.” Including drug dealing, boosting, and scamming. Amanda soaked up every bit of knowledge that Kim was dishing out like an eager student wanting to learn the game. Amanda was on her way to becoming the queen of the hoodlife in her little middle-class town until a tragic event in her life caused Amanda to start using the same drugs that she was supposed to be selling. Once she started using, Amanda was all in. As an underage teenager, Amanda started frequenting the clubs in Philadelphia on a nightly basis. It was at one of her bi-nightly club outings that she met Petey’s father. A tow truck driver/small time hustler that was known around the town as “Pitbull.” Pitbull was a dude who was as black as midnight and resembled Mike Tyson. In looks and stature. Pitbull earned his nickname by his viciousness in fist-fights around the way. Pitbull was 19 years old when he met Amanda, who was only 16 years old at the time. It wasn’t Pitbull’s intention to seek out a minor. He just assumed that since Amanda was up in an adult club, and doing adult things, that she was…..an adult. After snorting an 8ball of coke together in the men’s restroom, Amanda and Pitbull headed out to his tow truck that was parked outside in the parking lot of the club. In the back seat of Pitbull’s tow truck in the spring of 1984 was where a G.O.A.T was conceived, and a legend born.

   Amanda’s parents kicked her out of the house three days after they learned she was four months pregnant. Moms kicked her out because it was too embarrasing for her to explain to her friends that her teenage daughter was pregnant. It would be much easier for her to lie and tell her friends that her daughter was off studying abroad. For the lie to work, she needed Amanda gone. Pops issue with Amanda being pregnant was a different one. He could live with his teenage daughter being pregnant. What he couldn’t live with was a daughter of his being pregnant by a black man. That shit right there was completely unacceptable! So, with a unanimous 2-0 vote, Amanda’s parents decided to kick her to the curb. Amanda caught a huge break though. She wasn’t a pregnant teen who got kicked out of their home with nowhere to live and no way to earn some income. Amanda had friends who could help her out with both. Amanda went to stay with her best friend Kaylee who lived a few short blocks from her parents’ house. Kaylee and Amanda had fallen out over some juvenile beef a few years prior, but the two had manged to partly repair their broken friendship as of lately. At least enough for Kaylee to allow Amanda to stay at her parents’ house for awhile. After securing shelter, Amanda went out to attempt to secure some employment for herself. She seeked out Kim who had recently left town to attend college. Kim was now out of the game, but she pulled a few strings to find some work for her old friend Amanda. Kim hooked Amanda up with her cousin Reggie from Philly. Reggie was a hardcore gangster/ small time drug dealer who Amanda had met on a few occasions when she worked for Kim a few years back. Reggie had a reputation for killing people who owed him money….any kind of money. Reggie wouldn’t let a muthafucka’ slide if they owed him 10 cents. Reggie ain’t play that! Amanda got some coke from Reggie and opened up shop. Things were going very well. Amanda was selling the coke faster than Reggie could supply it. And on the home front, Amanda had become more than welcome at Kaylee’s house. Partly because she supported Kaylee’s habit. Amanda gave Kaylee and her junkie friends some cocaine to snort every single day. Being as though Amanda was pregnant and would soon have another person to care for besides herself, Amanda didn’t snort cocaine anymore, or even smoke weed. She saved most of her money in the hopes that she would be able to have a place of her own by the time her child arrived in this world. Reggie decided that it would be a smart move for him to start supplying Amanda with more coke. Less trips from North Philly to Fort Washington equaled less danger in Reggie’s mind. Instead of traveling out here every other day, he could just drop off a larger amount to Amanda one time per week. Where was the risk in that? Amanda never messed up any money and she was a reliable worker. Plus Reggie knew where she lived…..just in case it ever came to that. Instead of dropping off $1000 worth of coke to Amanda, Reggie decided to drop off $10,000 worth of coke……..Wait, let me backtrack a little bit to clear up a few misconceptions that you may have about Reggie. Reggie was not Tony Montana or Pablo Escobar. Not even fuckin’ close. Reggie was a scrambler who’d stumbled upon a gold mine in tiny Fort Washington. When his cousin Kim had first approached him asking him to supply her with some drugs for her to sell out in her little Fort Washington town, Reggie didn’t have shit. He was the leader of a group of petty ass, small time stick-up kids. Reggie and his crew mostly robbed delivery trucks. Not UPS or armored trucks full of loot. Reggie and his team robbed the bread truck, or the cigarette truck, or the soda truck. That kind of petty ass shit. It just so happened that Reggie and his crew had robbed the Wonder Bread man the day before Kim had come to see him. The crew waited for the delivery man to walk into the store to make his delivery before they pounced and raided the driver’s truck while he was inside the store. They hit the bread truck up for $300 in cash, 12 loaves of bread, (yes, those petty muthafuckas’ stole 12 loaves of bread!) and a large yellow manilla envelope they found under the driver’s seat inside of the bread truck. When Reggie and the crew got back to their hideout they discovered that the envelope contained a pound of weed. Reggie was not a drug dealer. His first thought was to sell the weed to one of the drug dealers around the way and take whatever he could get for it. It was all extra, so why the fuck not? Reggie’s mind shifted when Kim was in front of him. Even though Reggie was not a drug dealer, he was aware that there was more money in retail than wholesale. Reggie broke the pound of weed down into very small  nickel bags. He sent Kim home to Fort Washington with half of the pound. The other half, he planned to open up shop back in Philly with. Before Reggie had a chance to fully open up shop in Philly, Kim was back. It took her all of one day and a half to sell off what her cousin had supplied her with. Reggie immediately saw the light. The small bags he supplied Kim with would have never sold in Philly. With all of the competition in town, that kind of shit would never fly in the city. Reggie decided to take a few dollars and invest it in some weed of his own. That decision turned out to be a good one. Between what Reggie and his people were moving in Philly and what Kim was moving out in Fort Washington, Reggie was flipping two pounds of weed every 2 days or so. The profits were large! Reggie’s nickel bags were so small that a person would be lucky to roll one healthy blunt out of that shit. Reggie had good product on his side too. He’d managed to hook up with some Jamaicans who owned a little corner store from up Wissahickon Ave. who Reggie and his stick-up crew had once did a little job for. (Basically the Jamaicans told Reggie and his crew what time the potato chip guy was coming to drop off supplies. Reggie and his crew robbed the truck and broke the profit down with the Jamaicans. Nothing major.) When Reggie hooked up with the Jamaicans they started fronting Reggie five pounds at a time. Reggie was moving the weed fast and making big money. The only issue was that Reggie wasn’t really a businessman. He was spending every piece of profit he was making on clothes, cars, jewelery and other big baller items he felt he deserved. Which was probably one of the main reasons Reggie always overreacted when someone owed him money. They were fucking up his “ball the hell out” money! Reggie ain’t like that kinda shit at all. Anybody that owed Reggie money or was late with his doe was going to pay dearly. Reggie had a lifestyle to maintain, and owing him money interfered with his lifestyle. Reggie did manage to spend a little bit of his money on one thing besides big baller items. He bought an ounce of coke for himself. Reggie bought the ounce with the big profits that he would make on his mind when he bagged it up and passed off to Kim. To Reggie’s dismay, Kim wasn’t with it. Kim didn’t mind making money selling weed, but cocaine was a no-no. Kim had plans for her future. An arrest for cocaine on her record would derail any plans for the future she had. Reggie had no choice but to sell it himself. Things changed for Kim when she did some research and discovered how much four years of college was going to cost. Shit was expensive, and Kim didn’t have parents to pay the tab for her like most 17 year olds did. Kim was on her own. She decided to sell the coke for Reggie along with the weed. Reggie quickly learned how to manipulate and maximize his profits. Especially since most of the cocaine was going to be getting sold by Kim. Those dumb ass middle-class customers Kim had would pay any price for anything. They just wanted to get high. Reggie was paying $1000 for an ounce of coke. When he bagged that onion up into those 58 x 58 bags, and after throwing a batch of his special formula on the coke, Reggie was looking at over $10,000 in profit……from a funky ass ounce! I lie to you not! Reggie was using the same bags crack dealers used in the city to sell crack in, the difference was Reggie was selling powder! And for $25 a pop! This is something you could never get away with in the city. But, suburban kids didn’t know any better. Kim was moving that shit at lightning speed too. Reggie was always spending all of his profits as usual. He was always waiting for the money from Kim to come in because he was always broke until he got that money. Then he would buy another ounce, immediately go on a shopping and balling spree, then be broke until Kim finished another batch again. That was years ago before Kim left for college. Reggie had been broke without Kim moving product in Fort Washington for him. When Kim put Reggie onto Amanda, Reggie felt joy that the good ole’ days were about to return for him. Reggie planned on running the same operation with Amanda that he’d once run with his cousin Kim. Starting with the $10,000 worth of coke he’d just passed off to Amanda.

   When Reggie put that much cocaine in her hands at one time, Amanda felt like she’d just hit the big time. She quickly did some calculations in her head. She could move at least $2500 a day off of her pager alone. She could probably move another $2500 a day from the stragglers who roamed the park, and the undercover junkies who hung out in front of the liquor store. Amanda calculated that she could move $5000 worth in a day. That meant it would take her two days to sell off the whole package. Amanda’s take from the $10,000 worth of coke was $2000. If things went how she expected, she could be making $2000 every other day. That was $6000 a week for her! She would have her own place in no time! Things never go as planned though. The one factor that Amanda had not added into her equations was Kaylee. Kaylee had not reached her full junkie potential yet, but her good friend Rebecca had. Full junkie potential was the ability to steal from those close to you with no concious at all. Amanda made the crucial mistake of stashing most of her package in the house before she went out to make a few deliveries. Kaylee and Rebecca both were in the room when Amanda stashed her drugs away. It didn’t even take a full five minutes after Amanda left the house to go make a delivery, before Kaylee and Rebecca was up in her stash. Not only had they visited her stash, they “scadoodled” with that shit! “Scadoodle” is an old school word for “steal yo’ shit and skip town.” Scadoodle definitely applied in this instance. Kaylee and Rebecca hit the road immediately after stealing Amanda’s stash. They headed West, toward California with their traveling junkie crew. That was the last time Kaylee and Rebecca were seen alive too. But anyway, back to the story. Amanda only took $350 worth of drugs with her on her delivery. A guy up the street had beeped her and asked for six $25 bags, and a former elementary school teacher of Amanda’s who was waiting on the other side of town wanted the other $200 worth. It took Amanda about a half an hour to make the two deliveries and arrive back at the house. Amanda knew something wasn’t right the moment she got upstairs and walked into the room. Amanda immediately rushed to the bed and searched underneath for her stash. She knew what she was going to feel before she even searched under there with her hand…..nothing at all. Amanda panicked. What the hell was she going to do? Kaylee had to know what happened to her stash. The one good thing Amanda had going for her was that she was in Kaylee’s house. She surely had to come home eventually didn’t she? Amanda waited impatiently for Kaylee to come home. Amanda lost a little hope when Kaylee’s mom came home from work later on that night and asked Amanda if she’d seen Kaylee today. If Kaylee’s mom didn’t even know where she was, things were looking hopeless. Amanda fell asleep that night having nightmares about crazy ass Reggie coming to town and looking for his money……..and her! Amanda hit the streets bright and early the next day going around to every place Kaylee was known to hang out at. Nobody had seen her since yesterday. It wasn’t until Amanda ran into Rebecca’s younger sister that she realized she’d been had. Rebecca’s sister informed her that Rebecca had packed up her things and hit the road with a group of her friends. Amanda began to believe that Kaylee was probably with her, and so was her stash of drugs! Amanda ran back to the house to search Kaylee’s closet. She really hadn’t been thinking about it before, but she was now. Amanda checked Kaylee’s closet to see if any of her things were missing. They were. Kaylee had packed up a bunch of her personal things before she hit the road yesterday. Amanda was crushed, and terrified. Her stash was gone and not coming back. Reggie would definitely be beeping her tomorrow asking about his money. What the hell was he going to do to her when he found out his money and drugs were gone? Amanda wasn’t waiting around to find out. Instead of running from the storm, Amanda decided to walk directly into that bitch. She was going to Philly. Not to confront Reggie, but to hopefully track down the one person who could possibly protect her from Reggie. Pitbull, the father of the unborn child that she was carrying….he was also a man Amanda had not seen since the night he impregnated her four months ago.

CHAPTER-2
A Walk On The Wild Side

   Amanda arrived in Philadelphia with $300 in her pocket, no plan, and no information about the father of her child, other than the company he worked for. Amanda remembered the company’s name that was written on the side of Pitbull’s tow truck the night she slept with him though. Liberty City Towing Company. Amanda looked up the company in the yellow pages at a pay phone inside the bus depot when she arrived in Philly. Liberty City towing had five garages in different sections of the city, but they did have one home garage. The home base for the company was located on 16th & Master Streets in North Philadelphia. Amanda hopped in a taxi and gave the driver the address. She arrived at the garage 15 minutes later. The building was ran down and in dire need of repairs. Amanda couldn’t help but to wonder how the other four garages of the company must look if this was the home base garage and it looked like this. Amanda walked into the garage and was greeted by a secretary who seemed to be having a bad day. The secretary was a thin Spanish woman, about 25 years old, who spoke with a heavy accent. Not a Spanish accent, more like a Bronx, New York accent.

“Can I help you?”

The secretary rolled her eyes as she looked Amanda up and down. Amanda tried to ignore the dirty looks. She had bigger shit on her plate right now.

“Yes, I’m looking for a guy named Pitbull. Does he work here?”

The secretary’s eyes widened before she rolled her neck and snapped her fingers twice. The shit was a scene right out of one of those horrible black movies on Netflix.

“No you didn’t just walk in here and ask for Pitbull! Bitch you fuckin’ Chino too!?”

Amanda had no idea what was going on right now. And who the fuck was Chino? Amanda tried to finesse her way around the bullshit and try to get some information out of the angry secretary.

“Oh, so you do know Pitbull? Is he here?”

“Bitch don’t try to change the subject! You fuckin’ my Chino!?”

Amanda shook her head. She really didn’t have time for the drama right now.

“Look, I don’t know who Chino is, and personally I don’t care to know. I’ll give you $50 dollars if you tell me where Pitbull is.”

Amanda pulled a $50 bill from her bra and put the money in front of the secratary’s face. The secretary immediately reached for the bills. Amanda quickly pulled the money back.

“Information first.”

The secretary rolled her eyes at Amanda before she took a deep breath.

“Pitbull don’t work here no more. He got fired last week for stealing tires. Now run that bread before I take it from you!”

Amanda was confused. Not by the threats from the secretary……but, Pitbull was out here getting fired for stealing tires? On his day off? Tha’ fuck he was tryna do? Build a clubhouse? What kind of low-life had she allowed to impregnate her?

“Well do you have an address?”

The secretary smiled slyly, like she knew something that Amanda didn’t before she started writing something down on a piece of paper. She started to hand the piece of paper to Amanda who reached her hand out to receive it. The secretary quickly pulled the paper back towards her own body and shook one finger at Amanda.

“No, no, no. Money first. I don’t know you.”

Amanda sighed and shook her head. She found it hard to believe that a grown ass woman could be so petty. Amanda handed the secretary the $50. The secretary handed Amanda the piece of paper. Amanda looked at the paper.

1418 W Venango Street

   Amanda jumped in a taxi and gave the driver the address. She had no idea where she was going. She didn’t really care either. All Amanda had on her mind was that she wasn’t leaving that address on Venango Street until she saw Pitbull, and he agreed to take care of her and her unborn child. The taxi arrived at the address 15 minutes later. Amanda smiled. She couldn’t help but to wonder if everything in Philly was 15 minutes away from each other. Amanda paid the driver and stepped out of the taxi. Amanda looked at the house. It was very well maintained. The whole block was pretty clean, but this house stood out with it’s fresh coat of paint that looked as if it had been painted very recently. Amanda took a deep breath before she walked up to the house and headed up the porch stairs. She rang the doorbell and waited. Seconds later she heard the sound of a woman’s yelling voice coming from inside.

“ANSWER THE GOTDAMN DOE YOU LAZY MUTHAFUCKA’! YOU DON’T DO SHIT ELSE AROUND THIS BITCH!”

The loud voice of the woman was so angry and aggressive. Amanda thought about running for a second. Before she could make up her mind the screen door swung open. A second later she heard a loud voice.

“WHAT!?”

Amanda looked up to see Pitbull standing there wearing a white tank top, a pair of black basketball shorts, and a pair of pink bunny slippers, complete with bunny ears and rabbit fur, that looked strangely out of place as compared to the rest of Pitbull’s gear. When Pitbull looked at Amanda she could see the recognition pop into his facial expression almost immediately. His expression changed from angry to “oh shit!” in the blink of an eye. Pitbull looked at Amanda and spoke in a loud whisper.

“What do you want? What are you doing here?”

Hearing those words come from his mouth instantly alleviated any fear that Amanda may have been feeling about the loud woman inside the house just seconds ago. Amanda was pissed. He had some damn nerve!

“I’m pregnant!”

Pitbull was taken aback.

“Pregnant? What the fuck you here for? The daddy damn sure ain’t up in here!”

Amanda wasn’t giving up that easily.

“I’m also 16 years old! You sure you want to play this thing out this way?”

Pitbull smacked himself upside the head, “I should’ve had a V8” style.

“Look, I ain’t know that you was 16! And right now ain’t the time to talk about all of that! If you need some money……”

Pitbull was abruptly interrupted by the sound of the loud voice that had previously been coming from inside the house. But she wasn’t inside the house anymore. She had her head, full of pink hair rollers, hanging out of the second floor window now, as she looked down at Pitbull and Amanda.

“WHO THE FUCK IS THAT WHITE BITCH, AND WHY HER DIRTY ASS AT MY DOE!?”

Pitbull sighed exasperatedly. All of this was way too much, this early in the damn morning! He looked up at the second floor window.

“MIND YOUR MUTHAFUCKIN’ BUSINESS!”

The woman in the window’s eyes looked as if they were about to pop out of her head.

“BITCH YOU MUST BE OUTTA YOUR DAMN MIND! LIVING IN MY HOUSE AND AIN’T PAYING NO RENT! AND NOW YOU GOT THE NERVE TO HAVE WHITE BITCHES SHOWING UP AT MY FRONT DOE! AND YOU TELLING ME TO MIND MY BUSINESS? YOU GOT ME ALL THE WAY FUCKED UP!”

Pitbull sighed and said something under his breath. The woman in the window put her hand to her ear.

“WHAT WAS THAT? I AIN’T HEAR YO’ BITCH ASS!”

Pitbull sighed deeply before he loudly blew air from his lungs.

“I SAID YOU GOT SOME NERVE! YOU UP THERE WITH THE DAMN CABLE GUY!”

“AND??? HE’S HOOKING UP THE CABLE!”

“THE NIGGA BEEN UP THERE FOR OVER TWO HOURS! HOW MUCH CABLE HE PUTTIN’ IN UP THAT MUTHAFUCKA’!?”

The woman in the window said nothing. Her head disappeared back into the room. Seconds later it started raining clothes. Pitbull’s clothes were flying out the window at a rapid pace. He just shook his head and started retrieving his items from the street like this shit was an every day occurrence. Amanda was shocked by seeing the whole scene play out before her eyes. One voice inside her head was telling her to laugh. Another voice in her head was telling her that offering to at least help Pitbull grab his clothes up out of the street was the right thing to do. Amanda decided to listen to the second voice.

“You want some help?”

   Pitbull and Amanda gathered up his things and put them in the hatchback of his 1978 Chevrolet Chevette. After getting kicked out of the house by his wife, Pitbull really had nowhere to go. After talking to Amanda, he found out that she had nowhere to go either. The two decided that it might be a good idea to go nowhere together. Nowhere turned out to be the BLACK SEA motel on Germantown Ave. & Westmoreland Street. Amanda knew the place was a dump before she even stepped foot inside. Pitbull said that he knew a guy who worked there though. He also said the guy he knew would be able to get them a room for $50 a week. Amanda didn’t know much about being on her own, but even she knew that $50 a week was a deal too good to pass up. Especially considering Pitbull was flat broke, she only had about $200 and some change to her name, and she had nowhere else to go. The Black Sea motel turned out to be a drug den/prostitution motel. Real hood shit. Not “the hood” that Amanda remembered from seeing rap videos on B.E.T. While Amanda got settled in, Pitbull went on a food run for the two to Mcdonalds. Of course she paid. She also gave Pitbull some gas money. She handed him $40 altogether. As Amanda looked at what was left of her bankroll, she realized she was not going to make it long going at this rate. She needed to do something. She needed some income coming in if she was going to survive. She didn’t know Pitbull too well, but it was crystal clear that he wasn’t going to be someone who was going to be helping out financially. Honestly, he was more of a liability than an asset right now. The only thing he had going for him that was useful was his piece of shit car, and by the look of things, the hooptie probably wouldn’t be operational for too much longer. The car had cut off three times on the way here, and this was only 10 minutes away from his wife’s house. The deep thoughts were starting to make Amanda stress out. She needed something to take her mind off of her problems….just for a few minutes. What better place to start than cleaning the roach-infested motel room? That would definitely take her mind off of things for awhile. Amanda walked down to the front desk to see if they had any cleaning supplies. She was offered drugs four times and propositioned for sex three times on her way to the desk alone. On her way back she was offered and propositioned only twice and once respectively. After getting some pine-sol, Amanda began the task of cleaning. She wiped everything down in access. Even the walls. She damn near scraped the paint off of those joints. After 20 minutes of cleaning Amanda was exhausted. Pitbull still had not returned yet. Amanda wanted to take a nap, but she was sure that the bed was probably full of bed bugs. She reminded herself to buy some sheets and blankets from the store tomorrow. (Little did she know, that wasn’t enough to get rid of bed bugs.) For now, Amanda decided to try to catch a little nap in the chair. Amanda’s body was after more than a nap though. She ended up sleeping four hours in the chair. When she awoke, Pitbull was sitting at the edge of the bed watching television. Pitbull looked up from the tv when he heard Amanda yawn and stretch.

“You’re finally up huh? Your food is over there on the table. When you finish eating maybe we can talk a little bit?”

Amanda nodded before she headed over to the table to grab her food.

   After eating, Amanda and Pitbull finally got the opportunity to sit down and talk. It was kind of strange to Amanda. Here she was talking to the man she was pregnant by, and she really knew nothing about him. Amanda listened as Pitbull officially introduced himself before he said anything else. His birth name was not Pitbull. It was Earvin Thompson. Pitbull was born and raised right here in North Philly. He’d never been anywhere else in his life, and didn’t plan on ever going anywhere else either. Pitbull said that he’d been on his own since he was 13 years old. He claimed that he was a natural born hustler, but Amanda couldn’t see it. If he was such a hustler, why had his wife called him no good and lazy? Amanda didn’t want to call Pitbull out on that, but she did. She had the right to know if her child’s father was a liar and a piece of shit. Pitbull laughed when Amanda asked him. He then explained that his wife was the hustle. He knew that she’d been cheating on him from day one. He didn’t care. She was funding his whole lifestyle. He never loved her. Pitbull said that he was going to leave her soon anyway, because living off of her was making him lazy. Amanda ran down her whole story about how she’d got to where she was at today, including that she sold drugs back in her hometown. Amanda left out the part about Reggie though. Amanda felt that it was best to let sleeping dogs lie if you didn’t want them to wake up and find you. Pitbull was impressed by Amanda’s past. He asked if she was still willing to do whatever it took to survive. Amanda was. Pitbull promised that she was going to be his queen from this day forth, and the Bonnie to his Clyde.

   Pitbull hit the streets early the next morning. He told Amanda that he would be back in about an hour with some breakfast for them, and a way to earn some income. Amanda smiled when Pitbull left. She didn’t know why, but he made her feel secure. She trusted and believed in him. Amanda went back to sleep certain that things were going to be okay. She was awakened a little while later by the loud sound of some ruckus going on in the hallway outside of her motel room. Amanda hurriedly threw some clothes on and ran to the door. When she opened the door Pitbull fell inside. Amanda screamed. Pitbull’s whole face was bloodied and swollen. He managed to look up at Amanda through two badly swollen eyes. Pitbull smiled and opened his hands.

“I got us a way to make some money.”

Pitbull held two bundles of crack in his hand. Amanda dragged him into the room and ran into the bathroom to get a rag to clean his face. As Amanda cleaned his face, Pitbull explained that he’d robbed some drug dealer’s stash around the corner. They whipped his ass, but they didn’t get their drugs back from him. Pitbull said the ass whipping had been worth it. Hearing from Pitbull’s mouth that shit like this made perfect sense to him kind of scared Amanda, but it excited her more. This was some real hood shit here and Amanda was all for it! While Pitbull climbed into the bed to attempt to sleep off that ass whipping, Amanda planned to hit the streets to get something to eat for them. Pitbull was out like a light the second he hit the bed. The two bundles of crack he was holding fell from his hands. Amanda picked the drugs up and put them in her pocket before she headed out. Amanda didn’t even make it halfway down the hallway before random straggling crackheads were asking her where they could buy some crack from. The natural hustler in Amanda took over. After she served the stragglers she gave them her room number and told them she was open for service all day and all night. By the time Amanda stepped out of the motel she was looking for potential customers. On her way to the store she approached any person who looked like they could be a crackhead. She handed out a few free samples and gave the potential customers her room number at the Black Sea motel. By the time Amanda got her food and headed back to her room she had five customers waiting outside her door. Amanda quickly served them and walked inside the room. Every time Amanda tried to sit down to eat, a customer was knocking on the door. Amanda sold the two bundles of crack in no time. When Pitbull woke up Amanda laid the money from the drugs she’d sold while he was asleep on his stomach.

“We’re going to need some more.”

CHAPTER-3
Get It How You Live

   When Pitbull woke up, he was shocked to learn that Amanda had sold all of the drugs he’d stolen. He assumed that he was going to have to go out and try to sell the drugs when he woke up. The last thing he expected was for Amanda to show this much initiative. Pitbull knew that his future baby momma was the ride or die chick he’d been looking for all of his life. A person with common sense and a small hustler’s mentality, probably would’ve took the money they made from selling the stolen drugs and purchased some more drugs of their own to sell. It made sense, especially seeing how quickly the last stolen batch had sold. Pitbull knew a few people too. He could’ve easily went to one of the drug suppliers he knew and bought a little quarter ounce and broke it down. Pitbull wasn’t really into doing things the easy way though. His motto was “why pay for it, if you didn’t really have to?” Pitbull and Amanda split the money from the stolen drugs 50/50. That was about $100 and some change, apiece. Pitbull told Amanda that they would buy some more drugs later, but he had a better plan to get a few quick dollars right now. Amanda was intrigued. She was loving this “ghetto life” shit. She was down, without a question. After they ate, Pitbull and Amanda jumped in his hooptie and headed across town. Pitbull said he had a friend on 17th & Erie Ave. that he needed to go see real quick. Pitbull parked the car and got out. He told Amanda to stay in the car. He would be back in about five minutes. Pitbull disappeared into one of the houses on the block. Five minutes later he reappeared with a big smile on his face. He got into the car and looked over at Amanda.

“You know anything about craps?”

He opened his hands to show her a pair of dice as he said it. Amanda shook her head no. Pitbull’s smile grew even wider.

“Good! We got beginners luck on our side!”

   Pitbull attempted to explain the fundamentals of craps to Amanda as they drove down the street. Amanda was picking it up. The game seemed simple enough. Amanda was sure that she understood the game. She had no idea why Pitbull was attempting to teach the game to her, but she thought she had picked up on things pretty well anyway. Amanda looked out the window and recognized the familiar settings around the motel. Pitbull didn’t park in front of the motel though. He kept going down the street until he came to a gas station. He made a left and parked inside.

“Come on. We’re going to go inside for a little bit.”

Amanda shrugged and followed Pitbull. She was willing to follow anywhere he led her. Amanda followed Pitbull to the rear of the gas station to a garage that had the gates pulled down. Pitbull knocked on the door. Seconds later a tall light skinned guy appeared. Pitbull shook his hand before he headed inside the garage. Amanda eagerly followed. She was amazed when she stepped inside the garage. It looked small from the outside, but amazingly there were over 100 people inside crowded around a large table. In the middle of the day. There was a huge crap game going on right now. Amanda watched as people yelled loudly and passed money amongst one another. Pitbull grabbed Amanda by the hand as he made his way through the crowd toward the front. When Amanda got to the front she could see things more clearly. Not only were there hundreds of dollars being passed around by the group of men, there was also at least a few thousand dollars sitting on the table. Pitbull loudly jumped right into the action.

“What’s up? Can I take a shot?”

One of the men shrugged and passed a pair of dice to Pitbull.

“Go ahead. The bones ain’t doing shit no way. You might as well make a donation.”

The man laughed as he looked at Pitbull. That man that gave Pitbull the green light to shoot the dice was Franklin Harris. Everybody called him “Frank The Bank or Big Bank Frank.” Big Bank Frank’s name was pretty much self explanatory. Frank always carried a huge bankroll and he usually won at dice games. He also, always bet against the dice. If you were a shooter and you were looking for a bet, you could get that in Frank. No matter how large the bet was. If your bet was too small you might have a problem. Frank wasn’t in the habit of chasing after small change. He was a very smart gambler, which was one of the reasons he was probably the most successful and well known gambler in the whole city. People in every section of the city knew Frank and the reputation he carried for gambling heavy. People also knew Frank’s reputation for not taking any shit from anyone. Frank’s other occupation outside of being a big time gambler, was a big time loan-shark. Frank loaned out thousands of dollars on a daily basis with a very heavy interest rate charged to the loans. Frank always got paid…..one way or another. Violence was always Frank’s last option. He’d much rather get paid first. But once he was paid, Frank didn’t forget. That was when he used violence on the deadbeat who once owed him money. Pitbull knew who Frank was. He didn’t give a fuck either. The main reason Pitbull had even come in here at this time of day, was in the hope that Big Bank Frank would be up in here. He was definitely the money man. Pitbull put up $20 in the fade. Frank didn’t even look at that little shit, but one of the other gamblers covered the bet. Pitbull shook the dice in his hands as he looked around at the gamblers. Suddenly he stopped. He looked over at Amanda as he spoke to the crowd of gamblers gathered around the table.

“You know what? I’ma let my boo-thang fuck ya’ll dumb asses up today! She don’t even know how to play craps. I got beginners luck on my side today!”

Pitbull turned around and pulled Amanda close to him. At the same time, he also stuffed the game dice into his pockets and grabbed the ones he already had in his pocket. Nobody even noticed Pitbull’s quick hand-work, not even Amanda. Pitbull passed the dice to Amanda.

“Go ahead baby. Show them how we do it!”

Amanda wanted to protest, but she saw nothing but confidence in Pitbull’s eyes. It gave her confidence, even though she didn’t know what the hell she was doing. Amanda followed what she’d saw Pitbull do seconds earlier, and gave the dice a good shake before she rolled them. A pair of fours showed on the dice. Pitbull immediately started taking bets. He bet everything he had, then told Amanda to give him all of the money she had. He bet all of that too. Big Bank Frank just watched the action from the sidelines. He liked what he was seeing out of Pitbull. It took heart to bet everything you had on your first number, but there wasn’t enough money in Pitbull’s pockets as far as Frank was concerned. Frank stayed far away from betters with a few “hot” dollars. Amanda and Pitbull was all in on the eight. Amanda was now nervous. If she didn’t hit this number, they were going to be broke. Then what? Amanda said a silent prayer and closed her eyes before she shook the dice and rolled them again. She opened her eyes when she heard Pitbull’s loud yelling voice. Amanda looked at the table and saw two fours sitting on the dice. She joined Pitbull in celebration. Pitbull told Amanda to shoot the dice again. Once again, Pitbull bet everything they had on Amanda’s number. Once again, Amanda hit the number. Two numbers in a row! Pitbull and Amanda’s bankroll was quickly growing. Big Bank Frank wanted a piece of that now. He started off taking a small piece of the action. Amanda was still hitting number after number. Before long, Frank was down big and getting desperate to get his money back. Frank began taking all of Pitbull’s bets for himself. Pitbull and Amanda’s bankroll had grown substantially, being as though they were at least doubling their money with every number that Amanda hit. It didn’t take long before they were in to Frank for over $15,000. Pitbull didn’t know exactly how much money he had, but he knew that now was the time to quit. He let the gamblers know that they were done. Pitbull was just about to replace the dice with the ones he’d stuffed in his pocket earlier when he heard Frank’s voice.

“Damn playboy! You in me pretty heavy right now! You ain’t gonna give me a chance to get some of my scratch back?”

Pitbull was no dummy. He knew how the game went. Long money eventually beat short money every time. Frank had long long money. Pitbull was aware that the longer he gambled with Frank, the more likely it was that he was supposed to lose sooner or later. That was how the games normally went, and this was exactly what Frank was expecting to happen….sooner or later. Pitbull needed to nip this shit in the bud and do it quickly. He turned around and looked at Frank.

“I’ll tell you what. I know your money is longer than mine. Let’s just bet everything I got on one number.”

“That’s a bet!”

Frank didn’t even need to think about it or ask how much money Pitbull had. This was an opportunity to get everything he’d lost back… and some…. in one roll! Amanda was pissed. They had won a good amount of money with her shooting the dice and she knew it, without even needing to count the money. Now this dickhead wanted to risk everything they had just won on one roll!? Every movie Amanda had ever seen with this same scenario ended badly for the person in her position. She was certain that this was going to end the same way. Amanda quickly stashed some of the money she had in her hands away in her pockets, before Pitbull asked for it so he could make the one last bet with Frank. There was no way in hell that she was leaving out of this bitch with nothing! Especially not after all of the work she’d done to get what she had. Just as she thought he would, Pitbull asked for her half of the bankroll before he placed his bet on the table. Amanda handed it to him, minus what she’d already tucked away, of course. Amanda planned to watch Pitbull lose their money. She was shocked when he asked her to take the shot. He’d put all of the pressure on her! All of Amanda’s confidence that she’d gained from hitting all of the numbers before was now gone. She was certain that she was going to lose. Frank and Pitbull agreed to bet on a 10. Ten and four were the two hardest numbers on the dice to hit. For that reason, both numbers paid double. That meant Frank was going to have to pay double the amount Pitbull had laid on the table if Amanda could hit this 10. This shit was the difference between being broke….. and being up! Way up! Amanda closed her eyes once again and rolled the dice….once, twice, three times. After her fourth roll Amanda heard Pitbull yelling at the top of his lungs once again. She opened her eyes to see two 5’s showing on the dice. She’d done it! Frank was pissed off, and it showed all over his face. He looked at Pitbull and spoke in a low growl.

“How much you got down there?”

Amanda watched as Pitbull picked up the money and started to count it. He smiled when he was done and looked at Frank.

“Twelve – seven.”

“Twelve, seven!?”

Frank was beside himself. Pitbull just shrugged.

“You wanna count it yourself?”

Frank flagged him before he reached into the bag sitting next to him and pulled out a few wads of money. He counted the money faster than a money counting machine. Frank threw $10,000 on the table after he counted it. Followed by another $10,000 a few minutes later. And after that he threw another $5400 on the table. The whole crowd of gamblers watched Frank count out the money like they were little kids in a candy store. What Pitbull had just done to Frank, was what every gambler in here had been dreaming of doing when they woke up this morning. While everyone was watching Frank, Pitbull placed his dice back into his pockets and replaced them with the ones he’d put in there earlier. Once again, nobody even noticed the quick-hand action. They were preoccupied with watching Frank’s impressive money counting skills…..and his equally impressive bankroll. Pitbull began to snatch up his loot. Frank put his hands on top of Pitbull’s and looked him dead in the eyes.

“Aye. Let me see them bones. I should’ve done this earlier.”

Pitbull shrugged and passed the dice to Frank who immediately inspected the dice like he was looking for a flaw in a perfect diamond. Frank angrily threw the dice towards the back of the room after they passed his inspection. He stared at Pitbull and spoke in a low growl once again.

“If I find out some funny shit went down in here today I’m coming to see ya!”

Pitbull shrugged as he continued collecting his money. Amanda joined in as they both stuffed the money into their pockets with huge smiles on their faces.

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