I can’t lie, front, or any of that shit, Tanya really fucked my head up that night. It was like she gave zero fucks about me. Or just didn’t respect me. I don’t know, but when Tanya saw me standing there, she got out of the car and walked past me, like she never saw me before in her life. And she was wearing the earrings I’d bought her. The Mickey Mouse jawns! She definitely remembered I existed, but what the fuck was this all about? At 13-years old I wasn’t equipped to get the answer, or handle the truth. I never confronted Tanya about any of it. Or asked any questions about it. Instead, I just wallowed in my own sorrow, and wondered why I wasn’t good enough for Tanya. That shit completely shifted my focus. Fuck work, fuck money, fuck friends, fuck life! If it wasn’t for school I would’ve never left the house. Me and Le-Le remained cool at school. The kiss we shared had not advanced our friend/relationship thing at all. The very next day after the kiss, Le-Le was acting like it had never even happened. I was “friend-zoned” like a muthafucka’! LIFE FUCKIN’ SUCKS!!

The rest of the school year went by pretty uneventful after that. I was not selling drugs anymore, and back hanging with my squad every day. We had advanced our thinking a little as a unit. Everyone seemed to be interested in making money now, so that was what we focused our attention on as the summer approached. We simply went up to the grocery store on the Ave and let Apple kick a few of the project niggaz in the nuts. Back in the day, the grocery store was a gold mine for a few quick bucks. Not robbing, stealing, or anything illegal. For a 13-year old, there were some pretty big bucks in helping old ladies carry their groceries the few blocks to their houses. Big bucks!(Not adult type of big…fuck it! You know what I’m saying!). Anyway, the project boys had that whole grocery store “racket” on lock. If anybody even looked like they were trying to post up out there, the PJ’s were usually on their asses. Apple caught them completely off guard. The last thing they were expecting was a girl to come through and “Bruce Lee” their dumb asses in front of thousands! Getting fucked up by a girl was a horrible hit to your reputation at 13-years old! That was some shit you might not ever recover from fam. Real rap! I don’t know if them PJ niggaz ever recovered, but I do know they abandoned their posts after having their nuts punted into Mars by a girl. Looked like we were the new “dock bosses” out this bitch!

We let a couple other cool dudes in the hood post up, but other than that, we ran the grocery store. We even decided to work different days, as not to interfere with each other’s coin. I lucked up and got Sunday. Everybody in the hood seemed to go grocery shopping on Sundays. There was plenty of coin to be made out that joint on a Sunday, and I was trying to get every bit of it. MONEY. Making money had always been the one thing that allowed me to forget about everything else fucked up in my life. It worked this time too. I was excited as hell as I walked to the Ave at 7:30 am on Sunday morning. Before I even reached the store, I could see a bunch of kids my age standing around in front of the store. I wasn’t worried. Everyone knew the rules. Nothing moved until one of us got there. Period! These fools knew better! I had just been running a little late this morning. But they still knew better! As soon as I walked up, I had my pick of the litter. There were a bunch of people standing around looking for a young man to carry their bags. No one could eat, until we ate first! Remember! That’s called respect! I walked up like a boss and slowly looked over the awaiting customers. Old women were always good money. Nobody tipped like a 60 – 70 something year old woman. Facts. I walked up to the woman who looked to be the oldest, in my young opinion. She was an older Dominican, Cuban, or Colombian woman. I’m not sure. I’ve honestly never been good with that. I just considered everyone who spoke Spanish, Spaniards….you know? Back then, I did not know the difference. I didn’t even think there was one.

“You need some help with your bags Ma’am?”

The lady looked me up and down before shaking her head no.

“Oh yes you do! Grandma you know good and well me and you can’t carry all those bags to 12th Street by ourselves!”

The voice had come from behind me. I turned around to see the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life (I say this a lot) heading my way. She walked right up to me as she took control of the situation.

“Yes! We need help. Thank you.”

She said before she walked over to her grandmom and hugged her tightly. The two hugged one another like they hadn’t seen each other in years. I thought they were together and just got separated for awhile. Guess I was wrong. I tried not to listen as the grandmom talked to her granddaughter. But, one word I did hear was “Khadija!” That was her name! My future wife!

I walked behind the pair carrying the grocery bags, as grandmom and granddaughter walked happily down the street arm in arm. I watched as I pretended I wasn’t struggling with the bags. I managed to pick up a few bits and pieces of the convo as we walked along. Khadija’s mom was hooked on crack. That was the first thing. Second, Khadija had been living at a group home, until her father, who’d moved to the U.S. from Colombia, took guardianship of her. Khadija was also 15-years old! Another older woman! This must be my thing! When we got to the house, the grandmom opened the door and told me to put the bags on the kitchen table. Granny gave me $18. This was a very successfully trip for me! And only my first run of the day! Today was going to be a good one, I could already tell. I walked through the lady’s house as I made my way to the front door. I was smiling from ear to ear. Then it hit me! Where was the grandaughter? Khadija? My future wife? I hadn’t even heard her voice inside of the house. The last time I saw that beautiful face was when G-mom opened the front door to let me walk in the house first. Did she leave? I sighed as I made my way out of the house.

“Here you go.”

I looked up to see Khadija smiling at me, and trying to hand me some bills. Without even looking at how much it was, I had already made up my mind I wasn’t taking any money from her. How would that look? I would never get any play with this older woman after that!

“Naw. No thanks. Your grandma already paid me.”

Khadija smiled at me before she grabbed my hand and placed the money in my palm.

“Use it if you know what to do with it.”

Khadija kissed me on the cheek before she turned around and walked back into the house. I stood there just staring at the sky for like a full minute. Da’ fuck was that? This type of thing usually happened to other people, not me. I shook my head and began to walk away. I opened my hand to see five $20 bills in there. There was also a small piece of white paper with some writing on it, mixed in with the bills.

Khadija 🙂

That shit that Khadija did with the phone number mixed in with the money, was the most playa’ shit I’d seen in my life. Sis’ was so smooth with it too! Khadija was only two years older than me in age, but she was clearly light-years older than me mentally. It killed me, but I managed to wait a full two days before finally calling her. You know this was before cell phones. The number she gave me was a beeper number. I dialed her beeper number, put my phone number in, and waited by the phone, hoping she’d call back. About five minutes later, our house phone rang. My stupid, anxious ass picked that shit up on the first ring like a fuckin’ thirst-bucket. The first thing I heard after I said “hello’, was Khadija’s voice laughing on the other end of the line. She was probably laughing at my thirsty ass, I thought as I shook my head.

“You must’ve been waiting on a very important call.”

She said through giggles. It felt like she could see me. I wanted to hide! I think I managed to play it pretty cool though.

“Who this?”

I said with all the confidence I could muster. Khadija started laughing even harder. What the fuck was I doing wrong, and what was so damn funny!?

“What took you so long to finally call me?”

Damn! Shorty just straight ignored my question. It was a dumb ass question anyway. “Who this?” What an asshole!

“Two days was long?”

Ha! Got her ass!……..I thought

“What you think?”

Goddamn sis was good at this! That’s what I get for trying to play mind games with an older woman! I was clearly out of my league here. But, guess what? That was the most uncomfortable part of our conversation that day. We stayed on the phone for damn near an hour! I was already about 70% sure that Khadija was the most interesting person I’d ever met before I’d even said a word to her. After talking to her, I was 110% sure that shit was true! I hate to keep saying it, but Khadija seemed soooo much older than me, in every way possible. After trading a few personal details about one another, Khadija asked to take me to the carnival up Norris Street. The carnival had been there for about a week already. I’d been meaning to get around to that anyway. But, why was she offering to pay? I thought that was supposed to be my role? I didn’t complain, or argue with her though. I just agreed. Who the hell was I to complain about who was paying for what? This beautiful girl wanted to spend time with me!

Let me try to describe Khadija at that age, before I go any further. Khadija was bad, bad fam. The first thing a person was going to notice about Khadija was her eyes. She had that “bedroom eyes” and “poppy eyes” thing going on at the same time. You know what I mean? I’ve usually seen one or the other. This was my first time ever seeing them together. Wait! I just thought about a better way to describe Khadija. She kind of looked like a younger version of the jawn from Atlanta Housewives at that age. Porsche. Yup! As crazy as it sounds, that’s who Khadija reminds me of. Practically from top to bottom, if you know what I mean. Like I said before, Khadija was bad fam! Like next level bad! And, on top of that, she clearly had bread, or knew how to get some. My kind of woman!

You only get one chance to make a first impression dawg. You know it, I know it, the people in Russia know it. I wasn’t fucking this up! For the second time in my young life, I was going to dig deep, deep into my stash….for a girl. I couldn’t go on a date with an older woman without buying a new lay, right? I had to get clean! Getting clean cost a pretty penny fam. Always did, probably always will. But, I felt that deep, deep down that Khadija was going to be worth it! I wasn’t spending money on clothes. I was making an investment in my future…..with Khadija!

Khadija picked me up from my house around 7pm. Yeah, you heard that right! My woman was driving! She was only 15-years old though. Why was my older girlfriend, who was too young to have a driver’s license, driving a car? Was her shit a Johnnie? Honestly, I didn’t give a fuck! Sis pulled up to my crib in a blue BMW that was only about a year or two old! I walked to the car and shut the door behind me as I took a seat on the soft leather passenger’s side chair.

“This a nice car. How long you had this jawn?”

Khadija looked at me and smiled.

“You know the man is supposed to chauffeur the woman around right?”

Before I could answer, Khadija had already got out of the driver’s seat, stepped out the car, and was sashaying her way to my side of the car. I hope this chick wasn’t asking me to drive. I didn’t know how to drive! What was she going to think of me? Then again, I could try to fake it, but what if I banged her ride up? That shit would be much worse! What the hell am I supposed to do? Khadija stood in front of me and put her hands on her hips.


“Well what?”

“Are you going to be a gentleman and drive a lady today, or do I have to drive myself?”

I guess lying time was over. The only remedy I believed worked for getting caught in a lie was…..the truth?

“I never drove a car before.”

Khadija laughed before she began dragging me out of the car by my hand.

“Well, there’s a first time for everything!”

Believe it or not, I managed to make it to Norris Street without hitting anyone or getting hit by anything. Now, parking was a whole other story! Not really important though. Khadija told me I did good for a first time driver. Then we walked into the carnival hand-in-hand. The whole thing felt like a dream, dawg. The baddest chick in North Philly was walking through the carnival holding hands…..with me! I know niggaz was hot! They had to know she was older than me. Them jokers had to be wondering “how the hell lil’ dude pull that!?” Yeah man, I was housing that shit! I walked around the joint like I owned the place. I literally had “the baddest chick in the game wearing my chain!” Not literally, but you know what I mean! I won her one of those big ass Teddy Bears. It cost me about $10, but I didn’t care, Khadija paid for everything. She wouldn’t even allow me to think about paying for anything. I assumed this was how all older women were. I just fell back and let her. What else could I do? As the night proceeded, we…..well, I got more comfortable being in Khadija’s presence. She was my girl. Period! We started kissing each other after every 10 or 15 steps we walked. Then the highlight of my night happened! We got on the ferris wheel, and that bitch (the ferris wheel) had the nerve to get stuck, with us at the top. Me and Khadija took advantage of the 12-minute delay…or power outage….or what-the-fuck-ever kept us in the air that long! We was frenchin’ like a muthafucka’ up that joint fam! Then it happened. Sis grabbed a handful of my Johnson & Johnson product! Feel me? I had on some sweat pants, and she really took the time, and care, to gently cup my balls and everything. She took her other hand and just barely grazed the tip of my dick thru my sweatpants….. It was a fuckin’ rap! I came all over myself. Khadija knew what was happening, If not for no other reason, she had to know by the way my body was violently flopping around like a fuckin’ fish out of water! She didn’t laugh at me though. She held me tightly and kissed me….while I flopped around in the jawn like a damn fool!

The first time I busted a nut in my life, and I hadn’t been within 1000 yards of the punnani. That would be a bad night for most people. Not for me though! That night had been the best night of my life, up to that point. Hands down! As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t a virgin anymore. And even more importantly….I was definitely the first person in my squad to have sex! This is why I’ve always been the leader of the squad. I’m always willing to sacrifice myself and go first, just so I can make sure evrything is cool and safe. You know? I’m just that type of guy. Anyway, after really giving the thing some thought, I decided against telling everyone I wasn’t a virgin anymore. Not because I didn’t want to. I didn’t tell the fellas because of Apple! I told ya’ll she liked me. What the hell do you think would’ve happened to my nuts if I told her I wasn’t a virgin anymore? You guessed right! My balls would probably be residing in my stomach somewhere right now! But, fuck all of that. My baby Khadija was different. Khadijha wasn’t like any other girl I’d ever met. She was classy! You needed bread to keep one of those classy chicks! Lots of bread! Fuck that! I couldn’t afford to be broke right now! And just like that….the lick was back on! My squad couldn’t have been happier to hear that news!

The plan was a pretty simple one. We needed to get to Ice while he was in the middle of the block with the shift worker. Neither one of them would have a gun. I knew this to be fact. The problem was the corner lookouts. They packed heat from time to time. I guess it depended on what the temperature in the hood was on any given day. You know? But, if we could get Ice and the worker without tipping off the people on the corner, this was going to be a cake-walk. Well, it should be a cakewalk. That’s how it always looked in the movies. A great plan + great teammates = success! My biggest problem was that myself, nor anyone else in my squad had never done some shit like this. We weren’t freakin’ nuns or anything. We’d done our share of dirt in the hood, but this was some real shit here! We were robbing drug dealers. There was a real chance that someone might get hurt or even killed. And if they did, it would be all my fault. Things went left as soon as I arrived to the meeting that I had called…. that I was currently late for. Before I could say anything, Apple was excitedly, and practically yelling at me.

“Look what my uncle G gave me! Yeah, I got this just in time for the lick, right?”

This was definitely something I had not planned for. This shit was bad too. The main reason this shit was bad, was because we’d all just watched Scarface for the first time, over at Damone Jr. Jr.’s moms’ crib the other day. It didn’t matter how old you were. We all got the same message from the movie. Kill your way to the top, and once you’re there, kill some more. The problem with Scarface is that most people seem to have forgot the end of the movie. He lost everything he loved. “Face” was like a vicious bad luck charm type of mothafucka’ by the end of the movie. The second that muthafucka’ stepped into your life, your shit was going downhill. Gina, Frank Lopez, Elvira, Mannolo, etc. etc, etc. My point, everyone wanted to be the huge drug dealer who everyone feared after seeing the movie. The movie was a blueprint for how to be feared. Kill some muthafuckas’, right? There was no doubt in my mind that somewhere in Apple’s mind she was ready to follow Tony Montana’s blueprint to success. A very dangerous road to travel down….in my humble opinion.

“Where Gil get a gun from? Is it loaded?”

My last question was the only one I really wanted answered. Fuck weird ass Gil. Was this raggedy ass .32 Special loaded? Apple shook her head in disappointment before she answered….the question I really wanted answered.

“You know damn well my uncle wasn’t going to give me a loaded gun! I’m still taking this jawn on the heist though!”

I ain’t have time to argue with Apple. Besides, the gun wasn’t loaded. Shit wasn’t even worth arguing over. After going over the plan one last time, everyone went home to change into some black clothes. We walked to the corner store and distracted the cashier and store attendant, while Jay-B lifted us a few ski masks from the back. Then we headed off on our mission. No one talked as we walked to our destination. No one seemed to be scared either. As we got close to Darien Street, everyone took their positions and waited. I pulled my hood over my head and began walking down the block. If things looked how they were supposed to look, I was going to raise my hand, and the team would move in. If shit looked shady, I’d just keep walking, and we’d meet up back at the playground later. I put my head down as I approached the middle of the block, where Ice and one worker was usually posted up at. Ice on one side of the street, with most of the money and drugs stashed in the oven inside of the abandoned house we used as a stash house. The worker usually stood alone on the other side of the small block. I had a ski mask on, and neither one of them even looked at me when I walked by. Ice was sitting on a crate, counting money. The worker was too preoccupied with customers swarming him, to even think about paying attention to anything suspicious. I raised my arms like I was stretching, as I walked by. That was the signal for the crew to move in. R.D.R.R and Jay-B were going to grab the bitch ass worker, and bring him across the street to the house. While that was happening, Vic was going to rush Ice and push him into the house. I was going to make a U-turn and help Vic with Ice. Apple was going to walk up the block, stand there, and sell the drugs we took from the worker. This way the customers wouldn’t be suspicious, or ask the dudes up on the corner (who were more than likely packing heat), why there wasn’t any work out today? That would give them cause to come down the block and ask questions. We needed them to stay up there where they were, for our plan to work. And it did! Everything went perfectly! We had Ice’s bitch ass laid down in the living room with the worker. They were being watched by Jay-B and R.D. Me and Vic went into the kitchen to find the stash and the rest of the money. Before we could make it to the kitchen, a girl came running down the stairs. She began screaming uncontrollably when she saw us in our black face-masks. I couldn’t see her face, but I knew all of this noise was a very bad thing for us! Somebody needed to do something! And do it now! Almost as soon as those thoughts popped into my head, I heard a loud bang. The next thing I knew, the screaming girl was laying on the floor. Screaming even louder. I turned to see Apple standing there with that raggedy-ass .38 special in her hand. I swear that old ass pistol looked like it still had smoke coming out of it! Apple had shot that bitch! Whoever the fuck she was! Apple was standing there shaking like a leaf. It was time to abort this fuckin’ mission! Everyone snapped out of their shock, and hauled ass for the door. As I ran by the girl, I finally got a good look at her face……

The girl on the floor screaming from a gunshot wound was Tanya! Apple had shot Tanya! What in the fuck was Tanya doing there?! This was bad! Like, real bad! As far as I could tell, Tanya had been wounded in the leg. Hopefully, she was going to be fine after getting fixed up at the hospital. Hopefully! I can’t believe Apple shot Tanya! This shit was 100% my fault, and I knew it! Nobody was supposed to get hurt. That shit had been stressed over and over again, before we’d even left to go on the mission.

“Apple! What the fuck did you do?”

Vic asked when we all got back to the playground. Apple didn’t say anything. She just kept pacing back and forth, while mumbling something under her breath.

“Fuck all that! Ain’t shit we can do about the past. What do we do about Tanya?”

That was Jay-B. He didn’t care about hearing about why Apple did what she did. Jay-B wanted to know what was next. And it seemed like he was insinuating that we needed to do something to keep Tanya quiet. And he was looking right at me. I tried to calm the situation with a wave of the hand, and my voice full of confidence.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of Tanya.”

We had taken a grand total of about $2250 from the lick that night. We would’ve had more had I got the chance to search the kitchen for the stash. But, that’s neither here nor there. We had $2250 to split between the five of us. About $400 and a little change apiece. For a 13-year old, that wasn’t a bad take for a few minutes of work. The bad part about getting away with a little money? Everyone was looking to do it again, and expecting me to come up with another sweet lick for us. Where the fuck was I going to find another lick at? But, the very worst part about that mission being halfway successful was, now everyone thought they were some type of gangster. Vic was already talking about using his share to buy himself a gun. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I think they were really expecting me to do something violent to Tanya. Why? We didn’t even know if she knew it was us for sure. And what the hell was I supposed to say or do to her anyway?

I was sitting on my house’s front steps when I saw Tanya’s Auntie bringing her home from the hospital, the day after she’d got shot. Tanya was walking with a slight limp, but there were no crutches or anything else. The doctors said she’d been grazed in the leg. Tanya didn’t even have a scar on her body after “getting shot” that night. What she did do though, was get herself infected with something from being in that dirty ass house! Tanya ended up having to get a Tetanus shot for her “infection.” Sis also got a band-aid for her “bullet wound.” The hospital kept her overreacting ass in the hospital overnight, for observation or some weird shit. I was more than relieved to find out that Tanya had not actually been shot though. She was just very dramatic…..at least on the night of the robbery! I was very optimistic that things could go back to normal, and there would be no more talk about having to “take care” of Tanya anymore. That was cool. But, it still didn’t answer the question….why the fuck was Tanya in that abandoned house that night?

I could get around to worrying about that Tanya shit on another day. Today, I had to get ready to meet up with my baby Khadija! I was about to drop all, or most of the money I had to my name, once again. I had to have a brand new lay if I was going to meet up with my older girlfriend, right? Back to the Ave. I went. I went and dropped my money at the same sneaker store and the same clothing store. This was twice in one week. People were starting to look at me a little differently. It seemed like respect. Maybe. I don’t know. But, anyway, after I got dressed, I met up with Khadija at the Mcdonald’s on Broad & Diamond Streets. Yes, I walked all the way from 9th Street to Broad Street. You would’ve done it too! Especially for Khadija! I stepped into Mcdonald’s like I owned the place. I kind of did. I knew nobody in this joint would have a better looking chick on their arm than me! I scanned the restaurant. I spotted Khadija smiling at me and waving, as I looked to my left. I gave her a huge smile before I headed her way. She gave me a huge hug and a peck on the lips, as soon as I was in her range.

“You want anything to eat?”

I was smiling from ear to ear after she asked me that question. I had myself a real woman! I politely denied the invitation to eat in front of her. I always ate like a pig! Ever since I could remember. I always tried my best not to ever eat in public places, because of the way I ate.

“Naw. I’m good.” I said as I moved in closer to her and made myself comfortable. The look on Khadija’s face suddenly changed. It changed so quickly that it kind of scared me a little. She went from smiling like a church-girl, to staring at me so sternly that it made me uncomfortable.

“You my young jawn. You know that right?”

I nodded my head in agreement, and Khadija was right back to the giddy, bubbly-personality-filled person she’d been before she’d transformed from that moments earlier. I kind of tried to brush it off. She ain’t say shit else about it, so why should I? But, the truth was that I had no idea what “young jawn” meant. I knew it had something to do with her being older than me, but “young jawn” meant a lot of different things in my neighborhood. Like, a wide, wide range of shit! Honestly, anything with the word “jawn” in it could be confusing as fuck if you weren’t from Philly. True shit! But anyway, I had no idea why Khadija gave me that title. But, she knew why. She waited until after she ate to tell me. Well, show me. Khadija tapped me on the leg and nodded her head toward something she was holding under the table.

“Put this somewhere safe for me.”

As soon as I reached under the table and got a feel of what she was passing me, I knew it was money. It wasn’t a small amount of it either. She’d put me in a fucked up position, and I think she knew it. If I said no, or asked any questions, I’d likely never see or hear from Khadija again. Who the fuck in their right mind wants to fuck with a scary-ass nerd type of joker? Naw, doing the right thing (which was ironically, the wrong thing to do, if you ever find yourself in this situation kiddos!) was my only option here. Take the shit and don’t ask any freakin’ questions, like a good boy. And that’s exactly what I did.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, Khadija had just placed her pawn exactly where she wanted it at on the chess board…..for now.

It didn’t take long before Khadija felt comfortable enough to start asking me to hold more and more money for her, practically every day. The money was always rubber-band wrapped in very neat stacks, with $2000 in each stack. Khadija gave me $150 for myself every time she asked me to put some money up somewhere safe for her. I wasn’t dumb. The only money I knew that came this fast was drug money. But what the fuck did khadija do? I mean, what was her drug-job? Was she a female boss? A drug mule? What exactly, did this girl do, to be coming up with these amounts of cash practically every day? I wasn’t worried or anything. I was just very, very curious. I was definitely going to use my good fortunes to help put my squad on some type of money though. That was a fact! The problem was that I couldn’t think of anything other than selling something. Most likely, drugs. Just like Khadija obviously did. I ain’t know any drug dealers though. Well, there was Ice. But, after our robbery gone halfway bad, I didn’t want anything at all to do with crack. That shit seemed too damn dangerous! I needed something a little less serious….like weed. I decided I was going to ask Khadija. She was supposed to be coming to pick me up later on today. She said she wanted me to make a “run” with her later this afternoon. That was another thing I’d started doing with Khadija…. These “runs” as she called them.

When Khadija picked me up, I hopped in the passenger’s seat and gave my baby a kiss as usual. She seemed to be in a good mood today, so I hit her with my plans for the future, and how she could help me.

“Aye Dija, I was thinking about doing something with the money I been saving. I’m thinking about buying some weed and putting my squad on. You know anybody I could buy some weed from?”

Khadija didn’t say anything after I asked my question. She just stared straight at the road as she drove. Khadija seemed to be deep in thought. I was happy. That meant she was likely trying to figure out a way she could help me. That’s what I thought. Boy, was I wrong!

“You wanna do what?”

Khadija said in between laughs. She was laughing so hard that she had to pull over to catch her breath. I just sat there confused. What the hell was so funny?

“Buy some weed to sell.”

I said as confidently as possible. Khadija finally spoke after wiping tears from her eyes from laughing so hard.

“I ain’t laughing at you. I’m just tripping off the fact that, this was the exact way I started doing what I do. I mean, like practically word for word!”

Khadija finally let me in on how she made her money. By the time she finished talking, I had no idea what to say or think. Especially the way Khadija was so casual about everything. It was weird to me…..

Khadija had this dude she called her "ol'head." Dude was in his 20's or some shit. This dude was some type of big-time drug dealer. He was married with kids, but Khadija was the one he trusted to hold his money for him. Khadija was only 15-years old. She lived with her mom. Nobody suspected that she was involved with a 20-something year old drug dealer. That was exactly what dude was hoping for. Nobody he knew had any idea who Khadija was. Dude was from across town, up their near 19th & Dauphin somewhere. He had the perfect set-up. His cash was safer at his young jawn's house, than it was at any bank. Khadija never stole a penny from her ol' head. His trust in her grew even more over time, so when Khadija asked about buying her own weed to sell, he knew she was ready. He knew he had a secret weapon no one knew about. He began giving Khadija crack to bag up for him. Half-a-chicken at a time. He only gave Khadija a number that he was expecting to get back. That was his profit margin. Once he hit that number, he really didn't give a fuck about what was left over, and he told Khadija as much. Even bagging the rocks up into huge boulders, Khadija still managed to have quite a bit left over for herself. What the fuck was she supposed to do with it though? Her ol' head never told her, and he probably wasn't going to either. Khadija decided that the best thing to do was save up all the extras she made, until she figured out how to sell it all to one person, instead of hitting the block herself, or finding someone she could trust to sell it for her. Khadija found her way to get up off of the extra crack she had, when she rekindled her relationship with her old flame Blaze. He was a straight knucklehead, but Khadija had known him since they were toddlers. She loved this chump. Well, Blaze became her boyfriend, and she quickly put him on some money. Blaze knew what to do with the extra cocaine Khadija had stashed away. Blaze broke the crack down into $5 rocks and hit the block. He was getting fronted all the coke he could handle from Khadija. She saw the light right away. With one person to sell her shit for her, she was able to get up off of the crack she had quicker.... And get her money faster. Khadija began wondering if she would make more money if she had two people selling her product for her. 

You can kinda see where I’m going with this, right? Before long, Khadija’s crack was being moved in North, South, SouthWest Philly, and Uptown. All by one of her many “boyfriends.” What Khadija was earning from the extras after she bagged up for her ol’ head wasn’t enough product to supply all of her corners. There was an easy solution to that problem. Steal! That’s exactly what Khadija did. First her numbers were a little short. Then her numbers began being way off. Her ol’ head was in love with her, but Khadija’s stealing had become too obvious. She had to pay just like anyone else who would’ve had the balls to steal from him. There were princibalities involved here! His young, naive, young-jawn, who ol’ head thought he was schooling, beat him to the punch. Ol’ head always thought he was being smart about hiding Khadija from his friends in the game. If he was smart, he would’ve been hiding his friends from Khadija!

Khadija was not a dumb girl. She put her plan into place long before her ol’ head discovered that she was stealing from him. As a matter of fact, she wanted him to know. Khadija didn’t know her ol’ head’s homies, but she did know his rivals. Not enemies, just competition. He never introduced Khadija to anyone, but she always watched, and peeped things whenever they were together. Khadija set her sights on the bul Fish from 10th & Dauphin. Fish wasn’t a big drug dealer like Khadija’s ol’ head, but he did have his own spot and his own little crew of loyal soldiers. Fish was only 17-years old, but word on the street was that the youngin’ was rising quickly in the game. Fish and his crew had a little drugs, but their main hustle had been robbing people….especially drug dealers. Khadija did her homework on Fish. For two weeks straight. She had his routine down pat. Khadija wanted to catch Fish when he was alone so she could holla’ at him. Fish was always, and I mean always, with at least one of his homies. The only time you MIGHT catch him alone was when he was picking up, or dropping off his clothes at the cleaners on Germantown Avenue. That was where Khadija made her move. Honestly, all she had to do, was to be seen by Fish. He was like silly puddy in Khadija’s hands in no time at all. She convinced Fish to help her take her ol’ head out of here. Fish was pussy-whipped, just like most dudes who had sex with Khadija, but Fish was looking at more than sex. This lick could alter the course of his life. Killing Khadija’s ol’ head would open up multiple doors for Fish, especially if ol’ head had as much money as Khadija claimed he had. Khadija led her ol’ head into the trap, and Fish and his crew took care of the rest. Khadija and Fish split the cocaine and money they took out of the ol’ heads’ storage unit. About 20 kilos and $150,000. Ol’ head had made the crucial mistake of trusting his young jawn too much. Khadija knew everything about his operation, including the fact that if she could locate her ol’ heads’ business beeper that he kept hidden, she could become a boss herself! The contacts, plugs, hitmen, and list of flunkies in that beeper would’ve made practically anyone a boss.

Khadija didn’t stop there. She cleaned up her tracks. Once she got her hands on that beeper it was over for any competition…. or enemies of Khadija’s. The first person she got knocked off was Fish, of course. He was the only person who could connect her to the ol’ heads’ murder. And just to be on the safe side, Khadija had Fish’s crew and a few of their family members bumped off too. Yes, Khadija was a 15-year old, female, drug boss, with over 20 ordered murders (and counting) under her belt. So what the fuck did this Griselda Blanco imitation want with my dumb ass?

I don’t know exactly what Khadija wanted with me, but I can tell you what she didn’t want. Me selling any type of drugs or doing anything illegal. Fam, this chick had just finished telling me she’d had a bunch of people killed. Did you really think I was going to argue or disagree with this crazy chick? It would be a different story if I didn’t believe her…but I did! I believed every word Khadija had said out of her mouth!


My high school years were mostly a blur. That shit seemed to fly by. It was probably because I rarely went to school. I was too busy getting money! For high school to have went by so fast to me, a whole lot of shit happened in my life in those four years. Drama! Most of that shit was all somehow related to the three young ladies you were introduced to in the first three chapters.


Me and Tanya finally ran into each other. It was around the end of the summer. To my surprise she spoke to me, and actually smiled! If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought she was happy to see me. I loved Tanya with all of my heart. Always did…..always will..Anyway, me and Tanya began speaking to each other every day. Then one night I was sitting on my front steps. Tanya was sitting on hers. I waved to her, she waved back, then walk down the street and sat next to me. She playfully bumped legs with mine as she sat down.

“Move over!”

Tanya playfully yelled. And just like that, I was back in love with my baby Tanya! We sat out there talking about a bunch of nothing at first. Then, things suddenly turned serious when I asked her about how she got shot. Tanya only lived three houses away from mine, and I’d never even noticed that Tanya had been going through some serious shit since the last time we’d spoken.

Last time I checked, Tanya was with the bul Skeeter. She said that didn’t last too long. Soon after breaking up with Skeeter, she began talking to Ice. She said Ice always liked her and blah, blah, blah. Ice started having Tanya come up to the corner to chill with him when he was hustling. Tanya said he cheated on her, just like the bul Skeeter did. She was there the day of the robbery looking for the girl Ice was cheating with. Tanya said the girl was hiding somewhere in the abandoned house, so she went up in there looking for the chick. We all know what happened when Tanya came back down those stairs. Tanya said she thought Skeeter was the one who robbed Ice, because Skeeter had found out she was messing with Ice. Skeeter managed to talk Tanya into being his girlfriend again. One day, on their way to meet up with one of Skeeter’s homies, they were pulled over by the cops. When they searched Tanya, she had an ounce of crack that Skeeter had just robbed someone for, a few hours earlier. She was also holding Skeeter’s loaded .45 caliber handgun. Tanya got locked up that night. Her mom had to come from where the fuck she’d been at, and she was pissed! Here’s the kicker though. Skeeter told the police that none of that shit they found on Tanya was his. He said he was a hack driver, and he didn’t even know the chick. Tanya was taken downtown and booked on gun and drug charges. She was interviewed by detectives. They wanted her to flip on Skeeter. Tanya refused to cooperate with the police. Thye warned her, that if she didn’t, the feds were going to pick the case up. Whenever the name FEDS is mentioned, people begin to panic. If there’s one thing everyone in the hood knows, it’s that fed cases usually carry a gang of time with them. Tanya never said anything to the police that night, or any other. She “stood tall”…”2 toes down”..or whatever weird shit young people be saying. Tanya kept her mouth closed and it worked. The cops weren’t interested in locking up a 14-year old girl for this shit. They let her go. Tanya was proud of herself, and she was sure that her “loyal” boyfriend Skeeter, would also be proud of her. Tanya called Skeeter to tell him what happened down at the station, the moment she got home. Guess what Skeeter did? Came to pick Tanya up and took her to his crib, where two of his homies were waiting. They beat Tanya up, raped her, and warned her that her and her family would be killed if she snitched on Skeeter, or told the cops they’d beat her up and raped her. I could see the fear in Tanya’s eyes as she relayed the story to me. She believed every word Skeeter and his bitch ass friends had said to her. She made me promise not to tell anyone. I told her I wouldn’t tell anybody, but if she thought I was going to let Skeeter and his homies get away with this shit, she had me seriously fucked up! My blood was boiling. That weird ass Skeeter nigga was going to die! Facts! I didn’t want Tanya to see how angry I was. I put my arm around her waist, hoping that would bring her some comfort. It seemed to work….. she laid her head on my shoulder and seemed to relax a bit.

“You alright?”

I asked. Tanya looked up at me and smiled. Next thing I knew, our faces were moving toward one another. Before you knew it, we were kissing. This wasn’t like when me and Tanya used to kiss last summer, when we both were inexperienced in all things sexual. I had a little experience, after kissing and grinding with Khadija. I couldn’t wait to put the new kissing techniques, that I learned from my ol’ head jawn, on Tanya. We sat on my steps kissing for about 45 minutes straight! Little breaks in-between, of course, but we never stopped holding hands and touching one another, even when we weren’t kissing. It felt like me and Tanya were the only two people in the world. Or the only two people that mattered right now! Tanya grabbed my hand and began pulling me as she stood up from the steps.

“My aunt and them went over her boyfriend’s house. They’re not coming home until tomorrow afternoon. You want to come over for a little while?”

I was shocked and terrified at the same time. What had got into Tanya? Did she want to have sex tonight? Me and Tanya had never been anywhere near close to doing anything other than kissing. Tanya didn’t even really let me feel her butt or anything. I know I always bitched at her about never having sex with me, but that shit was all talk! I knew nothing at all about the opposite sex. I came before, when Khadija gave me a handjob on the ferris wheel, but I’d never actually “inserted my penis into some awaiting vagina.” You feel me? What if I put it in the wrong place? Would she laugh at me? Would she tell everyone I was a virgin? Would she go into convulsions and die from “wrong-hole” sex? I had so many questions, but now was not the time for any procrastination! This may only be a one time opportunity, and I’ll be damned if I was going to let fear cause me to miss out!

As soon as we entered Tanya’s house I attempted to take a seat on the couch. She grabbed me by the hand and led me to the stairs. She smiled as we made our way to her room on the 3rd floor. My heart was beating like it was attempting to break out of the prison that kept it in place, inside of my body. When we made it to Tanya’s room, she didn’t turn on the room’s white light. She had a little red and blue jawn that lit the room up with beautiful colors. Tanya’s room looked exactly how I’d imagined. Like a princess slept in here. Pictures of New Edition, Prince, and Todd “What You Talkin’ Bout Willis?” Bridges, of all people, plastered all around her room’s walls. I was kind of in awe. It was my first time seeing a girl’s room…. at least in person. I saw a girl’s room on television shows and…..nevermind. Tanya snuck up behind me and put her arms around me as I looked at her posters. I could feel her breast on my back, and that shit was making me rock hard! I knew it was my move now, but now matter how much I thought about what I should do, I kept coming up with a blank. I was stressing a little, I ain’t even gonna try to lie to ya! But, what I know now, that I didn’t know at the moment, was that Tanya had been in complete control of everything that was happening, and everything that was going to happen tonight, from the moment she walked down the street and sat next to me. I snapped out of my thoughts when I felt Tanya putting something over my eyes.

“What you doing?”

I asked, totally confused. Tanya leaned in close and whispered in my ear.

“Don’t move.”

I sighed, like a baby or some shit. I honestly had no idea where this was going, but the very last thing I thought this dumb ass blindfold game was…… anything sexual, or sex-adjacent. You feel me? Anyway, after what seemed like a lifetime, Tanya told me to take the blindfold off and turn around. I took the blindfold off, turned around, and was met with the shock of my life. Tanya was standing there as naked as the day she was born! I didn’t really get a great look, because she quickly made her way to the bed and dived under the covers. Tanya propped herself up on one arm once she was sure her bare body wasn’t showing, and she was under the covers. Tanya gave me the most seductive look I think I’ve ever seen in my life

“You coming?”

Tanya lifted up the covers a little to let me know this was my invitation to join her in the bed. I felt like I was in a dream, as I made my way to the bed and began to get under the covers. Tanya covered her face and shook her head, as she giggled.

“You not gonna take your clothes off?”

I smiled before I slowly began taking my sweatpants off. Embarrassed wasn’t a strong enough word for what I was feeling right now. Humiliated…yeah, that probably would’ve been a better word. Anyway, clearly this was something everybody who’d ever had sex before knew. My dumb ass didn’t! Why the fuck didn’t I take my clothes off sooner? I definitely know that she knows I’m a fuckin’ virgin now! I was still panicked, but I managed to get my sweatpants off before I jumped under the covers with her. Before I even had the chance to think about what to do next, my baby “T” took full control. We were kissing from the moment I got in the bed. Kissing was different this time. Even Tanya’s breathing was different. Like faster, and shorter. It almost seemed like she was out of breath or something. And the little moans and groans had to be some type of signal that she was ready. I reached for my pants on the floor and grabbed my wallet, all without stopping our “make-out session.” I managed to find the old ass condom I kept in there….for no reason at all…well, until now. My mom brought this wallet for my birthday, about three years ago. The first thing I did when I got my wallet, was put the one condom I owned in that piece. You never knew right? Jay-B and Vic Damone always laughed at me for carrying a condom, that I had never used in three years. Who’s laughing now niggaz!? I smiled as I felt the plastic pack in my hand.

“I knew this muthafucka’ would come in handy one day!”

Was the thoughts going through my mind, as I began to take the condom out of the rapper. I smiled at Tanya as I fumbled around with the condom, like a straight-up amatuer.

“You ready?”

I asked. Tanya grabbed the condom I had managed to get halfway on, and pulled it off.

“We won’t be needing this.”

She exclaimed, as she discarded the condom on the floor somewhere. I took my boxer shorts off. My penis landed somewhere between Tanya’s legs. I didn’t know if I was in the right spot or anywhere near it, but I started humping away like I was on the right street. Tanya wrapped her arms around my neck and whispered in my ear.

“That’s not it.”

Thanks for the help Tanya! I kinda knew I wasn’t in the right spot, but where the fuck was the right spot at? Did I need to move my penis more to the left? Right? Up? Down? The only directions or help Tanya had for me was “that’s not it.” Well, WHERE THE FUCK IS IT AT HOE? Is what I wanted to say, but instead, I grabbed myself with my hand, and attempted to find my destination…..without the help of a navigation control system or Google Maps. Unlike Christopher Columbus’s weird ass, I was on my own during this expedition. And for some reason, I chose the down direction. It made sense to me. A short moment after the attempted insertion, I heard Tanya’s voice through her giggles.

“That’s definitely not it!”

I could feel myself beginning to sweat. I was making a complete jackass of myself! This shit was mad embarrassing!

“Take your time. I ain’t going nowhere.”

Tanya whispered into my ear before she softly kissed me on the cheek. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but suddenly I found the right spot! I knew it was the right spot the moment my Johnson landed there. Tanya’s groans of pleasure sealed the deal. I was exactly where I was supposed to be! Deep inside of my baby Tanya’s guts! Feel me? I came in like 20 pumps, or 1 and a half minutes…tops, whichever way your weird ass cares to time me! That may make you ladies reading this upset, but that’s because you’re not my baby Tanya! She enjoyed herself! So did I. Me and Tanya were back at it again after a few minutes of resting. This time was much better! Time was way up too! I had to be in the cheeks for at least five minutes before I tapped out, on the second go round! Clearly, my new personal best time! Practice makes perfect, I guess. All of that was great, but the best part of that night for me, was holding Tanya in my arms afterward. Our conversations seemed to have changed. Maybe it was because I was an adult now. Not being a virgin anymore made me an adult now, right? Anyway, Tanya looked me directly in the eyes and told me she loved me. I had always been in love with Tanya, but now I guess I was in super-love now? After having sex for the first time and all. What I was honestly feeling was jealousy. I didn’t want any dude anywhere near Tanya. And in my mind, I was suddenly mortal enemies with every dude I knew Tanya had ever messed with. I hated to even imagine anyone ever touching Tanya! Future, present, or past! As I thought about how much I hated all of Tanya’s ex’s, bitch ass Ice and then Skeetr’s weird ass ran through my thoughts! Both of those sonofabitches had wronged my baby! Both of these weird ass niggaz had to die! I was going to tell my baby Khadija to……. Oh shit! I forgot all about Khadija!

Well, I really wasn’t a virgin anymore now! Of course, you know, I nutted inside of Tanya that night. Four or five times too. Yup, with not one fuck given about consequences of any sort. I was whipped. Some stupid sonofabitch, once told me that Disney World was the funnest place on Earth. That lying muthafucka’ has clearly never been between Tanya’s legs! Not only was that the funnest place on Earth, it was also the softest, warmest, and wettest place on Earth! Shit was like paradise! Tanya had my nose wide the fuck open! This should’ve been the happiest moment of my life. It would’ve been too. If this new relationship that me and Tanya talked about building wasn’t being started with lies. There was no way in hell that I was going to tell Tanya about Khadija. That shit was out of the question. Tanya wasn’t the type to listen to a whole conversation. Especially when she heard a part she didn’t like. The moment I would’ve said anything about another chick out of my mouth, Tanya would’ve completely shut down. No communication at all. She expected you to not only figure out what was wrong with her, but you were also supposed to know how to fix the shit! Tanya definitely had her ways about her. But all in all, I always did, and still do, feel like Tanya was made especially for me….and me only. My soulmate…..But, fuck the love story, for now! I had just placed myself inside of a real-life, drama-filled, bad acting, reality show! I already knew that there was no way in hell this was going to end up being anything but bad for me! I loved Tanya to death, but I was…..I don’t know, I think I kind of admired Khadija. You know, looked up to her, and shit. She was kind of what I hoped to be when I got a little older. A ruthless, murdering, drug-kingpin! Khadija was excitement, danger, mystery! All kinds of shit that gets the blood pumping! Meanwhile, my baby Tanya, was anything but exciting. Tanya wasn’t boring at all. She just wasn’t a street-street, type of person. She wasn’t into drugs and all of that shit. Compared to Khadija, Tanya was naive to the streets. The streets were mean, unforgiven, and definitely not for the weak! That was probably why niggas like Ice, Skeeter, and his bitch ass homies thought they would be able to do something to her and get away with it. They had another thing coming! I would kill for Tanya and not give one single fuck about the consequences!

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