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around my way


By Maddy A -

February 2005

I was nervous about going to Loco's party. It was the first real one that I would be going to. Sure I had been to parties in Montclair, but those were all pretty tame. Your average suburbia parties with the parents mingling with the kids, grilling burgers for us and drinking lemonade. Somehow I didn't think that I would be sipping on lemonade that night. I was relieved when Kayla called me and said that she would meet me there. She was a nice girl and if I was straight I would have made a move on her, but that was not about to happen.

Amanda came over to, as she put it, to "Pimp me up". She had good style so I trusted her judgment. I am usually just a T-shirt and jeans kind of guy, but I thought I had okay style. According to her my fashion choices were not the best.

"I thought you were gay, how come you can't dress?" She asked me as she riffled through my closet.

"I guess my gay fashion gene is defective." I answered and we both fell out laughing. It felt good to be able to be my complete self around someone.

She went through my meager wardrobe and in less than five minutes she picked out an outfit that I would have never thought to wear. She took a black suit blazer, a wife beater, light blue jeans and my white Nikes and just like that, I was "Pimped". Aunt Mickey made me keep my room door open so she could keep an eye on the two of us. If she only knew that wasn't necessary. I put on one of my The Smith's mix CD's and started to rock out. I played her my favorite song "Hand in glove" and she just stared at me. She shook her head in mock disapproval and said three little words, "You're so Gay." She tried to front like she didn't like the music, but by the time "This charming Man" came on, I caught her tapping her feet a few times.

We met Peanut at the corner and our journey began on the number five bus. The bus ride was long. My neighborhood wasn't the best, but it was nowhere as bad as Loco's. His neighborhood was deep in the hood. A true example of what the Ghetto really was like. The scenery of empty lots and run down buildings were depressing. The sky was dark and the smell of grime and hardship filled the air. Somewhere close by I could hear the sirens of police cars chasing some unseen threat. It was only eight o'clock, but people were wobbling down the street in and out of the various hole in the wall bars that lined every corner. Peanut and Amanda seemed unfazed by our surroundings, but I was. Even when I use to live here, I only experienced the neighborhood as a seven-year-old child. My innocence didn't allow me to see everything as it really was, only how I thought it was. Newark was huge and my neighborhood was bad, but not as bad as I now saw that others were. Drug paraphernalia and liqour bottles lay thrown about in the dirt in place of flowers and grass. This neighborhood could depress anyone.

Loco lived far on the other side of town. His block was lined with decrepit row houses, each one looking identical with the exception of paint color, but even the paint colors were similar shades of pastel blues and neutral beige's. At the end of the block lay a cluster of townhouse style apartments, one belonging to Loco. This place was rundown and you could tell that it was cheaply built and each house was closely next to one another. These townhouse style apartments were built all around Newark as a more ascetically pleasing alternative to the run down tenement apartments of the projects. If you asked me they looked just as bad.

It wasn't hard to figure out which house was Loco's because there was a huge crowd of guys standing outside his house smoking weed and the blasting rap music notified you that a party was taking place. Jay Z's song "Dead Presidents", was blasting loudly from the speakers inside of the house. I knew that Loco was in a gang and I pretty much figured out that some of the members would be there, but I just assumed that they were all Spanish guys. I was surprised to see a lot of black guys wearing the signature red bandana and even a couple of white guys. I assumed they were White, but they could have been like Joey, Latino but looking White. As we walked past them, they eyed us suspiciously and the anxiety inside of me began to grow. Peanut kept his head up and didn't get phased by them, but I kept my eyes down. I heard them make some nasty comment thrown my way, but I couldn't make out what they said. They threw catcalls at Amanda and Peanut grabbed her around her waist protectively and led her inside.

We didn't see Loco anywhere, but I recognized a lot of the faces from school. The smell of weed was heavily present in the air making it a little hard to breathe without breathing it in. A thick cloud of smoke raised above all the partygoers. A tall thin girl called Peanut over and Amanda grabbed the two of us some beers before we headed to the dance floor. Technically the dance floor was a living room, but the lack of furniture provided enough space for the small crowd to dance on. Except for the occasional sip of wine on special occasions I had never drunk alcohol before. The Heineken was bitter to taste, but I didn't want to seem like a lightweight so I downed it quickly.

The song "Notorious Thugs" by Biggie and Bone-Thugs-And-Harmony came on and everybody on the dance floor went crazy, including Amanda. She started to grind her curvy backside against my front aggressively as she got into the song. I was a little ucomforable with the close contact at first, it just seemed too sexual, but the alcohol allowed me to loosen up and soon I just stopped thinking so much. I was caught up in the fun of the moment and Joey became a distant thought. That is until I saw him leaning against a doorframe. He didn't notice me. The house was pretty dark, only lit by a couple of strobe lights.

He looked so good that night. He had on a baggy red and white striped collar shirt over a white T-shirt. His wore baggy light denim jeans that were crisp from fresh ironing. A platinum crucifix encrusted with diamonds hung off a long platinum necklace that reached down to the tip of his belly button. It was actually more like silver and cubic zirconia's, but it still looked good. His wavy light brown hair seemed to be growing because it looked a little longer, hanging down a few inches underneath his red Yankees baseball cap. He had a beer in his hand and was standing by himself when I saw a pair of slender arms wrap around his waist. He looked surprised as he turned to see who it was. I could see long fake nails and I knew that it was "the bitch", I mean Mercedes. I tried to focus my dancing back on Amanda, but I couldn't help feeling myself slowly becoming consumed with jealousy. I made up some excuse about grabbing another Heineken and left Amanda, and her shaking ass, on the dance floor. I grabbed another beer and downed it too quickly. We only been at the party for less than an hour and I was already feeling a buzz, a first for me. I took a seat on a milk crate that sat in place of a chair and wathched the party going on around me.

There was one older lady at the party who looked old enough to be someone's mother, but the way she was acting you would have thought that she was younger. She looked to be Spanish with her long bone straight black hair and dark brown eyes. You could clearly see that at one time she had a nice body, but years of living hard caused some areas to sag and droop. That didn't stop her from wearing the tightest, smallest reddest dress that she could find. That dress did nothing, but alert you of the many layers of cellulite on her thighs and full backside. She was dancing up on some guy who looked way to young for her, begging him for a hit of drugs. "Please Papi, give Mami a little. I just want one hit baby. What ever you want I'll give it to you." She pleaded with a heavy accent that sounded a little like Spanish. The guy she was dancing on was just about to give in when I saw Loco rush over and yell something at the boy then I heard him scream, "Mom what the fuck you doing? Get the hell out of here!". The women slapped him and sulked off out the door. Loco stood there looking defeated. Someone passed him a joint and he immediately went back into party mode. Peanut was dancing with Amanda and he looked like he couldn't hold himself back. It was obvious that he was hard and she was feeding off of it. She bounced her ass back and forth roughly, leaving Peanut helpless. He was only able to grip her shapely hips and hold on tight. As I watched them, I couldn't help but to think that they looked good together. It was as if they just "fit". I could see Joey and Mercedes still hugged up in the doorway. "The Bitch" was whispering something in his ear and he was nodding and smiling. God! I really could not stand that girl!

I had enough of just sitting there and watching them so I decided to go back on the dance floor. My favorite Nelly song, "Hot in Here" came on and I had to dance to it. I politely pushed Peanut out of the way, much to his dismay, and took over where he left off. I was feeling the music and the buzz off the beer had me feeling uninhibited. Right at that moment of my relaxation Amanda spotted Joey and decided to go over and say hello. I did not want see him next to "the bitch", I mean Mercedes, so I started to head in the other direction. Just as I was making my way past him undetected someone screamed my name so loudly, that it was heard over all the noise of the party.

I turned around to see Kayla a few feet behind me. I looked around to see that everyone's eyes were on us. One pair of crystal blues met mine in a warm stare that quickly chilled once he saw Kayla kiss me on my cheek. She was wearing a snug pair of black pants with a tight gray shirt. Her breasts were not big, but a nice average size that lay exposed to the world. As she leaned in for the kiss I could smell the alcohol and weed on her breath. She reeked of weed. The white of her eyes were turning a faint pink, but it did not take away from her beauty. Her short black hair was neatly styled with slight curls and her make-up was minimal.

"Chris, hey baby I've been looking for you." She slurred her words.

"Hey girly. When did you get here?" I asked her. I think I slurred my words too. Oh my God! I was tipsy!

"I been here for a couple of minutes. My boy and me were smoking in the back. Do you wanna go somewhere and smoke?"

"No thanks I hate cigarettes." I said and she laughed at me. She pushed her slender frame into my body and rested her hand on my chest.

"No silly I hate cigarettes, they kill. I'm talking about weed. My boy Kenny gave me some good shit. I only took two hits and I'm feeling it." Her hand began to rub my chest. I had this sudden urge to kiss her even though she did not attract me in the least, but I still felt that urge. I was curious to see what weed would do to me. Wesley and Andy use to smoke almost every day last year, but then one day they just stopped. I always wondered why, but I just assumed that they got tired of it. I had never smoked with them though. I was always too chicken and really marijuana never appealed to me. Before I gave my answer, a shoulder bumped roughly into me and the rest of my drink spilled on me. I turned around pissed getting ready to curse who ever it was out. Yeah, I had to be a lot tipsy for me to want to curse someone out. I looked up to see Mercedes with her arm linked into Joey's.

"Sorry Craig." She said unapologetically. Joey gave me a shy smile that I returned.

"Mercedes his name is Chris." Joey told her. She gave me the fakest smile and led him down the hallway. I watched them stop in front of a closed door and Joey nodded his head at me right before he walked into the room with Mercedes. `WHAT THE HELL!' I screamed to myself. He is probably going in there to fuck her little whore ass and he had the nerve to throw it in my face. Fuck that!

"Hey Kayla let's go light it up." I told her. Maybe it would help me forget about Joey even if only for a few minutes. She lead me into a bedroom that I could only assume was Loco's. The various pictures of half naked women and unmade full size bed brought me to that conclusion. She walked up close to me bringing her body close to mine. I backed up trying to get away from her and sat on the bed. She sat beside me a lit the blunt. It was about four inches long and rolled in what looked like cigar paper. The smell reminded me of skunks. A sour odor, but surprisingly not all together unpleasant. She took a hit and inhaled it like she was a pro. She held the smoke in her lungs for a few moments before slowly exhaling. I told her this was my first time and she showed me how to inhale. I burned my lips on the blunt on my first attempt and she laughed as I bit my lower lip to ease the tingling sensation. I tried again and inhaled the smoke, but it burned my lungs and I couldn't hold the smoke in and coughed. I was not good at getting high, but the buzz from the beer was still in affect. She smiled as I struggled before she took the blunt out of my hand. She laughed at me, took the blunt in her hand and inhaled the smoke. She held it in her mouth for a second before grabbing my face. She then covered my mouth with hers and I was going to push her off until I realized that she was not trying to kiss me. She exhaled the smoke in my mouth and I instantly became light headed. I didn't feel high, but I felt something. Maybe it was the beer.

We repeated this five of six times and the need to rest took over and I laid back on the bed. Next thing I knew, Kayla had straddled her legs over my waist and she was sitting directly above my crotch. I didn't realize until that moment that I was hard. She started to sway her hips from side to side and I actually thought of not letting her stop. For a second AND ONLY FOR A SECOND I thought about what would happen if I didn't make her stop. But shit, I'm gay and as cute as she was I didn't want to sleep with her, or as Loco would say,"Hit It".

"Whoa Whoa, Kayla what are you doing?" I asked her through my alcoholic and marijuana-induced haze.

"What do you want me to do?" She asked seductively. Before I could respond she ripped off her shirt and exposed her small bra covered breasts. Her gentle swaying became more aggressive and I couldn't help responding. I was torn between stopping her and letting her keep going. It felt too good. I thought of Joey and suddenly she became him. She leaned down and kissed me only I wasn't kissing her, I was kissing Joey. The sound of laughter followed by someone's angry voice broke me from my trance.

"YO! WHAT THE FUCK?!? AIN'T NO BUSTING NUTS IN MY BED EXCEPT FOR ME!" I couldn't see who it was because Kayla's body was blocking my view. She jumped up embarrassed trying to recover her clothes before running out of the room. I looked up to see the amused face of Loco and the angry face of Joey. His milky white complexion was reddening and his dark brown eyebrows were furrowed.

"Aye Yo? Kayla was given up the pussy? To you?" Loco said with a smile on his face. I just sat there silent. I could see that Joey was pissed and I didn't want to say anything that might make him angrier. But wait, he was the one who went into the room with Mercedes to fuck her brains out! If she had any. Fuck that!

"Well, I would have if you guys hadn't CUM in." I said. Loco laughed and Joey fumed. His baseball cap was off and I could see fresh cornrows in his head. 'I thought he had his hair out when he came', I thought to myself.

"SORRY, I didn't know this was the hoe fucking room." Joey said. Loco looked at him bewildered. I glared at him.

"No, you're mistaken. The hoe fucking room was across the hall where you took Mercedes." I was now off the bed and up in his face. Well, as close as I could be because he easily had six or seven inches on me.

"Fuck you Nigga. You DON'T KNOW SHIT!" He yelled at me.

"NO, FUCK YOU! YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT!" I yelled back. I don't know where all this attitude came from. I was never a confrontational or argumentative person, but with Joey he just brought something out in me that made me not want to take any shit. Especially from him. Loco stood there confused out of his mind as to why Joey and I were arguing.

"YO!! WHAT THE FUCK? WHY YA'LL BEEFING? MAN FUCK THIS I'M OUT. ChrIS IF YOU GONNA FUCK KAYLA DO IT ON THE FLOOR. I'M GOING BACK TO THE PARTY. YA'LL TWO BITCHES IS ACTING liKE YA'LL IN LOVE OR SOMETHING! WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IS GRAB A FORTY OUNCE AND GO BACK TO THE MUTHA FUCKING PARTY TOO! ITS TOO MUCH PUSSY OUT THERE AND NONE IN HERE!" Loco yelled. He left Joey and I alone in his bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him. I was trying to burn a hole into his crystal blues with my hazel - greens and vice versa. His face softened and he spoke so low that it came out almost as a whisper.

"...In love huh?" He said with his eyes glued on mine.

" love?" I replied with the same soft voice. "FUCK IT" I said to myself. I stood on the tips of my toes and kissed him. He instantly became aggressive and our tongues were at war for domination. His hands found the back of my head and mine gently were placed on his hips. We completely forgot about the party going on just outside of the door and were oblivious to the thoughts of getting caught. It kind of excited me thinking that anyone could walk in, but then my common sense took over and I was to push him away when I felt his hands roam up and down my back. He walked me back over to the bed and I laid down on it. He looked down at me and smirked. I smiled back and he was looking down at me, absorbing everything about me inside of him. He slowly lowered his body on top of mine. He leaned in for another kiss when his crucifix hit the bottom of my chin. I laughed mostly out of embarrassment and he laughed because he found the scene amusing, but his smile faded as he looked down and his cross that now laid in the crevice between my neck and chin. He got up and mumbled a sorry as he tried to walk out the bedroom door. He wasn't about to run out on me again, not this time. I jumped up in front of the door to block his path.

"JOEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?" I screamed with anger dripping from my voice like acid.

"Chris please...just let me go...." Joey pleaded. This tough thuggish gangster was pleading with me. If we were in a fight he could have easily taken me out, but he wasn't forceful with me, he was gentle and that was alluring to me.

"No! Not until we talk. I know that you like me just like I like you so why the hell do you keep running away from me?"

"Chris not now...Just let me go." He said more forcibly. A loud Daddy Yankee Reggeton song was blasting and I realized once again that outside of the door, the party was still going on. I didn't want to make a scene, but I fully intended to with him later. I moved aside and sat back down on the bed. He called out to me and I looked up.

"I'm Catholic..." He whispered. He left, shutting the door behind him. `What the hell does being Catholic have to do with anything', I thought to myself then it suddenly hit me. He wanted me, that I was sure of, but there one little thing was holding him back...he was Catholic...awe shit! Things might be harder than I thought....

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