Freedom From Myself

Dakota woke up the morning of his release with so much anxiety. He had a headache that felt like there was war happening in his head.

Sin- Ok when we leave we need to cop and get some girls, just like old times.

Driz- Are you serious dummy, all the work we put in this bid this is what you are going to have us do. We should go home and see our family.

Sin- Oh the same family that turns their backs on us whenever we needed them most. The same family that kicked you out, at age fourteen so that we had to live on our own.

Driz- Do you remember all the crazy shit you had us do when we were fourteen? You are lucky we aren’t dead. Mom and dad did whatever they could before they gave up.

Sin- Fuck them.

Driz- Fuck them? Wow, sounds good from the one who wanted them the most.

Sin- I don’t want or need anyone. You are the one who wanted to be a part of that deranged ass family.

Driz- Yeah I know, did you forget we live in here together; we are the same person dummy.

Sin- Shut up I got work to do, we are about to leave.

Driz- Not if I can help it.

Sin- You never could help it before, that’s why I’m still here. You will never be strong enough. As long as I’m stronger than you, he will always choose to use me.

Over the intercom the CO’s told Dakota to pack his stuff. It was time to go. His palms were sweating, knees weak, and hands shaking. He felt like he was going to puke.

Sin- Listen you already know what’s good, go to the gas station get a pack of smokes, and get your fucking swag back. You’re acting like a bitch.

Driz- No what the fuck is wrong with you. We are healthy right now just stop breathe and remember what you’ve learned, you got this.

With no hesitation Dakota asked for a pack of Newport 100’s like he never stopped. As he walked out of the gas station smoking a cig, he saw the bus getting ready to leave. He caught it in the nick of time. Dakota was on his way back to Springfield.

Sin- See? I always win, you should just give up. You know this is just getting started.

Driz- Why, so we wind up in jail forever? You’re a coward Sin. Ever since we were kicked out of moms you hide behind your tough guy bravado and other people’s pain. Oh, and don’t forget the drugs.

Sin- I hide behind drugs? Are you forgetting who got us into drugs? Oh look at me I’m Driz, everybody loves me. Look how much I can drink and smoke. Look at how much money I have from selling drugs. Sound familiar?

Driz- That was not hurting us. We still graduated high school. It was because of me we had a place to live, a phone, clothes, and money. We were still respected. We had a real job no thanks to me.

Sin- There you go justifying your actions again. We ended up in jail before we graduated. We went to summer school on the ankle bracelet with a dope habit. I got us through that.

Driz- I remember. I remember Mom giving us a second chance because she still believes in us. She woke us up every morning for school. You made her drive us to cop drugs, because we could barely walk.

Sin- No. Mom believed you could do it. I had nothing to do with that. I let you make people believe we are innocent. Other than that you are useless. Even I use and abuse you, you Maggot.

Driz- No I’m not. I’m the reason we are still alive.

Sin- No. I am. You made me Driz. You couldn’t handle life alone. You needed my help. You let me have control. Then when shit got real and we started getting in trouble, you blamed me. You begged me to stop, so I did. Then when you couldn’t handle it anymore you would ask for my help. Well, I got tired of going back and forth. I like what I can do. With our looks and swag we can have whatever we want. Now shut the fuck up we are almost there.

Driz- (looking defeated stays silent.)

Sin- That’s what I thought.

The bus was five minutes away from the terminal when it started to sink in. Dakota realized he was on the bus on his way to Springfield instead of being in the car with his family. The pain he thought he learned to deal with crept up on him with no warning. He didn’t know what to do. Then he heard it “Last stop. Springfield bus terminal.” He got off and lit a cig.

Sin- What are you doing? We have things to do. You know this is the only way to live. This is the way to make all the pain go away. It’s me and you kid. I got you. Let’s get our phone activated, and then look around for a cutie with a booty. Ask her where the drugs are at and start the day. Look over there. Just our type. Short, shy, with a devious smile, wearing all black. Go talk to her, tell her you just came home, and you are looking for a good time.

Driz- (in a whisper) Set up your Facebook on the phone, let people know your home.

Sin- What the fuck did you just say pussy.

Driz- Nothing, I said this might not be such a bad welcome home.

Sin- Wow, the tight ass might know how to have fun after all.

Dakota went inside the bus terminal and bought a prepaid phone card to activate his phone. While he navigated through the terminal he activated his Facebook. He posted a message saying “the king’s back what’s good” followed by his phone number. The whole time the girl wearing all black was watching him.

Sin- Driz you sneaky piece of shit. I don’t know what your angle is or what you’re planning, but it don’t matter because shorty in black noticed us. I am in charge from here on out. Dakota I got this.

Driz- I didn’t do anything wrong I was just trying to set something up for later.

Sin- Yeah whatever you say.

Dakota- Excuse me lil miss I don’t mean to bother you, but I saw you and felt compelled to introduce myself. My name is Dakota, my friends call me Sin.

Girl- Hi.

Dakota- Just hi, does the person who said hi have a name.

Girl- (with a devious smile) Yes.

Dakota- May I have it or would you like me to call you lil miss all the time.

Girl- My name is Desire.

Dakota- Desire? (With an inquisitive look) Is that your real name or are you just giving me a nickname.

Desire- It’s my real name, no need for a nickname with a name like mine.

Dakota- (with a surprised look) I hear that, well Desire would you like to chill with me for a few. I just got out from a long lonely sentence, and would love for your company.

Desire- Sorry Sin, I’m not sure you’re ready for my type of company.

Dakota- I’m a big boy. You have no idea what I am or am not ready for.

Desire- Well I get high, so do you still want my company.

Dakota-(with a smooth smile) That’s just the type of company I want. When do we get this party started?

Desire-(with a surprised expression) We can get started right now. Here are a few bags and a fresh set of works.

Dakota- Damn girl, you’re everything I hoped you’d be.

They went into the bathroom and got high. They walked out hand and hand like they were together for years.

Sin- See Driz, this is what happens when I am in control. We have a beautiful girl, and we feel good. We are going to get laid, and we have only been home for forty-five minutes. muahhahaha (with a haunting laugh)

Driz- She only wants our money you stupid fuck.

Sin- You acting like I am to marry her. Just stop ruining my fun. On second thought you might have a point. I’ll have her show us the trap spot, and then have sex in the alley or something. Then send her on her damn way.

Driz- You’re such a pig. I can’t believe we are in the same body

Sin- Know what your problem is Driz,-.

Driz- No, what?

Sin- Shut the fuck up and I will tell you, you are always looking for acceptance from people who don’t give a fuck about what happens to you.

Driz- Oh, is that my problem. I’m not the one trying to bag a thot from the bus terminal, who will rob us the minute we close our eyes.

Sin- She is a needed piece to our night.

Driz- Not our night, your night Sin.

As we get to the trap spot Dakota’s phone starts to ring. Desire looks at him with an envious look as he answers.

Dakota-(in a pleasantly smooth voice) Hello; what’s good; nah I always have time for you; I am in Springfield, by myself; I’m in something right now but if you give me a few hours I will most definitely call you back; what you about to get into; damn it’s like that (he laughs); well, be careful and if you need anything give me a call. (Desire turns to walk away) Ok beautiful Imaholla. (In a pleading voice) Desire where you going?

Desire- Are you for real?

Dakota- What?

Desire- you have other bitches calling your phone right in front of me.

Dakota- Firstly what your mouth about my little sister, second, you’re not my girl, are you?

Desire- Your sis? Then why tell her that you were by yourself?

Dakota- I wanted her to feel like she was going to be the first person I hung out with when I came home.(he gently grabs hold of her hand) please come with me, we have a lot to do, and I need you to be a part of it.(he looks at her with his smooth smile)

Desire- Sin, I don’t know what it s but I believe you.

Dakota-(sighs with relief)

They go in to the trap house and buy coke and dope.

Sin- That was close what the fuck Driz! Why, why did you have to let her know we were home? You could have done anything, and I wouldn’t have thought twice.

Driz- So the tin man does have a heart. I’m happy she called; she was the one who always slowed us down.

Si- NO, she always slows you down. I don’t know why, she seems to make you stronger. She was your girlfriend. I came after her; you made me because you were alone. Now she pops back up and you almost ruin my night. Luckily for me I am a damn good liar.

Driz- We’ll see, I know you fell in love with her to. You have done things for her, things that I wouldn’t have been able to do. Back then I thanked you for it. I still do because she loves us more for it. We’re not all bad Sin.

Sin- I never said we were bad. I just do things to survive.

Driz- Just admit you love Chentele and I’ll leave it be (whispers to himself) for now.

Sin- (in a pained voice) I did, until she left us for dead; like everybody else in our life. I’m not going to allow anyone to hurt us again. That’s that, no I am going to enjoy my night so just shut the fuck up.

The phone rings, while Dakota is in a foggy haze, he unconsciously answers it. It’s Chentele.

Dakota-(in a raspy tone) Hello?

Chentele-(sobbing and gasping for air) Baby, please.

Dakota now more alert jumps up.

Dakota- Chentele what’s wrong? Please breath and tell me what’s wrong.

Chentele-(chokes up, then takes a deep breath) They raped me.

Dakota froze at the words.

Sin-(in an even tone) Driz, Driz you there?

Driz-(in a stutter) I, I, I’m here.

Sin- I know what I said earlier, but rape is something we both don’t stand for. I got your back on this one. You take it from here.

Driz-(in a detached voice) Yeah.

Chentele starts to cry even harder.

Dakota- Babe where are you?

Chentele-(in between sobs) I’m on my way to my moms’ house.

Dakota- I’m on my way baby, I’m sorry.

They hang up

Desire- Who you talking to calling baby like I ain’t right here.

Dakota- It don’t matter I have to go, thanks for looking out.

Desire- You aint shit, what kind of name is Dakota anyway.

Dakota- Yeah I know, who you talking to. Desire? More like disaster. I’m out.

Dakota walked off and caught a taxi to Chentele’s house. When he walked in and seen her face, bruised, bloody, and swollen, he felt a sudden rage. All could do was stare.

Sin- They will pay, every last one of them.

Driz- I want that as much as you, but she needs us right now.

Sin- You’re always worried about someone else. That’s why we are here. I didn’t protest anything till now. Now I want to help and you want to shut me down? No, just sit back and shut the fuck up. Since you won’t handle this like a man, I will.

Driz- Sin just stop and-.

Sin- No you stop and let me do this.

Chentele looks at Dakota and tries to be the soldier he loves. The she walked over and hugged him. He lifted her chin till their eyes met.

Dakota-(in a soothing voice) Chen, tell me what happened.

Chentele- When I hung up the phone wit you me and a couple of girls went to cop from some new guys, in Westside; at Tony’s old house. The girls didn’t want to try the dope, but you know me I don’t like to waste money.

Dakota-(in an even detached tone) Right.

Chentele squeezed Dakota tighter.

Chentele- So I asked for a sampler, he gave me three bags. After I shot up I instantly felt weird. The dealers threw the girls out, next thing I know they were all over me. I fought back just like you taught me, but I was really high.

Dakota, gazing into her eyes deeply shed one tear, which sent Chentele into a sobbing frenzy.

Dakota- Chen it’ll okay I got you, I am here now, I got you.

Dakota rocked her to sleep repeating this as if in a trance.

Sin- They will pay in blood for this.

Driz- Wait, let’s think about this.

Sin- Do you think they stopped to think when she begged them to stop?

Driz stayed silent.

Sin- That’s what the fuck I thought.

Dakota went into the other room and lifted an old ceiling tile, he pulled out his old gun. He walked upstairs took Chentele’s mother’s car keys and started to drive to Tony’s old house.

Driz- Sin, listen I feel your pain I do, but this won’t help. If you go in there and shoot these guys, our life is over.

Sin- Our life has been over we have done a total of ten years in prison; we are hooked on heroin; and we have no family.

Driz- Our life was never over, it’s just every time it would get started, I would get scared and ask you to save me. In all reality, I didn’t need saving. People have always offered help, we just never seen it as advice, only as put-downs.

Sin- That’s because it was put-downs we lived on the streets. Driz, it wasn’t always easy, remember we slept under bridges, on park benches. Remember? And when we asked for help, they all said, “No.”

Driz- That’s where you’re wrong; we didn’t ask for help. We only asked for a place to sleep.

Dakota pulled up to the house.

Sin- Shut up. You’re wrong; we tried.

Driz- No, I tried, then gave up to you. You ask why people turned us away. Look down, stupid, we have a loaded gun in our lap with you around people are scared.

Sin- We have done so much bad, we have to make some sort of difference, and this will be it.

Driz- Then what? We will be gone, and she will be alone. She called because she loves us, Sin. We make a difference to her.

Sin- She called us because I get shit done.

Driz- Listen to yourself. Every time you get shit done, we wind up having to hide. Then something else bad happens to the ones we love.

Sin- Then I deal with that too.

Driz- What if we decided to just always stick around? Maybe the nonsense would stop.

Sin- She wants this; I know it. Stay out of my way, Driz.

Driz- Is it her who wants this or is it you.

Dakota gets out of the car, puts the gun in his waist. Before he takes his first step, his phone rings: it’s Chentele. He answers it.

Dakota- (In a quivering voice)- Hello?

Chentele- (Crying)- Please come home. You don’t have to do this. Please just come home.

Dakota- Babe, it’s gonna be OK. They won’t get away with this.

Chentele- What if you don’t get away with this? I’m tired of losing you. I need you right now.

Dakota- Babe, I will be–click–Chentele? Chentele? Hello? (Dial tone)

Dakota stands outside of the car, shaking.

Driz- See, Sin we do make a difference. All our life we have made a difference to our family to our brothers and sisters. We were just caught up in ourselves that we forgot about everyone else. Anytime anyone is in trouble they call us. You know why? We have felt there pain. Sin, we talk to people, and they listen if we are going to make a difference why not make it a positive one. You know what over the years with you I have realized one thing emotionally you are a pussy. I understand it’s okay to be scared. It makes us human. People turned their back because we’re detached from reality, and people are afraid of what they don’t understand. We are smart, creative, persistent, daring, persuasive, and loving. We have a woman who loves us for us, not our violent tendencies. When we are on the right track we have the world under our thumb. Sin, I know you’re scared. Please let me help.

Sin- How are you gonna help me? You made me.

Driz- I’m not scared to be hurt anymore. I’m starting to understand that the pain we feel has made us stronger because I stopped dwelling on it. I want more for us, and so does Chen. You say you are around because I needed you to cover my pain. She covers my pain now. Just go.

For the first time in a long time, Dakota starts to cry, not from fear, but from allowing himself to feel.

Driz- Sin? Sin?

Driz- Well, looks like we are done.

As Dakota turns to get back in the car, a car at the corner raced up. It was the cops, they hop out of their car, and raced to the door of the house with an arrest warrant, pulling the dealers out in cuffs. Dakota picked up his phone and called Chentele.

Dakota- Hey.

Chentele- Hey.

Dakota- I’m coming home. (Click)

When Dakota pulled into the driveway, Chentele was waiting. The car doesn’t even stop rolling before Dakota is out and running to Chentele’s embrace. They cry.

Dakota (Whispers)- Thank you for saving me.

Chentele- What?

Dakota- I love you.

Chentele- I’ve always loved you.

They both walk into the house feeling like life as they knew it would never be the same.

Sin- Driz, you have done a lot in life without me and now I see you don’t need me anymore but just know if you ever slip I will be there to take charge no matter the cost.

Driz- I will never fall because I know life isn’t about how many times you fall it’s about how many times you get back up that makes you who you are. I have learned a lot from you but you will never run my life again.

Sin- We will see.

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