Get It How We Live:Girls In The Hood 2(4)

By: Sunny Giovanni

“Honestly I can’t wait for Ace to get home. I think everything will be better.”

“You think so, huh?”

“I know so.” Finally, Emma slapped a real smile on her face and lifted the arm rest to retrieve a Black & Mild and lit it for Leslie. This would be her first time smoking and she hated it. The look on her face when she inhaled it to bring the orange glow at the tip alive proved it, and Leslie snickered at her and took it out of her mouth. “How the fuck do you smoke those things?” she coughed.

“Don’t worry about it, little one,” she giggled and set the wooden tip of her cigar between her lips. “It’s for G’s only.”

“Whatever.” Emma fanned the smoke and grabbed their bag of tacos down from the dashboard to snag one.

On the radio, what Leslie considered her theme song, blasted through the woofers. “Bed Full of Money” performed by Charlie Baltimore was her anthem because it spoke to her. She got her ends at any given cost and she literally woke up with a bed full of money after a good day, only to have to recount it all and stash the majority of it for lawyer fees and rainy days. Even though Ace had his own money, Marciano froze his accounts so that Leslie couldn’t get her hands on any of his son’s funds. It hadn’t bothered Leslie, it only made her snicker on the inside of how a grown man with millions could be so childish and petty. Ace chose right when he sought out Leslie. She went right over Marciano’s head to a couple of people that Andrew bartered with in El Paso. For his coke he’d exchange them pills. He could trust them since their supply was pure from Mexico and he vouched for Leslie because he and Ace had become so close before he and Leslie decided to be together. Andrew silently volunteered to be a safety net if Leslie ever needed one, but knowing she would never ask for one the best thing he could do was give her a connect.

Not only did Leslie sling powder every chance she got, but she had a bootleg at her house. If you needed single cigarettes, cans of beer, nacho plates, candy, chips, soda, cookies, rolling papers or household items she had it. She’d developed a system of couponing which brought in more toiletries, laundry goods and cleaning supplies than she needed. Since her apartment was in Lubbock and it be an 8-hour drive from there to Ace’s apartment in Houston, she chose to stay in Lubbock until the weekends when her and Layla would return. She’d serve there first and scour the streets with Andrew when she’d reach Houston. Meanwhile, her neighbors who had been thirty minutes away from major grocery chains and discount stores, would beat down her door every day. They either had the munchies or couldn’t travel far for something for their house, like air freshener. Leslie had a hustle and it was a damn good one. Marciano didn’t stand a chance with a girl who never wanted to scrape her bare ass on concrete and who didn’t want a nine-five, but had to keep her daughter clothed, fed and housed, and had to keep things running smoothly until her love returned.

She figured Ace didn’t ask questions in her letters, over the phone or during her visits because he automatically assumed what she was doing. But at times he often wondered how much work she could’ve been moving to keep a solid $1,000 on his books every month. He knew that she lived in a family unit on her campus which was rent free but she still had car insurance, cable, things that she needed for his daughter that she needed to handle, and daycare fees. He feared that she was fucking around with grown man business, but he made it up in his mind that it would have to stop when he came home. He didn’t want her doing anything dangerous out there with their daughter in tow. Even when she visited him she was fresh to death and almost killed his swag, and even their daughter look like Leslie had just popped tags on her little outfits and onesies. The first thing he’d do was steal off on Sam or Andrew for letting her do something that would land her in his place when they’re supposed to be looking out for her in his absence.

Five hours into the ride and Emma and Leslie had to get out of the car and stretch and use the restroom before they switched seats in the car, when Leslie got a call about her food stamps and how much of them she’d be willing to let go of this month. She even sold some of the government’s benefits that she had been granted when she was pregnant. The girl touched every corner there was to touch and her family and friends didn’t have to worry about anything.

Also By Sunny Giovanni

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