She Use to Be the Sweetest Girl(2)

By: Linette King



I could hear a beat in my head as I began to freestyle while watching Murda from my window:



God! Why my life like this? Who chose these hands that I fight with? Frightening days I’m tender. Lonely? My nights is! Losing my love or loving all that I lose. His swag, body, aggression, what am I supposed to do? Uh! Will he protect me, hug me tight and caress me? Or stress me, take off like my father and just neglect me? Check! I’m 17 but my problems much older. It’s hard to focus with the world on my shoulder. Tired of crying, tired of living in fear. Mama fucking for crumbs like I ain’t even much here. Sick of living in the hood but I ain’t got a choice. I know I’m trapped inside the trap but I’mma have a voice.



I heard Nette groaning in her sleep and cut my freestyle short before she woke up completely. I rushed to the door just as Pee Wee was leaving. When I got halfway down the flight of stairs, I realized I forgot my book bag. I hauled ass back up the stairs and into our small, cramped apartment. I ran directly into my mama as she was getting her underwear out of her behind. I shook my head at the thought of her not having time to take them off, so he slid them to the side. I sucked my teeth and continued past her when I was yanked backwards by my ponytail.

“Bitch, who you suckin’ yo teeth at?!” my mama gritted in my face. Spit flew from her mouth and landed on my nose but that was nothing compared to her breath. I didn’t respond because I didn’t want to throw up in her face. I held my breath as I waited for her to let me go. She roughly pushed my head back as tears began to build up behind my eyes. “You gone have ta start pullin’ yo weight ‘round here!” she yelled at my back.

I ignored her because I didn’t know what she meant. I was aggravated because I was already running late and now I would have to fix my hair and run to the bus stop. I grabbed my hard hair brush off of our six drawer dresser that was missing two drawers and began fixing my ponytail. I worked real fast to get back right before I glanced in the mirror. Once I was sure I looked ok, I grabbed my purse and backpack and ran down the flight of stairs for the second time that morning.

As soon as I exited the building door, I could hear the bus coming so I hauled ass to make sure I didn’t miss it. We don’t have a school bus that comes to this neighborhood, it’s a city bus that stops at the corner. If you’re not there when the bus rolls in they just won’t stop. I’ve seen them do a slow roll plenty of times because they’re trying not to get robbed. In those times, you would be quick to get pulled off on. I use to tell Ms. Franklin all the time how strong her pull off game was until her old ass pulled off on me and I had to walk all the way to school. Now I shoot daggers at her with my eyes every time I get on the bus.



Bam! I ran full speed into something and the ground hard. It hurt so bad when I came in contact with the ground that I wanted to cry. My hands burned something serious as I looked up into the dark, cold eyes of Murda. His facial features softened as he extended his hand to help me up. I frowned at him and swatted his hand out of my face. “Move!” I said as I rolled my eyes and stormed past him. I took off in a sprint again and made it to the bus stop just in time.

It was just my luck that after running all the way to the bus stop, there would be no seats available. I stood in the aisle and held the rail as I panted heavily so I could catch my breath. As many mornings as I’ve had to run to the bus stop, I should be used to it, but I’m not. I looked around at the passengers briefly and noticed there were a few eyes on me. I could see clearly that three men were checking me out and I don’t blame them.

See I know I’m bad, but my current home situation won’t allow me to date. I can’t bring anyone over to my house and I have to be home every day by 7pm. School lets out at 3:30 and by the time I make it back to my neighborhood, it’s almost 5 o’clock. Then I have homework, I shower; then go to bed so I can wake up and do it all over again.



I have two best friends that I know everything about but they don’t know anything about me. Well, I guess I’m their best friend. I guess I find it extremely hard to trust people because I know the kind of things my oldest sister, Sabrina has done to people that she claims she rides for.

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