i’ve seen plenty of people tremble. they tremble in fear because they know that harm that is about to befall them. whether or not they deserve it does not matter. but when you see someone tremble in fear it makes you smile. how could it not? you haven’t had to do a thing, save stand in front of them, and they begin to tremble. no effort is even required to elicit such a response, if you all ready have the standing to be intimidating you know you’ve made your mark. i’ve heard of people who tremble when they cry, but i’ve rarely witnessed it. i attribute their shaking in those situations to being a junkie, they think that by crying they can get the drugs that their body craves. of course their body reacts to the lack of drugs. withdrawal even for a short amount of time can ravage the body. then i’ve heard of people who tremble due to anger. that makes no sense to me. when i’m made i punch someone or something. it’s as simple as that. but then in this place, i experienced it. tal was talking to me, saying his usual spiel about how mum and dad always loved me, how he loved me as well, then he mentioned that after i left he suffered. that caught my attention. tal was supposed to prosper after i left, not suffer.
i pressed him on the matter, wanting to know how exactly he had suffered. he was reluctant at first, finding it hard to even share what had happened. nothing was supposed to have happened though. all dad had ever done was read the paper and mum doted on tal as if the world would allow her to do so forever. then he admitted it, dad had begun to beat him after i left. both him and mum. of course i wanted to punch someone but only tal was in front of me. he didn’t deserve it. dad was the one who needed to be punched. so all i could do was tremble with anger, clenching my hands into tight fists. it wasn’t obvious though. i knew my anger was palpable, even tal wasn’t sure what to make of my response. he’d only ever seen me mad at him when he had run into me. it was different this go around. i was ready to kill dad, whenever i did get a chance to see him again.
that was said through gritted teeth. it probably sounded more like a growl if anything, but tal just seemed to understand and only nodded. i didn’t know how he could only nod at that. why wasn’t he pissed off at dad? why hadn’t he and mum run away from dad? why didn’t they fight back? all right, tal wouldn’t have been able to do that much damage but he could have done something.
"what will you do?"
that was all he could muster as a response, but it was a valid question. although the real question was what wouldn’t i do? dad had only ever read he paper, that was all i could remember. he hadn’t given a damn about tal or myself and he seemed to leave mum to keep the peace and run the house. so why would he start beating on mum and tal? there was no reason for it. there wasn’t anything so important that he had lost. my leaving couldn’t have been the straw that broke the camels back. what did it matter to him if i left? it wasn’t as if they tried to find me, at least not that i was ever aware of. i’m sure they might have, but they didn’t try hard enough. i was still just a kid, a cocky and arrogant one no less, but it was possible to find me. when i’d first left i wasn’t all that brilliant in running away but it had worked.
"he’ll beg to die."
"…can i help?"
i was surprised by his response. this was tal talking. the brother who was always the kind one. the one who couldn’t hurt a fly even he wanted to. the one who was still just skin and bones without a bit of muscle to actually do any real harm. and yet, here he was standing in front of me wanting to help hurt dad. i can only imagine what he went through with mum. he’d always been the one to get along with mum, it was as if they connected more than anyone else. if he got a chance to hurt dad maybe it’d be his revenge. revenge was always sweet. i knew how great it was. hell, it always made me feel better to get revenge against someone. either way tal could help if he wanted. throw a few punches dad’s way before i continued with the dirty work. there was so much i could put dad through that wouldn’t kill him. tal wouldn’t have to know the details. he’d just get his bit of revenge in and all would be well and clear in his mind. perhaps if he saw what i did to dad he’d be pleased. no. that wasn’t possible. he’d be sickened by it as most people would. that would be the normal response to the kind of pain i could put a person through.
you’d think family was important. you’d think it was everything. well, there is a little truth to that. i only severed all ties with them because i knew what i was getting into. the drug world would not be kind to them, they wouldn’t survive. they weren’t built for it. so i left them all behind. sure i didn’t care about dad too much, all he ever did was read the paper, but mum and tal were the two people i did care about. even though i can remember mum’s all too often disapproving look for some of the things i did she was still my mum. the only one i’d ever have no matter what. she was supposed to love me, which she did. i’m sure things changed after i left. they had to. then there was tal. that kid would follow me to hell and back if he could. he might as well have but after i left i didn’t see him for years. that worked out just fine. he would have only been a casualty. and so i transformed myself, i became a brute even though i was still just a kid. i showed no emotion and i made myself stronger both physically and mentally. that was the only way i’d be able to survive. it worked. i made few connections that were more than platonic, everyone i dealt with was either a junkie or a part of the drug world. dealers, runners, and makers were who i learned to interact with even more. that was my way to move up the ranks and gain the power i wanted. i wasn’t bound to be a runner forever. i closed myself off and acted more machine than human. when i became a dealer i loosened up, if only a bit. i had power and money. there were makers who’d only give their product to me because they knew they could trust me. i was a man of my word. people wanted to be on my good side because they knew i’d follow through on any promise i made to them. i wasn’t extravagant in what i promised. there was no road paved in gold, at least not for them. that was saved for myself. i knew i’d made it when i had people wanting to deal for me. that was because i was the only one who had drugs to sell. all the makers were only wanting to go through me. that’s when i became a drug lord.
i had all the money and power. there was no stopping me. and so i transformed a bit more. i became a little more ruthless. i couldn’t afford to let anyone think they could cross me. they would pay for such treason against me. i became arrogant, not that it was a bad thing. i was on top of the world. what else was i suppose to be? i was on the opposite side of the spectrum from being humble. i don’t think i’ve ever heard that word associated with my name, not that i’d ever want to be described as such. while i had been transforming apparently tal had as well, unknown to me. i didn’t find out until i arrived at this place when that other side came out. i’m still not sure what to call it. all i know is something caused it. tal had changed in such a way that he wasn’t even tal anymore. at least i was still myself, but tal had changed almost completely. that other side had been created for a reason. i had only transformed myself, changed how i appeared in order to survive in the drug world. nothing had happened to tal that would cause such a reaction, had it? no. it couldn’t have. i’d left him in perfect condition. he’d never even mentioned a thing when we did run into each other as we got older, not that i gave him a chance to, but still. there was nothing to cause it. but it was there for some reason. and it bothered me.
before i left home summer was the best time of year. mum always made sure that we went to the beach. mind you the water was more freezing cold than anything i can remember but it was worth it nonetheless. it was the only vacation we ever really got. i wonder if they still went on vacation after i left… either way it was memorable. tal was still just a kid and i was not yet in the drug world the last time we went. mum had made a big deal about us going, as usual, and while she was the one running around the house making sure everything was packed and ready dad was in his usual spot reading the paper. he never really enjoyed our vacation to the beach because while we were there he just sat in a beach chair and read the paper. some things never change. tal and i didn’t have much to pack save a towel, our trunks,a nd any toys we knew we wouldn’t forget and leave behind. tal didn’t really bring toys thought, instead he brought books. stupid, right? you can’t take those in the water and sand just gets stuck in the pages but that’s what he did. i brought my football. that was all i needed. i could kick it around and run after it. tal would sometimes leave his book sbehind to play with me but often would give up after a short while and return to his books. once tal and i had our backpacks ready mum had the car loaded with a picnic basket and a few beach chairs. all that was needed was dad. he moved lethargicly from his chair and to the car after mum went into the house to inform him that everything was packed and ready to go. tal and i were all ready in the car, sitting with our safety belts on and our backpacks at our feet. dad always drove for some reason. now that i think about it sometimes we took longer than usual to get to the beach. i bed dad drove slower just to give us less time there, although you’d think that he would want to get out of the car as soon as possible in order to continue reading the paper.
this time he drove us straight there in record time. apparently there was something good in the paper he needed to read. as soon as we were parked in the lot we saw that there were only a couple of other vehicles meaning the beach would practically be ours. once dad put the car in park i opened my door, took off my safety belt, grabbed my backpack, and dashed out of the car. tal followed my lead, although he was behind due to my head start, and i raced towards the bathrooms. once inside the stall i changed into my trunks that had been stuffed into my backpack underneath my football. when i was ready i could hear tal just beginning to open his stall door and unzip his backpack. i ran out of my stall heading towards the beach. soon the pavement under my feet changed to sand. mum was barely opening the back of the car while dad was settled on reading the paper while still in the driver’s seat. i dropped my backpack onto the sand and slid my feet out of the shoes i was wearing before reaching the water. mum would set up the blanket and basket of food near my backpack and tal would set his own backpack next to mine once he was ready. as i stepped into the water it was freezing cold but i kept going and a wave crashed into me. it was both a rush and a shock after that first wave because although it was freezing i wanted to see how far i could go. i dove into the water, knowing that i could get used to the temperature even if only for a bit, and swam out. i know i didn’t get too far but as a kid i thought i had swam for miles. when i came to the surface i saw tal just arriving at the water, barely stepping into it before it was too cold to swim in. instead tal ran along the sand where the water was barely touching his feet. i kept swimming and tal eventually settled down into one of the chairs mum had brought only to open up a book and read. dad had even joined tal and sat in a chair still reading the paper. i don’t remember much of what mum did, besides setting everything up but when everything was set up to her standards she called me in from the water.
i was glad to leave the water, considering i was practically numb from how cold it was, but i knew we were about to eat. as i ran along the beach the sand stuck to my feet, not that i could feel them, and i grabbed my towel from my backpack before sitting on the blanket mum had set up. mum began unpacking the meal she had prepared for us. i can’t remember what it was exactly but it was delicious, that much i do remember. she was always good at making food. at the beach things were different. while we ate dad put his paper aside, showing his face and listening as tal and i talked about school and what we were doing. mum provided all the questions while we had all the answers. it was actually fun. i believe that’s the right word. it was a regular day where nothing went terribly wrong. i didn’t earn looks of scorn from mum or dad, tal ended up playing football with me for a bit, and when the day was finally over and we had to leave the beach i was disappointed for some reason. i didn’t want it to end. maybe that was a sign though, that i all ready knew i’d never be returning with my family again.
since i’ve always been the one to look after myself i found that at times it was easier to let others help me out. no, i wasn’t taking freebies or handouts. so i suppose it wasn’t so much that i let others help me out, rather i was letting them do what they did best and paid them for their services. i wasn’t much of a cook. in my first few years of the business i probably should have starved to death, but i didn’t. i just bought snacks and lived off of the junk food that i was able to buy. Pathetic I know, but there wasn’t exactly a kitchen where I could prepare a feast, not that I would have known how to do that anyways. as i made my way up in the ranks though i discovered it was so much nicer and easier to buy a meal instead of make one. that meant that i went out to restaurants to eat all the time. that was rather simple and actually drew the right kind of attention to me. instead of being a slum low life junkie who couldn’t make it in the real world i lived a high class life with what i did and people saw me for that. sure some knew of the drugs but others didn’t. those who knew nothing of the drugs thought i was a man of stature and importance, which i was, and also one of wealth. those who knew about the drugs just thought i lived a higher life than the rest of the world. they all had the right assumptions, although it was nice when they didn’t always put drugs into the mix. not that i was ashamed of how i made my money, rather i didn’t want everyone to know my business. what was the point in expanding in the presence of the wrong king of people? sure they would have the money but they also had the resources available to them to get me known and into trouble if they ever thought i’d cheated them. there was no reason to deal with that.
you could say that i made it in with the restaurant business, not only with constantly giving them business but with their own people returning the favor. plenty of the employees loved to have a fix that they could enjoy in the freezer in the back of the restaurant. of course they paid me in cash for the goods but sometimes they would make sure that my food was made faster, as a top priority and before anyone else’s. they knew exactly who they should serve and want to have on their side. sometimes my food would all ready be there at the table, ready and waiting for me, still piping hot from the stove. apparently different places always had my usual ready and waiting for me at the same time, whether or not i showed up was another question. i didn’t need anyone tracking my movements of course so i kept things at random but there were only so many restaurants in the city that i could go to and enjoy. no one ever found a pattern and i enjoyed my meals each day. it was rare for anyone to join me for a meal, considering i ate alone and had no one, but sometimes i’d run into edelin who was busy being the arm candy of another man who didn’t stand a chance with her. she was only in it for the looks and the fun time. i can’t even begin to explain the swell of pride i had whenever she’d spot me and end up coming to talk with me instead of her date. not that her presence made me any better since it was the other way around. but it was the look on her date’s face that got me every time. pure and unabashed jealousy. they couldn’t even keep her interest with me around. not that they were expected to. i was the best thing around.
it’s funny to hear the word gratitude. why? well supposedly you need to show it and let others know that you are grateful for what they’ve done but tell me, can you be grateful for things that no one has done for you? i started off doing everything myself. all right, before i left home mum did a lot that i should give thanks for but i don’t. why? perhaps it’s because i’ve forgotten most all of what she could have possibly done for me that was good. the bad stuff is easy to remember and there was plenty of it. it’s not too hard to forget considering it’s been years since i saw her last. add in memories that have easily been replaced due to time and it’s simple. i have no one to thank but myself as far as i’m concerned. the only other credit may go to my parents for having me but that’s an easy task. anyone could do what they had. in the drug world people were glad to receive the goods i had to offer but there is no such thing as gratitude there. they are paying customers. they get what they pay for. no more, no less. now i only know thanks or thank you as simple words given out when being polite, which is a joke, or when giving false gratitude. of course the words are never spoken by me or to me. they’re not needed or welcome in what i do.
then there’s tal. yeah, my own brother, who after having his life saved by me thanks me. i hadn’t done anything too spectacular really. all i’d done was beat up some thugs who thought they could put him in a world of pain for something he’d done. of course i knew tal well enough to know he hadn’t done a thing wrong. if anything the guys saw him as an easy target and went for it, not that i could blame them. tal was an easy target for anyone. there was little to no muscle on him, he was no fighter. the best he could do was curl up into a ball and hope for the best. sure he sometimes fought back against me when we ran into each other. those were the times when i punched him to keep him away. at first he hadn’t fought back, still too surprised to see me, but after that he did fight back, trying to prove something. i’m still not exactly sure what but i’m guessing it was something about wanting to prove himself to me like he was worthy of my time and effort. he never lasted though, so he could never win. but after saving his ass from those thugs he thanked me. i didn’t find my actions worthy of gratitude and i figured it was that false gratitude i just told you about. something he just gave because it seemed appropriate, that meant he was also being polite which would fit his personality. he was a people pleaser and a perfect gentleman. that’s what everyone wanted right? wrong. but that’s a story for another time.
his thanks stopped me, if only for a moment. what was a person supposed to say to that? i’d heard it in passing plenty of times, just from the conversations i could overhear from other people, but at the moment i couldn’t think of what they were. of course they weren’t something i’d normally say but it would have at least given me something to base my response off of. so instead all i could say was don’t mention it. very insightful words huh? but it was the truth at least. he didn’t need to bring it up. he didn’t need to talk about it. he didn’t need to mention it to a soul. no one needed to know about me helping him out. they’d only get suspicious as they would have before. of course i’d remember saving his ass, in case i needed to use it as leverage against him later, but i wouldn’t have a problem keeping it to myself. tal just looked at me and smiled, as if that was an acceptable response for him. that was all he was going to get so he couldn’t expect anymore than that.
it’s always nice to have order even if at times it seems more like chaos. often enough it’s just planed chaos but no one is able to understand it. they’re so used to the order they think they have and need when there is so much more available to them. they can create their own order but they would all rather just do as they’re told and follow what has all ready been set out for them. a spineless bunch they are. there are those who are enlightened enough to be open to a new sort of order. something that they can follow blindly because it’s so different they want to believe it. i created that sort of order. i was powerful enough that i had people at my beck and call, wanting to fulfill whatever crazed demands i could come up with if only for the drugs. i didn’t often give them what they wanted because i wasn’t that generous. rather their loyalty to me gave them my blessing and allegiance. they gained enough just by being associated with me. they could be my men. they could work for me. they could gain access to anything if they were known to be mine. that held power for them. sure the drugs came in later but soon drugs weren’t enough. it was the lifestyle that being associated with me brought them that they desired. i’m not exactly trusting. hell, i can’t even name one person who i ever really trusted besides my brother tal. but we were both so young that it was easy to trust them. as i grew older i realized that the only person i could trust was myself. everyone else was just a casualty waiting to happen.
with those men who loved obeying my orders i formed an inner circle of sorts. did i trust them with my life? maybe a little bit if only because i had to. i couldn’t run a whole city on my own now could i? i allowed them to take care of the minor details. protecting what drugs i was sending out while making sure all the right payments were received and if they weren’t, well let’s just say people started disappearing. there was no room for slack or sympathy. that couldn’t pay for drugs. only cold hard cash could. and so that inner circle almost became like a new family that i’d never had. they never questioned me, never doubted me, and they never wanted much from me. they had all they needed just from being in my presence. not that i could blame them. who wouldn’t want to be around me? to them it wasn’t about the money as much as it was for me. i had all the money because i had all the power. they had the pleasure of working for me and being associated with me which was power enough. sure they got the drugs and money they wanted but that was nothing. i had my own loyal bunch of dogs willing to run around for me and do what was needed. it made life easier for me, until that damn simple deal.
things had been going quite well. i was associating myself with a few mob bosses who wanted in on receiving drugs. of course i didn’t trust them but i knew i could make a pretty profit it i allowed them to do some of the selling. if you’re going to get your hands dirty make sure someone else can take the fall for you. one of my inner circle guys skri had a deal he needed to finish one night. for some reason he invited me along. i don’t know what it was that brought me to even consider going with him, perhaps it was the fact that it was one of the mobs i’d been discussing business with or i was just bored. either way i went. it was at a typical spot, the middle of an alleyway, but something was different. i felt it right away. the deal wasn’t set up as a normal one would have been. i was the only one there with skri while the mob had quite a few hired hands with them. there were at least seven guys present, including the one who seemed to be in charge. a few words were exchanged about wanting to see the cash before handing over the goods but that’s when the truth was finally discovered.
"i want what you have. it’s as simple as that. with you out of the picture everything will be mine."
"it doesn’t work like that. you don’t even know the source. they only sell to me. if i’m gone they go to. they know what they’re supposed to do."
"you think everyone is loyal to you but you have a traitor in your midst."
i knew my sources were safe. no one had ever figured out where i had gotten the drugs from. they were too busy being pleased at the fact they could even have the drugs. my sources would leave and head elsewhere. at the mention of traitor though my eyes immediately turned to skri. his expression showed his shock and horror, as if he couldn’t believe he’d just been turned over to me when he was supposed to remain anonymous. that was enough for me though. skri was dead as far as i was concerned and that guilty expression would remain on his face even when he was dead. before i got my chance though the little leader of the mob sent his own men on me. they came at me with fists ready. they thought they were ready for a brawl but they had no idea. i kept an eye on skri as he scuttled away from the blood bath that was about to happen. he would be next. i wasn’t going to allow him to survive. as the six guys circled around me i knew they thought it would be an easy fight. why wouldn’t they? the odds were in their favor. at least any onlooker would think the same. but they hadn’t seen me fight. they didn’t know my strength and power. i wasn’t about to let them forget it either, it would be the last thing they would remember.
the first idiot brave enough to throw a punch was quickly knocked out and killed. it wasn’t that hard. a quick uppercut into his gut to knock the wind out of him before three blows to the side of his head made it all too easy to kill him. he crumpled to the ground as his associates looked at him before their rage made them all want to jump me at once. i was bigger and stronger than they were though so their attempt to dog pile on me before kicking the shit out of me failed miserably. i took them out, one by one with ease. their deaths were all too simple. i turned my attention to their little leader who looked as if he just shit his pants. he was next and he knew it. then would come skri. before i was able to get to the leader though a gunshot rang out. who the hell brings a gun to a fist fight? there wasn’t any sort of decency in that. even i didn’t fight dirty or stoop that low. that gunshot brought me down though, straight through my back and into my chest. the force of the shot propelled me forward as i turned to see who had fired. it wasn’t even someone nearby. it was a shooter on a rooftop, far away from the blood bath i had just created. some weak little shit who decided to disrupt my new order and would end it for everyone else. everyone would have to go back to living their pathetic lives befor my order because of him. i never knew who he was, but i’d give anything to find out and kill him.
when they say run like the wind it almost sounds stupid when you think about it. the wind doesn’t run, it doesn’t have legs or feet. so how the hell are you supposed to run like it? one day i figured it out though. actually i ran faster than the wind. i don’t care what anyone says. i don’t need some scientist telling me that’s impossible or that such a claim needs to be tested. i know what i did so just take my word for it. i was about sixteen when it happened. i was a dealer, no longer just a runner for any of the other guys. i was on their level, or rather i was still better than they ever were but we were on the same playing field. i was set up one day though. i didn’t suspect it because the deal was supposed to be another guys but he couldn’t make it. he enlisted me, gave me the drugs, and said i’d get half the profit. i only took it because i had no other deals going on and i figured why not make a little extra cash without having to use my goods? the meet up was next to an abandoned building. it was run down but it was the least suspicious spot in the area. as i approached the place i had my backpack on, which held the goods and also threw off the pigs. i was still sixteen so i looked like any other school kid walking around. i made sure i didn’t look like i was homeless and kept my appearance up. because i did that it kept other dealers off my case, although i knew they were dealers they had no idea about me just yet. i wasn’t about to allow myself to be mixed in with a bunch of washed up junkies who were trying to work off an unpayable debt. i was better than they were. once i got to the building i realized i was the first one there. that wasn’t supposed to happen. ever. the buyer always needed to be there first and ready to go. the process was quick and easy. hand over the right amount of cash and the drugs were yours. then it was done. simple enough. with the buyer not there i was suspicious. whether or not something was wrong wasn’t the question. it was a question of what would happen in the time i was there. that’s when i heard the car. just the tires running over the curb and onto the pavement told me it was the pigs. i’d been set up. i looked around, knowing there was only one way out and the pigs knew it too. just as the sirens came on with the flashing lights i turned on my heels and took off. i bolted down around the building, my backpack slapping against me like a whip encouraging me to go faster. it was a good thing i kept up with playing sports and staying in shape like that. it always came in handy one way or another. i could hear the footfalls behind me pounding against the pavement along with the jingle of keys and other accessories that were held on a pig’s belt. i don’t know what all they have on those things other than a gun, but i’m sure they had plenty of other useful items they could use as needed. i wasn’t about to turn around and find out either. i could hear them calling out for me to stop. what made them think i was going to do that? if i was caught they’d send me to juvie undoubtedly or perhaps they’d go so far as to try me as an adult. why not? i was a dealer. they’d probably try to do a plea bargain though. if i were to rat out any of the other dealers or even a source i would get a lesser sentence. even if i got caught i would never do that. i’m not a rat. plus, i wouldn’t get caught. i couldn’t. i had other more important things to do.
as i ran i wasn’t sure how many were coming after me. i guessed about two but one was obviously out of shape as i heard the heavy panting after only running a short distance. i knew i could easily take the heavy pig but there had to be more around. they wouldn’t just send one car after me. there had to be more. drugs were a big deal, it wasn’t something to be ignored or trifled with. it brought in the biggest pay for those dealing it and for those who caught the culprits. i began to round the corner of the abandoned building making sure to head the opposite direction of the streets. i assumed that there would be more pigs waiting there and i was correct. i caught the expression of two more pigs out of the corner of my eye who were shocked to see me go right by them instead of straight into them. they thought i’d be an easy target but i was going to prove them wrong. they wouldn’t forget me anytime soon. i ran a bit faster now, unsure of which way to go. the back streets in the area weren’t that familiar but i knew to avoid the streets. i came up to a fence and immediately jumped onto it, having to scale it a few feet before turning myself around and jumping back to the ground. i saw the fives pigs running towards me for a split second, taking note that two were seriously lagging behind while only one seemed to have the lead on the other two by a few feet. i smirked a bit before i turned and began running around. i heard one start talking loudly into their walkie saying they needed backup and the “kid” was heading west. i was only a kid to them. i hadn’t even earned the title of culprit or suspect. that was pathetic, on their end at least. they weren’t even going to give me a proper title. there was no reason they could mistake me for being a regular kid who just happened to love running from the pigs. i heard the first pig hit into the fence and begin his struggle over it as i saw that ahead of myself there was the street, all ready lined with a pig car. great. i turned to see that there wasn’t anywhere else to go really, so i did the only thing i could think to do. i bashed my elbow into one of the building’s windows and climbed through it, finding that it was another abandoned building. i don’t remember if the glass cut me or anything like that but pain was nothing. i could handle that sort of thing. i ran through the building trying to figure my way out of it. i found the front door that led to the street but i knew there would be pigs there shortly. if i continued around in the same area though they would have me surrounded soon enough. i went through the front door just as some new pigs were starting towards it from the outside. they both fell over, much to their surprise, while i pushed through, making my into the street and running like the win. i was running so fast i can’t even describe it to you. forget the wind whipping through my hair as i was heaving and catching my breath as i kept up the sprint that soon changed into an all out race pace. no one was close to being behind me. i couldn’t even hear cars speeding after me. i was faster than all of them. no one could catch me, one one ever would.
it’s all you’re fault isn’t it? there’s no one else to blame for it. it was all your doing. only you.
i don’t think i ever did anything wrong to tal. how could i? everything i ever did was for the kid. all right, some ok most of it was for myself as well, but tal at least benefited from it. i was selfish enough to run away and leave him behind. i didn’t need him getting his hands dirty or falling deeper into the drug world than he even needed to be. i kept him as far away from it as anyone else could. he didn’t even know about it until he was older. sure i knew he’d figure out that i was into drugs and was dealing, the kid wasn’t that dumb, but i kept him safe. ignorance is bliss isn’t it? even when he tried to come after me i wouldn’t let him. i couldn’t let him. there was nothing to gain by letting him try and tag along in another adventure once more, no matter how fun it sounded. the adventure would have been different either way. we were older and it would only prove to be dark and twisted, nothing like the adventures we had when we were boys. his mind wouldn’t be able to handle that.
now that we’re here though i’ve seen it. something has changed about him. there’s another side to him. hell, even tal calls it his other side. i guess i call it his other side too, original i know but do i look like a creative genius? no. that’s not in my job description. even without a real name i can tell when it’s present. how can i tell when it’s present you ask? it’s in tal’s eyes. they suddenly go out. i’m not talking about him closing his eyes or his eyes falling out. i mean the light goes out in his eyes. there’s no more emotion. there’s just nothing in them. nothing to even show that he’s really tal save for his appearance. this other side of him is in his body but it’s a different mindset. it’s come out only once but that was one time too many. tal and i had been fighting, all because he couldn’t keep his damn mouth shut in this new place, and tal just seemed to give up. that wasn’t exactly surprising, he knew i was going to beat him to the edge of death. but just as i was getting ready to start a photograph stopped everything. trust me, i was surprise too when i discovered a stupid little photo had slowed me down. words were minced over it and before i knew it tal was sobbing. i’m not the type of person you want to cry around. not because i get emotional or anything, rather i have the opposite reaction than most people expect. tears mean nothing to me. i don’t care for tears. hell, i don’t even know the last time i cried but i’m certain that it was probably when i was a kid and i broke a bone or something like that. physical pain is understandable, but tal was just crying for no damn reason. that struck me too though. i hadn’t seen tal cry since we were kids and it was surreal to see him crying now and over nothing at that. he was just sick of fighting me i suppose and it brought up whatever delusional memories he had created that would make him cry.
suddenly that other side came out. it took him over completely. although it was in his body his tone was different, as were his eyes as i mentioned before. at first i hadn’t noticed it, only because i was glad tal had stopped crying. that’s when it spoke though.
"this is all your doing. you’re going to be the reason he’s gone forever and i get to be here."
"what the hell are you talking about? who are you?"
"i’m your creation. i’m here because of you. you’ve damaged your poor brother beyond repair. i’m his protection, his shield if you will. i was created to protect him from the likes of you and everything you’ve done."
at first i didn’t understand. i thought tal was playing a trick on me. i realized though that this other side wasn’t a trick, it was real. his words ate at me only a bit. i had created it? how the hell had i done such a thing? i hadn’t created anything. i hadn’t damaged tal. all right, there may have been some emotional damage done to him when i left while we were still kids but he had to have gotten over that. other than that i was the one who kept him safe. i only did hurt him when we were older and he ran into me. that was for him, not for myself. all right, i was selfish and it was for me as well. i wasn’t going to let him get killed if i could prevent it. i didn’t have time to go around the city tailing him just to make sure he was safe because that would more than likely ensure the fact that he would die.
"i haven’t done a damn thing to create you. just give me back my brother."
"oh no, he’s gone at the moment and isn’t going to return until you’ve suffered like he has. every time you two ever met after you left when you were kids has ended horribly for him. he was the one always hurt and upset. now it’s your turn to feel the same way. you can’t be spared from that."
"then i’ll just beat him out and make sure you don’t come back."
a twisted smile appeared on tal’s face but the other side was still in control. apparently he knew something that i didn’t. there was no point in waiting for him to say anything else so i went at him, grabbing tal’s body by the collar and throwing it against the wall. the other side was still in control and only continued to smile in a crumpled mess.
as you know by now money is power. sure there are those idiots that believe knowledge is power, but that does them no good. you don’t see many smart people making millions do you? there are some exceptions, but it’s not from all the stuff they learn in school or anything like that. those who have all the money, meaning they have the power, have found the one skill that they’re good at and used it to their advantage. that means my “knowledge” or skill would lie in being able to sell drugs because i wasn’t a fence sitter who didn’t know what i was doing because i was unprepared. i’m charming sure and i can easily work my way both into and out of any situation. having that sort of skill meant i had plenty of information made available to me as well. i liked to be informed, sure, who didn’t? having intel on the competition as well as buyers was important in order for my rise to the top. you think i was able to run an entire city just by making shit up as i went? no. it doesn’t work like that. there was one bit on information i never suspected though. it didn’t even get to me until i arrived here, in this place, wherever the hell this is. i hadn’t seen tal all that often and when we did run each other i would beat him off as usual, denying that we were in fact brothers or even related in the slightest. he was a persistent bugger though. sometimes he’d go out of his way to find me. i only know that because i one time sent a tail on him. no matter how bloody or beaten i’d leave him once i was finished with a pounding he’d always still try to find me. tell me how the hell that makes any sense.
in this new place though, when i first arrived, i ran into him by chance. not literally this time though. i had been walking around and he was here as well. how? i have no idea. then again i have no idea how the hell this place even exists or works. he spotted me and approached me though, which was surprising. after everything we’d gone through to get to this place he still thought it wise to approach me.
i was caught off guard for once in my life, or at least one of those few times that i could count on one hand. he wasn’t supposed to be here. how the hell had he arrived here anyways? i knew my own demise, but not tal’s.
"tal? what the hell are you doing here?"
"i could ask you the same thing, although i suppose we both all ready know the answer to that."
he had me there. his being here was going to be a guessing game, one that i wouldn’t win. but tal knew why i was here. he wasn’t that far gone and lost in his own fairy tales. old habits died hard though and i took his words to be spiteful. what the hell did he know? he had only chased after me because he thought he had something to gain. he would bring his fallen brother, the black sheep of the family back to the fold. our parents would glorify him for his efforts and think him to be even more perfect than he all ready was. they would still be dismayed at my being back in the home because i didn’t belong. mum would give me the same looks she used to give me for having adventures with tal that she did not deem appropriate.
"what the hell’s that supposed to mean? you think you know everything because you still live in that delusional world of yours."
"that’s not what i meant."
"you say that now."
"no, honest. it’s not that hard to know what happened to you is all i meant. i know your line of work, despite what you think."
"i know you knew. i didn’t think you that dumb and ignorant for all those years. you’re the brilliant one remember? but what’d you do to land here?"
he didn’t want to answer. tal looked down at the ground and i knew that he had something caught in his throat. apparently i had brought up something he hadn’t wanted to talk about. as if he could avoid it though. it took a few minutes before he finally looked up at me, but he still wasn’t ready to say anything. his eyes seemed to be pleading with me to just stop, don’t mention it, and never say it again. i had seen plenty of pleading looks with all my my drug dealing. so many junkies thought they could use the puppy dog eyes on me or even cry to get something out of me. it never worked though. with tal, i had a different reaction than i ever had with such a display of emotion. i almost felt guilty, as if i had killed tal. such wasn’t the case, considering i would have remembered that, but it was still strange to say the least. i folded my arms, still waiting for an answer that didn’t seem to be coming.
"don’t make me beat it out of you."
the pleading in his eyes left, if just for an instant. he still remembered what my beat downs were like. he knew that he would be in pain, so whatever terrible tale he needed to tell would be better than dealing with me.
"i was sick…."
"it killed me. it wasn’t preventable or anything like that. when they discovered it i knew i was going to die. they tried drugs and other meds but none ever worked."
that was something my reports of the city never told me. how could i not know that my own brother was sick? sure i had to keep him away and that soon turned into hatred, if only to help him, but to hear nothing even through the grape vine was strange. word traveled fast. so who had he told?
"just a few friends."
"not even mum or dad?"
"why the hell didn’t you tell me?"
"what would you have done? beat it out of me?"
there was venom in his words and i didn’t blame him. i probably would have started to fight him once more if he had approached me, but had he shared that he was sick i could have done something. the key word was could. i’m not a doctor or anything, although i know how to treat minor wounds pretty well, but the drugs i sold could’ve helped him. maybe even eased up the pain he was bound to be in. would i have believed him though? probably not. i would have seen it as a desperate move for him to get the attention he so desperately needed from me. so in the end who knows what would have happened. nothing could change the past now.
"i have better stuff than all the doctors in the city. i could’ve drugged you up so much that there wouldn’t be any recollection of pain or even the fact that you were sick if you wanted."
"that’s not what i wanted. there was only one thing i ever wanted, especially after i found out i was sick…."
"and what was that?"
tal’s gaze returned to the ground once more, unwilling to share what other dark secret he had. sure i hadn’t expected him to be sick with something that wasn’t preventable, but what else had he been able to keep hidden away. that took quite some skill and talent on his part, not that anyone who knew him would have been surprised about. he looked me square in the eyes when he was finally ready though.
"i just wanted… you to be by my side again as i was dying. i just wanted you there."
the invisible blow that hit me is indescribable, so i won’t even begin to truly attempt it or try to share what it was like. in short, i just didn’t know why he would have such a thought or desire. me? after all these years? with everything i’d done he should have wanted to have mum and dad with him, mourning the loss of their golden child that they wanted. what good would i have done to be by his side as he was dying next to me? i probably would have killed him myself to put him out of his pain and misery. that wouldn’t make for a pleasant memory, for him at least. but why? i just didn’t understand it. maybe tal had lost his mind or he was acting, putting on a show for me.
"that’s a fucked up desire. what good would i have done there? if anything i probably would have killed you to put you out of your misery."
that must have killed that though because his expression saddened once more for a moment as he still looked at me.
"that still would’ve been enough."
sometimes people say that they’re not prepared to do certain things. they’re not prepared to graduate from school. they’re not prepared to have a job. they’re not prepared for what life is throwing at them. well let me tell you, that’s a load of shit. when people say they aren’t prepared it means that they just don’t want to deal with it. they’re too busy being a fence sitter, meaning that they’re unable to decide what they want to do and how they want to do it. they’re just trying to sit right on the line between two sides to see how long they can last there. i never had that problem though. i always knew where i stood with anything and everything. it wasn’t terribly hard. i was stubborn, bull-headed even. that just made me who i was though. when i did decide to run away i was prepared for the consequences of what would happen. i readily accepted them! why? because i didn’t expect anything less. how could i? i knew exactly what i was getting into. life wouldn’t be easy. if anything i probably wouldn’t have a life for too long because let’s be honest, anyone in the drug world doesn’t live too long unless they’ve really made it for themselves. even then, that just means all the more danger is out there and present to get them. the guys on top though, they’re prepared for it, because they knew what they were getting into.
one thing i didn’t expect to have happen was to see tal again, at least not so soon. notice how i didn’t say i wasn’t prepared to see tal again? i figured we’d run into each other eventually. although the city was large i knew that there was no safe place. things happened all the time, different events that made others happen. it was like a chain reaction. when i did see tal though i didn’t speak to him. it took me a moment to even recognize him. he was no longer that silly little kid living in those fairy tales so long ago. at least i thought he wasn’t. he had grown up like i had, although his build was still small in comparison to mine he looked almost similar to mum in appearances, but of course he wasn’t a woman. we crossed paths in the streets one day. i was on my way to my next deal and he was on his way to a show. i only know that because i saw which building he walked into. i couldn’t tell you what show he bothered to watch but it made sense he would be there. if anything tal still had to enjoy memorizing lines and repeating them back. that would go hand in hand with the fairy tales after all. like i said though, no words were exchanged. i was just beginning to work my way up from being a dealer to getting my own sources. i doubted tal recognized me. how could he? i was just a face among the crowd wasn’t i?
it happened again though. a few years down the road. i was running the city with my drug business and he was doing what he did best, telling stories. i was making my way to a club for the evening when we literally ran into each other. instead of easily reading each other’s body language we tried to avert each other only to still smack into each other.
"watch where you’re going bastard!"
we hadn’t even bothered to look at each other. why? we both had places to go and things to do. there was no time to just wait on the streets and talk to strangers. at least that was something tal didn’t do. he appeared to be too frail to even dare talk to a stranger. the streets were dangerous after all. i on the other had spent plenty of time talking to strangers if only so i could get my customers and know what was going on. supply and demand was important. as we began to side step each other once more i looked up just as he did and our eyes met. tal’s flickered for a moment with recognition, he knew exactly who i was. i only glared back at him knowing this wasn’t the place or the time. anyone and everyone could have been watching. i was heading to the club where people expected me to be. they knew i had to be walking the streets to get there. so if i was discovered to be talking with someone who made a scene it wouldn’t end well. the whole scenario would have been dangerous for tal if it was discovered that we knew each other, let alone were brothers.
"what the hell are you talking about?"
"i know it’s you. where have you been? why haven’t you come to see mum? why didn’t you come back to see me?
"you got the wrong guy."
"i know it’s you. you think i could forget that so easily?
i actually had. tal was supposed to live the perfect life without me. sure there were no more adventures with the two of us together but he would have had plenty on his own. that’s what he was supposed to do anyways. nothing ever went according to plan. either way i needed him to shut up. this wasn’t going to end well either way, so why not scare him off? i wasn’t going to be who he thought i was, because that would only leave him in harm’s way and lead him down a dangerous road that wouldn’t end well for him. rearing my arm back i balled my hand into a fist before hitting tal square in the jaw. it didn’t so much hurt me but i knew it had to hurt him. the guy who he thought was his brother was now punching him, for no apparent reason. he wouldn’t be able to say much now, or even for a while hopefully. tal stumbled back just a bit before i sent an uppercut square into his gut, meant to knock the wind out of him.
"i don’t know who the hell you think you are, but you don’t get to talk to me like you know me. i don’t have any damn family and i never will. so why don’t you go bother someone else with your delusions."
that was something i had been prepared to do. i was prepared to keep tal out of my life and the drug world by whatever means possible. if that meant beating the shit out of my own brother to keep him protected than so be it. sure, that probably sounds a little strange, but there are far worse things that could have happened to him. i knew from experience, both from watching and causing the pain that befell idiots who thought they knew what happened in the drug world or because they were associated with it because of family. not everyone could last.
money is everything. it gives you power. i learned about something else that was powerful. not as powerful as money though, but it still held some merit. silver. all right i suppose silver and gold. now if i had been paid in silver and gold that would have been rich! really. but i was never paid in that sort of stuff. i mean, how would i be able to tell if it was real or fake? plus where could i cash it? i couldn’t exactly walk into a bank and try to deposit it nor was i about to trust a money shark to tell me it’s worth. i would have lost out on everything. the silver and gold i’m talking about come on fingers though. that’s right. those people who decide to get married. the ones who vowed to another that they’d spend the rest of their life with them no matter what happened. those fake bonds and promises were useless as were the rings they were to signify such an arrangement. i remember getting into a spot of trouble because of that though. not that i was wearing a ring or anything like that, because by now you should know my opinion on that matter, but because i had married women coming on to me. it wasn’t my fault that i was more attractive to them than their pathetic husbands. i had the looks, the money, and anything i could possibly want. their husbands of course paled in comparison. they were working those desk jobs, living no life, and having nothing to offer. for all i cared they were probably like my own dad, just sitting at home and reading the paper with nothing else to do.
now mind you, i had plenty of women coming after me, especially as i got older. i mean, with age there comes more, if you know what i mean. i remember one night at a club a married woman was coming after me. how did i know she was married? well it wasn’t because i was looking for a ring on her finger or anything like that. instead she actually made a point of continually informing of the fact that she was married. i didn’t exactly see the point in her sharing that information with me. that left for little to nothing to be gained on her end. plus she wasn’t even attractive if i remember correctly. i’m positive she wasn’t much to look at or else i would have given less of a damn about her being married. but all night at the club she was on me, wanting me to take her away and do something with her. i ignored her most of the night, not even caring. there were plenty of other women who caught my attention that i wanted to be seen with. well at one point her husband showed up, the guy with the other half to the set of rings. funny thing was, he was mad at me for not wanting his wife! i’d never heard of such a thing. it was one thing to be desired by all but it was another thing to encourage such desires. hell, i mean they were married so shouldn’t they only cleave unto each other or something?
either way i got into a fight with the guy. he threw the first punch because of my offensive behavior of not trying to take his wife back to my place to fuck her. we were still inside the club and it was a easy hit to dodge but he wasn’t going to go anywhere without a few broken bones. no one made a play at trying to hit me without getting it back ten times worse. i gave him a swift uppercut in the cut, knocking the air right out of his lungs. i then gave him a swift kick in the side of his leg, close to the knee. the hit would either render his leg completely useless or just cause him to yelp out in pain. i got both as a reaction. as he made his descent to the floor of the club i was getting ready to kick him in the face when his wife got in the way. apparently she thought that she could do something. the woman was completely wrong though. nothing was going to stop me. i may have looked like a gentleman but i sure as hell didn’t act like one. i merely threw her aside and into one of the private booths, which she toppled over and into ruining another groups night. she had interfered with mine so why not let her get more exposure? i repeated the kick once more without interruption and my shoe landed square in the guy’s face. that knocked him out cold and i think the impact broke his nose. i’m not sure but there was plenty of his blood on the floor, his face, and on my shoe when i finally removed it from his face. those attending the club that night got quite a show before security showed up. there were a few burly looking blokes but with one look at me they knew exactly who i was. they weren’t going to be able to take me.
i knew that they wanted me gone though and i was happy to oblige, if only because i knew they’d be begging for me to come back the next night. they merely had to act as if they held all the power. as i walked by the husband on the ground and pressed my bloodied shoe against his shirt, attempting to wipe off what blood there was.
"learn to control your woman. or she’ll get the same as you next time."
even though he probably couldn’t hear me he wouldn’t be able to forget what happened. or perhaps he would. it would only take a bit of time for his mind to recall everything. i had no problem hurting people. it just came naturally. it didn’t matter if it was a man, woman, or child. no one was going to get in my way and live to tell the tale. the wife was still somewhere in the booth that i had knocked her into, probably unable to even get up. once she saw her poor husband though she would probably want me all the more. security continued to follow me as i made my way through the club back towards the exit. plenty of onlookers knew exactly who i was and just smiled, knowing that i had done something worthwhile. once out of the club i gave a teasing wave to the security guys who only smirked in response. we were all ready on the same page. after that i didn’t have any weak women trying to trouble with me because i was now not only dangerous but i wasn’t afraid to hurt them. that did draw in a few other oddballs though, but that was something i’d grown used to with the junkies.
when i did leave home i didn’t take a lot with me. i had to do quite a bit of planning in order to get out though. there was no way i could just walk through the front door without causing a scene. tal would be in tears, begging me not to go. he would question why i was leaving, where i was going, if he could come along, and other questions of the sort. mum would be in a fit of hysterics as well, telling me to get back in the house and to stop my nonsense. there would be a disapproving look on her face as well, one that she gave me all too often when i did something with tal that she didn’t think he should be doing. as for dad, well he probably would have just stayed seated on his leather chair with the paper still in hand. he probably would have just called out from behind his paper to let me go and see how cruel the world really is. that is if he did say anything. or perhaps he would have grown a backbone and told me to get my sorry arse back in the house and to go to my room. that would have really been a miracle to observe. either way i didn’t want any of that to happen. i needed to be gone without anyone knowing. so what i did was wait. i found the perfect opportunity though when there was a day off from school mum had decided to take tal to the park to keep him entertained. i feigned being sick and was left at home. dad was still at work and so it left me the house to myself. as soon as i saw that mum and tal were gone i rushed up to my room, knowing there were only so many things i could take. i grabbed my school backpack, which was finally going to be of use to me, and began stuffing my clothes inside. i took a few pairs of pants and some shirts. just the bare necessities. no one would be paying attention to the way i dressed anyways. i made sure to grab a few of my toys, if only for sentimental reasons. i was only able to fit in my toy sword along with a few little toy cars. i didn’t own any of my sports equipment, seeing as they belonged to the school, so i just left them behind. i knew i’d be able to get anything i wanted soon enough so why not get new gear?
with my backpack packed i made sure to leave my room looking nice and neat, so that for once mum would see it the way she wanted. call it a goodbye gift or me being a stupid little kid, but i actually made my bed for once. tal wouldn’t have to do it for a long time anyways. i looked over the room once more, knowing that i would never go back again. i could never go back again. it wasn’t where i belonged. after i closed my bedroom door i went downstairs to raid the kitchen. i only grabbed a few snacks, knowing that if i did get high again i would have the munchies. i didn’t want to take too much though, that would only alarm my family. if anything they would think that i had just gone off to play sports with my friends because i had started feeling better. that would give me the needed time to really get away from home and not be seen again. with everything finally in my backpack i left through the front door, closing it quickly without ever looking back. i took off to the one neighborhood i had first gone to with my friends when we got our first high. i would be living there. that was the plan anyways. things were simple at first. i never really had a bedroom to call my own or even a bedset with dressers and desks. instead i just slept on the floor with a sleeping bag that was provided. it wasn’t too terrible. i learned that i needed to be on constant alert and ready to get up and leave everything immediately. if the pigs ever got wind of our location we would all be arrested and thrown in jail. it didn’t matter how young i was. even if it meant juvie i would be there for a long time. even though i wasn’t old enough to be tried as an adult i was old enough to know what i was doing and getting myself into. i was never caught though. there were a few close calls where the place i had been staying at was raided but i was never discovered, not even my stuff or money. someone else always seemed to take the fall. sometimes it was planned and other times it wasn’t. when it was planned it would look like a setup, so that the pigs had been given the wrong information. when it wasn’t planned though things were bad. losing another dealer who had access to a source didn’t make life any easier.
people came and went in my life. not that they were close to me but they were a semblance of a family who actually supported me and what i did. sometimes they could make condescending remarks but i held my own against them. they had nothing on my mum or dad and the way they acted towards me. i got to a point where i would move if only out of habit. i felt like i wasn’t going to be safe because i had been hanging around the same spot for too long. it was fun though to be in a new place every so often. i met the most interesting people. that’s when i really got to use my charms and social skills. i could converse with just about anyone. add on the fact that i was a cute little kid, or rather young man, and some people were smitten by the fact that i knew so much about the world around me that they couldn’t help but want to be in my presence. that also made for new customers who would want to buy.
like i said before i didn’t really have anyone i could depend on other than myself. often some people would question how i felt about edelin, only because she was one of the few women they ever saw me with. apparently my occasional sightings with her meant that i longed to be with her and that i was going to ask her father for his blessing to be with her. why do humans seek companionship anyways? i’d done just fine on my own. every person i’d ever met i found a way to use and abuse for my own personal gain anyways. you don’t exactly make a lot of friends selling drugs, only plenty of enemies and people who want what you have. i found it funny when i met people who were married. what was the point of marriage anyways? why spend your lifetime with just one person? not that i’d really ever been with anyone, which i’ll explain in a moment, but marriage always seemed like such a ridiculous idea. what was the point? you got married, fucked, had kids, and then that was it. the fucking had to stop at some point too. maybe i was just being selfish in thinking that no one deserved me and i didn’t deserve to have to deal with a person who i’d have to protect because i cared about them? no. that’s not it. i just never found anyone worth my while really.
women came easy to me. they were so simple to solve and understand. why? because who doesn’t like a big bloke running around with money and power? they came to me like flies to honey. i had everything they wanted. if they could get with me they would have the status and power they’d always wanted, along with access to any and all drugs. at least that was their mindset. how wrong they were though. i’d only ever fucked a few girls and even then the first one i still slightly regret. her being strung out hadn’t made the experience that much of a pleasure. after her though i’d found a handful of other women who met my expectations and fit it perfectly. they were worthy enough to be seen with me and to have in bed. i’m not much of a romantic. if anything i’m the complete opposite but apparently people like a bad guy and i fit that mold perfectly. after fucking though there was never anything more. they lost my interest after that. they were nothing more to me. yeah, go ahead, say i used and abused them. it’s not my fault that i discovered how fickle and easy they were. suddenly they’d want to talk about being in love and needing to be together for different events. i only kept my family protected if anything and i wasn’t about to drag some stranger into the mix of people who i had to care about, or at least pretend to care about.
even with those handful of women who ever made it to bed there were plenty who still thought they should have a go and try to be with me. whether it was draping themselves on my arms at a club or even trying to beg me in the streets or alleyways. some were junkies, wanting more hits while offering their bodies. i’m not nor ever was interested in that sort of thing. i sold drugs for money, not for pleasure. plus junkies could never be that much of a pleasure. i mean, have you seen a junkie? they were so far gone and out of it that it was hard to expect them to do much of anything. besides that it just brought up memories of my first experience and i wasn’t about to have a repeat of that. money was everything while women or even a companion of sorts was nothing. some blokes would try to make a go at me, hoping that because i didn’t have a woman on my arm they could snake their way in. trust me. i wasn’t that fucked up being of my drug dealing. there was no way in hell another man would be enticing to me. all i wanted was money. apparently i should marry money. that sounds like a good idea actually. not sure how it’d go though with the marriage certificate and all. taking money out wouldn’t be easy either. but money is the other thing i don’t mind protecting, because that’s easy to do. i’d had a grip on that long ago when i first started dealing.
friends were never really an option. i can’t say i ever truly had a formal acquaintance with anyone. in the drug world you learn quickly that you only have your source and your buyers. beyond that people were a threat if anything. a threat to what you had. i couldn’t have anyone threatening what i had built myself up to be. it had taken so long. all right, not really. it had taken a few years before i soon had my own sources who only sold to me. i kept them in business and vice versa. it was the perfect situation. i discovered that no one was truly on my side or wanted the best from me. all they wanted were the drugs or the money. i wasn’t about to give away all my hard work. i had lackeys sure, the guys who obeyed my every beck and call and even followed me around to see what i needed to have done. they wanted to get in my good graces because they knew that i was powerful. money was everything and the drugs only added to that. i started my own drug dealing trade, mostly underground. what people i met were often my lackeys or even some women at the clubs. of course i partied. how could i not? it was easy to get in, even when i was so young. people recognized me and knew who i was. they weren’t about to make a bad impression on someone who was so powerful and had more than they did.
i hadn’t seen my family for years. i didn’t know much about what happened to them. why? because i severed all ties. in the drug world if you are powerful and you have someone close to you that means you’ve painted a target on both their back and your own. i couldn’t have that. i wouldn’t have that. tal, mum, and dad didn’t deserve that sort of treatment because of me. i soon started going by my nickname, never sharing my last name, or even discussing my personal life at all with anyone. because everyone was a threat. i sometimes kept tabs on them. never checking on them myself because that would be far too suspicious. but i’d send a lackey everyone one in a while, claiming that there was a kid at the address who was going to be owing me money sometime soon or probably needed a hit eventually and i wanted to know if he was strung out or not. reports always came back in saying that tal was normal, doing just fine. he was never on anything. none of my lackeys ever suspected anything either than my checking in on a client that they didn’t know about. hell, i was running the entire city at one point so no one really kept track of all the people i dealt to, save for me. that was important though. i had to know where my drugs were going and where my money was coming from. i wasn’t about to let someone try and start their own business from what i’d built.
i remember one time at a club i met a girl, or rather a woman, she was young and beautiful much like myself. edelin was her name. she was part of a crime syndicate only associated because of family. her father was bit in that underground world. i knew of him of course. not that our business ever mingled much, but we exchanged a few words sometimes when we did run into each other. we had a mutual respect for one another. we both knew what we were doing with our business and also knew the other was doing well enough. it was almost like having someone to look up to. he was older in age and had seen a lot, while i was younger but had accomplished so much. anyways, back to edelin. she was the kind of woman who could be bought to accompany any gentleman with enough money along with her father’s blessing. she wasn’t a call girl or anything of that sort. her father wouldn’t sell his only child like that. rather she was that expensive date who made you look good and better than all of the other people in the room. when i first got to meet her she came off as cold and harsh. she was selfish and thought herself better than everyone else, but we were both the same when it came to that. i was the exact same way so how could we not see eye to eye? plus we’d grown up in the underground that few knew of or understood. we shared a few drinks and enjoyed the night together in each other’s company. when morning finally did come she was escorted by her father’s men out of the club. she needed protection from what harm other’s would want to bring to her and her family. if anything she was a caged bird. in a way she reminded me of tal, at least when it came to why i left him behind all those years ago. if he had come along with me for my adventure into the drug world he would have to be constantly protected. it wasn’t a life that he could live because he was too childish with his fairytales. i do believe edelin was the only person who ever came close to be something more than a name or a person i dealt to. saying a friend would be going to far. she wasn’t that much to me but when we did happen upon each other it made for a fun night of banter. sometimes when she was with a gentleman who was all ready paying for everything she wanted, which just so you know she demanded a lot, he would lose out when i showed up because i caught her attention more than anyone else did. although the feeling was mutual it was nothing more than that.
you ever play with fire? it can be fun or rather enticing to watch the flame dance along. often it’s red at the tip, about orange in the middle, and blue at the base. the blue is the hottest part though, bet you didn’t know that. once i really immersed myself into the drug world as a kid i discovered so many things. i was a runner mostly, only the kid who ran around carting the goods because i was the least suspicious. i mean come on, look at me. sure i don’t have that innocent of a face, especially now after all the sins i’ve committed, but as a kid people just don’t expect the worst things from you. they think of you to be so much higher or better, at least when it comes to morality. other than that you’re a silly little kid who were learn things one day, if not today. i knew plenty though. i took the drugs all around town. i had plenty of time since school was out of the picture. i had dropped out of it and even run away from home. there was no note, no notice, no excuse. i just up and left. if anyone would miss me it would be tal, but he just wouldn’t understand. he was still just a kid who still believed in all those stupid fairytales he read about. if anything he would want to tag along and join me in my latest adventure, but he couldn’t. even i knew that. there was no way he could come along. he wouldn’t survive. he would have been eaten alive. not that i could say i was that much wiser than him, but i knew full well what i was getting into. at least i thought i did, but i wasn’t going to drag him along with me. mum would be upset, if only for a little bit before she remembered the fact that she still had tal at home. her perfect little boy who could do everything she’d ever wanted. what was wrong there? she wouldn’t have to worry about me anymore. there would be no more trying to convince me that school was more important than athletics. no more arguments about tal being caught doing my work. no more anything. as for dad, well, what would he care? his position on the leather chair wouldn’t change nor would the fact that he was reading the paper. no one would miss me and i’d get to do my own thing. and that’s just what i did.
i was introduced to smoking cigarettes and sometimes cigars, although the smoke often caused me to cough at first. i was still young so my lungs weren’t used to the intrusion of toxins that were inside of them. the other guys i worked with would just laugh, getting a joke out of watching me try. i also learned to roll joints, which is indeed an intricate process most don’t understand. if you don’t do it just right the goods will burn up before you have a chance to enjoy them all. why waste that much money? that was another thing i caught on quickly to. money was everything. it was power, it was your name, it completely made up who you were no matter where you were. i wasn’t exactly paid in cash for the running i did, instead i was paid with drugs. i got my continual highs and learned about different drugs and how to take them. that was good enough payment for me for some time. but back to rolling joints. those soon became my preference. there were no needles involved, even though i had gotten used to those, and i got a lighter. fire was a fun thing to play with. while on a high watching the flame dance along was the most entertaining thing ever. i often went through a few lighters within a week, at least those weeks when i got paid.
soon enough being paid in drugs wasn’t enough. no i wasn’t some strung out kid doing whatever he was told. i was too good for that, invincible to such effects. i knew enough about my surroundings and what was going on. soon i had moved up and was making the deals myself. i would go around to some of the rich private schools, selling to other kids who had heard about the drugs from a friend of a friend. they could foot the bill for what they wanted and i made plenty. i would get a cut of payment after i paid back the original source of the drugs. having money was like having everything. that was exactly what i wanted though. it made up who i was. even though i was some drop out from grade school i had money to my name. i could buy what i wanted when i wanted it. i had whatever clothes i thought looked cool and even got myself a few personal things like a baseball, football, and things like that. i didn’t much have a home so i didn’t have a room to fully stock with new belongings. i often had a new place to stay every few weeks so i traveled light. everything i owned could fit in a duffle bag. i couldn’t stay in one place for too long. people might get suspicious. that was my mindset at least. as for the money i made, well let’s just say i got creative when it came to hiding it. because my location changed so often i knew i needed to have a way to keep my money safe without people being able to so easily get to it. and i did just that.