Stay With Me…

   STAY WITH ME…

C’mmon dawg, quit acting like a sisi and smoke the shit” Kevin handed the piece of cigarette to him

“I can’t man…this is crazy shit. Do I have to do this to raise the money?” Marcus blew away the smoke coming from his cousin’s cigarette

“No man, but you gotta to sell this” Kevin brought out a rolled white paper and came closer to show him

Marcus pushed his friend hard by the chest, “Jesus, are you crazy? You do this…you do this Kevin???”

“C’mmon man, if you wanna survive and help yow sick mama then try this, the shit is good mehn! You can have all you want!  c’mmon dawg , take it”

“My mom is dying! I thought I’d get help from a cousin, and cocaine is what you can offer? All I need is for you to lend me the money; I’d give you by the month end, please!” Marcus begged

“Every nigga gotta source for his money mehn and you know it. We all grew up on this street man, I know yow mama is sick, I feel for you Marcus but you can only get the money by helping me sell this shit” He smoked into Marcus’s face

“I don’t need you or your messed up paper. To hell with you” Marcus controlled the anger that welled up inside of him. This was a cousin his mother had raised. He turned around to walk away

A-yow! If yow mama dead, u killed her man, you bloody killed her!” Kevin shouted as Marcus walked away.

Marcus gently opened the door to the apartment, he had made sure he stayed out late so he wouldn’t see his mother in pains. He wanted to meet her asleep. He turned on the light and saw her sleeping on the couch, he took a deep breath and turned the light back off, heading towards his room.

“Marcus?” She called slowly; her voice was shaky as if she had no life in her

“Mom?” He quickly went towards where she lay and knelt down beside her. He touched her forehead slightly…her temperature had gone up again

“Where were you? Are you alright?” She managed to speak

“Am alright ma, you should get some rest. You shouldn’t have stayed up this late” Marcus was concerned, He didn’t like the way his mother was looking.

“How can I sleep when my son is out in the dark? Tell me wher…” She coughed, “Tell me where you been…Don’t do anything stupid Marcus, I need you”

Marcus could feel his emotions about to erupt; He looked away and clenched his teeth. He didn’t want to break down in front of his mother.

“I was with Kevin ma’, just hanging out…chilling, you know” He tried to hide his face, deepening his voice

She gently cupped his face, her hands shaking “Look at me son” she slowly tilted his face to face her

Marcus was drenched. She looked so pale, her eyes…her eyes were so dark and swollen, “Mom I hate to see you like this” He choked and tried to look away.

“I need you Marcus. There is nothing for you out there…Stay with me”

Marcus shot up, angry, “Stay with you?! Staying with you will not make you whole mom! I need to get you to the hospital…I need the money mom…y…you…you are all I’ve got mom…don’t you understand?”

He watched his mom stand up slowly to face him, “Don’t you understand…I need you more mom. I cannot afford to loose you…I love you and dad couldn’t have wanted this for you ma!”

She touched his face, “What you wanna do son? Huh? Steal? Kill? We don’t have the money…let it be. We have God”

“God!” He raged now, the tears dropped fiercely, “God? Where was God when dad died! Where was he when they diagnosed you for cancer mom! All the years we have suffered!”

“No no son, look at me, look…” she turned his face sternly to face her “Look at me when I’m talking to you! He was with us! He is with us! I have you, you have me…what else can we ask for? You can’t help me son, you can’t! All we need to do is trust!”

“B…but, you are my responsibility” Marcus said in a low, teary tone

“No! You are my responsibility. Look, I know you want to help me and I appreciate you…your  father will be so proud of you, you’re a good man but the street is dangerous…just stay home with me…please”

Marcus knew exactly what she meant, he walked into her embrace, “Stay with me too mom”, he stroked her hair, “Please…”

 **********************************************************************************************************************************************

A-yow mehn, I’m sorry I came out on you that way but you’re behaving like a child mehn. Yow mama is sick mehn! She dying, you gotta do something. She all you gat and you know this shit. It aint gon’ hurt you man. After you raise the money then you can flush the paper, but she need you. Take it and be a man, c’mmon, be a man” Kevin handed over the rolled paper in a transparent paper bag to him

“After I raise the money, you give me my share man, and we part ways for life” Marcus clenched his teeth and looked back to make sure his mom was sleeping. They were in front of the door. Kevin had come to check on he and his mom.

“We are cousins  brow, whatever, just sell the damn thing and I don’t know you man, I promise” Kevin said

Gimme the damn paper bag” Marcus cursed under his breath and snatched the bag from him. He closed the door at his cousin’s face.

 ***********************************************************************************************************************************************

The following week…

There were angry knocks on the door…

“Who is there Marcus?” His mother asked

Marcus dropped the spoon he was using to feed his mother. His heart raced as he peeped through the window. There was a black jip parked in front with some thugs and he saw his cousin Kevin, he looked like he was beaten. They were holding him hostage. The door banged harder

“Marcus? Who’s there?”

He gently opened the door. They barged into the house. The lead guy gave him a punch that sent him to the floor. He began to bleed in the nose.

“Marcus!” His mother tried her best to get up, “Wh…what are you doing to my son?!” She tried to pull the guy who kept punching Marcus on the floor.

“Mom stay out of this! Please!” Marcus begged as they dragged him outside the house

“Where’s the damn paper!” One of them howled at bleeding Marcus

“Don’t give them the paper Marcus!” Kevin struggled with the guy who held him

There was a shot. It was Kevin…Marcus watched his cousin fall to the floor dead. The lead guy who shot his cousin pointed the gun at him now…

“What do you want please! We don’t have any money!  I am sick!” His sick mother fell to the floor now, weak, in tears…  “Marcus, what have you done?” She turned to face her son

“Where is the damn paper?” The guy howled at Marcus

Marcus turned around into the house and brought out the paper bag from where it was hidden and one of the men snatched it from him. Marcus and his mother thought it was all over as they watched the guys enter into the jip in haste but just as they swerved to go, a pointed gun, shot from the  jip window…Marcus hadn’t seen it, but she saw it and made sure the bullet hit her instead.

“Mom!!!!” Marcus screamed as he held his mother from falling to the floor, she was bleeding, “mom please, don’t do this to me mom, please! Mom!” He held her to his chest

“I told you to stay with me…I…I” she was struggling

“I was with you, I am with you” He cried “I’ll take you to the hospital, you’ll be fine, Don’t leave me, you promised to stay with me”

She stretched her shaking, bleeding hands to his face and touched it slightly “I…I…Love you”

Her hands dropped, her eyes shut and Marcus watched his entire world crash…

                                                             the end

Dear Friend,

  I only have one thing to say:

 No matter the situation,

“Listen to your heart and not to pressure, it can lead you astray and also take away the people you love…”

With love,

 Lowla Dee

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