When I grew up it was only my mom, my brother and I. We didn’t really have much but we had what counted such as food, clothes and somewhat of a car that worked just as much as my mom could afford for it to work, and a place to stay. We lived in Acers Homes. It wasn’t the best place to live, but it was what we called home. I also had a sister who was unappreciative; no matter how hard my mom worked she didn’t care because it she wasn’t allowed to do what she wanted to do. My sister was fifteen going on twenty-one, so one day my sister told my mom that she wanted to go and stay with my grandmother and my mother granted that to her and now she had to take care of two houses. My mother struggled with buying school clothes and food for two so she would tell my brother and me that we would have to wear some of our old clothes for the first few weeks of school until she got paid again. That went on for a while.
Before we knew it, we were packing up moving in with my grandmother. My mother explained to my brother and me that money was very tight. So that she could take care of us better that’s why we are moving, but he didn’t really understand because he was five years old at the time, and I did because I was four years older than him. My grandmother lived right down the street from us. It was kind of hard at first, because the house was only 3 bedrooms, and 1 and a half baths. One could say that it was crowed, but to my brother and me it was great. We got to play with our cousins, and friends that we would only see at school or on the weekends. We stayed there for about four years and we thought it was the best thing on earth until one evening, I heard my mom and grandmother talking and my mom needed a new car, because the old one was not running so well, but the boys also needed school clothes. Here we are with a no good father right down the street from us at his mom’s house and we couldn’t get one dollar for a popsicle. That made my blood boil.
I figured the only way for me to help my mom was to cut grass to help with school clothes, and I did but that wasn’t enough. One of my best friends suggested that we get us some weed, with the money from cutting grass and make more money that way, because the guys at the end of the street were doing it and they were making a lot of money. I was only 14 and I thought about it but didn’t do it right away until one Friday evening my friend showed me the money that he made and it was like 150 dollars just in a couple of days. My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw it. He said all we had to do was stay outside, in front of his house and it would sell itself.
That’s when life for me changed. The money was okay, but I needed more to help my mother with my brother and me. One Saturday, the acquaintance from the street told my friend and me, we could make more money and a lot faster. I asked how. He said selling crack. I didn’t know much about it but my best friend did because of one of his relatives. So my friend said let’s put the money we have together and make more money. So we did. We each put 100 dollars in from our weed profit and the guy from the street gave us a 200 dollar slab. He showed us how to cut it up, and he told us how much money we should make from it so we were all in at that point. My friend and I stayed outside almost all night that Saturday and we couldn’t believe our eyes, how fast it was moving. It seemed like there was a car to come by every two minutes and we loved it.
When we counted our money we made 400 dollars, so I took my half and my friend took his and we went home. As soon as I got home I showed my brother the money and he asked where you got that, so I told him from down that street with my friend sell drugs. I quickly told him don’t tell mama and he said okay. He asked me what I was going to do with the money. I said help mama with school clothes so she don’t have to worry about not being able to afford to get us any clothes right away.
My friend and I continued to hustle, and we made a lot more money once we understood what we were doing. Until a Thursday afternoon the cops jumped out on the corner and arrested my best friend, as well as some of the other guys from the street. I was sick and scared at the same time. My mama came in my room and told me, “You know the police took your friend to jail today for selling drugs.” I said, yes Ma’am, and she asked me was I okay, I told her yes. My brother came running in the room saying, man, I thought that was you that they picked up. I said, no because I wasn’t planning on going out until it was nightfall. He said, man, you need to stop. But by then it was too late the money was helping a lot. We got clothes when we needed them, and my mom thought that I was cutting a lot of yards, which I still did before I went out to hustle, all the while going to school and doing what I am supposed to do. My friend came home the next day and said man that’s it for me and you need to stop to, and I looked at my friend and told him I wasn’t, and that I was going to do it until the wheels feel off. He said alright and continued to be my friend.
As time went on I graduated high school and was still helping my mother, just because that’s what I was supposed to do. And giving my brother whatever he wanted until he finished school. I continued hustling we didn’t struggle like we did early on in my life. My friend is no longer my friend, but my brother just like my real brother: if they ever call for anything I am there.