“Qadira, what are you doing here?” Brice asked.
“Qadira wants to be PP’s girl,” a skinny kid yelled over Brice on the porch. Three others drank Everfresh fruit punch and smoked cigars near the front door. Vapor, one of the three, stood in the middle.
“Khalilah wanted to know if we had any homework from today.” Qadira said, dropping her suitcase on the concrete sidewalk.
“Qadira, go straight home,” Brice said, focusing on the four guys on the porch.
“Go home, little girl, listen to your play daddy.” PP said. Then he tore off his tee-shirt and threw it at Qadira.
Brice caught the shirt before it hit Qadira then he sailed the shirt across Khalilah, where it hit Vapor's bottle knocking the drink from his hand.
‘”Your ass is dead, Mr. F,” PP said, scurrying off the porch. “Tattle Tale doesn’t take that from nobody.”
“Tattle Tale gang won't disrespect a young woman but if they do Mr. F gonna say or do something,” Brice said. That sounded lame. He knew he had to stop acting tough and be it. “Why aren’t any of you in school?”
“PP doesn’t go to school,” Khalilah said, hugging up to a black Trans Am park in the gang's driveway. “He’s suspended out the system.”
Brice rubbed his hands, circling around PP. Then he stepped up on the porch and he positioned himself behind the other members of the Tattle Tale gang. He peeked over his shoulder into the house and saw cartoons running on a floor model television. “How are you four supporting yourselves? Are you working?” PP marched inside the house and stood glaring out the screen door.
“I’ve got a job!” Vapor said, fanning money. “Making more than you.”
Brice said, “Jail or a body bag, that’s the pension you’re looking at!”
“You messed up my ride, Mr. F,” Khalilah said, stomping away to catch up with Qadira who was further down the sidewalk. “I’ll be at school tomorrow.”
Brice didn’t expect her to show up. Feeling like a defeated boxer, he jumped off the porch and he headed to his car. He got into his Chrysler Shadow, letting the engine run. Khalilah doesn't get it. It's not an easy way to better her community. He turned in his seat when Vapor and another member along with PP ran out of the door. PP dressed himself in a Chicago Bull jersey and matching shorts. Vapor took the driver’s seat. PP was in the back seat. The driver zoomed up the street.
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