Children of Starlight, part 3 episode 8 of “The Starlight Trilogy” by Thea Washington
The character “the Rock Star” is based on Adam Lambert.
The videos in Part 3 feature Adam Lambert, Queen, Depeche Mode and Savage Garden.
Chapter 16 – STOP
Washington, D.C. is a patchwork quilt shaped like a kite, the Potomac River the kite’s string. Each piece has its own identity, its own population.
Lover’s old ghetto home, the Anacostia area in southeast Washington, was known for its drugs, prostitutes, gangs, violence and general danger. It had been cleaned up a lot since he’d lived there but there were still pockets of crime.
Much of it had moved into other parts of town, so now there were pockets of crime throughout the city and suburbs. Divided by various nationalities as well as ethnicities, these pockets were secretive and strongly loyal. One pocket, in a neighborhood right next to another one, would have no real idea of what was going on just a block or two away.
One night two women were on the stroll way out northeast in Prince George’s County, right across the District line.
“Girl, how come you ain’t never talk about yo’ family. I mean, you got to come from somewhere but nobody be knowing much ‘boutchu.” The drawl was fake but the question was real.
“We don’t speak.”
Twin Sister gave her new, young co-worker one of those “You betta get out my bidness while you can, bitch” looks.
The two women were sort of friendly but not friends. Nobody had friends in this business. Folks would turn on you in a hot minute, so it was always best to keep your stuff to yourself. Tonight they’d been sent out together to see what the night might bring, maybe a few customers, maybe one who’d want to make it a party. They got more for that. Hopefully it would be one of those foreign dignitary types with a wad of cash, in a nice car with heat. Sometimes autumn nights in D.C. get a bit chilly.
Twin Sister had been “on” since she was barely sixteen, turned out by this drug man, Pimp Dealer, who’d snatched her right off an Anacostia street. He’d shot her up with heroin and raped her. From then on he’d “loaned her out” to one man or another, sometimes as part of a drug deal or the settlement of a gambling debt. Besides being “on” at night there was her “day” job for Pimp Dealer, making low-class porn for even lower-class scumbags.
Yeah, she hated both jobs and she hated the crack. She was up to 10 rocks a day and looked it, but she’d still been able to stack up some bread. She had plans. And a little girl.
“Well, whatever went down between you and yo’ fam must’ve been real bad for you to still be out here.” Rumor had it the older woman had some relative with money. A lot of money.
Twin Sister knew the rumor was out there and that it was true, but she was damned if she was gonna talk about it. “You muthafuckin’ bitch, if you don’t shut your fuckin’ mouth I’m gonna stick you and bad, you hear me?”
The Younger woman heard her just fine, on all levels. Turning to the storefront to see if anybody in there was a likely customer, her eyes fell on an old tabloid with some very familiar faces on the cover. The headline read, “Millionaire Gay Couple Marries.”
“Ooo, girl, turn around, turn around. You gotta see this. It’s that cute Rock Star.”
Twin Sister popped her gum and, swinging her hips and rolling her eyes, turned to see what the Younger woman was all hopped up about. And there he was. Twin Bro, still cute as could be, big smile, perfect teeth, serious suit and with that Rock Star even cuter than he was.
“Hold my spot, I gotta go in there and get that.”
Twin Sister shook her head. Twin Bro was the last person she wanted to see, even if it was just on some cover. She could feel trouble coming.
While Younger was gone a potential customer drove by. Twin Sister gave him a quick glimpse of what he could have for the right price. Evidently she wasn’t his type, though, because he kept on driving. She did notice he had out-of-state plates on the car. Oregon maybe. Idaho. Somewhere out west where a lot of white folks lived. Near California, where she was gonna go and get off the shit, make a decent life for her and her little girl. Either there or Houston maybe. Someplace warm.
Younger came running out of the store, excited as could be. “Look, girl, wouldn’t you like to get wit’ one of these? Gay or not, all that and money, too? Yeah, give me a shot at that, I’d turn ‘em in a minute!”
Sister smacked the shit out of her and was ready to do more than that.
“Shit, what’d I say, ho?” Younger rubbed her face. “Bitch, if you done bruise me, left a mark, you are gonna be mo’ than sorry. You know he don’t go for dat shit.”
They would have really gotten into it if another car hadn’t passed by, this one a rental from Maryland. But he didn’t even give them a glance. All he seemed interested in was the car with the out-of-state plates.
Younger went back to her tabloid. She walked over to hold it up to the light when she realized something.
“You know,” she said, “you kinda favor the little one.” She looked up at Twin Sister, who had this weird look on her face. And it was too late to change it.
“Aww, shit, you kidding me. You related to him, ain’tcha? I don’t know why I …
Twin really slapped the shit out of her this time, hard enough to knock her down. If Pimp Dealer hadn’t shown up just then there’d have been some serious trouble.
There was, anyway.
“Bitch, what da fuck you think you doing?” He grabbed Twin by the hair and swung her around, his fist hitting her hard in a place where the bruise wouldn’t show—unless you were paying to see it. “You know better dan dat.” He punched her again just to make his point. She groaned, leaning against the storefront.
“What started dis shit, or do I wanna know?” he asked Younger.
She showed him the tabloid. Pimp Dealer’s eyes narrowed into slits, like knives. He looked at Twin.
“You say anything, bitch, you know what gonna happen.”
Twin was still moaning. Slowly she nodded her head, thinking, “He do owe me, though. He do owe me.”
Tomorrow in “Children” – Secrets, past and present