Mommy had been right. What goes around can come back at you. That’s exactly what happened to Twin.
The day after the fight with Mommy, Twin was walking home from school when Man pulled up beside her. Guy was in the front seat.
“Hey, you fine thang,” he slurred. “Why don’t you and me go have a little fun.”
It was at that moment when Twin made the worst decision of her life.
“Sure, sweetie,” she said, getting in the back seat, expecting that Man would drop them off behind the building to go up to their “special place” and then go on about his bidness. After all, she was seventeen and almost grown and this was her boyfriend and Mommy’s. What was there to worry about?
As soon as she got in, Man automatically secure-locked all the doors. Guy turned around and faced her with a gun in his hand, pointed right at her.
“We know somebody wants to meet you real bad,” said Guy.
Man chuckled. “Yeah, real bad,” he repeated.
Twin knew these two were druggies but she didn’t make the connection until they pulled in behind Pimp Dealer’s place. Then she knew exactly why they’d brought her there. Somehow he’d found out about Snake.
She started screaming in the car but stopped when Guy brought the gun closer to her face. When they took her in the back door she was struggling with everything she had, trying to get away. But the two men were much stronger than her even though they were both high. Man punched her in the stomach to shut her up. It took the air right out of her. They pulled her down the steps to the basement, where Pimp Dealer and a few of his friends were waiting.
Before she knew it she felt the needle slide into her arm. Almost immediately she slipped into oblivion, unaware of what was happening to her. Later she remembered laughter.
It went on for hours, or was it days, she wasn’t sure. All she knew was that there were different ones and that, when she’d start to come around, there’d be another needle in her arm, more oblivion. It didn’t take long for her to crave that feeling of “not knowing,” “not caring.”
Pimp Dealer was very happy with the new arrival. She was young, pretty, fresh. Now she belonged to him, so it was his say-so what happened. Nobody minded.
It was a new definition of horror.
After a while some of the ladies were ordered to clean her up. Later she’d remember a bath somewhere, hands all over her. In all that time she spoke only one word. “Mommy.”
Mommy went searching for Twin for days, weeks, asking everybody if they knew anything about where she was. But everybody had been warned that, if they talked, there’d be serious and deadly consequences.
Eventually, after he’d left the neighborhood and taken Twin with him, Pimp Dealer sent Man over to Mommy’s to tell her what had happened, and what was going to happen, to her beautiful daughter. Mommy fell to the floor, hanging on to him, begging that Pimp Dealer take her instead of Twin. He’d already told Man to tell her there was no way he was going to trade her for the fresh meat he had now. He’d said it was a righteous trade, Twin alive for his dead brother Snake. He warned Mommy that, if anyone tried to rescue Twin, he’d kill the entire family, the younger kids included. Then he’d go get Peanut and kill him, real slow, and everybody he was staying with, too.
When she woke up, he told Twin the same thing. Try to run away, she’d be caught and not killed, just brought back from anywhere she tried to hide. But all her family, dead. Pimp Dealer said it would be especially fun to get Peanut in honor of Snake and then to kill him, slowly, with the same knife Guy had found and returned to him. He’d recognized it as Snake’s right away.
While Pimp Dealer really wanted Peanut, he was settling for Twin. She was just so pretty and so hooked that she would do anything for a needle. That included things that didn’t even have names for them. As long as she was high she could take it. D0-Good made sure she stayed that way.
Pimp Dealer had gone down south, expanding his territory and showing off his new girl. Arrangements had been made and, the next thing Twin knew, they were headed out of the country. That’s when Pimp Dealer had sent Man over to threaten Mommy.
To keep her family safe, Mommy told everyone Twin had died of an overdose. That’s what she told the little ones. That’s what she told Auntie, too, who told Peanut. Everyone cried.
From that day on, Lover’s brain blocked the memory of that day up on the roof, when he’d killed Snake.
Tomorrow in “Promises of Starlight”: The difference between night and day