None of the characters in “Promises of Starlight” represent any person living or dead.
The character “Rock Star”/”Angel” is based on Adam Lambert. The author does not in any way wish to disturb or predict Mr. Lambert’s life through the characters in this story.
All videos are to be enjoyed through their link to YouTube. They are not to be downloaded. No claims are made on the videos by the author.
Chapter 20 – WORTH IT
Black barbershops are the same no matter where they are. Men use them as a way to discuss the local “news,” politics, sex and business. “Business” meant the local economy as well as “bidness” in the neighborhood.
Lil Bro was a good worker and had a way with an electric razor. He’d inherited Mommy’s sense of style, something that had gotten her into money trouble more than once. But word about his style began to get around and sure enough, it wasn’t long before he was included in the “bidness” conversations. One of them was very interesting.
Seems there’d been some pimp a few months before who’d been trying to get a license to put a casino just outside of town. He was from somewhere up north and had this kinda young yellah gal with him. She was kinda cute if you got behind that drug thing. It was pretty clear she was on something. And she looked kinda worn out, too. Still cute, though. But the (P)imp (D)ealer hadn’t known the right folks to get around the license requirements, so word was he’d left town about a month ago. Rumor had it he was gonna go try his luck in New Orleans.
Lil Bro pretended to be just a little interested in the conversation, enough to laugh when the other dudes did. He was thinking, though.
She was still alive.
He told Sis what he’d found out. It was time for another plan.
A few days later Lil Bro told his manager at the barbershop that he’d decided to go over to Atlanta U. to see if he could get into school. His wife (Sis) was all for the idea. She was even willing to take on another job if he could get in and get a scholarship. The guys in the shop laughed. “Yeah,” they told him, “she’s thinking ahead. Gonna make you into a college man.” They thought that was funny.
That gave Lil Bro and Sis just enough time to take the money they’d put away and catch a bus out of town before they were missed. It was the same way they’d gotten to Atlanta, on the bus. This time they had a little more money between them—and a plan.
New Orleans wasn’t anything like they’d thought it would be. Bourbon Street always sounded like this huge part of the city but it turned out to be just a few blocks long. There were a lot of bars, though. And a lot of “bidness.” There were lots of girls around. Lil Bro’s eyes were everywhere. Sis had to poke him in the side to remind him why they were there. Lil Bro claimed he was just looking for Twin. Sis reminded him they didn’t even know for sure that she was there.
But the guys in the barbershop had been right. Pimp Dealer was in New Orleans. And, just like he’d done in Atlanta, the casino was just a cover. He had something bigger in mind then one little-ass casino. Pimp Dealer was going national. He’d seen how it was done during his travels to Mexico and South America; it would take a lot of his Crew and a lot of guns but that didn’t scare him. Those he already had. Besides, he wasn’t out to take anybody’s bidness from them. The girls he was recruiting were “independents,” not under the control or protection of another Pimp. He offered them protection from the local police and drugs on the side. Most of the ladies took him up on his offer. Just the sight of Do-Good made sure of that.
Pimp Dealer was expanding his own network based back in Prince George’s county, one that would be a helluva lot bigger than he’d had before, with better grade drugs and women and more of both. He’d get both for a better price and move them at a higher price. Then he was going to do the same thing up and down the east coast, his own territory.
Everybody would make money off the deal, everybody except the girls and the addicts.
Twin was worn out. All the traveling was taking its toll and, as if that weren’t bad enough, Pimp Dealer made her work the track wherever they were. She hadn’t seen much of Richmond, Atlanta, Charlotte, Tampa, Birmingham or New Orleans; she’d been too busy. Pimp Dealer had set up a new network of drugs and girls in each city with a trusted Crew member in charge.
They never stayed long enough for Twin to be a threat to the other “girls.” That didn’t mean they just accepted her, though. She was beaten in everywhere they’d gone and had lost two more babies. Sometimes there was a lot of bleeding. Pimp Dealer didn’t like that but there wasn’t much he could do about it. It was just messy.
Something kind of strange had happened in Atlanta. One night while on the track she’d seen this couple walking down the street. She’d been pretty high and drunk at the time and there was these johns getting impatient, so she hadn’t gotten a good look at them. Something about them seemed familiar, though. They reminded her of some kids she’d known a long time ago.
Then she was pulled into the car with the two men and driven off to hell.
Now she was in New Orleans, setting up Pimp Dealer’s new territory there. She was on the track as usual but more sober that night.
The same couple she’d thought she’d seen in Atlanta was walking toward her on the other side of the street. They stopped when they saw her. This time she recognized them, just like they recognized her.
Time stopped as Twin, Lil Bro and Sis stared at each other.
Tomorrow in “Promises of Starlight”: Gratitude for almost everyone