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 26 – A YELLOW ROSE
Lil Bro and Sis would never forget the moment they found out that Do-Good, Pimp Dealer’s hitman, was family.
He’d always heard through his family that Twin’s Daddy had “outside” children. One time Do-Good and his brothers had sat down and tried to figure out exactly how many cousins they had. They’d stopped at thirty-seven but knew that probably wasn’t all of them. It seemed that Twin’s daddy had been all over the place, leaving his seed and a bad name wherever he went.
“Your papa really was a ‘rolling stone’, said Do-Good, quoting the lyrics from the old Temptations’ song. “He’d pretend to be anything he needed to be to get some good woman to take him in.”
“Yeah, that’s what happened to Mommy,” Twin explained. “When we was little, your big brother and I thought him and Mommy was married for real. He said he was a traveling preacher and that’s why he be gone for so long every now and then. Lawd only know where he really was. Probably with some other ‘fake’ family he started.”
Mentioning Peanut just reminded her of what he’d done to the family. She swore to God she was going to make him pay, for all of it.
“See,” explained Do-Good, “your daddy was …” Even Do-Good got confused about the whole thing sometimes. “See,” he tried again,”my Mama was one of yo’ Daddy’s sisters. Dat make me Twin’s and Peanut’s cousin. And yo’ Mommy my aunt by marriage.” He paused. “Or almost by marriage.”
“But that don’t make you related to us,” said Sis. “So why’re you helping us?”
“Because, little girl, somewhere up in dere we’s ‘family’.”
Twin took over the explanation. “Somehow y’all are either first cousins once removed or second cousins. We not sho. But whatever you are, we all family. And that’s why Do-Good looks out for me.”
“But how about Pimp Dealer?” asked Lil Bro. “Don’t he know?”
“We don’t think so and you better hope not,” said Twin. “Otherwise all us be dead. Now finish up eatin’. Y’all got someplace to be.”
After they’d finished off the pizzas and sodas and said tearful goodbyes to Twin, Do-Good herded Lil Bro and Sis into a car in back of the house and took them to the drop-off point. When they got there a man named Blunt was waiting for them. He was one of Do-Good’s brothers and was the one to get them to Houston. As they changed cars, the kids saw something in Do-Good’s that they hadn’t noticed before. On the passenger side of the front seat lay a yellow rose. Do-Good said he didn’t know how it got there and gave it to Sis for good luck in Texas.
They were not alone. Starlight’s spirit was watching over them all the way there, encased in the rose.
The kids huddled in the back seat and slept. When they got to Houston they were dropped in front of a house off by itself behind a thick growth of bushes on Stockton Road. The door opened as soon as they pulled up. An older woman stood there, her dark skin smooth against the gray hair. She waved to Blunt, who waved back before taking off down the street to head back to New Orleans. As the kids came up the walkway to where she stood they both recognized her. She had to be Do-Good’s Mama.
“Come in, children, y’all come right on in here. My, my, y’all looks tired. Well, don’t matter. You hungry? You wanna little somethin’ to eat ‘fore y’all get some real sleep?” All Lil Bro and Sis could do was nod yes. Some food and sleep sounded really good.
Mama was one of those old-timey black women who still cooked soul food with ham hocks and made cornbread in a cast-iron skillet. (She looked like it wouldn’t take much for her to hit you upside the head with it, neither.) Despite that, and being the Mama of Do-Good and Blunt and who knew who else, she proved to also be a sort of protective mother bear. She made sure they ate and got some sleep. She emptied their bag of dirty clothes and put them through the washing machine and dryer. Then, when the kids woke, she had them both take showers and get dressed “like reg’lar people” before letting them dive into all that good-smelling food.
Mama was handy in other ways, too. It was no wonder Do-Good was as good as he was at organizing things. She’d lined up her church people. One would take in Lil Bro while Sis stayed with her. They split them up so that it wouldn’t be so easy if someone came looking for two teenaged “newlyweds” traveling together. Plus Mama had her shotgun ready in case anyone even approached the house that she didn’t know. The kids weren’t happy about being split up but Lil Bro said it was probably for the best.
Do-Good and Twin called that evening, just to make sure everything had gone according to plan. Mother had the 911 on the family that had taken in Lil Bro and so they got to talk to him, too.
Several months went by before everyone agreed that Lil Bro and Sis were safe. No one had come looking for them (no one in the Crew, including Pimp Dealer, even knew for sure if Do-Good had a mother—and for sure nobody had the balls to ask him). Pimp Dealer, his Crew and Twin had left New Orleans and were making their way back up to Prince George’s County in Maryland. And Pimp Dealer wasn’t happy that he hadn’t been able to open any casinos–they all seemed to be owned by big conglomerates or big “bidness” men, like some dude named “Dealer.”
If it hadn’t been for Do-Good watching over her, Twin never would have been able to keep tabs on Lil Bro and Sis. And now she had Dealer to deal with. She’d made some extra cash running his drugs and posing for those photos. Plus some had come out of Dealer’s stash when he wasn’t looking, or pretended he wasn’t looking. In return, though, he wanted her to keep an eye on Pimp Dealer for him and to report whatever she found out.
Pimp Dealer didn’t know about her working for Dealer. Twin didn’t let herself think about what would happen if he found out.
For a while Twin was sending Lil Bro money for him and Sis to live on and to give Mama and the church people. Lil Bro felt as safe there as Sis did at Mama’s. It seemed that everyone in Texas had some kind of fire arm, at least a gun and sometimes something more lethal than that.
But Lil Bro was getting tired of living off of “charity,” as he told Sis. Jobs were hard to come by and the only ones he could get as a high school graduate were bottom level, even on the oil rigs out in the Gulf. He wanted some cash, like Twin had told him she’d stacked. She always seemed able to come up with money when she needed to and he’d never asked her how. But to Twin this was all that was left of her family and, like Mommy, she’d do anything to keep them safe. Which is exactly what she’d done, risking all three of their lives by hooking up with Dealer on the side.
Lil Bro was glad to get the word that things were quiet. It had been harder for him than for Sis. He was a young man now. Young men get “urges” and he had a few of his own. Unfortunately, one of them was gambling and Houston was a gambling town. So, when Twin’s money came, some of it went into the casinos, many of them owned by Dealer, who’d found out who Lil Bro was.
Both Lil Bro and Twin were now in serious debt to Dealer, which meant serious trouble. Someday they’d have to pay and Dealer was just waiting for the right time.
Tomorrow in “Promises of Starlight”: Lover has finished bringing the Therapist up to speed on Twin’s history. Now, though …