The time was 6pm and the darkness was creeping in, people still moved about the neighborhood as night could hardly be differentiated from day in Fifth Avenue save for the entry and exit of the sun. The smell of weed, burning meat and cooking supper filled the air.
Once in a while, the sound of gunshots would be heard from a distance, nobody bordered since it was a normal occurrence.
“Why is Joseph not yet back?” Maria asked looking down at Jaycee who was on a game of cards with Nancy. On the couch lay August, sleeping peacefully.
“I don’t know, he said he will be back soon”
“And where did he go?”
“I don’t know too, he wouldn’t say”.
None of them wanted her to know that Joseph had gone to pay Frederick a visit, they were concerned it would just freak her out the more.
“How could he leave without telling anyone, now I’m really worried”
“Chill Sis, Joseph can always take care of himself… And check up” he said and smiled at Nancy who was receiving her 5th trashing in the game.
“I’m done, you are cheating ” Nancy grumbled and got up From where she sat.
” Jeez, I wasn’t cheating, just admit I’m better” Jaycee said packing up the cards. “Hmmm, I smell Joseph” he said and sniffed. Nancy and Maria smiled.
“How can you smell someone?” Nancy asked
“Because I use his perfume and I’m serious, I can smell him”. He said and almost immediately, Joseph came into the house and dropped on the single settee in the sitting room.
“Joseph!” Maria screamed and ran to him, her apprehension increased when she saw the blood on his face.
“Sup bro, what happened? Where’s Lugo and Spencer and others?”Jaycee asked looking him all over.
“Dead, all of them, Just get your things ready, we are leaving here now” he said and dragged himself up from the chair.
“What happened Joseph? Where the hell are you coming from?” Maria asked.
“Hell, not now sis, I will explain later, Just get baby ready and lets ball out of here, Nancy grab me the first aid kit” he said and pulled off his shirt. In 20 minutes, everyone was set, Joseph had managed to treat himself to an extent and had gotten rid of the blood that painted him red, only scratches and patches were left but he still limped.
“So where are we going?” Maria asked Joseph as they got into the low rider.
“We will drive through out the night, I don’t know anywhere yet”
“So why are we leaving and what happened to you?”
“An accident, the police shot us up in our car and we had an accident, Lugo’s dead”
“Why would the police want to shoot you guys?”
“Because we killed the murderers of our parents, that’s why”.
Maria went mute and they all got into the car, Joseph took over the wheels. His phone rang as he was trying to start the car, he took a look at the screen and it displayed Stanley.
“Cool, heard about everything that happened today, from Frederick down to Lugo, hope you are doing fine?”
“Sure, I’ll live”
“So where are you now?”
“I’m bailing out of town, Leaving St Mathews”
“Where would you be going?”
“Dunno for now, somewhere new maybe”
“How’s Maria holding up? Can I talk to her?”
He handed the phone over to Maria, they conversed in low tones for about 2 minutes before she dropped the call. Joseph ignited the car and with Jaycee seated besides him, Maria and Nancy at the back, holding onto August who was nodding from sleep. He pulled the car out into the road with a reverse and soon they were on their way out of Fifth Avenue.
The clock on the car’s dashboard ticked 7:30 pm. Everywhere had gone dark and car traffic reduced considerably. They drove in silence for a while, the passengers at the back were already fast asleep, only Joseph and Jaycee were wide awake.
“So what do we do now?, how do we start over?” Jaycee asked staring at the empty space ahead of him.
“I don’t know, I guess we would just have to survive, we always do, don’t we?”.
Jaycee nodded and bent his head.
“This is all crazy, everything happening to us, things have never been this bad, Moms and Dad gone, Williams pulling off that crazy stunt and Lugo too, this is real crazy”
“Yea, but then, we have to move on, that’s what makes us who we are, moving on through all them crazy shits”.
“Yea” Jaycee said and nodded. Another minutes of silence followed and from behind, through the mist of darkness, two white streams of headlights shot out and was closing up on them at great speed.
“That’s some crazy driver” Joseph said observing the oncoming car from his side mirror. He moved a little out of the way for the car to pass. The car, a black Mercedes Benz pulled up to their side maintaining the same speed with them. Joseph and Jaycee took a look at the car, the driver’s side glass rolled down slowly.
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“Mercedes Benz ” Jaycee whispered.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Joseph asked grabbing his gun from his foot mat. Jaycee shook his head and pulled his own gun from his waist.
“Put your head down!!” Joseph yelled and marched on the brake. Jaycee squeezed his head under the dashboard, the cackling sound of an UZI hit the car followed by crashing of glasses and screams from Nancy and Maria. Joseph slowed down and swerved the car to the left, the other car slowed down too. Jaycee fired at the car through his window and was replied by superior gunfire that brought down the windshield of the low rider, missing its occupants by an inch, Joseph lost control and the car skidded off the road.
“Brace yourselves” he yelled as the car ran a few meters on dirt track and tumbled into a ditch, crashing to a stop after 5 somersaults.
To be continued