Flamboyant became Bengee's first name. He now stepped out from the background and wanted to be seen. Whenever he brought a new vehicle, he rode all around town with cases of toilet paper in his car. When he pulled up on the scene, and people would be in awe over the automobile, he'd just reach behind him in the backseat and throw a roll of toilet paper out of the window, so they could wipe their mouth from drooling or s----ing on themselves. He'd go to the clubs and put locks on the bars, so if you didn't know him or somebody in his crew, you were not going to be served a drink. He talked down on the small time nickel and dime hustlers.
Big money had turned Bengee into a monster.
Yarni realized that Bengee was turning into a person that she didn't even know. He became preoccupied with a whole lot of other things. He still came home every night and they still ate dinner together, if he wasn't out of town. But, it was clear to Yarni that Bengee was going to slow up or blow up, and he was 1,000 miles and running. He wasn't slowing up because he was in too deep, and loving every minute of it. For the first time, Bengee didn't have anything mapped out, a goal, an aspiration, and not even a getaway plan. He was living each day as if there was no tomorrow.
“Everything Ain't Fa Everybody” by Shannon Holmes from The Game: Short Stories About the Life (Triple Crown Publications, 2003)
Dressed in a red-hot mini skirt with a matching leather jacket and six-inch stiletto pumps, she looked every bit like the hooker she was desperately trying to portray. Unbeknownst to everybody accept family and friends, Maria was seven months pregnant with the couple's first child. But looking at her one wouldn't be able to tell. Her pregnancy agreed with her. And besides that, men, tricks and johns were too busy lusting off her bodacious body to closely examine her stomach.
This entire operation was Maria's idea. With the baby on the way she wanted to stack all the money she could while she still could. Pretty soon she'd be way too big to even think about doing things like this. She came from a family where breaking the law was a way of life. It was accepted and maybe even expected. Both of her brothers and her father were currently sitting in various prisons in upstate New York for their parts in various crimes. Maria was taught the art of pick pocketing, or jostling, as it is known in New York, by her brothers. She in turn taught her then boyfriend, Ken-Ken.
Growing up as kids and living in the same building, these two couldn't stand each other. They argued constantly. Several times they almost came to blows. Older people in the building predicted that one day they would be a couple since they always fought like one. Sure enough, as they headed into puberty their hormones took over. They suddenly stopped fighting each other and became attracted to each other. Some called it animal magnetism because they couldn't stay away from each other. So after years of fooling around, dating, break ups and make ups, it was decided by Maria's mother that they should get married. The couple agreed and they got hitched downtown in City Hall. It was a small simple ceremony with only a select few friends and family members in attendance.
Ken-Ken hated the idea of having his woman in on a caper, having her in harm's way. But he had no choice. Maria insisted that she be included. They were a family that did everything together, literally. And besides, she was critical to the success of the trap. She was the bait.