C H A P T E R - 8

       Serena was dead asleep on the couch. It was damn-near one o’clock and she was sleeping like a baby. I didn’t blame her either, and I didn’t bother to wake her. She had a hard night, and I was still struggling to put the pieces together. How did Dante know where Serena was at? Now, I had to be even more suspicious around here, and I couldn’t let Serena go nowhere—nowhere by herself anyway. But, as soon as I figured out some information, it’d be hell in Compton. It’d make the national news it was so bad.

       “Egypt, go get the door for me honey,” my momma called. “I’m feeling sick as a dog today.” Momma’s voice was still frail, like an old woman’s. Still, I answered the door, to see Reggie in the doorway.

       “Nigga! Where was you last night? I was looking all over for yo’ ass.”

       “Don’t worry about all that. Listen, I heard about what happened with Serena. Dante still looking for her, so I suggest you don’t let her leave the house at all. Shit gon’ pop off. Luckily, they don’t know nothing about you, but if they did. . . you’d be in deep shit,” Reggie says, and I knew he was serious.

       “We can easily solve that problem,” I reply.

       “What is you talking about?” Reggie scrunched up his eyebrows.

       “Well, I mean we can get rid of Dante all together,” I suggested. I’ve done it once, and I’m not scared to do it again. Dante was somebody I hated, even though I didn’t know him at all. Still, if I could kill somebody that didn’t do anything to harm me, I could actually sleep at night if I killed somebody that was fucking up somebody’s life.

       Reggie laughs. “Egypt. . . that ain’t gon’ be easy. You just can’t shoot somebody. We gotta go in with a plan,” Reggie explains. He acted like there had to be some kind of blueprint in order to blow somebody off the map.

       “Then, shit, make a plan! Serena is my homegirl and ain’t nothing stopping me from keeping her safe,” I exclaimed. “You know Dante personally, and I can tell you know how fucked up he is, so don’t even trip.”

      “I know, but stop doin’ all that damn yellin’. We’ll pop out late a night,” Reggie assured. “I just gotta figure out when to go in. I put this on the dead homies—Dante won’t be alive past tomorrow morning. Deal?” Reggie requests. I nod my head.

      “Just don’t get caught.”

       I shut the door, and woke Serena up if she wasn’t already. She at least deserved to know what was going on. I shook her lightly, and she opened her eyes gradually. She looked tired, even though she had been sleeping for at least 12 hours. “Serena, wake up girl,” I whispered. “We got things to talk about.” Serena pulled the blanket off of her, and looked at me.

      “Serena, we’re going to kill Dante tonight,” I spat at straight-forwardly. “I just wanted you to know so it wouldn’t be a surprise. He’s hurt you and so many other people, so it’s time for him to leave this earth.”

      “N-n-no. You can’t do that,” Serena begs. She looks scared, nervous, and anxious—all in one emotion. I couldn’t believe her; what did she mean ‘we can’t do that?’ After all the pain he’s caused her, she should have no remorse for him, no matter the situation. I didn’t expect her to be all hard and savage-like, but I didn’t expect her to be a cottonball, neither.

      “And why the hell not?” I challenged.

      “Dante is dangerous. He knows people. Once you fuck with him, you fuck with all of them,” Serena explains. “I’m trying to keep you safe, is all.”

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