Chapter Twenty

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"All I do is grind and pray, riding through the streets all day..."— August Alsina

August
Two Months Later

I blew into my hands trying to warm them up as I walked down the street towards the bus stop. I was supposed to be on my way to the studio to meet with the girls. For the last few months Darnell had us working together and we were a real good fit if I do say so myself. I got paid for our last couple of sessions so all wasn't lost. Even though it wasn't much, it was enough to refill my mama's prescriptions.

"Aye, don't I know you? Ain't you ask me about some work a few months back?" A balding older brownskin man asked me. He actually wasn't that old, he looked to be in his late thirties or early forties. I recognized his face after a while and turned fully to him, "Yeah I did, I needed a job to take care of my moms she's sick. Mr. Sean right? August." I asked while extending my hand and he took it to shake. "Yeah. You seem like a good kid, got manners, you seem respectful. What you doing trying to work out here on the streets?"

I chuckled, "Thank you sir but where I came from you couldn't put me and manners in the same sentence or else somebody would look at you crazy." He nodded, "Ah, I see. So what? You came up here to turn your life around and then fell on hard times?" I nodded, "Yeah. But I'm working with this singing group now, I do music. Jelissa, you know her?" The guys eyes widened, "Yeah that's my niece. You're working with her?" "Yeah we go to the same school. She's real talented, I've never heard a voice like that."

Sean smiled, "Yeah babygirl could always sing. And you said you go to Eden? How the hell could you afford that?" I shrugged and sighed a little, "Scholarship." He started to chuckle, "A smart thug," I laughed along with him, "I like you, you could come in handy. You still looking for some extra cash?" I shook my head slowly, "Of course I am. But back in New Orleans that whole lifestyle came with a big price tag. I done lost everybody I had cause of what I did and now my mama's all I got left. And she's barely hanging on."

Sean put his hand on my shoulder, "Well up here in the city it ain't how it is down south. That stuff with my niece is nice and all but how much do you really think that'll make you alone? Here. Call me when you get serious. If you want to help your mother you know what you gotta do." He placed a flip phone in my hand before walking away I opened it up and there was one contact saved under just S which I assumed to be Sean's number.

As the bus pulled up in front of me, I put the phone away and got on, sliding my pass and making my way to the far back of the bus. When I got to the stu, Emone and Jelissa were sitting there cracking up. I shook my head and smiled as I entered, "Hey y'all," I gave Jelissa a side hug and dapped up Emone. "Where Amber at?" I asked as I sat on the couch, taking my jacket off. "Well," Emone started, "She said she was sick so she ain't coming." I rolled my eyes, "That girl don't want it." I said while shaking my head.

"Don't say that Auggie, I think she wants it as much as me and Emone." Jelissa said as she walked over to the couch and placed her feet in my lap, "Well she ain't working like she do." I paused and looked Jelissa over for a second, "You lookin' good in them jeans Jelly," I licked my lips as she giggled, "Am I? Thanks homie." "Mmhmm, whatever." I said as I got up and walked towards the mixer and turned on a couple of monitors.

"Girl so why Amber told us she was sick but just posted this picture on the gram? Get your friend Jelissa." Emone rolled her eyes while showing something to Jelissa. I plugged in my flash drive and navigated through the computer system before Jelissa sat next to me and put her hand on my leg. I turned around looking for Emone, "She went to the bathroom. You mad at me for calling you the homie?"She chuckled, "Nah I ain't mad, I'm just wondering when you gone stop playing with a nigga." "Don't be so sensitive August. I like you and you like me, we chillin. I ain't thinking about nobody else."

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