Twenty-six

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Darnel was home

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Darnel was home. He'd stopped by Sunday afternoon to hang out and the boys were more than willing to make room for him as we all chilled out in the rec room listening to music and watching rap videos. I wasn't the only one who looked up to my oldest brother. There had been times when all of my friends felt more than comfortable going to him for advice or as a voice of reason.

         Darnel had his music playing. Slaughterhouse was rapping on their track "Truth or Truth," one of my favorite records by them.

"They pretty nice," Tremaine said as he bobbed his head.

Darnel shook his head. "Nah, they mean on the mic."

Tremaine agreed and looked across the room at me. "Let's play a game."

"What game?" I asked.

"Truth or Truth."

I wasn't surprised he'd gotten the idea to go that route. "Sure."

Tremaine gestured to Marcus. "You first. Truth or Truth?"

Marcus folded his arms across his wide chest. "Truth."

"Tell the truth, when are you and Troy getting married?"

This caused us to chuckle while Marcus frowned. "We ain't, that's just my...baby."

His response caused us to tease him more, but this time Marcus let loose a smile, not at all ashamed.

Marcus targeted Chris next. "Truth or Truth?"

Chris sat back in his seat. "Numero Uno."

"What is your deepest darkest fear?" It was such a safe question, lucky Chris.

Chris took a moment to think, for once appearing serious. "Failure. Stagnancy. Not being enough. All of that."

Since Chris was closest to me, I reached and slugged his shoulder. "You're enough, bro."

He gave a small smile and then it was my turn.

"Truth or Truth, Dre?" Tremaine asked, rubbing his hands together mischievously.

"Truth," I said.

"Did you hook up with Cree?"

Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked to Tremaine.

His question was so left field, I had to pause and look at him sideways. "What?"

"You heard me. Did you hook up with Cree at Chris's party?" He leaned over to get a good look at me. "She never came back to me after you took her away and I never saw her after that. And then you started acting weird all summer."

Now wasn't the time to push the topic of Cree.

"No," I answered, "you go."

Tremaine shrugged. "Truth."

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