Chapter 3

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Passion

*4 Years Earlier*

Money across from me sporting an orange jumpsuit and a scar under his right eye from a fight he was in a few months ago. He fought one of the younger inmates that was trying to set him up to get caught by the guards for selling his commissary inside of the prison. Money was selling everything from Hot Cheetos, Honey buns, and even down to socks. He was selling it and everybody was keeping it a secret, but the guards were on to him. 

They had a hunch he was selling commissary, but they didn't have any proof, so they couldn't do anything about it. It was all speculation until the guards enlisted a dumb 17 year old, who really thought the guards would talk to the judge about taking time off of his sentence for snitching on Money and other inmates.

But the plan backfired on them. One of the other guards, that had ties with a few of the inmates, told an inmate and word got back to Money about what Terry, the dumb 17 year old, was trying to get him in trouble for, so Money whooped his ass. Terry didn't stand a chance against Money until he pulled out a shank and swiped Money across the face with it, leaving an ugly scar on his face.

Now, here I was, months later looking at the scar on his face that was never going anywhere. He'd be looking at this scar for the rest of his life, thanks to that dumb kid who couldn't fight fair.

"Man, you don't know how much I miss you Pash," Money sighed as he looked around at the other inmates who were talking with their loved ones too. He reached out for my hand, before intertwining our fingers. "I swear, with all the crazy shit going on in here, you're the only sane thing that keeps my mind straight. All these niggas crazy ma."

I slightly smiled. "Well, I guess you're right where you belong then."

He smacked his lips. "I run this bitch. I keep these crazy niggas in check. Ain't shit stopping me back there."

"Oh, yeah? What's going on? How have you been?"

Money chuckled as he rubbed his thumb across the promise ring he gave me when he first went to prison. It was a ring promising that he'd stand by me and protect me, even if he wasn't physically with me and he meant everything he promised me. Of course, I didn't want him getting locked up, but it's changed him for the better. He's matured so much the past few years.

"Niggas testing me back there. Niggas from my past popping up, tryna get me to put them on when I get out. Everybody wants a handout, but Ion got shit to give them. I'm in the same place as them, so what do they expect me to give them?"

"Tell them what it is, like for real. Don't let them hound you about something you don't got."

"Ion need niggas in my business though Pash. See, it's certain things you gotta remember when you locked up. Your reputation is what's most important and if niggas think I ain't moving shit or let my little operation crumble, they gon' claim I fell off. And once I get outta this bitch, I won't have shit to go back to in the real world because it's gonna get out that I fell off and I'm weak."

"But you didn't fall off though. You just left that lifestyle behind."

"You can't never leave this shit alone, ma," he sighed, looking down. "Even if you walk away and cut ties with niggas, somebody will always pop up from the past tryna ruin the good you're out here doing. Nobody wants to see me win."

I scrunched up my face, sensing it was something else he wasn't telling me. Money never talks like this, all in his feelings over his past and concerned about what people think about him. Normally, he just brushes off what people say and stays to himself, so something was definitely up with him. 

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