one - new beginnings

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Yajel

"No King I don't know what room you put your glock in, y no es mi problema (it's not my problem)", I scoffed walking out of the house taking off my hoodie. The Los Angeles sun was unforgiving on this particular September day. How can people live in this heat?

I walk to the back of the moving truck and stare looking for something light to carry. All the heavier things I'm going to force King to get.

  Behind me I hear a whistle and a few chuckles, I turn to find a yard full of cholos lounging on couches in someone's front yard.

   "Aye sweet thing why don't you come over here and give me a kiss", one of the men yell. The rest of them chuckle at his comment, dapping him up for being so bold.

  "Aye stupid why don't you come over here and let me desollarlo vivo (skin you alive)", the lot goes quiet and I smirk grabbing some more things from the truck and walking into the small house.

   King says he wants this to be a permanent move but I can't see that happening considering I've been here ten minutes and I'm already planning a murder. Inside the house I place the kitchen boxes on the counter and take plates, cups and bowls out organizing them accordingly.

   "Que eres? Un diseñador de interiores(What are you? An interior designer?)", King asks checking the magazine in his 9mm.

   "You're doing it wrong", I snort, he pushes the bullets harshly into the handle and it jams. Of course he has no gentle touch when it comes to these things. I take the gun empty it, reload it, cock it and hand it back to him before sighing and leaving the house.

"I could've done that myself perdedora (loser)", he yells.

    Two boys strange stand at the end of my driveway staring at the men on the lot. They whisper to each other plotting something as I slowly walk up behind them. Slowly I grab their necks and they damn near faint.

   "What are you doing?", I ask innocently waiting for them to pop back up from the gravel.

  "You wouldn't understand", the small Hispanic one dismisses me. The tall black child hits him hard on the shoulder and then turns to me with a smile.

   "Sorry about my friends rude behavior, we are trying to find a way to sneak into their backyard and retrieve Ruby's phone", the boys says and then holds out his hand, "my name is Jamal."

   "Nice to meet you, but why sneak into their back yard. Just walk over and ask them for it", I say.

   "It's not that simple new girl", the short boy, who I now know is Ruby, snaps.

   "I mean I could go get it for you but if you don't want my help then I should be off", I turn away quickly from the boys and pick up a bag that needs to go into my room.

   "Wait", Ruby says, a smile creeps onto my face.

   "What's your plan new girl?", he turns to face me.

  "First of all call me 'jel (hel)", I say and turn to the men, "how about..if I can get your phone back in five minutes you pay me five bucks deal?"

  "Wait this is extort-", Jamal starts.

"Deal! Jamal stay out of this I just got that phone yesterday and we can't start high school without something to put all those numbers in", Ruby says slicking back his hair.

"What numbers?", Jamal asks.

"The ladies who are going to be all over us", Ruby says looking off into the distance.

   Jamal and I give him a strange look and I set out on my plan. I walk over to the yard, thinking of something to get the men out of the way.

   "Guys I heard there is a party going on four blocks down", the guys don't budge, "there are Prophets there talking about taking over your territory, I say y'all give them a run for their money."

  With that incentive they get off their ass and rush down the block leaving an open area for me to peruse. I make my way to the back yard my hand swiping the back of my neck as my mess of a bun begins to fall.

  I search for a few minutes and almost lose hope until I find the iPhone glimmering in a pile of bear bottles and old limes.

  "Solo mi suerte (just my luck)", without hesitation I pick up the phone and go to the side of the house waving it to the boys. They smile graciously and their faces quickly turn to horror.

   I hear someone behind me clear their throat and on instinct I throw my elbow back knocking the culprit in the nose.

  "Que mierda? (what the fuck?)", his deep voice sends a chill down my spine. I turn to face him fully and he holds his nose with an annoyed look.

  "Sorry you shouldn't run up on people like that", I say and begin to walk off. He grabs me by my wrist and pulls me to the back of his house.

  I throw a punch to his eyes and to his groin. I skip happily across the street and hand Ruby his phone, leaving my hand out for the five dollars.

"You know we could use something like you, you know, in our crew", Ruby says handing me the money.

"She seems more dangerous than Spooky", he turns to me and says, "no offense."

"None taken, I don't know who that is", I pick at my acrylic nails and turn on my heels to walk to the house. Behind me I can hear them whisper between themselves.

"Wait up, 'jel I think we could actually use you on our team. Especially for something important we have to do tomorrow", Ruby says.

"We?"

"Okay I have something important to do tomorrow, but I think we could help each other out", Ruby says pushing my shoulder with his finger playfully.

"You seemed to need a lot of my help hombrecito (little man), I thought I was dangerous", he rolls his eyes at the nickname while Jamal starts to laugh.

"I just need to be tough tomorrow while I talk to Spooky, and I think your tough exterior could help me accomplish that", Ruby says.

"And what's in it for me?", I ask folding my five dollar bill into a paper airplane.

"My mom makes these amazing cupcakes every Friday, I could steal you some", he bargains.

Homemade cupcakes don't sound too bad, I haven't had baked goods in long time that didn't have some sort of drug in them.

"Deal, I will meet you in this spot tomorrow at nine o'clock", I say unfolding my money and locking up the truck.

"See you then 'yel", he says before I close the house door.

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