Dying to Live

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Soapy
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Dying to Live

Post by Soapy » 16 May 2024, 20:09

Rome catching a case, calling it now
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Caesar
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Dying to Live

Post by Caesar » 17 Jun 2024, 19:36

Second Fiddle

“That’s the third sack of the night for Royce Lafitte and the Terrebonne Tigers are rolling through Kennedy tonight.”

Royce jogged off the field, getting congratulatory slaps on the back from the coaches and his teammates as the return team headed onto the field. He glanced up at the scoreboard which read 38-3 midway through the third quarter.

As he took a seat on the bench, he glanced down the sideline and could see his brother joking around with some of their teammates for a few moments before getting scolded by Coach Anderson. Likely for “not showing respect” to their opponents.



“Romeo Lafitte bounces it to the outside. Oh no, he’s in trouble. He cuts back to the middle of the field. Spins out of tackle. Now, he’s going backwards! He breaks another tackle and turns up the field. There’s nothing but green grass in front of him! 50, 40, 30, 20, 10. Touchdown, Terrebonne!”

Romeo didn’t stop running after getting into the endzone, arcing his run toward the sideline. He pointed at his teammates in celebration before jumping onto the back of one of the offensive linemen, Todd. Todd carried him off the field until they were both dog piled by the rest of the team.

It was his second touchdown of the night, coming on a run that had likely brought him near 200 yards to go along with that.

He shook his head in frustration as Coach Anderson sent the backups to start warming up, signaling the end of his night.



Royce and Romeo stepped out of the fieldhouse into a hot, humid Louisiana night to be greeted by the typical throngs of people and cars trying to leave the stadium and its one parking lot.

“I ain’t gonna hold you, bro. Those niggas sucked,” Romeo said, nodding to the line of Kennedy players heading for the bus to leave.

“Yeah,” Royce said, but he wasn’t focused on the conversation or thinking about the team they just played against. Instead, he was staring at the middle-aged man wearing a Southern Miss polo walking in their direction.

Once the man had spotted the twins, he smiled before pushing through the crowd of people leaving the stadium to get to them.

He stuck his hand out to Royce. “Romeo, how are you doing, son? I’m Chad Williams from Southern Miss. I believe we exchanged a few texts?”

Royce looked at the man’s hand then nodded to Romeo. “That’s Romeo. I’m Royce.”

“Well, shit. They told me the two of you were twins, but I didn’t think you’d look this much alike. Can’t really tell when most of what I’ve seen of you has been with a number on your back and a helmet on your head. Hope you don’t hold it against me.”

Romeo shook his hand once he’d gotten the right twin. “People have been mixing us up our whole lives. You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last.”

“Good, good. Listen, helluva game, son. Coach Hall is really impressed with you and we think that you could have the chance to start for us in a couple years when Frank Gore, Jr. moves on. What do you think about living in Hattiesburg? It’s a nice little town. A lot like here.”

“Thanks, Coach. I haven’t given it a lot of thought, but I’d definitely be willing to come out there and check out the school and all,” Romeo said, struggling to hide the smile that was spreading across his face at the sound of his first potential scholarship offer.

“I know we’re jumping in the ring early, but we just wanted to show you that we mean it when we saw that we want you to be an Eagle. I think it’s a perfect situation for you and us, if I say so myself. You get to experience living somewhere new, but you wouldn’t be so far away from home that you don’t still have the support of your family. Give it some thought, son. We’ll be keeping in touch over the next couple of years.”

“Thank you, sir. Thank you.” Romeo shook Coach Williams’ hand and the man turned to walk away, but Romeo got his attention again. “What about my brother, sir? You know we’d really like to go to the same school.”

The man scratched his chin. “What’d you say your name was again?”

“Royce,” Royce said.

“They got you at linebacker? I think I heard that on the PA.”

“Yeah.”

“You look a little small. How tall are you?”

“Five-eight.”

“Yeah, skinny, too,” Williams said before turning back to Romeo. “I’ll talk to Coach about what we can do for your brother. We’ll be in touch.”

“Thanks again,” Romeo said, still smiling after the man had disappeared in the crowd of people pushing their way down the sidewalk.

Royce started walking toward the parking lot before noticing that Romeo wasn’t walking with him. He turned around to find his brother still standing in the same spot and smiling.

“Come on, man. I’m trying to go home.”

“You not excited? I basically just got offered!” Romeo yelled.

“Yeah, congratulations. Now, come the fuck on. You know how long it takes to get out of this bitch.”

“Bruh, I don’t feel like you hype enough about this shit,” Romeo said as he started walking toward the parking lot as well. “I’m trying not to start running up and down the street, yelling for everyone to suck my dick because I’m going D1.”

“If that’s the reaction you want, I can run you down Bourg because you’d like to get your ass whupped around here shouting that. D1 or not.”

Romeo shoved his brother. “Man, fuck you.”

The two of them shared a laugh, but Royce’s wasn’t as genuine as his brother’s.

~~~~~~~~~~

Romeo picked up a soggy ham sandwich that the school’s cafeteria was attempting to convince the students was a hamburger, letting some unknown liquid drop from the bread before he let the sandwich fall back into the tray.

“You know Reg and Rana say that the food was this disgusting back when they came to this bitch, too,” Romeo said as he wiped his fingers on a napkin.

Royce looked over. “I don’t know why you carried your ass in there to get that shit. Just wait until weights and get one of the seniors to run you to Wendy’s if you hungry.”

The two of them sat at a table with two of their friends, Donnie and Ervin, who were also not risking food poisoning by partaking in Terrebonne’s less-than-stellar culinary options.

“I’ve been trying to lock down this fat bitch in my English 3 class to sneak me some food from Mr. Ronnie’s or something when she leave after second period. Y’all need to know how to play the game,” Donnie said.

“English 3? So, she’s fat and stupid?” Royce asked.

“That boy fucking with a girl with Down Syndrome. When she leaves it’s on one of them short buses,” Ervin said, causing Royce and Romeo to laugh.

Donnie held his hands up. “Look, she in the same class as me so I figure she just like everyone else. Not my fault she failed the class and up in there with a bunch of juniors.”

“Or you in the fucking special ed class,” Romeo said. “It’s alright, bro. We about to graduate in a year. We’re going to find out anyway when you don’t get a real diploma.”

“He might not even get the fake one. He’s going to have to take that shit from the fat bitch,” Royce said.

“I’m gonna snatch that shit and run, too. She ain’t never going to catch me. Going to be running like this behind me,” Donnie said, jumping up to mimic a fat person running, drawing laughter from the group.

Another group of boys walked behind him, bumping into him on the narrow sidewalk that was filled with the school’s student body milling about during their lunch period.

“Watch where you going, lil’ bitch,” one of them said, shoving Donnie and making him fall back onto the table.

“Y’all could’ve walked in the fucking circle,” Romeo said.

“Make me walk in the fucking circle. If not, shut your pussy ass up, nigga.”

Romeo got up from the table and walked around to where the other group was standing. “Ain’t nobody scared of you because of your brother, Jeremi. Your family wouldn’t even respect you hiding behind they name like this.”

“Ain’t nobody repping off someone else. But I already know you ain’t ‘bout it because I been fucked your bitch and you still ain’t done nothing about that.”

Royce stood up and walked around the back of the groups and the small smattering of students that were beginning to pay attention to the commotion, eager to see a fight.

“How you lying about pussy, bruh?” Romeo asked, laughing. “Everyone in the Bricks know you never fucked nothing except your cousin. Unless you don’t count that shit anymore. The hood do, though.”

Jeremi shoved Romeo. “You talking a lot of shit for someone who can’t fight. Niggas ain’t seen you do nothing but run.”

Romeo shrugged off his backpack and tossed it aside. Jeremi shook his head and hiked his pants up, preparing to square up.

But before he could, Royce came up behind him and swung a haymaker at Jeremi’s jaw. It connected cleanly, sending the boy slumping to the ground. One of Jeremi’s friends threw a punch at Royce but he dodged it and got in one of his own.

The school’s SRO ran over to the fracas to end it before it got out of hand. He immediately wrestled Royce to the ground and slapped a pair of handcuffs on him. He stood up and looked at Jeremi groggily pulling himself on the bench and handcuffed him as well as his friend.

“Yo, he ain’t even do nothing!” Romeo shouted, pointing at his brother.

“Shut the fuck up,” the officer snapped as he hauled Royce to his feet before herding the three boys to the assistant principals’ offices.

Soapy
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Dying to Live

Post by Soapy » 17 Jun 2024, 20:12

I can already see it now, Romeo using his NIL money to put money on Royce's books smh
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Caesar
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Dying to Live

Post by Caesar » 17 Jun 2024, 20:25

Soapy wrote:
16 May 2024, 20:09
Rome catching a case, calling it now
Soapy wrote:
17 Jun 2024, 20:12
I can already see it now, Romeo using his NIL money to put money on Royce's books smh
Bro put 500 on red and 500 on black

Soapy
Posts: 7321
Joined: 27 Nov 2018, 18:42

Dying to Live

Post by Soapy » 17 Jun 2024, 21:13

Caesar wrote:
17 Jun 2024, 20:25
Soapy wrote:
16 May 2024, 20:09
Rome catching a case, calling it now
Soapy wrote:
17 Jun 2024, 20:12
I can already see it now, Romeo using his NIL money to put money on Royce's books smh
Bro put 500 on red and 500 on black
Rome definitely beating the sexual assault case, respectfully
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Caesar
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Dying to Live

Post by Caesar » 20 Jun 2024, 06:07

Trouble Man, Trouble Man

”In a quarter of a mile, exit right to Sherwood Forest Boulevard and use the two right lanes to turn right.”

Royce reached up and adjusted the visor to attempt to block out more of the sun beaming into the car as he drove down the interstate. On a whim, he’d decided to drive to Baton Rouge to pay his sisters a visit. Given his week-long suspension from school for “fighting” with Jeremi and his friend, it beat the alternative of sitting around at home playing Madden or 2K.

There was only a slight problem. He’d never been to Rana’s house.

He had the address, but as he turned into a subdivision with streets lined with houses with manicured lawns, he didn’t need to be reminded of the type of things that had been happening in the country when people turned into the wrong driveway to add to his apprehension.

”In one thousand feet, you will arrive at your destination.”

Royce scanned the yards as he passed the houses. Yards filled with signs showing that the children of the home went to one private school or another, a smattering of LSU decorations. There was one thing that stood out to him the most.

Trees.

There were so many of them.

Waze indicated that he’d arrived at the house, and he swung his car into the driveway. His 2008 Honda Accord looked out of place behind a Lexus SUV and an Audi, and next to an F-350. He debated backing up and leaving, fearing he’d gotten the address wrong.

He reached for his phone that had fallen between the car seat and center console on the drive to put Houma into Waze.

But a thudding knock at the window made him look up. A Black man stood there waving for him to roll down the window – with a pistol in his hand.

Royce held his hands up before tapping the button for the window.

“You young motherfuckers getting bold, huh? Trying to kick the door in in broad daylight?” the man asked.

“It wasn’t nothing like that. I was just looking for my sister house. I’m not from around here.”

“I could hear you not from around here. You sound like you from the City. But you not fooling no one with that sister shit. Just gone and back out of here and go find one of these white folks to try to rob, but they got guns, too.”

Royce held up his phone and pointed to where he’d put in the address in Waze. “This is the address I got. My bad if it’s wrong, big brother.”

The man flicked his finger up the screen. “You from Houma? What’s your sister’s name?”

“Rana. I’m Royce.”

The man eyed Royce for a moment before putting the gun in his waistband and stepping back, opening the door as he did. “Why didn’t you just say that shit first? You can’t be too safe around here these days. They don’t call Baton Rouge the Big Raggedy for nothing.”

Royce wanted to point out that he did say why he was there first but decided to bite his tongue.

“It’s all good. It ain’t the first time I’ve seen a gun,” Royce said instead.

“Yeah, Rana told me where y’all grew up. Name’s Tyrell, by the way.”



Twenty minutes later, Royce was sitting in what had to be one of the biggest living rooms he’d ever seen. It had to be two or three times the size of his mom’s entire house. Part of him feared he’d get lost if he asked to use their bathroom.

More apologies were shared between Royce and Tyrell, who Royce had learned was Rana’s fiancé – a detail she’d left out of her rare check-ins with the family back home.

Royce had also learned Tyrell was a chemical engineer working at one of the big plants along the river, which explained the three vehicles outside and the fancy neighborhood they lived in. He’d made a joke about his bonus being a little lighter than normal, but Royce would’ve taken “light” in an instant.

Rana walked into the living room and sat on the sofa across from Royce.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming up here instead of just showing up?” she asked.

Royce shrugged. “I was bored.”

“Why aren’t you in school?”

“Got suspended. Punched a nigga in the jaw because he was about to get into it with Rome.”

“We don’t use that word in our house.”

“What? Nigga? Stop it,” Royce said, laughing. “You only been up here for a few years. I know you ain’t change up already. It’s mad Black people up here, too.”

“I’m serious, Ro. Anyway, why would you fight someone because they were arguing with Rome? Why would you be fighting at school at all? You know you’re going to get F’s for anything that you miss while you’re suspended.”

Royce shrugged. “I’m going to be alright. You know how it is up the bayou. You can’t let n—dudes think you’re a bitch. They’re going to have you twisting up and down Morgan like a punk if they think they can pull your card.”

Rana sighed and sat back on the sofa. “You know I’ve asked ma several times to let you and Rome come live up here. It’d be a better environment for y’all, and it’d take some of the pressure off her since we know she doesn’t have time to parent.”

“Come live up here?” he asked before reaching over to a picture frame an end table and holding it up. It showed Tyrell, Rana and Roni at some event. Roni was wearing a private school uniform. “And end up like Roni, the only Black kids at some private school? It’s a no from me, dog.”

“Roni’s doing really good there.”

“You saying it’s a better environment, but your man just pulled a gun on a random kid pulling into your driveway. I ain’t never had someone up the stick on me in the Bricks just for pulling into their yard. Rome getting scholarship offers. He’ll be out of the Bricks in a couple years.”

“What about you? Any schools talking to you?”

He put the picture back down. “I’ll find some junior college to go.”

“Tyrell played football. Went to U-High and Southern. I could ask him to give you tips if you want.”

“I’m good.”

Rana sighed again, pushing herself up to her feet. “Well, since you’re here, I guess we can take you out to eat somewhere. There’s a good seafood place just a few streets over.”

“I don’t know if I want seafood way up here. That shit might be rancid.”

“You even know what rancid fucking means?” she asked, rolling her eyes.

Royce laughed at his ability to still annoy his older sister as he followed her to the door.

~~~~~~~~~~

Romeo looked across the street at the emptying parking lot as the football players, band and cheerleaders left their respective practices. He shot a text to Royce to ask him where he was, receiving a two-word response.

’In BR’

Romeo cursed under his breath at the prospect of having to walk home. Practice had been hard enough without the added stress of the 20-minute walk ahead of him.

A couple of his teammates, Ahmad and Basil, walked out of the fieldhouse. The two of them also lived nearby and typically walked home after practice.

“Y’all walking or got a ride?” Romeo asked them.

Basil lifted his foot and smacked his shoes. “Only ride I got right here, bruh.”

“Shit, I’m gonna walk with y’all then.”

“Where’s your brother? That boy left you stranded to go fuck on some bitch in the Lakes or something? I know y’all love them white girls,” Ahmad said, laughing at his own joke as the three of them started down the street.

“He said he’s in Baton Rouge but fuck if I know what he’s doing up there.”

“Maybe he got tired of you getting all the shine and decided to go get himself a scholarship from LSU or some shit. You know we on they map a little bit because of Maason.”

Romeo shook his head. “Nah, he would’ve told me if he’d heard from any recruiters. Our sisters live up there so I’m guessing he went up there to see them. Still some random shit either way.”

“Y’all got sisters? They fine?” Basil asked.

“Watch your mouth, nigga,” Romeo said, shoving Basil into the guardrail of the bridge they were walking across.

Basil threw his hands up. “Hey, I was just asking. Ain’t too many people up the bayou that I ain’t related to. I gotta try to take my shots where I can.”

“You related to the Mexicans who go to church over there?” Ahmad asked, nodding to the Hispanic church across the bayou.

“For real,” Romeo said.

“Narco trafficante, narco trafficante. Te quiero cocaina, mi familia es mi hombre. I speak-a the Spanish, bruh!”


“You stupid. Kevin Gates probably didn’t even say that shit right, but you go on over there and tell them people that. They gonna have El Chapo showing up at your house with a chainsaw and a barrel of acid for you and your mama.”

They came up on the part of the walk that Romeo hated the most and he stopped talking to eye the “gas” station to their left and the people milling around it.

It was officially known as Time Stop, but the locals called it Crime Stop. Almost everyone in the neighborhoods around it knew someone who’d been shot, stabbed, jumped or arrested at the Crime Stop at some point.

Jeremi walked out of the store and he and Romeo locked eyes. Jeremi tapped a young man standing next to the door and pointed in Romeo’s direction. The two exchanged some words before the young man stepped away from the wall.

“Hey, lil’ nigga! Come here and you bet not run!” he shouted, beckoning for Romeo.

“Fuck,” Romeo muttered under his breath.

“Nah, that’s that crazy nigga, Jamie,” Basil said before taking off running.

Ahmad shrugged at Romeo before running away himself.

Romeo walked toward the store as Jeremi and Jamie approached him. Jamie was Jeremi’s older brother. Somewhere in his mid-20s, Jamie had recently completed a three-year sentence at Dixon. He was probably a nobody to the old heads in the neighborhood, but he scared the younger guys on the block.

“Jeremi say you and your brother jumped him,” Jamie said. “That’s some coward shit.”

“Jumped him? He just got knocked the fuck out,” Romeo said.

Jamie looked at his brother.

“Nah, them niggas jumped me. His brother stole off on me on some bitch shit and then he jumped in,” Jeremi said, rubbing at the bruise under his eye.

Jamie held his hands out. “Sounds like y’all need to get y’all one then.”

Jeremi hiked his pants up, getting ready to fight. Romeo, on the other hand, only shook his head and took a step back.

“I’m not fighting. That shit dead,” Romeo said.

“You gonna fight Jeremi or you gonna fight me. Either way, you gonna be fighting out here. Or maybe we should just stomp your ass out like y’all did my brother, and we’ll get your brother when we see him. What’s it gonna be, lil’ nigga?”

Romeo sighed and tossed his dufflebag onto the ground, squaring up with Jeremi. Before they could start fighting, a Houma Police Department cruiser pulled into the parking lot. An officer stepped out, glanced at Jeremi and Romeo then turned his attention to Jamie.

The officer patted Jamie’s sides with one hand while he kept the other one his gun. “Where the gun, Jamie?”

“I ain’t got nothing on me, Officer Johnson. I’m a felon,” he said, pulling his shirt up.

“Some of them over there are felons, too. Aren’t you supposed to be avoiding hanging around felons?” the officer asked.

“I was just walking my little brother home.”

“You probably shouldn’t be hanging around any high school students either,” Officer Johnson said, jabbing his thumb over at Romeo. “That charge for carnal knowledge might be sealed, but we didn’t forget it happened.”

“Don’t put that charge on me, man.”

“You put the charge on yourself messing with them kids, motherfucker. Ain’t nobody putting a charge on you you didn’t earn. Sit on the car. We gonna get your P.O. down here about the company you keeping.”

The officer turned to Romeo. “Get the fuck out of here, kid.”

Romeo didn’t need to be told twice as he snatched up his bag.

“I’ll be seeing you, bruh,” Jeremi said as Romeo started walking.
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Dying to Live

Post by Captain Canada » 20 Jun 2024, 12:13

Wild update but I rocked with it. Jerami gonna put Romeo in a wheelchair, I'm calling it here.
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Caesar
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Post by Caesar » 22 Jun 2024, 19:40

Leading Act

Royce tossed an empty beer can out of the window of his car before resting his head back against the headrest. He closed his eyes and listened to the music coming out of the speakers. It’d been years since he had a night before a Thursday, Friday or Saturday in the fall that was preceding a day with a football game on the horizon.

Yet, as the clock struck midnight and Friday arrived, he was still wide awake thanks to his suspension barring him from that night’s game.

His hand shot down to his lap, grabbing a fist full of hair.

“Fuck,” he said, releasing his grip.

A girl sat up into the passenger seat, patting the back of her head with one hand to fix her hair and rubbing the back of her other hand across her lips. She flipped down the visor to look in the mirror and sucked her teeth when she saw strands of hair out of place.

“I told you not to grab my head, nigga,” she said. “You ain’t making no money for me to go get this fixed, are you?”

Royce shook his head. “How you blaming me because you give fire head? But I don’t know what you tripping for. Just go ask Arianna to do your hair if you think it’s fucked up. That’s your girl. She’ll do it for free.”

“Even if she do, I still gotta buy the hair. Y’all dumb as fuck sometimes. Besides, I’m not trying to tell her that I’ve been fucking with your goofy ass.”

“You don’t think she already know, Yonique? You live across the street from her.”

“If she do, then she ain’t never said anything so we’re going to keep it that way.”

Royce and Yonique had been in a long-term situationship dating back to the Houma Junior High days, but she’d been in their circle since middle school due to being one of Ariana’s best friends. Neither of them had interest in pursuing anything more than the occasional hookup – both owing to an expectation that their time in Houma was nearing its end with college on the horizon.

“You take the ACT yet?” she asked as she grabbed a bottle of water out of a bag on the floor on the passenger side of the car.

“I don’t need to take that shit. Ain’t like I’m trying to get into college with my grades or some shit. The only score these motherfuckers going to be worried about is my 40 time, not whether I got a 20 or a 21,” Royce said.

“I thought you said you ain’t been hearing from no colleges about scholarships. Keep playing around and you’re going to end up in bumfuck West Virginia surrounded by white people telling you that you got a pretty mouth,” she said before laughing at her own joke.

“Last I checked, Monroe isn’t exactly the Blackest city in the world.”

Yonique rolled her eyes. “Grambling right there, first of all. And I never said I was definitely going to ULM. I just said that my ACT score good enough for me to get in there. You never paying attention to the shit I be saying.”

“Because paying attention to the shit you be saying is some boyfriend shit so you can find another nigga to do that for you.”

“Another nigga would probably eat pussy better, too. Sound like you trying to get yourself replaced, Ro. Trying to be like your brother fucking them wannabe white bitches or something?”

Royce laughed as he reached over to dig through the bag at her feet, retrieving a Black and Mild. “Eating pussy good sound like some more boyfriend shit. I ain’t trying to impress your ass. That shit just a means to an end. But don’t try to play me. You know I’m not like Rome. If I wanted to fuck a white girl, I’ll just go fuck a white girl.”

“Seriously though. You not worried about college? Can’t you send your shit to schools to try to get them to recruit you?”

He didn’t respond as he used one of his fingernails to split the Black and Mild in half to unroll the paper. He flicked the tobacco out of the window and set the now unrolled cigarillo on his lap.

“I figure it’s going to happen when it happen. If I fuck around and end up missing my chance then I guess I’m going to go work at Amazon or some shit. My sister’s fiancé might know some people up there are that new spot in Baton Rouge,” he said, pulling a bag of weed out of the center console. He’d swiped the last of Reg’s before leaving the house.

“That’s what you want to do with your life? Work at Amazon?”

“They get paid. Fuck you mean? Better than any job I’m gonna get in Houma anyway unless I go work for T. Baker or Morris P. but either way I’m going to be breaking my back for a check. Might as well at least work inside.”

“I think you need a degree to work at T. Baker or Morris P.”

Royce finished rolling the blunt and held it up to admire his handiwork before trying to find his lighter. “Well, fuck. Guess it’s Amazon or Fourchon then. But that’s a tomorrow problem. I’m sure someone gonna want to give me a scholarship sooner or later. I’ll go to bumfuck West Virginia if some school out there want to give me a free ride there.”

He found the lighter and brought the blunt up to his mouth, but Yonique snatched it out of his hand before grabbing the lighter as well.

“Ladies first,” she said.

“Make sure you don’t put your mouth all on that. You just had dick in that bitch.”

“Just be glad it wasn’t someone else dick.”

~~~~~~~~~~

“Keep your head up, baby. Y’all played good, but you know you can’t win them all.”

Royce pulled up in front of the house and put the car in park. His mother, Romeo and Reg climbed out of the back seat while Arianna hopped out of the passenger. It was one of those rare days that their mother was able to make it to a game after planning weeks in advance to take the day off.

Unfortunately, it was also a game that Terrebonne managed to lose. While he knew it wasn’t true, Royce had been telling himself it was because he wasn’t out on the field. Destrehan wouldn’t have run for 300 yards if he was playing.

“They were cheating, though,” Romeo said as he grabbed his stuff out of the trunk. “They were grabbing my facemask everytime they tackled me and the referees ain’t call nothing.”

“It’s all good. You did your thing out there,” Rashida said.

“Should’ve hit them niggas with that uh-uh a few more times,” Reg said, doing his best imitation of a juke followed by a stiff arm. “That’s how I was doing them back in the day when y’all were still little boys. Y’all learned that from me.”

Their mother smacked him in the shoulder. “Boy, get your ass out of my way.” She glanced at Royce. “Get the rest of your brother stuff for him.”

“He got it already,” Royce said, pointing at Romeo’s bags in his hands.

Romeo shrugged before holding the bags out to Royce. A sharp glare from his mother was enough encouragement for Royce to take them from his brother, even though Romeo had carried his own stuff into the house dozens of times before.

A car creeping down the street and pulling to a stop behind Royce’s car caught all of their attention. A middle-aged white man rolled down the window and leaned over.

“Is this the Lafittes’ house?”

Rashida crouched down to try to see the man better. “Who’s asking?”

The man grabbed a business card out of the cup holder and held it up. “Name’s Chris Raitano. I’m a coach at Rice in Houston. I’m looking for Romeo Lafitte. We’d like to talk to him about playing football for us.”

Rashida straightened up and grabbed Romeo’s arm. “Romeo’s right here. Come on in.”

The man jumped out of the car and jogged up the sidewalk, shaking Rashida and Romeo’s hands before being led into the house.

Rashida stopped behind them after ushering them in. She turned to Reg, Royce and Arianna and stopped them from walking into the house. “Nuh-uh. Y’all wait out here. I don’t need this white man thinking we triflin’ with y’all cutting up in here.”

“Ma, it’s cold out here,” Reg said.

“Go sit in Royce car then,” she said, entering the house and shutting the door behind her.

Royce walked over to the steps and sat down. “That man been in every hood in America and she think he ain’t seen triflin’ before.”

“Why they not talking to you, too?” Reg asked. “Both y’all play football. I don’t know nothing about any Rice or Beans but if they called Rice they can’t be too good. Should be trying to get all the help they can get.”

“You gotta ask him that,” Royce said, jabbing his thumb over his shoulder toward the house. “They only got so many scholarships to go around, so they don’t talk to every player because then they’ll had to tell too many guys to fuck off.”

“Yeah, but you and Rome what and what,” Arianna said. “If they think Rome good enough, then they gotta think you’re good enough too.”

“Don’t work like that.”

Reg leaned his ear against the door. “They talking about some shit called NIL. What’s that, Ro?”

“The shit that let these schools pay you when you play for them. I don’t think Rice got it like that, but shit’s in Houston so they might be able to get some of them rich, old oil execs to help them get players through the door.”

“Pay you? For college football? Nigga, you better get off your ass and get in there to try to get you some money, too,” Reg said, laughing.

“Would if I could. All I can do is wait for them to come talk to me like they coming talk to him,” Royce said, shrugging.

“Couldn’t be me. I’d have all them running behind me,” Reg said, jumping off the porch and attempting a spin move. He stumbled but caught his balance before he hit the ground. “If she asks, tell Ma I’m going to Peanut house.”

Royce didn’t answer as Reg started to walk down the street. No one was going to ask where he was going. He didn’t have a license. He didn’t have a car. It wouldn’t be far unless he could convince someone to give him a ride with a likely unfulfilled promise of gas money.

“I think whenever he’s done talking to Rome and he come out here, you should tell him about yourself. You can take advantage of all these coaches and shit coming talk to him,” Arianna said as she sat on the steps next to Royce.

He shook his head. “I’m not trying to beg no one to give me a scholarship. They see me out there on the field just like they see him out there on the field.”

“It ain’t begging if you’re good enough and they just haven’t noticed you yet. Closed mouths don’t get fed, Ro.”

“I’ll play next week. Maybe I’ll get some shine then.”

“Hope you’re right.”

The two cousins lapsed into silence as they watched people walk up and down the street, heading to destinations unknown. Most of them were likely well into their 30s and 40s, lost souls that never found a path and are now stuck orbiting around a run-down, dead-end neighborhood.

College was supposed to be Romeo and Royce’s way out. It looked more likely that it was only going to be Romeo’s way out unless something changed.

Royce reached into his pocket and retrieved two twenty dollar bills. He held them out to Arianna.

“What’s that for?” she asked, confusion in her voice.

“Hair.”
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Captain Canada
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Joined: 01 Dec 2018, 00:15

Dying to Live

Post by Captain Canada » 23 Jun 2024, 20:27

We really getting to the meat and potatoes now, that was a fun read
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Caesar
Posts: 6765
Joined: 27 Nov 2018, 10:47

Dying to Live

Post by Caesar » 23 Jun 2024, 21:53

Captain Canada wrote:
23 Jun 2024, 20:27
We really getting to the meat and potatoes now, that was a fun read
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