Trouble Finds the Banks Family

Destination Final Series - Scene 2

July 2003…

Robert and Tamara Banks pulled into a gas station—mini mart to fill up their 1993 Jeep Cherokee. In the back seat was their precious cargo: their daughter Alicia, and their son Robert Jr., whom they call Rock.

Alicia is a very pretty young girl with long black hair and big beautiful eyes. She is a clone of her mother; she is also an extremely talkative three-year-old. Articulating her words with the ease of the average six-year-old, Alicia insists on always asking lots of questions.

Rock is a very handsome and brilliant five-year-old want-to-be computer game champion; although he thinks he’s the greatest. He is tall for a five-year-old and is a very disciplined and polite young boy. He and his father are the best of friends and for the moment Rock has but one goal in life, and that is to beat his dad at playing computer games.

Robert’s wife Tamara is a twenty-four-year-old, full-time mother and a part-time university student. She is a very beautiful and shapely young woman. Tamara has a fond affection for people, and she has aspirations of one day helping the elderly as a care giver. A part time worker at her local church, Tamara spends most of her free time at church functions and Bible studies. She and Robert have known each other since they were children. They have lived together for a total of six years, and they have been married for four years.

Robert is a tall, handsome, thin built twenty-six-year-old assistant manager trainee at Wal-Mart. He is an excellent provider for his family and will do anything for them. Although Tamara does not know it, Robert is also a drug dealer. He subsidizes their income by selling crack cocaine when he is not on the clock at Wal-Mart. For a little more than a year Robert has been hiding his part-time occupation from his wife by telling her that he earns extra money cutting grass with a friend who is the owner of a lawn service.

Robert was in the mini mart when two suspicious looking young men entered the store. Dressed in white tank tops and over-sized denim jeans that are at least two sizes too large for them, both men are holding their trousers in the front with one hand to keep them from falling as they casually stroll into the store.

One of the men had done business with Robert four days earlier. His name is Jackie Charles but everyone calls him JC. People who know JC would agree that he is a troublemaker who doubles as a bully. Five feet, ten inches tall, JC has black hair that he wears braided most of the time. Weighing in at one hundred seventy-five pounds JC has well-defined upper body muscles. With a long narrow face, and bulging eyes that seem to stare right through you, JC’s piercing stare can at times be very intimidating.

Robert had purchased a twenty-four-inch television set from JC for forty dollars. At the time of the sale they both agreed on a price of forty dollars, twenty dollars cash and a twenty-dollar crack cocaine rock. The next day JC told Robert that the crack rock he sold him was a fake rock; he told Robert that he still owed him twenty dollars. Then the following day JC came back and said that his price had now gone up to forty dollars cash because he had not been paid the twenty dollars for the original crack rock.

JC is a small-time crack cocaine dealer who is trying to move up the scale of being a major player in the drug market and he has a personal beef with Robert that he does not know about. Robert has been selling crack to some of JC’s clientele and JC is upset and is looking for a way to put an end to Robert’s territory enlargement. The twenty dollars that he claims is owed to him has nothing to do with JC’s motivation for repeatedly harassing Robert because it is all in relation to a territorial dispute for crack sales.

As JC approached Robert in the aisle he said,

“What up dog... remember me?”

“Yea, I remember you,” answered Robert. “What do you want now?”

“I want them forty dollars you owe me for that television set I sold you,” said JC.

Robert knew the games street hustlers play all too well. He thought within, these dudes are really pushing their luck; trying to set me up for a robbery no doubt. Robert had been schooled in the pros and cons of street life in the hood all of his life, and he knew perfectly well exactly how to respond. Robert thought to himself, people have tried to hustle me before, but no one has ever had this much enthusiasm and persistence. This dude never gives up.

Robert looked at JC and responds, “How many times do we have to go over this? I don’t owe you any m-o-n-e-y!” His voice got louder, and his speech was much faster as he continued, “We made a deal for twenty and twenty. I paid you on the spot and that’s a done deal.” His demeanor indicated that he was prepared to defend his words at any cost. “Now you better back up out of my face ‘cause I ain’t gonna say it no more!”

“Aiight. We’ll leave it like that for now, but I don’t see it like that bro. You’re gonna give me my money, and you’re gonna give it to me tonight! One way or another, I WILL get my money.”

Disgusted at the fact that he should have to keep repeating himself, Robert says,

“For the last time… I don’t owe you no money.”

After pumping his gas Robert got into his vehicle and drone off, unaware that he was being watched as a black Nissan with dark tented windows turned onto the street behind him. Robert did not know that he was being followed as the driver of the Nissan pursued him at a safe distance.

Excerpted from my upcoming novel, Destination Final

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