Book Excerpt – A Thug’s Redemption


A Thug’s Redemption
by Yani

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $12.50
    Format: Paperback, 388 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    ISBN13: 9780615640587
    Imprint: Anitbeet Productions
    Publisher: Anitbeet Productions
    Parent Company: Anitbeet Productions
    Borrow from Library

    Read a Description of A Thug’s Redemption


    Copyright © 2012 by Yani . No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted with permission from the publisher or author. The format of this excerpt has been modified for presentation here.

    Shawn, Jamal and Maurice headed over to Erie Avenue to check out a basketball game in a nearby playground. Shawn was scoping out the competition to see who he would be up against in his senior year. As he, his brother, and Maurice were by some of the benches talking, Jamal noticed that one of the guys was watching him and pointed him out to a couple of the other guys. Maurice noticed it, too.

    "Yo Mal, did you just see that shit?" Maurice asked as he turned to the side.

    "Yeah," Jamal replied as he looked at the guy who pointed him out dead in the eye. "I saw that shit."

    "What's going on?" Shawn asked. He was so into the game that he had no idea what was about to transpire.

    "Don't look, but it's four niggas across the court, one of them got a white Du-Rag on. He just pointed me out to his homies like they scoping for me," Jamal said as he continued to watch the guys.

    "Damn 'Mal, what the fuck did you do now?" Shawn asked.

    "I ain't do shit," Jamal said in a low tone.

    "Do you even know those niggas?" Maurice asked.

    "Hell no. But one of them looks a little familiar. I just don't know from where."

    They stood there for a minute as Jamal thought about his options. He knew if it came down to a rumble, Maurice and his brother would be down. But now-a-days, niggas didn't fight anymore and he wasn't carrying. He definitely didn't want to get another cap busted in his ass and he for damn sure didn't want what happened with Raheem to happen to Maurice or Shawn.

    "Let's roll yo," Jamal said as he tapped Maurice on his chest.

    "You sure?" Maurice asked as Jamal started heading towards the school yard's exit.

    "Yeah, let's go just in case anything pops off. It's kids in here."

    They started walking out of the school yard. Jamal had a hunch to look behind him and wasn't surprised to see the guys leaving out behind them.

    "Fuck," Jamal mumbled. He wasn't in the mood for any drama. He had a hunch to stop and turn around. When he did the guys were rushing him. It happened so fast, Maurice and Shawn didn't have a chance to react. The guys were so focused on jumping Jamal that they weren't expecting Maurice and Shawn to do anything. Maurice and Shawn jumped in it and they were all fighting on the corner of 17th and Venango. It looked like a mini riot as people gathered to see the action. Despite Jamal having two on him, he was holding his own and kicking some serious ass. The guy that pointed him out to his friends became frustrated and pulled a gun from his waist. Shawn caught a glimpse of the gun and ran over to his brother. He pushed him out of the way just as the gun went off five times. Shawn was hit twice; once in the back and once in the thigh. People screamed as they ducked to the ground and dove behind cars for cover. The shooter and his friends ran.

    Maurice got up slowly and looked around. He walked over to his two friends fearing the worst. He was getting ready to call out their names when a woman began screaming.

    "Shawn?" Jamal asked as he rolled his brother over.

    Shawn grimaced and reached towards the wound in his back with a shaking hand. "Fuck..." he murmured with a painful groan.

    "Got damn it, Shawn! Why'd you do it, man? Why'd you do it?!" Jamal yelled as he looked his brother over.

    He was about to pull him into his arms when Maurice yelled, "Don't move him, 'Mal! The bullet might travel. Don't move him."

    Jamal was kneeling over his younger brother feeling helpless, not believing that the roles had been reversed from the time he was shot.

    "I took it 'Mal, I... I had you, man. I took it," Shawn said weakly.

    "Shhh, don't talk," Jamal told him as he held his brother's hand. He looked up at Maurice with tears in his eyes. "Call the ambulance, yo!"

    Maurice reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone but saw an ambulance with no sirens coming in their direction. He ran in the middle of the street waving his arms. The EMT driver slammed on the breaks.

    "Sonuva bitch!!" the EMT driver exclaimed. He stopped the ambulance and jumped out. "Are you nuts? I could've hit you, son!"

    "My friend's been shot and he's over there with his brother," Maurice explained. They rushed over to Shawn.

    "What happened here?" one of them asked as they began helping Shawn.

    "These guys tried to jump me after the basketball game. They started shooting and my brother got hit in the back and in his leg," Jamal explained quickly.

    "He was only shot twice?" they asked.

    "That I know of, yeah," Jamal said. His head was spinning and he was dizzy with worry.

    One of the EMTs got on his radio, "Black teenager around 16 years of age, GSW to the back and leg. No exit wound apparent, victim still conscious, we are en route to Temple University Hospital."

    The cops pulled up just as Shawn was being placed in the ambulance and Jamal climbed in the back with him. An oxygen mask was placed over his face. Jamal held his hand and talked to him all the way to the hospital in between answering the questions being asked by the EMTs. Once in the hospital he pulled his phone from his back pocket and tried desperately to remember his mother's work number.

    "Can I speak to Ms. Keyona Williams?" he asked with a sniff once someone finally picked up the phone. He was placed on hold and then moments later, his mother picked up.

    "This is Keyona Williams, how may I help you?"

    "Mom, you gotta leave work early. You gotta leave now," Jamal said, trying to sound as calm as possible.

    "Jamal? You know what type of shift I work. Asking to leave early is like asking for a kidney; it's just not going to happen. Why, what's the matter? Is everything alright at home?"

    "No... Shawn is in the hospital," Jamal told her. He was trying extremely hard not to cry. He knew she was going to immediately blame him when she found out how he was put into the hospital.

    "Shawn is in the hospital for what?" Ms. Keyona panicked.

    "He got shot, Mom. We were..."

    His mother interrupted him. "Got shot for what?!! Y'all were what, Jamal? What were y'all doing?"

    "We were at a basketball game near Erie avenue and on our way to the bus stop, I got jumped. Somebody pulled out a gun and started shooting and Shawn pushed me out of the way." Jamal explained briefly.

    "Bull-shit, Jamal! You're selling again, aren't you? I could put my foot up your ass through this damn phone!" Ms. Keyona fumed.

    "No, I'm not," Jamal replied.

    "Oh my God, my baby... what hospital is he in?"

    "He's in Temple," Jamal replied.

    "I'm on my way. And you better hope that nothing happens to him, Jamal." She slammed the phone down. Jamal waited a moment before hanging up. He was furious at Shawn for doing what he always told him not to do, and furious at his mother for continuing to feel as though everything that went wrong was his fault but what was right never had anything to do with him.

    Shawn, Jamal and Maurice headed over to Erie Avenue to check out a basketball game in a nearby playground. Shawn was scoping out the competition to see who he would be up against in his senior year. As he, his brother, and Maurice were by some of the benches talking, Jamal noticed that one of the guys was watching him and pointed him out to a couple of the other guys. Maurice noticed it, too.

    "Yo Mal, did you just see that shit?" Maurice asked as he turned to the side.

    "Yeah," Jamal replied as he looked at the guy who pointed him out dead in the eye. "I saw that shit."

    "What's going on?" Shawn asked. He was so into the game that he had no idea what was about to transpire.

    "Don't look, but it's four niggas across the court, one of them got a white Du-Rag on. He just pointed me out to his homies like they scoping for me," Jamal said as he continued to watch the guys.

    "Damn 'Mal, what the fuck did you do now?" Shawn asked.

    "I ain't do shit," Jamal said in a low tone.

    "Do you even know those niggas?" Maurice asked.

    "Hell no. But one of them looks a little familiar. I just don't know from where."

    They stood there for a minute as Jamal thought about his options. He knew if it came down to a rumble, Maurice and his brother would be down. But now-a-days, niggas didn't fight anymore and he wasn't carrying. He definitely didn't want to get another cap busted in his ass and he for damn sure didn't want what happened with Raheem to happen to Maurice or Shawn.

    "Let's roll yo," Jamal said as he tapped Maurice on his chest.

    "You sure?" Maurice asked as Jamal started heading towards the school yard's exit.

    "Yeah, let's go just in case anything pops off. It's kids in here."

    They started walking out of the school yard. Jamal had a hunch to look behind him and wasn't surprised to see the guys leaving out behind them.

    "Fuck," Jamal mumbled. He wasn't in the mood for any drama. He had a hunch to stop and turn around. When he did the guys were rushing him. It happened so fast, Maurice and Shawn didn't have a chance to react. The guys were so focused on jumping Jamal that they weren't expecting Maurice and Shawn to do anything. Maurice and Shawn jumped in it and they were all fighting on the corner of 17th and Venango. It looked like a mini riot as people gathered to see the action. Despite Jamal having two on him, he was holding his own and kicking some serious ass. The guy that pointed him out to his friends became frustrated and pulled a gun from his waist. Shawn caught a glimpse of the gun and ran over to his brother. He pushed him out of the way just as the gun went off five times. Shawn was hit twice; once in the back and once in the thigh. People screamed as they ducked to the ground and dove behind cars for cover. The shooter and his friends ran.

    Maurice got up slowly and looked around. He walked over to his two friends fearing the worst. He was getting ready to call out their names when a woman began screaming.

    "Shawn?" Jamal asked as he rolled his brother over.

    Shawn grimaced and reached towards the wound in his back with a shaking hand. "Fuck..." he murmured with a painful groan.

    "Got damn it, Shawn! Why'd you do it, man? Why'd you do it?!" Jamal yelled as he looked his brother over.

    He was about to pull him into his arms when Maurice yelled, "Don't move him, 'Mal! The bullet might travel. Don't move him."

    Jamal was kneeling over his younger brother feeling helpless, not believing that the roles had been reversed from the time he was shot.

    "I took it 'Mal, I... I had you, man. I took it," Shawn said weakly.

    "Shhh, don't talk," Jamal told him as he held his brother's hand. He looked up at Maurice with tears in his eyes. "Call the ambulance, yo!"

    Maurice reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone but saw an ambulance with no sirens coming in their direction. He ran in the middle of the street waving his arms. The EMT driver slammed on the breaks.

    "Sonuva bitch!!" the EMT driver exclaimed. He stopped the ambulance and jumped out. "Are you nuts? I could've hit you, son!"

    "My friend's been shot and he's over there with his brother," Maurice explained. They rushed over to Shawn.

    "What happened here?" one of them asked as they began helping Shawn.

    "These guys tried to jump me after the basketball game. They started shooting and my brother got hit in the back and in his leg," Jamal explained quickly.

    "He was only shot twice?" they asked.

    "That I know of, yeah," Jamal said. His head was spinning and he was dizzy with worry.

    One of the EMTs got on his radio, "Black teenager around 16 years of age, GSW to the back and leg. No exit wound apparent, victim still conscious, we are en route to Temple University Hospital."

    The cops pulled up just as Shawn was being placed in the ambulance and Jamal climbed in the back with him. An oxygen mask was placed over his face. Jamal held his hand and talked to him all the way to the hospital in between answering the questions being asked by the EMTs. Once in the hospital he pulled his phone from his back pocket and tried desperately to remember his mother's work number.

    "Can I speak to Ms. Keyona Williams?" he asked with a sniff once someone finally picked up the phone. He was placed on hold and then moments later, his mother picked up.

    "This is Keyona Williams, how may I help you?"

    "Mom, you gotta leave work early. You gotta leave now," Jamal said, trying to sound as calm as possible.

    "Jamal? You know what type of shift I work. Asking to leave early is like asking for a kidney; it's just not going to happen. Why, what's the matter? Is everything alright at home?"

    "No... Shawn is in the hospital," Jamal told her. He was trying extremely hard not to cry. He knew she was going to immediately blame him when she found out how he was put into the hospital.

    "Shawn is in the hospital for what?" Ms. Keyona panicked.

    "He got shot, Mom. We were..."

    His mother interrupted him. "Got shot for what?!! Y'all were what, Jamal? What were y'all doing?"

    "We were at a basketball game near Erie avenue and on our way to the bus stop, I got jumped. Somebody pulled out a gun and started shooting and Shawn pushed me out of the way." Jamal explained briefly.

    "Bull-shit, Jamal! You're selling again, aren't you? I could put my foot up your ass through this damn phone!" Ms. Keyona fumed.

    "No, I'm not," Jamal replied.

    "Oh my God, my baby... what hospital is he in?"

    "He's in Temple," Jamal replied.

    "I'm on my way. And you better hope that nothing happens to him, Jamal." She slammed the phone down. Jamal waited a moment before hanging up. He was furious at Shawn for doing what he always told him not to do, and furious at his mother for continuing to feel as though everything that went wrong was his fault but what was right never had anything to do with him.

    Shawn, Jamal and Maurice headed over to Erie Avenue to check out a basketball game in a nearby playground. Shawn was scoping out the competition to see who he would be up against in his senior year. As he, his brother, and Maurice were by some of the benches talking, Jamal noticed that one of the guys was watching him and pointed him out to a couple of the other guys. Maurice noticed it, too.

    "Yo Mal, did you just see that shit?" Maurice asked as he turned to the side.

    "Yeah," Jamal replied as he looked at the guy who pointed him out dead in the eye. "I saw that shit."

    "What's going on?" Shawn asked. He was so into the game that he had no idea what was about to transpire.

    "Don't look, but it's four niggas across the court, one of them got a white Du-Rag on. He just pointed me out to his homies like they scoping for me," Jamal said as he continued to watch the guys.

    "Damn 'Mal, what the fuck did you do now?" Shawn asked.

    "I ain't do shit," Jamal said in a low tone.

    "Do you even know those niggas?" Maurice asked.

    "Hell no. But one of them looks a little familiar. I just don't know from where."

    They stood there for a minute as Jamal thought about his options. He knew if it came down to a rumble, Maurice and his brother would be down. But now-a-days, niggas didn't fight anymore and he wasn't carrying. He definitely didn't want to get another cap busted in his ass and he for damn sure didn't want what happened with Raheem to happen to Maurice or Shawn.

    "Let's roll yo," Jamal said as he tapped Maurice on his chest.

    "You sure?" Maurice asked as Jamal started heading towards the school yard's exit.

    "Yeah, let's go just in case anything pops off. It's kids in here."

    They started walking out of the school yard. Jamal had a hunch to look behind him and wasn't surprised to see the guys leaving out behind them.

    "Fuck," Jamal mumbled. He wasn't in the mood for any drama. He had a hunch to stop and turn around. When he did the guys were rushing him. It happened so fast, Maurice and Shawn didn't have a chance to react. The guys were so focused on jumping Jamal that they weren't expecting Maurice and Shawn to do anything. Maurice and Shawn jumped in it and they were all fighting on the corner of 17th and Venango. It looked like a mini riot as people gathered to see the action. Despite Jamal having two on him, he was holding his own and kicking some serious ass. The guy that pointed him out to his friends became frustrated and pulled a gun from his waist. Shawn caught a glimpse of the gun and ran over to his brother. He pushed him out of the way just as the gun went off five times. Shawn was hit twice; once in the back and once in the thigh. People screamed as they ducked to the ground and dove behind cars for cover. The shooter and his friends ran.

    Maurice got up slowly and looked around. He walked over to his two friends fearing the worst. He was getting ready to call out their names when a woman began screaming.

    "Shawn?" Jamal asked as he rolled his brother over.

    Shawn grimaced and reached towards the wound in his back with a shaking hand. "Fuck..." he murmured with a painful groan.

    "Got damn it, Shawn! Why'd you do it, man? Why'd you do it?!" Jamal yelled as he looked his brother over.

    He was about to pull him into his arms when Maurice yelled, "Don't move him, 'Mal! The bullet might travel. Don't move him."

    Jamal was kneeling over his younger brother feeling helpless, not believing that the roles had been reversed from the time he was shot.

    "I took it 'Mal, I... I had you, man. I took it," Shawn said weakly.

    "Shhh, don't talk," Jamal told him as he held his brother's hand. He looked up at Maurice with tears in his eyes. "Call the ambulance, yo!"

    Maurice reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone but saw an ambulance with no sirens coming in their direction. He ran in the middle of the street waving his arms. The EMT driver slammed on the breaks.

    "Sonuva bitch!!" the EMT driver exclaimed. He stopped the ambulance and jumped out. "Are you nuts? I could've hit you, son!"

    "My friend's been shot and he's over there with his brother," Maurice explained. They rushed over to Shawn.

    "What happened here?" one of them asked as they began helping Shawn.

    "These guys tried to jump me after the basketball game. They started shooting and my brother got hit in the back and in his leg," Jamal explained quickly.

    "He was only shot twice?" they asked.

    "That I know of, yeah," Jamal said. His head was spinning and he was dizzy with worry.

    One of the EMTs got on his radio, "Black teenager around 16 years of age, GSW to the back and leg. No exit wound apparent, victim still conscious, we are en route to Temple University Hospital."

    The cops pulled up just as Shawn was being placed in the ambulance and Jamal climbed in the back with him. An oxygen mask was placed over his face. Jamal held his hand and talked to him all the way to the hospital in between answering the questions being asked by the EMTs. Once in the hospital he pulled his phone from his back pocket and tried desperately to remember his mother's work number.

    "Can I speak to Ms. Keyona Williams?" he asked with a sniff once someone finally picked up the phone. He was placed on hold and then moments later, his mother picked up.

    "This is Keyona Williams, how may I help you?"

    "Mom, you gotta leave work early. You gotta leave now," Jamal said, trying to sound as calm as possible.

    "Jamal? You know what type of shift I work. Asking to leave early is like asking for a kidney; it's just not going to happen. Why, what's the matter? Is everything alright at home?"

    "No... Shawn is in the hospital," Jamal told her. He was trying extremely hard not to cry. He knew she was going to immediately blame him when she found out how he was put into the hospital.

    "Shawn is in the hospital for what?" Ms. Keyona panicked.

    "He got shot, Mom. We were..."

    His mother interrupted him. "Got shot for what?!! Y'all were what, Jamal? What were y'all doing?"

    "We were at a basketball game near Erie avenue and on our way to the bus stop, I got jumped. Somebody pulled out a gun and started shooting and Shawn pushed me out of the way." Jamal explained briefly.

    "Bull-shit, Jamal! You're selling again, aren't you? I could put my foot up your ass through this damn phone!" Ms. Keyona fumed.

    "No, I'm not," Jamal replied.

    "Oh my God, my baby... what hospital is he in?"

    "He's in Temple," Jamal replied.

    "I'm on my way. And you better hope that nothing happens to him, Jamal." She slammed the phone down. Jamal waited a moment before hanging up. He was furious at Shawn for doing what he always told him not to do, and furious at his mother for continuing to feel as though everything that went wrong was his fault but what was right never had anything to do with him.

    Shawn, Jamal and Maurice headed over to Erie Avenue to check out a basketball game in a nearby playground. Shawn was scoping out the competition to see who he would be up against in his senior year. As he, his brother, and Maurice were by some of the benches talking, Jamal noticed that one of the guys was watching him and pointed him out to a couple of the other guys. Maurice noticed it, too.

    "Yo Mal, did you just see that shit?" Maurice asked as he turned to the side.

    "Yeah," Jamal replied as he looked at the guy who pointed him out dead in the eye. "I saw that shit."

    "What's going on?" Shawn asked. He was so into the game that he had no idea what was about to transpire.

    "Don't look, but it's four niggas across the court, one of them got a white Du-Rag on. He just pointed me out to his homies like they scoping for me," Jamal said as he continued to watch the guys.

    "Damn 'Mal, what the fuck did you do now?" Shawn asked.

    "I ain't do shit," Jamal said in a low tone.

    "Do you even know those niggas?" Maurice asked.

    "Hell no. But one of them looks a little familiar. I just don't know from where."

    They stood there for a minute as Jamal thought about his options. He knew if it came down to a rumble, Maurice and his brother would be down. But now-a-days, niggas didn't fight anymore and he wasn't carrying. He definitely didn't want to get another cap busted in his ass and he for damn sure didn't want what happened with Raheem to happen to Maurice or Shawn.

    "Let's roll yo," Jamal said as he tapped Maurice on his chest.

    "You sure?" Maurice asked as Jamal started heading towards the school yard's exit.

    "Yeah, let's go just in case anything pops off. It's kids in here."

    They started walking out of the school yard. Jamal had a hunch to look behind him and wasn't surprised to see the guys leaving out behind them.

    "Fuck," Jamal mumbled. He wasn't in the mood for any drama. He had a hunch to stop and turn around. When he did the guys were rushing him. It happened so fast, Maurice and Shawn didn't have a chance to react. The guys were so focused on jumping Jamal that they weren't expecting Maurice and Shawn to do anything. Maurice and Shawn jumped in it and they were all fighting on the corner of 17th and Venango. It looked like a mini riot as people gathered to see the action. Despite Jamal having two on him, he was holding his own and kicking some serious ass. The guy that pointed him out to his friends became frustrated and pulled a gun from his waist. Shawn caught a glimpse of the gun and ran over to his brother. He pushed him out of the way just as the gun went off five times. Shawn was hit twice; once in the back and once in the thigh. People screamed as they ducked to the ground and dove behind cars for cover. The shooter and his friends ran.

    Maurice got up slowly and looked around. He walked over to his two friends fearing the worst. He was getting ready to call out their names when a woman began screaming.

    "Shawn?" Jamal asked as he rolled his brother over.

    Shawn grimaced and reached towards the wound in his back with a shaking hand. "Fuck..." he murmured with a painful groan.

    "Got damn it, Shawn! Why'd you do it, man? Why'd you do it?!" Jamal yelled as he looked his brother over.

    He was about to pull him into his arms when Maurice yelled, "Don't move him, 'Mal! The bullet might travel. Don't move him."

    Jamal was kneeling over his younger brother feeling helpless, not believing that the roles had been reversed from the time he was shot.

    "I took it 'Mal, I... I had you, man. I took it," Shawn said weakly.

    "Shhh, don't talk," Jamal told him as he held his brother's hand. He looked up at Maurice with tears in his eyes. "Call the ambulance, yo!"

    Maurice reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone but saw an ambulance with no sirens coming in their direction. He ran in the middle of the street waving his arms. The EMT driver slammed on the breaks.

    "Sonuva bitch!!" the EMT driver exclaimed. He stopped the ambulance and jumped out. "Are you nuts? I could've hit you, son!"

    "My friend's been shot and he's over there with his brother," Maurice explained. They rushed over to Shawn.

    "What happened here?" one of them asked as they began helping Shawn.

    "These guys tried to jump me after the basketball game. They started shooting and my brother got hit in the back and in his leg," Jamal explained quickly.

    "He was only shot twice?" they asked.

    "That I know of, yeah," Jamal said. His head was spinning and he was dizzy with worry.

    One of the EMTs got on his radio, "Black teenager around 16 years of age, GSW to the back and leg. No exit wound apparent, victim still conscious, we are en route to Temple University Hospital."

    The cops pulled up just as Shawn was being placed in the ambulance and Jamal climbed in the back with him. An oxygen mask was placed over his face. Jamal held his hand and talked to him all the way to the hospital in between answering the questions being asked by the EMTs. Once in the hospital he pulled his phone from his back pocket and tried desperately to remember his mother's work number.

    "Can I speak to Ms. Keyona Williams?" he asked with a sniff once someone finally picked up the phone. He was placed on hold and then moments later, his mother picked up.

    "This is Keyona Williams, how may I help you?"

    "Mom, you gotta leave work early. You gotta leave now," Jamal said, trying to sound as calm as possible.

    "Jamal? You know what type of shift I work. Asking to leave early is like asking for a kidney; it's just not going to happen. Why, what's the matter? Is everything alright at home?"

    "No... Shawn is in the hospital," Jamal told her. He was trying extremely hard not to cry. He knew she was going to immediately blame him when she found out how he was put into the hospital.

    "Shawn is in the hospital for what?" Ms. Keyona panicked.

    "He got shot, Mom. We were..."

    His mother interrupted him. "Got shot for what?!! Y'all were what, Jamal? What were y'all doing?"

    "We were at a basketball game near Erie avenue and on our way to the bus stop, I got jumped. Somebody pulled out a gun and started shooting and Shawn pushed me out of the way." Jamal explained briefly.

    "Bull-shit, Jamal! You're selling again, aren't you? I could put my foot up your ass through this damn phone!" Ms. Keyona fumed.

    "No, I'm not," Jamal replied.

    "Oh my God, my baby... what hospital is he in?"

    "He's in Temple," Jamal replied.

    "I'm on my way. And you better hope that nothing happens to him, Jamal." She slammed the phone down. Jamal waited a moment before hanging up. He was furious at Shawn for doing what he always told him not to do, and furious at his mother for continuing to feel as though everything that went wrong was his fault but what was right never had anything to do with him.

    Shawn, Jamal and Maurice headed over to Erie Avenue to check out a basketball game in a nearby playground. Shawn was scoping out the competition to see who he would be up against in his senior year. As he, his brother, and Maurice were by some of the benches talking, Jamal noticed that one of the guys was watching him and pointed him out to a couple of the other guys. Maurice noticed it, too.

    "Yo Mal, did you just see that shit?" Maurice asked as he turned to the side.

    "Yeah," Jamal replied as he looked at the guy who pointed him out dead in the eye. "I saw that shit."

    "What's going on?" Shawn asked. He was so into the game that he had no idea what was about to transpire.

    "Don't look, but it's four niggas across the court, one of them got a white Du-Rag on. He just pointed me out to his homies like they scoping for me," Jamal said as he continued to watch the guys.

    "Damn 'Mal, what the fuck did you do now?" Shawn asked.

    "I ain't do shit," Jamal said in a low tone.

    "Do you even know those niggas?" Maurice asked.

    "Hell no. But one of them looks a little familiar. I just don't know from where."

    They stood there for a minute as Jamal thought about his options. He knew if it came down to a rumble, Maurice and his brother would be down. But now-a-days, niggas didn't fight anymore and he wasn't carrying. He definitely didn't want to get another cap busted in his ass and he for damn sure didn't want what happened with Raheem to happen to Maurice or Shawn.

    "Let's roll yo," Jamal said as he tapped Maurice on his chest.

    "You sure?" Maurice asked as Jamal started heading towards the school yard's exit.

    "Yeah, let's go just in case anything pops off. It's kids in here."

    They started walking out of the school yard. Jamal had a hunch to look behind him and wasn't surprised to see the guys leaving out behind them.

    "Fuck," Jamal mumbled. He wasn't in the mood for any drama. He had a hunch to stop and turn around. When he did the guys were rushing him. It happened so fast, Maurice and Shawn didn't have a chance to react. The guys were so focused on jumping Jamal that they weren't expecting Maurice and Shawn to do anything. Maurice and Shawn jumped in it and they were all fighting on the corner of 17th and Venango. It looked like a mini riot as people gathered to see the action. Despite Jamal having two on him, he was holding his own and kicking some serious ass. The guy that pointed him out to his friends became frustrated and pulled a gun from his waist. Shawn caught a glimpse of the gun and ran over to his brother. He pushed him out of the way just as the gun went off five times. Shawn was hit twice; once in the back and once in the thigh. People screamed as they ducked to the ground and dove behind cars for cover. The shooter and his friends ran.

    Maurice got up slowly and looked around. He walked over to his two friends fearing the worst. He was getting ready to call out their names when a woman began screaming.

    "Shawn?" Jamal asked as he rolled his brother over.

    Shawn grimaced and reached towards the wound in his back with a shaking hand. "Fuck..." he murmured with a painful groan.

    "Got damn it, Shawn! Why'd you do it, man? Why'd you do it?!" Jamal yelled as he looked his brother over.

    He was about to pull him into his arms when Maurice yelled, "Don't move him, 'Mal! The bullet might travel. Don't move him."

    Jamal was kneeling over his younger brother feeling helpless, not believing that the roles had been reversed from the time he was shot.

    "I took it 'Mal, I... I had you, man. I took it," Shawn said weakly.

    "Shhh, don't talk," Jamal told him as he held his brother's hand. He looked up at Maurice with tears in his eyes. "Call the ambulance, yo!"

    Maurice reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone but saw an ambulance with no sirens coming in their direction. He ran in the middle of the street waving his arms. The EMT driver slammed on the breaks.

    "Sonuva bitch!!" the EMT driver exclaimed. He stopped the ambulance and jumped out. "Are you nuts? I could've hit you, son!"

    "My friend's been shot and he's over there with his brother," Maurice explained. They rushed over to Shawn.

    "What happened here?" one of them asked as they began helping Shawn.

    "These guys tried to jump me after the basketball game. They started shooting and my brother got hit in the back and in his leg," Jamal explained quickly.

    "He was only shot twice?" they asked.

    "That I know of, yeah," Jamal said. His head was spinning and he was dizzy with worry.

    One of the EMTs got on his radio, "Black teenager around 16 years of age, GSW to the back and leg. No exit wound apparent, victim still conscious, we are en route to Temple University Hospital."

    The cops pulled up just as Shawn was being placed in the ambulance and Jamal climbed in the back with him. An oxygen mask was placed over his face. Jamal held his hand and talked to him all the way to the hospital in between answering the questions being asked by the EMTs. Once in the hospital he pulled his phone from his back pocket and tried desperately to remember his mother's work number.

    "Can I speak to Ms. Keyona Williams?" he asked with a sniff once someone finally picked up the phone. He was placed on hold and then moments later, his mother picked up.

    "This is Keyona Williams, how may I help you?"

    "Mom, you gotta leave work early. You gotta leave now," Jamal said, trying to sound as calm as possible.

    "Jamal? You know what type of shift I work. Asking to leave early is like asking for a kidney; it's just not going to happen. Why, what's the matter? Is everything alright at home?"

    "No... Shawn is in the hospital," Jamal told her. He was trying extremely hard not to cry. He knew she was going to immediately blame him when she found out how he was put into the hospital.

    "Shawn is in the hospital for what?" Ms. Keyona panicked.

    "He got shot, Mom. We were..."

    His mother interrupted him. "Got shot for what?!! Y'all were what, Jamal? What were y'all doing?"

    "We were at a basketball game near Erie avenue and on our way to the bus stop, I got jumped. Somebody pulled out a gun and started shooting and Shawn pushed me out of the way." Jamal explained briefly.

    "Bull-shit, Jamal! You're selling again, aren't you? I could put my foot up your ass through this damn phone!" Ms. Keyona fumed.

    "No, I'm not," Jamal replied.

    "Oh my God, my baby... what hospital is he in?"

    "He's in Temple," Jamal replied.

    "I'm on my way. And you better hope that nothing happens to him, Jamal." She slammed the phone down. Jamal waited a moment before hanging up. He was furious at Shawn for doing what he always told him not to do, and furious at his mother for continuing to feel as though everything that went wrong was his fault but what was right never had anything to do with him.


    Read Anitbeet Productions’s description of A Thug’s Redemption.




    Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
    Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.