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Gibran

EXCERPT: DON'T TAKE ME ALIVE

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                                                                                                       Chapter One

                                                                                                    My First Bank Job

Five minutes after my eyes opened, I made a phone call to my partner and sighed in relief to discover that our heist was still on for this morning. I inwardly applauded our plan to get some paper and I crossed my fingers, hoping that the bank would be loaded with cash because at nineteen, I was sick and tired of being broke. I had grown weary of praying to God to let a sack of cash fall off the back of a Wells Fargo truck so I had resolved to end my career as a broke nigga and today was the first day for the rest of my life. And as my own financial strategist, all roads led to the North Carolina National Bank.

 

Having made the decision to get paid in full, I dissolved any opposing interests such as getting busted. Shit wasn’t happening and I pitied the fool who tried, by whatever means, to prevent me from cleaning that bank out. The police didn’t mean shit too me. The way I saw it, today would be a good day for the entire force to call in sick because there wasn’t a damn thing more dangerous to the police than a nigga who didn’t believe shit stank. And I was the poster-child for that sentiment.

 

Rolling over in bed and eyeing the clock, I saw that it was still early, only a little after seven. Hell, the NCNB didn’t open until nine so that gave me some time to work the jitters out of my stomach. As a rookie bank robber, I had to deal with all the unknown X-factors—actual or imagined—that could get a nigga busted, the main one being to stay inside the bank too damn long. You had to get in and to get the hell out which meant, more than anything else, you had to know how to deal with greed because the tendency to get greedy was the worst mistake any crook could or would make in his career.

 

My Moms was always the first one up in the crib and this morning was no exception. She was downstairs cooking breakfast. My baby sister and grandmother were still asleep. I made my way to the bathroom after hollering downstairs to my mother to let her know that I was alive and kicking. She greeted me warmly and invited me down for breakfast, but my stomach was in no shape for food. I still had a few butterflies.

 

Taking comfort in the fact that everyone upstairs was still asleep, I crept into my mother’s bedroom and borrowed one of her wigs. The choice was not easy and I then realized why it took women so long to get ready for a date. Hair was serious business. After taking more time than I should have, I chose a jet black wig with bangs that fell down to my shoulders like a cascade of silk. Then I borrowed a pair of my sister’s oversized sunglasses.

 

Going back to the bathroom with my borrowed female products, I gave myself a sneak preview of what I would look like for the cameras inside the bank. I was impressed. To add to the mystique, I donned a white baseball cap. I was good to go.

 

At the breakfast table, I employed every tactic I could think of to get out of the meal, but my Moms insisted that I break bread with the family since this was the one time we were always available to eat at the same time. Even though I played with my food, pushing the grits and eggs around on the plate like they were silly putty, my nervousness was pretty much ignored.

 

Following the meal, I almost scoffed at the idea of having to wash dishes that morning, but it was indeed my time to perform the task. I laughed. Here I was only an hour and a half away from my first bank robbery and I’m doing dishes. Wasn’t that some bullshit? Anyway, I made it a point to remind myself that this would be the last time I stuck my hands in some soapy water to clean some bowls and plates. I was leaving home today. I was either going to jail, hell, or a luxury apartment. I didn’t give it much thought because when you got right down to it, the choice wasn’t mine. It was the police’s, so I just prayed the motherfuckas stayed out of my way.

 

When my partner called, I was ready to move out but for a brief second I didn’t know what to do. In all actuality, this could be the last time I saw my family so it did cross my mind to give everyone a big hug and a kiss, but decided not to. That could jinx me. What I needed was a positive attitude, so I left the crib without saying shit and stepped out into the early morning sunshine like I owned the motherfucking world.

 

Strolling through Piedmont Courts, I made it to my partner’s girlfriend’s house in record time and was glad to see that the rest of the crew was assembled. Secretly, I studied each man’s face, searching for any signs of fear. I saw none. These niggas were amped. And so was I.

 

Like a group of businessmen at a board meeting, we discussed, dissected, and studied our plans to see if there would be a need to make any last minute adjustments. There were none. After all, what could be any simpler than charging into a bank with guns drawn and taking all the money. As far as planning went, it didn’t get any more elementary than that.

 

At around 8:30, Boo, the pretty boy of the crew, excused himself and returned about five minutes later with the stolen car we would use in the heist. The motherfucka looked fast. And then a strange notion hit me right out of the blue. Could Boo drive fast? Sure, it was one thing for a nigga to cruise through the projects in a raggedy-assed Cadillac, but could the nigga elude the police in a high-speed chase? Too late for that shit now. I tossed the idea out of my head and put on my gloves and jumped into the backseat of the ride.

 

Driving to the bank, the car was filled with aimless chatter. However about two blocks from our destination, Boo cut the radio off and everyone got silent as each of us, in his own unique way, went into the zone, that mysterious space where “I-don’t-give-a-fuck” meets up with “Nigga-this-is it!”

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