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Watching your mama take her last breath was a hurtin'-ass thang.
Especially when you had a mannish hater flappin' her gums in your ear and talking trash right over her dead body!
It had all happened so fast. One minute I was chillin' down in Texas tryna pull off the flimflam of a lifetime with Uncle Suge, Bunni, and a skanky chickenhead from Philly named Dy-Nasty, and the next thing I knew, Bunni's brother Peaches was on the phone telling me my mama was about to die!
"The nursing home called and said your mama had a stroke," Peaches had said. "I'm sorry, sweetie, but they don't think she's gonna make it."
With those words swirling around in my head I busted straight up in the Dominion mansion and lied my ass off! I told them rich fools that my boss had just caught a stray bullet in a kick-door robbery, and then I hopped my ass on the first thing smoking back to New York City to see about my sick mama!
I made it up to the hospital just in time to catch the last few minutes of Jude Jackson's life, and I almost blacked out from grief as I stood beside her bed feeling helpless as hell as Mama pursed her twisted lips and reached out to me with her crooked hands like she was tryna tell me her deepest, darkest secret. "Shhhlll ... Shhhlll ... Shhhlll ..." she had squinted up at me and gasped. "Shhhlll ... Shhhlll ... Shhhlll ..."
I tried my best to make out what she was tryna say, but Mama died before she could spit it out. And now, as I stood next to her body shaking with grief, my bald-headed aunt Bibby clocked me with some wild shit that dropped me right down to my knees!
"There was two of y'all, you know. Somewhere out there in the world you got yourself a sister, Mink, 'cause you was a twin."
My head jerked up in surprise as I squatted down with my ass touching the floor.
"You heard me," Aunt Bibby snapped. "Ain't nobody stutter!
Your mama shoulda been woman enough to tell you the truth straight from the jump!"
"You dirty bitch!" I spit real softly as tears ran from my eyes. Mama's spirit hadn't even left the room yet and this box-shaped bitch was already hatin'! "How the hell you sound talking bad about my mama?"
"How the hell I said it?"
My aunt put her hands on her stud hips and stared me down. She was grilling me with a killer look, but I could tell she wasn't really tryna cut me with no slick talk the way she was known for doing bitches out on the street.
"You're a twin, Mink. You can believe it baby, because it's true."
I wiped my eyes and then smirked at her real shitty-like. Uh-huh. I knew what time it was. Aunt Bibby used to fuck with duji real bad back in the day, and her ass musta been playing with the needle again.
"See there," I told her. "You need to stop shootin' that dog food in ya veins, cause with all that bullshit you talking you must be high."
"Ain't nobody getting high and ain't nobody bullshittin' neither, Mink! My brother Moe had two daughters, baby. And like I said, you got you a twin!"
I stared down at my mother's still body.
Me? A twin?
That shit was impossible!
But then ...
That guttersnipe's name exploded in my brain and my heart skipped about five beats! I looked at Aunt Bibby again and all of a sudden the room got real hot and my head started buzzing. I couldn't hardly get no air in my lungs. I tried to say something but it felt like glass splinters were sticking me all in my throat.
All I could think was, What if that Philly heffa was my goddamn sister?
I could feel the possibility of it all down in my bones, but I damn sure didn't wanna believe it. That trifling trick could actually be my fuckin' sister!
"Uh-uh." I shook my head and slung snot everywhere. "You's a liar, Aunt Bibby!" I moaned as I keeled forward and hit my knees, ready to deny that shit with my last breath. "You ain't nothing but a big-ass bald-headed liar!"
"Mink!" Aunt Bibby barked in her jailhouse voice. "Why don't you stand up and face the truth for once in ya life! Everybody in this room is a goddamn liar! But the biggest liar of us all"—Aunt Bibby pointed down at the body in the bed—"was your mama! Jude Jackson wasn't nothin' but a lying sack a' shit!"
Her eyes flashed and Aunt Bibby crossed her muscled-up sailor-looking arms over her tatted-up titties and grilled me. "Now, there! I done said what the fuck I had to say, and I ain't taking none of it back neither!"
I stared at her mannish ass with my nostrils flaring like a racehorse. I wanted to bite that bitch! I wanted to shove my fist down her throat and make her choke on her lying-ass tongue!
But instead I stayed right there crouched down on my knees as my aunt continued to lay the cold, naked truth on me.
"Now, don't get me wrong," Aunt Bibby said quietly. "I loved me some Jude, but that heffa didn't have a truth-bone in her whole damn body! Why you think she drove her car into that goddamn river with you sitting right there in the front seat next to her, Mink? Huh? Why you think, stupid girl? Not even the lowest, raggediest, black-hearted trash-ass mama does no crazy shit like that!"
I grilled Aunt Bibby through a watery haze of tears. Oh for true, for true, I was 'bout to clock this big beefy bitch! Just wear her ass out for calling my dead mama outta her name! But before I could come up off my knees Aunt Bibby nailed me with another gut shot when she opened her big mouth and said, "And while ya bullshittin', Jude didn't even give birth to y'all right there in Harlem Hospital like she said, neither."
"What?" I squeaked. "How you know? How the hell you know something like that?"
"'Cause Jude told me!" Aunt Bibby barked. And then she glanced over at my scandalous-ass, welfare-queen grandmother, who sat in the corner styling her stolen Gucci gear with her long pretty legs crossed all proper.
"Tell her, Mama. Tell Mink the goddamn truth!"
My grandmother wagged her leg and nodded. She twisted up her lips like she was still twenty-five and fine and said, "Bibby's tellin' it right, Mink. You got a twin sister, baby. You was about three years old when Jude first brought you around here. She told everybody she went down south and had twins and put one up for adoption. So I guess you do got yourself a sister out there somewhere in the world, baby. I just wish Jude woulda told you how to find her before she drove off in all that cold water and fucked herself up!"
* * *
Cold water. Cold water. Cold water.
I was freezing inside. All the way down to my trembling bones. All I wanted to do was go somewhere where I could get warm and block out the pain and the noise, but no matter how hard I igged her, my best friend Bunni Baines just wouldn't leave me the hell alone.
Instead of flossin' fly and fancy in a big mansion down in Dallas, Texas, me and Bunni were right back home in the gritty town of Harlem. I was laying on my little cot in her bedroom with my face turned toward the wall and my eyelids squeezed tight. I was sniffling into a boogered-up snot rag I had pressed up against my stuffy nose, and the top of my head was banging like a drum. My breath felt hot and stank as I breathed through my mouth, and my bottom lip trembled as I slobbered and cried into my pillow.
"C'mon now, Mink," Bunni begged me for the two millionth time. "You gots to get up outta this bed, boo! You gotta get your ass up."
I shrugged her off, wishing she would just leave me the hell alone. Bunni was barking about how I needed to get my shit together and get back on my game, but I kept tryna tell her I didn't have no fight left in me. It was gone. All the grime, all the hustle, and every drop of my love for the con game. Poof. It was all gone.
"Madame Mink," Peaches jumped in with his deep, baritone voice. "Me and Bunni know what you going through right now, baby. But the funeral is gonna be starting in an hour, darling! Now, I'm a need you to get up out that bed and get yourself dressed, sugar, and ready to roll!"
I laid there and igged the hell outta Peaches too.
Shoot, I wasn't thinkin' about him, and I wasn't thinkin' about Bunni, and I damn sure wasn't thinkin' about going to Mama's funeral neither!
Bunni sighed real loud, then crawled underneath my blanket and snuggled up behind me like she used to do when we was kids. She wrapped her arms around me and spooned me, rocking me back and forth as she tried her best to convince me that I needed to stand up on my feet and face what was left of my shitty little life.
And it was definitely shitty too. Just when I thought I was at the top of my game and everything flowing through my hood was damn good, I'd been blasted with a major shot to the gut that took my feet out from under me and sat me right down on my plump apple ass.
"It's been a whole damn week, Mink," Bunni said from behind me, "and, girlfriend, you ain't put enough food in your stomach to feed a fly! Hmph. You ain't combed your hair or brushed your teef." She backed off of me a lil bit. "And you ain't took a damn bath neither!"
I still didn't say shit. I just laid there in igg mode.
"I don't know why you be listening to that old crazy-ass Bibby anyway." Peaches jumped back in with a whole lotta bass in his voice this time. "Jude was your mama. And no matter what the hell she did, or how she did it, she was still your mama!"
"Jude was a liar!" I screamed into my pillow. My whole chest ached from Mama's lies and her low-down betrayal. "She was a goddamn liar!"
"Ermmm herrrm," Peaches said agreeably, and even without looking at him I could tell his lips was twisted.
"Yeah, that's right. She was a liar. But so are you, Madame Mink! Lying is what schemers like us do! So get your ass up outta that bed so we can get down to that funeral home and make sure they send your lying-ass mama off right!"
Deep in my heart I knew I had to go pay my last respects to the woman who had given birth to me but I still didn't wanna move.
So I laid there on my shaky lil cot in Bunni's junky room and thought about the next moves I was gonna make in my life. I had always been the type of slick, carefree diva who flounced around flossin' like everything in my life was all Hennessy and weed, but for the first time in a real long time I was forced to take a real good look down the gutter road that I had traveled. I made myself remember all the shit I had tried to erase from my mind. All the shit that I had been running from for so many years. The kind of shit that had been way too painful for a thirteen-year-old girl to live with, so she had fought like hell to forget it.
My daddy was a woman killer. He was a big-time street slanga they called Big Moe LaRue. He was tricky and underhanded, and that's why the hustling game ran so thick in my blood. He was second in command to one of the top drug kingpins in Harlem, but he also gambled, pimped hoes, and ran game anywhere and anyhow he could.
Moe came from a real big family. They had dipped up outta Louisiana right after he was born and came up north to set Harlem straight on fire. He was the youngest boy outta twelve rotten kids, and he was the finest too. Back then my Granny ran a number joint and took in boarders on the side, and my daddy had learned the ways of the streets from a very early age. And with all of them older sisters he had adoring his fine ass, he learned the ways of women too.
When I was a little girl my daddy had me spoiled rotten. I was the shit in Big Moe's eyes, and while he didn't give my mother no kind of ends on the regular, all I had to do was act like I wanted something and the whole damn world was mine.
It was never no secret that my daddy kept a string of bitches munching on his jock, and right after my mother died Aunt Bibby laid a hush-hush story on me that everybody in my family had kept on the low.
Aunt Bibby said my daddy used to be married to some fine, crazy chick named Valentina, who got pregnant by him and then ran off and disappeared on his ass. She said Tina knew Daddy was in the hustling life when she met him, but Big Moe had promised her he was gonna quit all that dick slangin' and cut all his other bitches loose.
Aunt Bibby said Tina was kinda off in the head. All that drinkin' and partying Daddy was doing, not to mention the boo-coo chasers out on the streets just'a throwing that ass on him left and right, just wore her out. Tina was about four months knocked when she walked out on Daddy and left him a note promising that she was gonna hurt him the same way that he had hurt her. And if you let Granny and Aunt Bibby tell it, that's exactly what went down. Tina had her baby and signed it over to the state, and then she took her crazy ass up on the roof of her building and jumped right off the ledge.
By the time Daddy found out about all that their baby was long gone, somewhere deep in the system, and for a hustler who was so big on the streets and wild with his game, the loss of his only child had cut Moe real deep, and he never again let another chick get too close to him after that.
And then Mama busted up on the scene. Finer than fine and acting just like Tina. Crazy as hell over Moe. Granny and them couldn't stand her because they claimed she drank a lot and was always whining about something. My aunts swore Mama wasn't nothing but a jump-off to Big Moe, and they said she knew from the gate what kinda playa my daddy was.
But that ain't stop her from getting strung out on Big Moe's sweet-ass game, though. By this time Daddy was selling mad dope and tricking off more bitches than ever before, and even though Mama was real cute in the face and had a stacked, killer body, she was just another complaining-ass chick to Big Moe. They fought like cats and dogs. Mostly about him staying out till all times of the night and running the streets and trickin' off loot on his other hoes. It didn't take long for my daddy to get tired of all that clingy shit. He cut Jude loose and moved on to the next fine bitch, and never looked back.
Mama was so broke down behind him leaving her that she pulled up outta Harlem for a little while, and when she came back a few years later she had something for my daddy that none of his other bitches had ever been able to give him, no matter how hard they rode his dick.
She had me.
According to Granny, I was three when Mama brought me back to Harlem, and I was the spitting image of Moe LaRue. Granny said I was such a pretty baby that he ate my ass up on sight, and he wouldn't let nobody else touch me or even hold me. Over the years there wasn't nothing I couldn't get my daddy to do for me, and there were plenty of times when the only way Mama could make him come around the house was to send me up on Lenox Avenue to get him from one of his spots and bring him home.
But the year I turned thirteen all them desperation moves finally got to my moms. I was starting to smell my own ass by then, and I didn't have time to be runnin' behind my daddy tryna drag him away from none of his other bitches. Sheiit, I was Moe LaRue's daughter to the tee. The streets turned me on like a muthafucka, and I was attracted to all the grimy shit that went on when the sun went down.
On the real, I loved my mama, but I loved me some of Daddy's on-the-side hoes too. Them was some bad-ass chicks, and most of them were slick and beautiful and had side-hustles of their own. And I looked so much like my daddy that they took right to me and spoiled the hell outta me. I used to play hooky from school and hang out with them up on the avenue, and they would sneak me cigarettes and weed and as much liquor as my lil young throat could swallow.
And by that time I had some brand-new titties poppin' out on my chest, and my hips and booty had poofed out and spread deliciously wide too. My daddy would give me money to buy food and shit, but instead of taking it home to Mama I would trick it up on Kush and Coronas, and it wasn't long before I started dressing like his most butter hoes and flaunting my firm young body on the streets just like they did too.
But my father peeped my game when he overheard some little corner slanga talking about how he was gonna get at my cherry, and Daddy put the brakes on all that ill shit. He busted up in Mama's crib screamin' on her for not watching me and dogging her out for letting my hot ass run wild and loose on the streets.
Excerpted from DIRTY ROTTEN Liar by *NULL* NOIRE. Copyright © 2013 by Noire. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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Posted March 25, 2013
I have been just sitting back and I can't wait until I get my hands on this Mink LaRule again. She is off that hook for real..
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2013
Posted July 22, 2013
This one doesn't disappoint. Many lingering questions are answered. Depending on how active your imagination is you may want to know about some of the relationships. But ultimately it was a great part 3! I've read it twice!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2013
No text was provided for this review.