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The Perfect Family
By Delena P. Lewis
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Delena P. Lewis
All right reserved.
Chapter OneHello. My name is Jason Strong. I am the oldest of three sons, but that's not important. If you don't know anything about me, just know that I love money. I guess I got that trait from my father, but not even he loves money as much as I do. When my mother was pregnant with me, my father moved her here to Chicago, and he did whatever jobs he could find to make money. As a young child, I learned how to earn money from him because he taught me to go around the community asking people if I could cut their grass, shovel snow, wash cars, and run errands to the store. I always had a pocket full of money. I wouldn't spend barely any of the money I made because Daddy told me at a young age, "Son, save your money because you never know when you'll need it for a rainy day." His favorite quote is It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. His philosophy has been forever imbedded in my spirit. I must say I'm proud of myself today, and I'll be forever grateful for Daddy's advice.
Now I'm all grown up, and I have my master's degree in business. I'm the vice president of Keller Marketing Firm and I make over $200,000 a year. I have a huge amount of money in the bank along with several stocks and bonds set aside. I have always planed to be successful, and that's just what I am. My wife is the principal of Broadview High School, and she makes over $100,000. Hell, I wasn't going to be caught up with a bust-down woman that don't want anything out of life. I don't understand people who settle for less. I call it being lazy. We all have a fair opportunity to make something out of life. Some people call me arrogant, but I like to keep it real. Yeah, I live in a huge, six-bedroom, three-car garage house out in County Club Hill, I wear only the best clothing money can buy, I drive a brand new, black and chrome Bentley, and my wife drives a top of the line, white Land Rover. Does that make us better than other people? Hell yeah. I got mine by working hard. I don't feel sorry for lazy people. My only advice to them is to get over the pity party and the "if I could I would." Just stop dreaming and make it happen. I know, call me harsh and cruel, but it's life.
Let me stop daydreaming and get my head straight so I can fire Taylor's late ass. I have told her on several occasions not to be late for work anymore. I'll teach her ass. She will think twice about being late on her next job. She'll have her ass there before the damn door opens. Shit, don't play with me.
"Darlene, please call Taylor to the conference room for me ASAP."
Oh well, I have to do it. Lord only knows I have given that woman chance after chance to get here by 8:00, but, no, she wants to come walking up in here looking all high and mighty whenever she wants to show up. I know she has three children, but she has done it to herself.
"Good morning, Taylor," I say as she walks into the conference room.
"Good morning, Mr. Strong."
"Come on in and close the door and have a seat." Boy, does Taylor look sexy to me. I have always had a crush on her. The woman is bad. She has the body like one of those dance video girls. Too bad I still have to fire her. "Taylor, sweetie, listen, you're a wonderful person and you're very good at your job. However, I have asked you several times to please be on time for work, and you continue to let me down. I'm sorry to have to tell you I'm going to have to let you go. You're young and bright, and I'm sure you'll find another job. Just chalk this up as a learning experience."
"Oh, no! Mr. Strong, please don't fire me. I have children I have to take care of. Please! I promise you I'll be on time every day. Please give me another chance.
I must admit Taylor looks damn sexy begging me for her job. But I can't show my weaknesses. I stand up. "Sweetie, I'm sorry. I have to let you go."
"Come on, Mr. Strong. I'll do whatever you want me to do. Anything! I swear. Anything! Please, I have children I have to take care of. Don't do this to me."
Right at that moment I knew I had her in the palm of my hands. I wasn't planning for the situation to go down like this, so I just went along with it. "Ok, Taylor, listen. One thing I can't stand to see is a pretty lady cry. I'll tell you what, how about we get together later this evening and talk about this? Can you meet me for an important business meeting at Toney's Pub over on Madison Street around 6:00pm?"
"Oh, sure. I'll be there, and I'll be on time."
"Alright, Taylor. I'll see you later."
As Taylor walked out of the conference room, the way her 23-year- old body moved just drove me crazy. Especially those juicy hips. Oh, yes, I plan to have that damn girl eating out of my hands.
"Darlene, get my wife on the telephone. I'll be in my office." As I walked toward my office, I could feel my manhood begin to throb just thinking about Taylor's fine ass and how I was going to get into them panties.
"Mr. Strong, your wife is on hold for you."
"Thanks, Darlene. I'll get it." I pressed the button that was lit. "Hello, Karen. How's your day going?"
"I'm ok. I'm just writing checks to pay the bills."
"I thought you already did that."
"No, I only wrote out our tithes for the church."
"I see. Well, how much did you send?"
"Ten percent of our earnings. I wrote a check for $2,500.
"You what? I know damn well you didn't send the church $2,500! Have you lost your fucking mind? I know one thing, you had better go down to that church and get back our damn money! Do you hear me?"
"Baby, I always put that amount into the church for our tithes. Can't you see how blessed we are because of our tithes?"
"Call it whatever you want to call it, but I have what I have because I've worked my ass off to get where I am. That's bullshit. We don't have to give the church all our money to have wealth. I don't buy it. Do you think Donald Trump sends the church ten percent of his money? I don't think so. Now you get your happy ass down to that church and get our money back. If I ever find out that you're sending our money to that church there's going to be consequences and repercussions. Now get on it!"
I hung up the phone without saying bye. I can't believe her ass is sending our hard-earned money down to the church. I can see her giving an offering of maybe $100, but $2,500? That's robbery. I don't know why Black people think that the only way to success is to tithe. If they get up off their lazy asses and work then they'll find wealth. Boy, I'll tell you the nerve of some people.
"Mr. Strong, your father is holding for you on line two."
"Thank you, Darlene."
"Daddy, what's up, man?"
"Hey, son. How are things going?"
"Good. You know me. I'm always doing well. I have my health, my family is fine, and I have money in the bank. What do you need, Daddy? Can I help you out with something?"
"No, son, I'm ok. I was just calling my kids to see how you guys are doing."
"All is well with me except Karen just pissed me off. I just found out that she's been giving the church ten percent of our earnings. Man, I told her she had better go down to that church and get our money back."
"You did what?"
"You heard me. I work hard for my money, and I'm not just going to give it away."
"Son, you're not giving it away, you're planting a seed into your future. Don't you know it's better to give than to receive? Thank God that he has blessed you to have the things you have in life. Son, if it wasn't for goodness and mercy, it could be you out there with no food, clothing or shelter. Count it as a blessing. You should be happy to give to the church."
"Most of them preachers don't even work. Some of them have never finished high school. Why should I take care of them?"
"You can't look at it that way. Look at it as helping with the work of the Lord."
"Well, I respect you dearly, but I'm not sending my hard-earned money to any church. At least not that much. A $100 is enough."
"Son, all I can tell you is the God given truth, and that is the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Be mindful of how you speak."
"Yeah, yeah, Daddy. I hear you."
* * *
Hello, my name is Troy Strong, and I'm a Gemini. I'm notorious for being a bad motherfucker. I'll rob you blind without you even knowing. You might ask yourself how I can do that. Well, let me explain. On the streets, I've made a name for myself by conning people out of their money or beating the shit out of them. Whatever it took, I did it. See, most people call me crazy. Ok, maybe I am because I have done some insane things in my lifetime.
I'm the middle child of three children, but that's not why I act up. What a lot of people don't know about me is that I'm a clinically-proven genius. When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher noticed that I was more advanced than all the other students, so she had me take an I.Q. test. The testing officials couldn't believe my results. I scored on the level of a college graduate. The test had questions like Is there a fourth of July in England. Ok, most people would have said no, but I said yes. It comes after the third of July, right? Another question was A farmer has 17 sheep, and all but 9 die. How many are left? The answer is 9 sheep are left. I needed them to give me harder questions. Then they gave me the question Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow's sister? I said no because he's dead.
My mother and father were ecstatic. They had high hopes for me. But, as we all know, things don't always work out the way we want them to. One thing about me, I knew how to play the game called life. See, what I do is sit back and study people, and it doesn't take me long at all to figure our where people are coming from. Like one day, I got all dressed up in my Sunday's best, walked into a big department store, went right to the fur department, and scoped out the sales associates. I saw they were all young, so I went into my smooth, yet aggressive, mode. I walked through the department smiling and speaking to everyone. I walked my happy ass right back to the storeroom and took a ladies, full-length, black diamond, mink coat. I slipped it into a garment bag and walked right out the store's front door. Boy, I'm a bad motherfucker.
My life has not been a bed of roses. My folks put me out the house when I turned eighteen because they found out that I had started up my own gang called the Rolling Stones. I'm the head chief of the Stones. My boys do whatever I tell them to do. We are not your ordinary gangbangers. We're smarter than that. I make my boys dress up. They always have to wear dress pants and a clean, starched shirt. Some days I make them wear suits with a tie. When people see us, they have nothing but respect for us. They don't know we are up to no damn good. It's all in the way you present yourself.
After my father put me out the house, I went to my older brother Jason and asked him if I could live with him and his wife. He flat out told me to get the hell out of his face and out of his house. I guess he thought I might steal from him. Yeah, he thought right because I would. I know myself. That damn Jason is one arrogant fucker. He continues to treat me like shit. Ok, yeah, he has that big-ass house and a fancy car, but that don't make him any better than me. One day he's going to get his. I wish his wife Karen would leave his sorry ass. She makes enough money to take care of herself and the kids. Now Karen is my sister-in- law, but I see her as being my blood sister. She always has my back and she speaks up for me. I love her for that.
Mr. Mitchell, one of our neighbors who lives down the street, allowed me to come live with him. He is eighty-two-years old, but he is cool as hell. Mr. Mitchell is truly my best friend. I love that man. He is the only person that can keep me in check. His wife died last year, and they never had any children, so he was more than happy to have me around the house. He knew I was a problem child, however he allowed me to stay with him anyway.
He is a church-going man that can really play the piano and sing. In spite of him being a church member, he loves to drink Coors beer. Man, we would sit around his house drinking, laughing, and talking about how things were when he grew up. He was smart because he waited until I was good and high whenever he would start with his famous sermon. "Son, the Bible says when I was a child, I spoke as a child, and I acted as a child. But when I became a man, I put away those childish things and became a man. Son, there's a lesson in all of this. In other words, grow up."
I didn't need to hear all of that. I already am a man. I'm taking care of business raising my baby girl Jasmine. She's the apple of her daddy's eyes. There is nothing too good for my baby girl. I make sure she has nothing but the best of everything. I don't get to see her as much as I would like to because her grandparents hate me. They think their daughter Christine is too good for me. The nerve of them. Ok, Christine was a very nice and pleasant young lady with her head on straight, but all she thinks about is herself. She is smart as hell, but too smart for her own good. When I met her, I knew she was going to be the mother of my children. I put my whip appeal on her, and she fell in love with me. That's when I laid it on her real strong and I got her ass pregnant. She wanted to abort the baby, but I threatened to kill her if she did. So, of course, she kept the baby.
Christine is not a super model, but she was what I was looking for, which was a good mother for my baby. I wasn't going to have kids with just any woman. I'm too smart for that. Instead of being a parent, she ended up going to school and doing her own thing and leaving Jasmine with her parents. I remember one summer afternoon I went by Christine's house to visit Jasmine. Christine's parents were sitting on the front porch holding her. Jasmine was only six months. I asked if I could take my baby girl to visit my parents, and they said no. I got pissed off, grabbed my baby from them, and I ran to my car and sped off. She was only wearing a t-shirt and a pamper, but I didn't care. Now they should have known not to play with me. I took my baby to the mall, and we had a ball. She was glad to get away from those old geezers. I went into a kid clothing store and asked for assistance with buying Jasmine some clothes. I must have spent about three hundred on clothing and shoes for her. The sales lady helped me dress her into one of the new outfits I bought and she even combed Jasmine's hair for me. I gave her a twenty- dollar tip on the side, and she was happy to get it. My baby looked so pretty. Her grandparents were blowing my cell phone up looking for Jasmine, but I never answered. We spent the whole day together.
Now there are only five people in this world I would do anything for and that's my baby girl Jasmine, my mother, my sister-in law, my best friend Mr. Mitchell, and my best childhood friend Brenda. She's blind, so I have to have her back. If you're not one of them then I'll kill you if I have to. Don't cross me.
Right now I'm on this hustle game. I dress up on Friday and Saturday nights and go up north to hit the nightclubs to meet white chicks. I pull them into my love nest and then rob their ass blind. I have gotten so much money out of them whether they were willing or unwilling. Most of them want me to sleep with them. I'll do it, but, shit, they pay me top dollar. I expect no less than $2,500 a night from them.
* * *
Ross Strong is my name, and I don't play games especially when it comes to my mother. My family thinks I'm a mama's boy because I'm the baby, but that's not true at all. I'm a little on the sensitive side, however I definitely have some backbone about myself. I can recall the first time I stood up to someone. I was twelve-years old, and a nasty, old man was flirting with my mother. He even went as far as to pat her on her behind. That's when I went the hell off on him.
Excerpted from The Perfect Family by Delena P. Lewis Copyright © 2011 by Delena P. Lewis. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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