20 April 2008

Chapter 1 of The Gift by Nasir Aleem



"Fresh!!! When did you get home?" she asked, overjoyed to see her man. For the past week, Fresh was out of town on business, so she was missing him like crazy. Embracing his woman, he felt everything was perfect. "Amina, I have something for you", he said, pulling out a huge Gucci tote bag filled with little gifts for her. "Aww baby, you got me Hoops and Ballers, I heard this was the sh*t". While running around King of Prussia mall, Fresh ran into Nashebo Seeney doing a book signing in Foot Locker for his newest street classic. "Babe, can you make me spaghetti tonight?" Fresh asked, staring lustfully at Amina's shape through her robe. "All you want is spaghetti, everyday and night", she replied, rolling her eyes and pulling out her c-phone. "No Fresh, I made reservations for us somewhere else", she said, sensing something was up. "Where and what time?" he countered, knowing Fish was waiting on him to come through to discuss business. "Seven thirty Fresh, but where do you think you are going?" After an extended pause, he told Amina that he had some money business to handle, which instantly caused tension. "I guess this pocketbook and gifts was just to shut me up huh?" Before things could get out of hand, Fresh promised her he would be quick and that they could watch one of her girlie movies as soon as he got back. After hearing his promise, Amina smiled, sashaying into the bedroom, happy her man was home. Staring at his lady, Fresh thought of how he met his soul mate and went down memory lane.

It was a rainy night and somehow Fresh ended up in Palmer's, a popular club in Philly. Even though the place wasn't his usual spot, he gave in to his partner in crimes request to go. Walking into the club, everyone showed Mustafa love, since he was a regular, while Fresh got instant looks from the ladies, since he was clean in a pair of Dead Denim Gear jeans with the matching blazer, covered in crystals and skull heads. There she was. Fresh saw the beautiful woman sitting off to the side and was stuck in the matrix, gazing into her brown eyes. "Damn it's poppin in here tonight!" Mustafa cheered, only to see Fresh and an eye candy nominee holding conversation. Laughing, he ran to the bar, saying, "Fresh did it again."

Within minutes, the two were laughing and enjoying one another's company like old friends. After meeting Ms. Gorgeous' sister, he ordered them drinks and continued small talk, mixed with occasional flirting. Ms. Gorgeous' name was Destiny, but Fresh already crowned her Amina, which is Arabic for princess, since he planned on making her wifey. Her next words came out in slow motion, shocking Fresh and ruining his mental wet dream. "I'm married and I live with my husband and son," she said, gazing into his eyes, looking for a response. After seeing Fresh sit there with his eyes wide open, she continued the conversation, while Fresh picked his face off the floor. "Let's dance", she purred, showing off her hourglass figure, giving him a sample of what was to come. They danced to all the newest cuts and grinded to all the reggae tracks, flirting with each other the entire time. The flirting and dancing continued until…FRESH! FRESH! GET THE PHONE!!!!! STOP DAYDREAMIN!!!!

Shaking his head, Fresh came out of the matrix and heard his boy's voice in the phone, barking out orders about some rims for a Range Rover. "Fresh, what's the twist homie?" Jay asked, happy to be delivering good news. Jay owned Philadelphia Custom Motorsports, a high-end auto salon. Rims, TV's, sounds, you want it; he has it. Fresh knew if he was calling on a Sunday, his car must be ready. "The whip is ready and you are gonna love it!" Jay proclaimed, knowing that his boy was a car show king. After making arrangements to pick up his ride, Fresh hung up, smiling like a kid in the candy store. "Oh boy", Amina sarcastically said, knowing what was up. Between Fresh and his boys, they had more luxury cars than a dealership and they were always competing. "You and these cars, just ridiculous!" she teased, laughing at her man dancing around singing Fab's hit, "Breathe". After a few minutes of jokes and small talk, Fresh grabbed Amina, pulling her close and began feeling under her robe, loving her caramel body, especially in lavender boy shorts and a robe. "Don't start Fresh, go handle your business and get back here, then you can have this", she said, dropping her robe and strutting towards the bedroom. Smacking her on the rear, he told Amina that he was retiring from the game, only for her to brush him off, saying, "I heard that same one a few months back, then you were overseas somewhere for two weeks." Harsh words were exchanged and Fresh stormed out, slamming the door behind him, flying out of the garage with an attitude. While John Legend bumped through the speakers, Fresh played mental gymnastics, trying to figure out what went wrong. His thoughts were cut short when Amina called his c-phone, wanting to talk. He let her call go to voicemail and she left a message, saying she was sorry and that she was only looking out for his best interests. He needed to clear his mind, since he was on his way to meet with his partner Fish to discuss their last score. Fish was a legend in the scam game. He was everywhere and nowhere. Both men knew of each other, but fate introduced them at the 4040 Club for Keanon Lewis' fight party. Ever since that day, they were inseparable and unstoppable.

"Fresh, what's up?" Fish knew that his boy was thinking about something, so he pulled out the chessboard and they sat down to work it out, using chess as the medium. Fish ran over his frustrated opponent, beating Fresh two games straight, which never happened, so he knew it was serious. Disgusted with his game, Fresh told his boy all about the argument he had earlier, thinking he was correct in being upset, only to find out that he was being selfish. "Listen Fresh, she is only looking out for you and you gotta think-your moves affect her also." The doorbell startled both of them, but Tash, Fish's wife was already on it, giving Fresh a look that meant she spoke to Destiny and knew they had beef. "Baby, she is here." Tash said, walking a older white woman into the huge living room. "Hi Fish, this must be him", she quizzed, staring at Fresh, hoping he was the million-dollar man. After confirming in Arabic that it was cool to deal with her, Fresh introduced himself to Janice Brustman and laid out a plan for them for make 200 million dollars.Photobucket Fresh knew how to make it come together and she was the Vice President of Bank of America, so she knew every policy and fraud guideline imaginable-of course it was a perfect match. By the time Fresh told her the pieces of the game plan, she was borderline horny, thinking about all of that cash. "My my young man, you really know your sh*t!" she said, throwing all professionalism to the wind. Hell, she was getting ready to be filthy rich. Tash walked the excited lady out and came back in yelling at Fresh, accusing him of being to hard on her girl. "But she was wrong!" Fresh said, not wanting to hear anything Tash had to say. "She cares about you and doesn't want to see anything happen!" Tash yelled, cutting him off and making her point. Fish diffused the situation, asking his wife to get them drinks. "Do you have this same problem?" Fresh asked, knowing that Fish had to deal with the same things. Rubbing his chin, Fish replied, "Yeah, but it's all out of love for us." A mutual nod was all that was needed and they moved the conversation to the corrupt legal system, since a friend of theirs was in the middle of a lengthy appeal over a case built on lies and jailhouse snitches. "It seems like they make all the rules, break them, and change them for convictions, depending on your color and how much paper you have." Fish nodded, knowing that if they were another race, half of the things they deal with wouldn't happen. Tash walked back in and the conversation went from serious to comedy central.

"So Fresh what are you gonna do?" Tash asked, staring at Fresh, hoping he would realize how much Destiny loved him and squash their little beef. "Apologize to my Amina, since she is only acting crazy out of care and concern. "Good answer", she replied, telling Fresh they were meeting at the mall to get something to wear to Shy's poetry reading at the 5 Spot in Olde City. Now wearing his no-good grin, Fresh told Tash to make sure they stopped in Victoria's Secret to get something exclusive for the after-afterparty. Fish told Tash to get the same, but she burst his bubble, saying, "None for you until Friday, you know what it is." Fresh laughed, happy he wasn't in the same boat, but Tash cut his laughter short, telling a tale of him buying Destiny tampons. Fresh cut in, telling Tash, "See what had happened was", but it was too late. Everyone laughed for a moment, until Tash hopped up and said she was out. "Tash if the new Jordan's are out, make sure my baby gets them for me." The group laughed, knowing about Fresh's Jordan fetish. "Hold up Tash, you act like you won't kill over a pair of Jimmy Choo pumps!" Fish countered, looking out for his boy. Tash rolled her eyes and said, "Whateva!" putting some ghetto girl attitude in her voice. They all walked outside and bid Tash farewell, while the two bosses engaged in small talk.

"Fresh, this isn't going to last forever".

"I know. We have had so many breaks. The Feds want us, state cops want us, stick up kids, haters, everybody moving is against us."

"Fresh, we can't end up like Santana did."

They took a pause to think about their old head, Santana Black, the greatest scam artist the world had ever seen. He was on the run for stealing 900 million from the US Treasury, moving from exotic place to exotic place, never sitting too long. After making plans for the poetry reading, Fresh left out, deciding to make amends with Amina.

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Jetsetter. I defy Time Zones.