"Come on! Lay down a card already," Donnie yelled as he slammed his fist down onto the brown wooden table. Carlos jumped at the noise.593Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡwSluSA1hJi
"Alright!" I responded as I looked at my cards carefully. I had two sevens that were a heart and spade, one eight that was a diamond, and an ace that was a diamond, too. Then I looked at the discard pile by the stack of cards we draw from. Carlos had laid down a seven in his previous turn, so I picked it up, and laid it down with my three sevens. "Eight on your eights, Carlos, and out," I said as I laid the ace down on the discard pile.
Carlos looked at the cards in the discard pile that were laid out like army men, and sighed. "Damn." He was always soft-spoken, even in distress.
I had black hair and tan skin, along with Donnie. Donnie was my brother. We shared the same hair and skin, and our eyes even, which were both brown. I had a decent sized build that was good enough for me. Donnie had a stronger build, but we were both sort of the same size. I probably just say that in spite of myself.
"Don't worry, you'll win next time, Carlos." Carlos never won any games of Rummy. "Maybe." He then reached over and slapped me upside the back of my head and laughed. I joined in with him.
Carlos had sunshine blonde hair, and deep green eyes that shined greatly. They were big, too, almost like puppy dog eyes. His cheeks were a little puffy, and were seemingly always a little red. He had a scrawny build, but was strong enough to finish a fight if he had to. The funniest part about Carlos was that he only smoked when he was nervous. Other than that, he just sticks an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
It's actually quite sad how Carlos ended up in the orphanage. When he was about five, his parents were constantly fighting. One time the fight that broke out was so bad, his mother drew a gun on both his father and Carlos himself. His mother shot his father and ran out before she could make up her mind on what she would do to Carlos. Carlos ran outside, crying and scarred, and eventually got picked up by the police who were called on sight.
Donnie reached across the table, and rounded up the cards. He started passing the cards out for another round of Rummy, but Carlos and I stood up and shook our heads no and continued to walk out. "Your loss. I'll just play solitaire then."
"You got a smoke, Carlos?" I asked him as we stepped outside. He nodded yes and flipped out one for me really coolly. Then he tossed me a light and I lit my cigarette and handed it back to him.
The spring breeze blew through my spiked up hair, while the sun shone down on our leather jackets. With this was the smell of freshly cut grass. I never told anyone, but I really enjoy that smell. Doesn't everyone? Anyway, we kept on walking down the street and stopped at the corner where we usually split and go our separate ways.
Carlos turned to me as I rested my shoulder on the stop sign's pole. "I might try to get at the Shifty Mart tonight." I looked at him curiously. "Don't worry, Kevin and I already went over the plans together the other night. It was funny because he kept asking me if I really wanted to do it. I said yes every time." He always told me he wanted to be like Vinnie or Kevin, but I can't imagine him being like the way they were.
But right then and there had I realized that Carlos was trying to get back at Joey. After a while, Joey parted away from us, and went and got a job at Shifty Mart. When Joey and his group, the Aces, tried to get at us a couple weeks ago, I guess that really set something off in him. I didn't mind they had tried to bust up our places because maybe it was just old feelings bottled up that was let loose, but I guess Carlos had.
Vinnie was very laid back. He had blonde hair like Carlos's, but more fair, and he also had blue eyes to compliment his hair. When it came down to it, especially in the moment, he knew what to do, and always managed to come up with the plans. Kevin, however, was different. He had a tanner complexion, but not by much. He was always asking for trouble, especially with the rest of the boys. Kevin had redder hair, almost chestnut brown, and had green eyes that were intimidating.
Carlos looked around and widened his eyes. He probably just realized what he was thinking, but I spoke too soon. "Care to join?"
I curved my lips to an 'o' shape and blew smoke rings while thinking about how Donnie would feel about this. Ruining the life we have now would be idiotic. Like, it isn't good, but it's better than being homeless. I'd rather have someone want to hurt us than be dead. Once I looked back at Carlos, I noticed how excited he was. He was shifting his balance from one foot to the other.
"As we speak, Kevin is getting supplies for it. Man, I'm excited!"
I flicked my cigarette butt to the ground, and took my heel to it. Then I sized Carlos up and down and said, "I can tell." He let out a soft chuckle. "Sounds like a plan, though." Carlos looked at me with pure astonishment.
"You mean that, Jason?"
"Of course, you little punk." I playfully punched him on the shoulder, and he sent a happy-go-lucky smirk my way. He does that a lot. After a moment of silence between us two, I decided to say, "Maybe we should split now."
"Sounds good," Carlos said back. Then he turned off and began to hum a song. I smiled and turned away to head on over to Kevin's place.
Kevin switched the car ignition on and pulled it out of park. Carlos had met us at Kevin's place about an hour or so ago, just as the sun fell below the horizon for the night. Carlos sat in back, and I sat up front while Kevin drove.
"I cannot believe you're doing this kid. Hopefully all that hard work and looking up to will do you some good tonight," Kevin said with a lit cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth. He looked up at the rear view mirror and smiled at Carlos.
"It's a good time to do something for once. After all, how will I stay in this if I don't learn how?"
I looked in the back of the car at Carlos and smiled at him. "Smart thinking." Carlos reached his hand up and slapped my shoulder. I deserved it after acting like Carlos was dumb or something. We joked around with each other a lot.
Kevin reached for the window handle, and cracked the window on his side to flip some ashes out the window. "It seems so weird not being in this with you guys or the others. Usually I'm right up with you."
"Like Carlos said, we have to learn sometime."
There was a silence between us for a minute, then Kevin said, "I have the guns under the seat. The plan is for sure happening? Because as soon as I turn this corner, there is no turning back." Me and Carlos both nodded, indicating that we were sticking with the plan.
Once the Shifty Mart popped into view, a feeling of nervousness swept over me. Carlos swallowed hard and messed with his hoodie strings. The two lonely gas pumps illuminated shadows across the parking lot and into the road because of the stations light inside. Parked out front were two cars: Joey's green 51' Mercury that he stole a while back, and a blue buggy. Kevin carefully drove into the parking lot and parked in a square. Then, he tossed his cigarette butt out the window, and bent down to reach under the seat.
"Here," he said as he handed us the loaded pistols. "You might also want to wear these." Kevin reached under his shirt and pulled out two black bandannas. "Your best bet will be to go to the back of the store and get ready, then come up front and do your business."
Carlos lightly nodded as he turned to the side and looked inside Joey's car. He pointed and said, "Joey's in there."
Kevin hesitated for a moment, then roughly hit Carlos's arm down. "You keep pointing and he will notice us. Calm down and get going."
I flipped the handle of the car door, and slid out of the car as carefully and quietly as possible. Carlos did just the same. Once we stepped up onto the sidewalk that leads into the store, Carlos began to whistle and fiddle with something in his pocket. It had to be his knife. We both kept our heads down until we reached the door. I reached for the door handle and lightly shoved it open, only to be greeted with a chilling cold breeze that was as eerie as Transylvania. From there, we turned down isle six to get our things ready.
"Go up there and start it off." I looked at Carlos as I roughly put on my bandanna. He slapped his gums, and turned off to the man at the register who was calmly reading a Joe DiMaggio Baseball magazine. Once I was ready, I ran quickly down isle six and pulled out my gun.
The unsuspecting man peeked over his magazine and went white. He slammed it down on the counter and stood up. Carl, which was what his name tag said, lifted his hands in the air.
"Give us the money!" I yelled to him. To be honest, I wasn't going to shoot him. It was only to scare him.
"I've got kids," Carl yelped. "They need me more than you need this money!"
"Don't get smart! This is payback for what your little friend did to us!" Carlos said as he shakily made his way closer to the counter, wielding his knife far from him. Carl then reached for the register, tapped a button that opened the drawer, and set out bills upon bills.
Kevin began yelling outside. Carlos turned towards the door while I kept a good eye on the man behind the counter. He looked at me impatiently and whispered, "It's Joey man." Carlos hated Joey, and I think he thought he was going to get hurt if we didn't leave the place now and forget the money. I looked over at him and snarled.
"Jay, I don't want to go to jail. Let's go." He was always a kindhearted person. You could never take him anywhere without his soft heart getting in the way. By now593Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡvPErg5Nisc
I was beginning to get angry at him.
I turned to him and yelled, "You wanted to do this! Why do you always be like this? Lose that big heart of yours!" Carlos looked at me like I had just called him every cruel name under the sun.
Carlos furrowed his brows and pursed his lips as one tear fell from his eye. "Well it's my life, or the both of ours. Up to you." He then ran out in a hurry and nearly ran into Joey. What a waste of my time, that kid.
I turned back at Carl and sized him up and down as I turned as red as a chili pepper, and just as hot. "Forget about it." Then I turned around and ran right past Joey without him even bothering to stop me. Joey was wet with sweat and furious, and pounding his feet against the tile as he went.
When I reached outside, I punched Kevin's car. I lifted the handle, lazily opened the door and flopped inside. "You're going to pay for that," Kevin said as I shut the door. Like I could care, I thought to myself.
Kevin had exited the parking lot, and was already down two streets, when I shouted, "It's just like running a daycare with you Carlos. You don't ever know when to grow up. Never! And if you did--" Carlos reached across the car and punched me good in the shoulder.
"You shut the hell up. I swear if I ever hear you talk like that about Carlos again, I'll beat your head in," Kevin threatened with a tone in his voice that showed he meant it.
"I'm serious, Kevin."
"I don't want to hear it," Kevin hissed as he turned and parked in a dark alleyway. "If Joey caught a glimpse of you two, we'll be done for. You better pray he didn't." I shook my head to that because I knew he hadn't.
"I'm done with all this," Carlos shyly implemented. "I always wanted to be like you guys, but I never can. Jason's right-- my heart always gets in my way and stops me from doing business."
Kevin turned to me and angrily yelled, "See what you're making the kid think? What a friend you are!"
"The same goes for you!" Carlos retorted.
After that, it was quiet for a solid fifteen minutes. I never knew that the three of us could go without talking for so long, especially Kevin. He would usually blabber on and on about life, and us in general. Kevin could talk real good if he meant to, but that was a rarity. He talks like a hood, and always will talk like a hood-- with no story or meaning.
By the time we reached the alleyway and was parked, it was pitch black outside. Stars dotted the sky, making it look like a connect-the-dot board with flipflopped colors. The city lights tinted the horizon a soft, hazy orange, and in the background was the silhouettes of buildings upon buildings. There was a nice view from the alleyway since it was dark and quiet. The only audible noise there was were of Carlos's shuttering breaths, the occasionally sighs of Kevin, my rythmic breathing, and an alleycat scrounging for food in overturned trashcans.
"I'm sorry Carlos," I whispered. "I just wanted to finish that for you, so you could be happy."
Kevin then blurted out, "If you aren't brave and take a chance, you'll never get anything done." Then he took a long drag of his cigarette, the ember glowing a bright orange, but then slowly dimming as he let go and blew out the smoke from his chest that steadily made its way out of the cracked window.
"I'll just go back to the orphanage and hideaway. I serve no purpose to you guys," Carlos yelped out. He then moved in his seat and exited the door and ran behind a trashcan.
"Where's he going?" I asked.
"He'll be okay. It's just the spur of the moment type of thing. I had it too when I just started with you all." Kevin? Sick? Especially during things like this that he's so good at? I wonder what broke him so badly to make him this cruel, because if something did, I'd like to know. Kevin must've noticed the confusion on my face because he said, "Oh, shoot kid, it's a long story. Why bother? That's not me anymore!"
I always get this face when something makes me curious or interest me. It's always noticeable too. I mean, I don't mean to make that face, it just happens, catches me off guard. I don't want people knowing I'm thinking about what they're saying.
Carlos eventually came back to the car. He brought his sleeve to his mouth, and sighed, "Can we go home? I'll stay at one of your places." His voice was low and croaky. Kevin shook his head no.
"Sorry, kiddo. We must stay here for the night, but once it becomes morning, we will drive to Donnie's and you can stay there with Jason. If it gets too bad, and the cops find out you two, I'll help y'all. Later this week I'll take you to the range to help you," Kevin said as he laid back on the seat. Carlos said okay and sprawled out on the two back seats, as I just laid my seat back and closed my eyes.593Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡs79WU06YA3
I eventually drifted off into a deep sleep, thinking everything over.ns22.214.171.124da2