The next night…
I always knew the past was going to come back and haunt my girls and me one day. I’d only hoped it wouldn’t get them hurt or worse, killed. Mike and I had a well-kept oiled machine in place during our run the streets. Like I told the girls, their father ran his set just like that of a fortune five hundred firm. He treated everyone from his right-hand man, Louis, to his corner boys, with the utmost respect. That’s why he was untouchable for a long time. The men and women who worked for him were loyal. Some have even had their lives taken because they refused to turn on him. They all loved and respected him because of his love and respect for them.
It was the reason I fell in love with Mike. He treated me like a queen. When we met, he was upfront with what he did. He made it clear he wanted me, but couldn’t be with me if I couldn’t accept what it was he did. It wasn’t hard for me to decide to be with Mike, because of his respect for me and my feelings. He didn’t force that lifestyle on me. I chose him so I chose that lifestyle.
As I said, I kept the books straight with the finances and product. I kept an account of all the trap houses, who worked them, and when product came in and went out. That was how we lived until things went left. That was when Louis started shooting up our product into his veins and could no longer function. Then all hell broke loose.
One of our trap houses kept coming up short with money and product. I ran the numbers many times before I made Mike aware. When I did, he exploded. He went off on the guys running that particular house, but they swore everything was accounted for. I suggested to Mike to have someone sit on the house to scope out the activities. Come to find out, it was Louis, his righthand man, who had been taking product and cash. Because of the love he had for Louis, Mike couldn’t kill him, so I did it for him; shot his ass right between the eyes.
Even though majority of everyone was loyal to Mike, there were a few who were just as loyal to Louis, and Betty was one of them, being they were siblings. After he died, she went to Vinny Deluca and gave him what intel she knew on Mike’s operation. Betty was recruited to seduce him, which he fell for. How do I know this? Well, Vinny called me after Mike was killed and told me so.
She had always been money hungry on top of jealous of my life. Many times, she would say I had it made with that man of mines and the way we lived. I didn’t understand that because Mike always felt living in the hood, right in the midst of everything was where we needed to be. We had money where we could have moved in any neighborhood celebrities lived in the metro area, but again Mike wanted to be close to the action so he can see with his own eyes what was going on.
It wasn’t until one day Betty came to me boldly to tell me she had been sleeping with Mike that everything changed for me. It wasn’t that she slept with my husband but was supposedly my friend. No, that didn’t bother me because I really never saw her as a true friend but an associate. It was the threat she made to kill my children that was the issue. And to show she was true to her word, she showed me live surveillance of someone watching all three of my children as they played at the park. She also had several videos of them at different school events as well. I had to divorce Mike and allow her to marry him to keep my girls alive.
Mike came home later that day and gave me the news of him leaving me for Betty. I had to go along with the shits to keep my girls safe. And well, we divorced and made it seem as if we had a horrible divorce with the judge mandating, I remained in the same neighborhood as Mike and Betty so we could share custody of our children. He also took his name off all bank accounts he and I shared together, removed all money from spots Louis was aware of, and placed it in different bonds and certificates for me and the girls. He made sure Betty’s trifling ass has no access to anything we built together.
We went along with the facades for a long time. Betty’s threat to kill our children was the deciding factor for Mike to step away from the drug game. He loved that life but loved his children more. During their marriage, she made several attempts to change his will and insurance beneficiaries, but Mike was always several steps ahead of her. A few months before Mike died, Betty even attempted to take out an insurance policy on him making herself the beneficiary. Somehow, he got wind of that, changed her name, and made Candice the beneficiary.
I always thought she had something to do with his death but didn’t have any concrete proof until now. This was the day I’ve been waiting for. Betty Jean Jackson honestly had no clue she had been living on borrowed time only because I allowed her to. And now, her time was up.
I sat in the dark and silence as I patiently waited for her to return home. Looking at my watch, the time read 11:37 pm. I had been there for about three hours before I heard the garage door open, and a car pulled inside it. My leather-gloved hands balled into a fist with anticipation. I grabbed my Glock with the silencer screwed on it and sat up straight when I heard the keys giggling in the locks. My body became jittery with excitement as the door opened and she walked in.
“I could have sworn I set the alarm before I left,” Betty said.
“You straight?” Someone’s voice blared through the speaker of her cellphone.
“Yeah, I’m good,” she said flicking on the light. When she turned around and saw me, she gasped.
I held my finger up to my lips and my gun pointed at her head.
“Sis, you good over there?”
“Y-yeah, Jevar. I’m good. Look I’m about to turn in for the night. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“Oh aiight. Later,” Jevar said, and she ended the call.
“Long time, Betty,” I told her as I watched her sit her purse on the counter.
“What the hell are doing in my house, Charlene?”
“I thought it was time you and I had a reunion. Don’t you agree?”
“You need to leave before I call the police!”
“Go ahead and call them. You’ll be dead by the time they get here anyway,” I hunched my shoulders and stood. “Now, let’s go ahead and get this over with. I’ve already missed Golden Girls sitting here waiting on you.”
“You are out of your mind!”
“What did you expect when you have been coming after my family? Huh? You trying to set my baby girl up and for what? For money that isn’t yours?”
“Fuck you, Charlene, and those bitches you pushed out! You always thought you were the shit when you and Mike were together. You always thought you and your ugly-ass children sat on a pedestal. That’s why I took the one thing away from you, I knew would hurt you; Mike. And I would have taken those three bastard bitches from you, but I was instructed not to do so!” Betty spoke with so much venom.
“You really thought you took Mike away from me? No, you didn’t. Gone and have a seat so I can give you the real tea,” I motioned for the chair closest to her. She reluctantly sat down, phone still in her hand. “Slide that on over here. You won’t be needing that anymore.” I held my hand out for the cell. She slid it over to me, and I smashed it on the floor before stepping on it, never taking my eyes or gun off her.
“Now, let me tell you this before I send you to meet your maker. Yeah, Mike and I divorced, and yeah, you did marry him. But Betty, you and I both know that was all you did. You thought you were getting your hands on the empire he and I built together, but you got nothing but air and opportunity. You could never break the bond Mike and I shared. We did what we had to do to protect our children. That included making sure you couldn’t get your hands on our money. But let me also tell you this,” I aimed my gun at her, and my laser beam lit upright between her eyes.
“You thought you were running things, but Vinny DeLuca told me the deal after Mike died. He explained to me he had you set him up to so he could take over Mike’s turf. He also told me he had nothing to do with Mike’s death since he got out of that line of work once our girls’ lives were threatened. For the longest time, I always felt you had something to do with him being killed.”
“I had his bitch ass killed because he owed me for my time and for killing my brother! I wanted to take everything from him the same way he took from me. Louis told me about all of the places they kept the money. I went there looking to take every dime of it after Louis was killed but the spots were empty. I did what I could to drain Mike for everything he was worth. o No matter what I did, he was always two steps ahead of me. So, I had Jevar kill him so I could get the insurance money. But to find out, that Mike found out about it and took my name off and added Candy’s name was devastating! You mothafuckas owed me and I wanted what was taken from me!”
“Is that why you had Jevar seek out Candice? To get with her and take her money?”
“Of course.” Betty hunched her shoulders not fazed by what she just said.
“Well, for the record, Mike didn’t kill Louis. I did.”
I put a bullet in each one of her eyes and the third in her heart. Afterwards, I went over to the microwave and set the timer for five minutes. I was just about to leave out of the house the same way I came in but remembered the slice of chocolate cake I ate while I waited. It was freshly made and moist. I can’t lie, baking cakes was one of the things I used to like about Betty. I quickly cut myself another piece, then wrapped it in some aluminum foil before pressing the start button on the microwave and leaving the house. I placed the piece of cake in my pocket, pulled my mask back over my face, and made my way through the wooded area that led to the back of a convenience store on the opposite side of the woods. Being that they had no lights in that area and I was wearing all black from head to toe, I had no problem sliding into my car and driving off without being noticed. I was turning into traffic when the explosion happened. I smiled and jammed to Mary J Blige radio on Pandora all the way back to Macon while smacking on that piece of chocolate cake.