Every Friday I post a snippet of a piece I’m working on. Today’s piece is from ‘Hoping: Junior Year’ which is about a group of friends coming of age in Present Day Philadelphia. This will be a part of its own series. Enjoy and Have A Great Weekend.
Drew and his friends walked home from the library slowly in a scattered formation. The leaves on the ground provided a perfect comparison to their diverse mix of different brown hues walking in hooded sweatshirts, pea coats and light leather jackets. Fall in Philadelphia was always beautiful, crisp and filled with people migrating from one place to the next on foot.
And theirs was no different. Most of the young friends walked together while Drew distanced himself in the lead, looking preoccupied.
“Drew, we got some trees if you wanna smoke” a voice called out.
“Yo, that brotha ain’t smokin’nothin’ but hams” another joked.
“Ooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….” The voices carried relentlessly at the back of Drew’s head as he smiled and offered a latent middle finger while walking.
Andrew Crawford was never one to do anything he didn’t want to do, and a master of his own destiny. Lately his thoughts continued to drift to Angelique ‘Angel’ Stephens. He’d known her since they were both six years old in First Grade at St. Raymond’s, and remained friends even after they parted ways for high school. He looked at his phone again as he waited for the traffic light to change.
Angel <Mobile> 6:47pm
Hey. Call me when u get home.
It was a simple text, yet left so many questions in his brain.
Man, I’m not ready for this yet.. He thought to himself. After plopping down on his couch and removing the Timberlands from his tired feet he called.
“Hey…” Angel answered after four rings.
“Hey..” He replied.
“Drew look….I didn’t mean what I said earlier. I-”
“Nah, I know. You was just mad. I’m sorry.”
“I know, I know” Angel quickly cut him off. “You’re not stupid, I know you won’t be out there gettin’ into trouble. Your future depends on it too much.”
Drew sighed. “Here we go.”
“I’m just sayin’, you need to go to college. I don’t understand why you’re so against the idea.”
“Angel it’s nothin’ me and my mom haven’t talked about before. But after her and my dad had the new baby, ain’t nobody really got extra money for college right now.”
“What about scholarships?”
“I’m not Tony, no one’s checkin’ for me at my school. And we not rich like y’all.” Drew quickly replied, then switched to a more mellow tone. “And you know when I say that I don’t mean it like it’s a bad thing. One day I wanna provide for my family just like your dad does for you, your mom and your sisters. But wastin’ my time in college when I can be doin’ somethin’ more constructive with my time-”
“Now, why you gotta keep bringin’ that up?” Angel finally snapped.
“Because you seemed to be so damn surprised when I used that word earlier, like I’m stupid.” Drew revealed sincerely. “I did go to school with you Angel, I’m not a dumb dude.”
“EXCACTLY!” Angel shrieked. “That’s my point Andrew, you’re smart as shit. But you always out with a bunch of wannabe thugs-”
“Oh, I get it now.” Drew interrupted chuckling. “We just a bunch of hood niggas? We rob old ladies and piss on churches for fun?”
Angel was angry, but she did manage to laugh at Drew’s silliness. “No! Shut up.”
“You crack me up Angel. I never seen someone so easily distracted in an argument. You’ll never become a good lawyer that way.”
“Go to hell Mr. Sandwich.”
“Ooooh! The judge will kick you out if you use that kinda language young lady. I object!” Drew teased her, and Angel couldn’t help but continue to laugh at him.
“Why do I let you get to me like this?” Angel asked after she finally stopped laughing.
“Cause you love me.” Drew remarked, causing Angel to groan. “You need to stop frontin’ and admit it. You been my girl since fifth grade.”
“Oh, you mean when I saved you from getting rolled on after school?” Angel asked.
“I knew you wanted me then.”
“Boy please. I just didn’t want to have to walk home with some dude that looked like he got hit by a bus.” She commented, causing the two of them to share the heartiest laugh they’d had with each other since earlier that afternoon.