Damaged

Damaged by Kia DuPree Read Free Book Online

Book: Damaged by Kia DuPree Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kia DuPree
Tags: FIC048000
love it. We ain’t gotta do nothing else.”
    I put my head on his chest and closed my eyes.
    “Hey, I forgot. I got something for you.”
    I looked up and watched him dig in his pockets. “You do?”
    “Yeah. Here.” He fingered a gold necklace with the letters
C-H-U
spelled out in cursive.
    “This for me?” I asked, surprised. “Oh, my God. When did you get it?”
    “Don’t worry ’bout all that,” he said, grinning. “You like it?”
    “I love it. Help me put it on.” I’d have to hide it from Mr. Big, since he’d go crazy if he knew I was talking to a boy, especially
     one who was giving me gifts.
    Chu crawled behind me and put the chain around my neck.
    “I never knew that’s how you spelled your name. I thought it was
Chew,
with a
W.
I thought it was a nickname for a silly thing you must’ve did when you was young.”
    He laughed. “Nah, it’s Chu. Short for Chukwuemeka.”
    “Chu what?”
    He laughed again and pulled me in his arms. Then he repeated it. “Chu-kwu-e-me-ka. It means ‘God has done something great.’”
    “Chu-kwu-e-me-ka,” I repeated, letting all the vowels fall out my mouth. “Your family from Africa?”
    “Yeah, my father is Nigerian.”
    “Oh… I like it.”
    “I like
Camille
, too.”
    I blushed and fingered my necklace. Rob yelled from the stairwell, telling us he was ready to go. Chu helped me put my clothes
     back on, and then we met Rob upstairs.
    In the car, Chu asked me if I was hungry and if I still wanted to get breakfast. I nodded, but instead of going to Adams Morgan,
     Rob pulled up into McDonald’s. After we got our food, he dropped us off at P. G. Plaza, cuz Chu still wanted to get me a couple
     of tops. I certainly wasn’t going to complain about that. While we was out, he got me a prepaid cell phone, so I could call
     him whenever I wanted and without my foster parents knowing my business. I couldn’t wait to tell Shakira about my wonderful
     day.
    O ver the next few weeks, Chu and I started hanging real tough. I went over his crib after school just about every other day
     cuz I skipped dance practice. He would order Chinese food from the carryout around the corner. Chicken with garlic sauce or
     beef and broccoli and a fruit punch for me, and he always got wings and mambo sauce or a steak and cheese with fries and provolone
     cheese melted on top. He lived with Rob and Rob’s older cousin Nut, who I never really saw much. He was in his twenties and
     was always in and out, usually with a different girl. They all looked skanky, too. He was a strange but cute-looking dude.
     Light-brown skin with a beard and mustache that he kept trimmed up. And he stayed fresh since he shopped at Up Against The
     Wall a lot.
    I saw him staring at me a few times. I ignored him even though he never really said anything. One day, out the blue, he had
     the numbers 666 cut in the back of his head. I asked Chu about it, but all he said was that “nigga crazy, that’s all.” When
     I heard Nut blasting the same Three 6 Mafia song over and over again like he was going into a trance, I figured that nigga
     was more than just crazy. That shit always made me dizzy with the same beat and chants that repeated over and over. Nut walked
     around chanting, too. I decided to keep my distance since he seemed like he belonged in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital with the
     other nuts.
    Their place was in a rundown apartment building on Montana Avenue. It kind of reminded me of my old neighborhood in Wellington
     Park. It seemed like there was always a lot of people out and about. Dudes smoking on the corner or fixing cars in the parking
     lot with their radios turned up real loud. Women sat on the steps out front, gossiping and watching their children play or
     braiding hair. I got tired of hearing ice cream trucks come around every two hours waiting for greedy children to spend their
     parents’ last dime on junk food. But that was their neighborhood.
    It was nothing like where I lived

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