Maybe You Never Cry Again

Maybe You Never Cry Again by Bernie Mac Read Free Book Online

Book: Maybe You Never Cry Again by Bernie Mac Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bernie Mac
gunfire. This was like the suburbs. I could hear the got-damn crickets, and the stars were so bright they kept me up at night.
    I was at CVS at the time, Chicago Vocational High School, over on 87th and Jeffrey. That’s another thing my mother had arranged. She didn’t want me going to Parker, and I couldn’t get into CVS without taking a test. So I took the test and passed. That’s what they told me, anyway. But to this day I know I couldn’t havepassed. I didn’t even finish the test. I gave up in the middle. So it’s clear my mama pulled some strings to get me in.
    After school and on weekends I usually hung with Billy Staples. He lived one block over, and he was so good looking that the girls were always following us around. We’d play sports, mostly, with the girls watching Billy from the sidelines, and maybe go to the lake for a soda after. From time to time Billy would pull out a joint, but he knew I didn’t like it. We used to fight about that shit, but we fought with love. Billy was like a brother to me, a real brother.
    We had another friend back then, James Spann, couple of years older, liked living on the edge. He was slick and smooth, kind of pimpy, and he kept me around because I was solid: six feet and almost 180. You didn’t want to be messing with Bernie Mac, believe me.
    Spann knew people. He’d take us to parties and stuff. We’d swing by Billy’s place and pick him up and off we’d go. And the minute we walked in the door, the women were all over Billy. It’s like Spann planned it that way. I’d be standing there with my drink and Spann would come over and tell me that he had to run an errand, and we’d leave Billy to his women and go off for a short ride. I was pretty naïve back then, a gullible kid, but I knew Spann was dealing drugs; I knew he was only dragging me along because I was big and scary looking, and because I could look mean if I had to.
    Still, I started getting uncomfortable with these little side trips.
    â€œI ain’t getting out of the car,” I’d say. “This is bullshit.”
    â€œThat’s cool,” he said. “I know you’ll come if I holler.”
    â€œDon’t be so sure,” I said.
    He was slick, that Spann. It was always “a little stop on the way to Billy’s”—only the little stop was three miles in the wrong direction.
    One night we pulled up outside this badass building. I told Spann he shouldn’t go in. “I have a bad feeling about this place,” I said.
    â€œYou one of those people can see into the future now?” he said. He was grinning his big grin.
    â€œNo,” I said. “I just don’t like it.”
    Spann ignored me. He reached under the seat and handed me a gun.
    â€œWhat the fuck you givin’ me that for?” I asked.
    â€œJust hold it,” he said. “And if there’s any trouble, use it.”
    â€œI ain’t using that got-damn gun, Spann,” I said. But he was already out of the car and heading for the building. I picked up the gun. Felt its weight in my hand.
    A moment later, WHOOSH! Spann’s coming out of the building, running for his got-damn life. He jumps behind the wheel and starts the car and pulls out, and two guys burst onto the sidewalk, shooting. POP POP, POP POP POP.
    Spann’s yelling at me to shoot back, and I didn’t want to. But I turned in my seat and fired twice into the air. I didn’t hit no one, of course. I wasn’t aiming. If I’d hit anyone, I probably wouldn’t be here today.
    â€œMotherfuckers!” Spann was saying. “Can’t trust nobody nowadays!”
    I looked over at Spann and didn’t say nothing. But at that moment I knew something for damn sure: It was over between us.
    Takes a strong man to find the right path and follow it.
    I was going down the wrong path. I didn’t need friends like Spann. No hard feelings,

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