Somethings Wrong

After school let out that day, Jean, Annie, and I walked home together. During the day, I kept my ears open in the lunchroom and bathroom, but I didn’t hear nothing about Smooth’s death, so I was hoping that one of them had, especially Jean our social butterfly. Annie had and started talking about it before I could figure out a way to get the ball rolling.

“Did you hear about Smooth? They found his body in the alleyway behind IGA a couple days ago.” Annie said.

“No, I ain’t heard nothing, who told you about it?’ I asked.

“No one in particular, I heard it in the lunchroom, you know how people talk.”

“Yeah, I know, but do they know what they’re talking about?” Jean cracked.

“Well, they said he was shot three times in the chest, and his body was laying there for two days before it was found.”

“Three shots! It wasn’t that many!” Jean slipped up. Big mouth!

“What Jean, what did you hear?” Annie stopped walking and asked her excitedly.

“Not much, they was talking about it in the lunch line. Didn’t hear it all, said it was more than one shot, that’s all.”

Jean tried to cover her slip up, stumbling over her words. Dummy. And she was the one telling me to keep my trap shut! Once again, I had to save the day.

“Annie, what else you hear. Jean don’t know nothing.”

I started walking again and they followed. Jean a few paces behind. I turned back to glare at her, and she threw her hands up in a ‘I’m sorry girl’ way.

“That’s all I heard.” Annie said.

“That’s ripped!”

“We gonna have to get a new booster.” Jean, of course, cared more about her threads than a dead brother. Or maybe she was changing the subject.

“I’m sure you’ll find another way.” I smirked.

Then out of nowhere Annie stopped, turned towards us with a look of pure hate on her face.

  “That’s what the bastard gets! Somebody should have knocked him off a long time ago! “Annie said in an angry way that caught me off guard. I didn’t know she knew Smooth like that, plus I ain’t never seen her so mad before.

“What do you mean somebody should have knocked him off a long time ago? You know Smooth Annie? What he do to you?”

Annie had that faraway look in her eyes that she got every now and then, like when I first met her, looking at me but through me. After a few seconds, she turned away and started walking again.

“Annie, what he do to you?” I asked again.


“Didn’t sound like nothing to me. Smooth didn’t deserve to be killed, did he?” Jean asked.

“I said nothing didn’t I!” Annie was still mad.

“Let’s talk about something else, this is tripping me out” I changed the topic cause Annie didn’t look in the mood for any of Jean’s crap. And one thing about Annie was this, if you got her angry enough she would snap. And if you backed her in a corner she would attack.

The rest of the way to our cribs we rapped about our favorite subject, the Jackson Five and which one to marry, of course I would marry Jermaine. Jean did most of the talking. Annie didn’t really say much. We got to Annie’s house first. She waved at us and as we left her on her front porch I stopped to look back and take one last look at her, cause she wasn’t acting right. She was taking longer than usual to snap out of being angry. Not like her at all. She was still standing in the same spot, staring into space. Something was wrong. I wondered what it could be to upset her so much. What did Smooth mean to her?