Tell me what you would have done in this situation, Hakeem asked. I nodded. Let’s hear it, I said.

So my fiancee be getting these texts from a number she don’t know. Texts be saying, ya mans got some things on his record you not gonna like. So she be like, Tell me. They like, You don’t wanna know. But she like, Okay, tell me. They say, You don’t know wanna know. She keep being like, Tell me. Tell me. Let’s hear it. But they never tell her.

So I gotta find out who it is, right? So I test all my niggas. I go to my top nigga and I get him like this up against a wall [miming slamming a person up against a wall while holding their shirt collar] and he swear it wasn’t him. I know it’s not him. Really I know who it’s gotta be. My other mans, he my second top nigga. He had tried to fuck with her in the past so I had a feeling it’s gotta be him, besides he the only one left. So I take her phone when I see him across the street on the corner and I call up the number. I watch him take his phone out, look at it, put it away. I text him two more times. He gotta take it out and look at it cause you know he want to look at the message. Each time I see him take out his phone at the exact time I sent it. So it’s gotta be him.

You would have fought him, another student, Keito, said to me.

I’ve never been in a fight in my life.

In your entire life?

Never anything physical. I’ve never had a reason. Even as a kid I always managed to avoid getting into anything physical. I would argue or I would walk away.

In this situation though, you would have, Hakeem said. You would have to.

I want to hear what you did.

He never been in a fight in his life!

Hakeem continued. So I catch him and I knock out two of his side teeth. And I tried to break his leg but I don’t know if I did.

This your mans? said Keito.

Yeah. I be stealing his females in the past too. But he always like mine. He be figuring, now that we getting married he gotta step in. So I gave him this lesson. Hakeem looked at me. So would you have done what I did?

I wouldn’t have fought him, I said. I thought to myself, I would have been too scared to do something like that.

What would you have done?

I would have talked to him, I guess. I would have confronted him and I would have been like, what are you doing?

He woulda just denied it. He woulda kept denying it, deny, deny.

I guess I would have just let it go then. Try to be the bigger man. Show him it doesn’t affect us.

You can’t just let it go, Hakeem said. You got to see these niggas every day. Matter fact he sharing the stage with me tomorrow. That’s how I’ma find out if his leg broken.

You let it go everyone will think you a soft nigga, the type of person who just let anyone steal ya girl. If I had let it go it would mean a lot more trouble for me later on.

You would have had to fight, Keito said, smiling at me.

In the ‘Ville youda had to fight, Hakeem said. If we’re somewhere else, maybe not, but in Brownsville it would be the only option.





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