From Father’s Shadow

Andre walked into the basement party. Justine sat at a table with some of her friends. He walked up behind her and touched her on the shoulder. She turned around, stood up, and hugged him, he squeezed her for a second, she smelled like lilac. She motioned to an empty chair next to her and he sat down. No sooner had he sat down the DJ began to play Digital Underground,

            “Do the Humpty Hump!!”  She said, “That’s my song!” she screamed and grabbed Andre’s hand and pulled him to where a small group of people were dancing. .Justine was pushing her butt back on him when another girl walked up to them.

            “Who is she?” the girl asked, snapping her fingers at Andre,

            “Who is you?” Andre retorted,

            “Don’t play dumb with me Andre,” she screamed,

            “Who is she?” Justine asked,

            “Don pay no mine to she,” Andre tried to keep dancing, but the girl persisted,

            “Boy you had better not act a fool in here, now tell me who is she?” Andre pushed the girl away. She stumbled back bumping into some of the other partiers. She walked up to Andre and pushed him. He back handed her then stood looking at his hands, surprised at what he did,

            “Now dats what a man should do, put dem omen in dey place,” the shadow shouted above the music. Justine turned and ran up the stairs. Andre followed her. She went into the bathroom and locked the door,

            “Justine, Open de door!”

            “Go away,”

            “Come on talk to me,”

            “You are nothing but a man whore,” Justine screamed,

            “What you say?”

            “Go away!”

            “Hey yuh go let dat oman talk to yuh like dat?” The Shadow asked,

            “Shut up, let me handle dis,” Andre said, then stopped himself when he realized that everyone looked at him like he was crazy.

            “Come on Justine,”

            “Screw you!”

            “Boi, she disrespecting you for so, everybody looking at yuh”             “I said shut you bloody mout!” Andre yelled at the shadow. More people filed into the narrow hallway. Andre kicked the door,

            “Come babe, open de door,”

            “Go screw yourself!” Justine screamed,

            “Dam boi, she have a filthy mout real bad,” the shadow said, “I tink she need a box in she mout yuh know,” the shadow persisted. Some of the onlookers were laughing.

            “Boi, she making you a papishow, look how dey laughing at yuh,” the shadow said. Suddely the door flung open and Justine reached out and slapped Andre. His whole body felt hot as laughter filled the hallway. Before she could close the door he jammed it with his foot, and forced his way into the bathroom.

            “Gul don act stupid, I told you Ah don know who she is.” Justine punched him in the stomach. Andre reached out and grabbed her by the throat and pushed her against the wall. A bowl with tooth brushes fell to the linoleum floor.

            “Look here bitch, don embarrass me like dis you hair. I is the man in this relationship and I go do what I want damn it.” Justine began to gag, but Andre squeezed harder.

            “From now on don ever talk to me like dat and don put you dam hands on me either, you hear me,” he said, getting close to her face. She struggled until he let go then bent over gasping for breath. The flimsy door shook as someone banged on it.

            “Justine, you O k?” one of her friends yelled.

            “Mind your own business bitch!” Andre screamed back,

            “Dats how yuh do it,” the shadow said. “Put dem bloody bitches in dey dam place.”

            “Now lets go have some fun and don make an ass ah youself,” Andre said, took her hand and dragged her out of the bathroom. She escaped his grip and ran out opf the house, he chased after her but she was gone when he got outside. Andre stood on the sidewalk. His hands were shaking, sweat ran down his face, his eyes felt like hot lava had settled in them. He turned and looked back at the house. Several people stood at the Iron Gate looking at him, they were just burs with sound. He looked down at his hands,

            “I hit a woman!” he mumbled to himself. A car drove by, it must have lost its muffler because the sound of the engine was deafening. Andre’s heart raced up, fear, confusion, disgust, feelings he had felt before but not all in one rush,

            “I may just be my father’s son,” he muttered

            “And wah wrong wid dat?” The Shadow said, “Embrace it, its your legacy, its yuh fada’s legacy. Dat bitch should have known she place, yuh did noting wrong boi,” The shadow reflected off the road, its dark form surrounded by the florescent glow from the street light.

            “I hit a woman,” Andre repeated, turned and walked back towards his house.

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