Have you ever typed something while the barrel of a glock is pushed against your occiput?
This is my first time.
15 years ago, me and another customer pulled up in the lot of Wal-Mart. We parked bumper to bumper. A young woman got out and started for the entrance. As I was walking pass her vehicle I saw a child in the backseat sleeping. I yelled out, “Mam! Mam! Your baby!” She graciously thanked me and said she forgot her son was in the car because of his taciturn. 21 minutes into their shopping, in the back of the store, near the electronics section, for a few moments, she left her cart unattended. A basket her son was sitting in with her purse next to him. The inquisitive toddler reached into it, unzipped a special pocket for a concealed weapon and accidentally shot his mother in the head, instantly killing her. I heard, what I thought was a roof collapse, in the food section.
Over a decade later, that boy’s father got tired of lying to his son when he questioned where his mom was and why she never came home. He decided his son was old enough to know the truth. His father showed him the video surveillance he obtained from the Sheriff’s office after investigators ruled the incident was an accident. The video showed that heartbreaking moment, but the reason I’m sitting here with a gun pressed to the back of my head is because it also showed the parking lot footage. A 17-year-old man, who was once that 2-year-old little boy, is on the other side of this gun.
Before I die, I want the world to know the truth. I am responsible for Victoria Miller’s death. Not her son! I am the one who should have lived a life of confusion and anger these last 15 years. Not her son! I am the one who should have been lied to over and over and told it wasn’t my fault knowing it GOT DAMN WAS. Not her son! If I had just minded my business that day. The weather was 46 degrees on March 30, 2000. Not hot enough to have killed this baby. Mrs. Miller was just going in to get a few things. She wouldn’t even have needed a shopping cart. She would have been in the 10 items or less lane. I will pay for this with my life. And I will. To my family and friends, I love you!!! I hope my death teaches you to MIND YOUR GOT DAMN BUSINESS. Goodbye!
Uhh … I am being told, I am being told by the young man I can be saved. I can be saved. Okay. He says all I have to do is, is press control-alt-delete on this wireless keyboard and turn on the TV and put it on the local news.
He told me to close my eyes and count to a hundred. When I got to the century mark I waited on further instruction. It was this long scary silence. I didn’t see his reflection in the computer and looked over my shoulder. He was gone! He’s gone! And I’m still alive!!! There are skid marks in my lawn. He is gone! He really just left my house? I’m still here. No one died. Me or him. I can’t imagine how the last 15 years of his life must’ve been. Once he finally knew the truth it must’ve been hard to accept and he needed to transfer responsibility. But something’s not right. I feel funny. I should be dead. His anger. His aggressiveness. The way the gun was moving on the back of my head, I could tell he was nervous. How did his shaky finger manage to not jerk the trigger? Why did he bring this external keyboard and have me type on it? I’m typing on my laptop’s keyboard now. And why did he have me press control-alt-delete and he knows I have a Mac? Did he have me turn on the TV so I wouldn’t hear him leave?
There’s breaking news.
A car exploded.
I’m sure there are 100’s of White Nissan Maxima’s in the city. But this car wasn’t on the road; it’s in a driveway. Houses can look the same. Yeah, there are plenty homes with a Flintstone car in the front yard, and a little red corvette, and a see-saw, and a garden that looks like a bed with pillows and blankets on it. The reporter said the address. Is it possible, is it possible to have the same address as someone else who lives in your city? What am I seeing, like what is this? I don’t understand what’s happening.
Curious. I pressed control-alt-delete on the wireless keyboard again and this time the house exploded. I’m watching the fucking live shot on the news right now. Frozen. Only my heart and my fingers can move at this point.
I take my eyes off the TV and looked at what he told me to title this post. That’s when it hit me. He wasn’t talking about himself; he was talking about ME!!!
He got even.
I accidentally killed my mom.
EXT. PARKING LOT – DAY
A man is walking away from a store. In the parking lot, he opens the passenger-side door on a car. He sees two kids in the backseat.
Oh, I’m sorry!
Hey! What are you doing?
I’m sorry, I thought this was my ….
He’s trying to steal my car with my babies inside!
What? No! I thought this was …
The woman pulls a gun out of her purse and runs in their direction. The man jumps on the hood of her car to get an overview of the parking lot in search of his ride. He doesn’t see it. When he looks down at the windshield he notices the woman left the keys in the ignition. The woman fires a shot at him. She misses. In a panic and without another choice, he jumps in her car and drives off.
Kids, kids, I’m not carjacking y’all. I. Am. Not. Carjacking. Y’all. Okay?
The woman shoots at the rear end of the car.
[pokes head out window] Your kids are in the car, you asshole!
The man pulls out his cellphone.
Where the hell are you?
I went across the street to pay my T-Mobile bill. I’m on my way back now.
I’m not there!
What you mean?
After you left, a car that looked just like yours pulled up in the parking spot.
I thought it was yours and opened the door. This woman came out the store screaming I was stealing her car.
Where are you now?!
In her car!!!
She shot at me!
There are kids in the backseat, dude!
Police sirens sound off.
She called the cops! Meet me at MLK boulevard, where Selma hospital is. Kids …
I did not carjack y’all.
The man pulls over. The camera is from his POV now. He puts his hands over his eyes. When he takes his hands off his eyes the scene transitions with him sitting on the curb running his fingers through his hair, thus finishing the motion. A second cop car pulls up, with the woman riding as a passenger.
Where are my kids, you bastard?
They’re over there with my partner, mam.
Why is he just sitting on the curb and not in the back of y’all car? Arrest him!
We want to see if his story checks out. He said you and his friend have the same car. You got the same parking spot he had when he drove off to another parking lot.
She shot at me!
You believe that bull?
I’m sure this is a big misunderstanding, but if your friend doesn’t pull up in a car that is her car’s twin you are going to jail, my friend.
I’m not lying! I told him to meet me here.
He’s taking an awful long time to. What’s his name?
A dozen people riding bicycles pass by. The one trailing behind the group stops and takes off their helmet. It’s his friend.
Sorry, I’m late! You not gone believe what happened when I came back to the parking lot. Some guy saw my ‘for sale’ sign in the window and paid me 3 times what I was asking for. Then hit me with the ‘and one more thing’ and guess what that one more thing was [bounces the front tire]. Isn’t that awesome?
[looks at the sky] Nooooooo!!!
The scream is heard throughout the city. Distant people turn their heads. Flock of birds fly off. A dog laying down covers its ears. The guy who bought the friend’s car is at a red-light, smiling, listening to music at a low-level and wiping the dust off the dashboard when suddenly all the windows burst.
FADE TO BLACK
In August of 2013, Oscar Ozell, 23, was laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, thinking about the day he had – his startup had won a thousand dollar pitch contest. For the first time in his 3 year residency at 308 Eves, Ozell saw something that was out-of-place: A smoke detector in his bedroom hanging up above the entrance to his dressing room. “Why is there a smoke detector in my bedroom?” Ozell curiously said to himself. A red-light was blinking. “Am I being secretly recorded?” Ozell logically thought to himself. Ozell jumped out bed and disconnected the device from the wall to investigate its interior.
What did he find? A hidden spy camera.
Then like an application bouncing when you click it on the iDock, Ozell’s subconscious delivers a relevant thought to the forefront of his mind. “I paid my rent 18 months in advance. So, I had no reason to ever go in the leasing office. But the one time I did, this lady, Karen, knew my name. She was NOT the person I dealt with when I moved in.”
What would that mean? Ozell admits to forgetting his name when he has sex and asking his girlfriend what it is.
“First thing I did was call my girlfriend.”
“I answer the phone and hear him screaming, ‘They been watching us. They been watching us this whole entire time,’ ” says the girlfriend.
It was after-hours. The leasing office was closed. Management has gone home. And it would stay this way for 3 days being Labor Day weekend.
“I didn’t know any of my neighbors. Never got to know them good enough to be invited inside their apartment. I had to get in there. And what a good ice-breaker this was: Hey, has the temperature in your bedroom ever became so hot and steamy the smoke detector in there went off?”
Ozell befriended 3 neighbors and discovered he was not alone in having a smoke detector appropriately looking over his bed.
On Labor Day, 12 hours before Ozell and his new friends angrily marched into the leasing office, a fellow neighbor, Simon Freed, caused a massive 10-alarm fire frying fish.
The worse fire to hit Tennessee in a decade.
Over 600 people was in the eleven-storied building that night. Every single one made it out alive.
“We use to play this game as kids. If your house caught on fire and you could only save one inanimate object, what would it be and why? My cellphone,” said Ozell.
His answer to why is the above photo, which after the destruction of 216 apartment units, was the only evidence that could have implicated 308 Eves.
Because of that photo, management was handed tough prison sentences.
Because of that photo, the displaced tenants were rewarded all their rent and utility money from the time they moved in to their last payments.
Because of that photo, Ozell and friends had the money to move into homes where the smoke detector is conveniently stored in the kitchen.
Built on top:
- Real life experience
Let’s play a game: If your house caught on fire and you could save only one inanimate object, what would it be and why?
Based on a true story … kind of.
One month earlier …
Max: *fist-pounding in disgust* I got trust issues when it comes to these *bleep*. She ratchetttt!
Joey: What you talking about?
Max: Man, you haven’t seen that video of this girl talking to her boyfriend on the phone while having sex with another dude … while 3 other dudes waiting they turn?
Max: It’s all on WorldStar. I masturbated to that *bleep* with a frown on my face. These *bleep* disgust me!
10 minutes later …
Joey: Yooooo! I just saw that video! How he didn’t know she was doing something?
Max: Obviously, he hasn’t been dating her long. Don’t know the variety in her voice. Her normal voice, her white people voice, her freaky voice. Breathing hard should’ve gave it away. Damn fool. He deserve it.
Present day …
Max: *talking to self* Yes, thank God! Nobody on the treadmill. *looks around* Oh snap! I got the whole gym to myself. Yeah! Now I can finally stretch before I work out.
5 minutes later …
Max: *sitting down, doing hamstring stretches* *thinking to self* Almost done … damn! This *bleep* just walked in here and went straight for the treadmill. Ugh! Well, she fat, she won’t be on it long. 3 minutes tops! Haha.
25 minutes later …
Max: *thinking to self* I wish this *bleep* would leave! All this unwanted time I spent in hurr. I was gone stretch for a few minutes, run 30, and be out. 40 minutes tops! I’m in this *bleep* pretending I’m enjoying lifting these weights. My *bleep* arms hurt.
18 minutes later …
Max: *thinking to self* I’m mad as *bleep*. I’m about to go. Knew I shouldn’t have stretched. What’s that noise? Her phone ringing.
Girl: *puts it on speaker*
Person on phone: Hello, hello, hello, wifey?
Girl: *breathing hard* Let me, let me catch my …
Max: *thinking to self* Wifey? I know what I’m about to do … *yells out-loud* SHE TRYING TO CATCH THESE BALLS! WE HAVING SEX! WE HAVING SEX! OH, BABY! YEAHHHHH! OH MY GOD!
Girl: *struggling to take it off speaker because her fingers are moist due to sweat* Oh my God! Shut up, boy!
Max: *Moaning* THIS THE BEST I EVER HAD! WE HAVING SEX! YOU AIN’T HANDLING YOUR BUSINESS IN THE BEDROOM HOMIE! SHE WANT A REAL MAN! GIVE IT TO ME GIRL! SHE CHEATING ON YOU! *runs out gym*
Next day …
Joey: *shaking head in disgust*
Max: What’s wrong, big homie?
Joey: I’m about to be on WorldStar, dog.
Max: You got your ass beat?
Joey: Nah. I called my girl yesterday while she was having sex with another dude and this *bleep* picked up the phone so I could hear it. Dude voice sounded familiar too.
Max: *breathing hard* That … that … let me catch my balls, BREATH, BREATH. I said breath! That was YOUR girl?!
Joey: *slowly takes his palm off his face, looks up, slowly turns head, twists lips like Marlon Wayans in Don’t Be A Menace* What you mean THAT was my girl?!
Teresa: *holding hands up in a measurement stance, gradually widening the gap between her hands*
Denise: THAT big?!
Teresa: Girl, I be running!
Denise: I wish my man was that big, but I can’t complain because he makes up for it in tongue. Girl, his tongue so big he can dig in his nose with it.
Denise: He don’t eat boogers though.
Teresa: THAT long, though?!
Denise: Hmmhm. And that ain’t the only trick he can do with it either, girl *laughing*
Denise: Girl, I be running faster.
Teresa: My man don’t even eat! Girl, you getting my *bleep* wet.
Denise: I thought I was the only one over here soaking *laughing*
*Denise and Teresa give each other a high-five*
Teresa: Ebony, don’t you want to join this convo?
Ebony: No, thank you!
Denise: What’s wrong? You single?
*Denise and Teresa move their seats away from Ebony*
Ebony: *laughing* No! Y’all crazy! No, I’m not single or a damn lesbian.
Meanwhile at another restaurant …
Charlie: *motioning hands in a hourglass figure*
Eric: I noticed how far your hands started to spread apart when they moved down … THAT big, dog?!
Charlie: Hmmhm … and she know how to throw it back too. One time she knocked me down. Thought Tyson punched me
Charlie: And dog, the view is something else. It’s like being at the beach and watching the wave of the water.
Eric: I got a lil’ slim, petite treat. BUT! Her *bouncing hand up and down with palm facing ground* game is Ayyyyy One!
Charlie: Word? My girl don’t even give head. Ugh!
Eric: I’m about to make you mad then. Let me shut up.
Eric: Dog … she swallows. She thinks it’s good for her.
Charlie: Ohhhh! Word? What Jamie Foxx told Bernie Mac in Booty Call … uh … You getting my *bleep* hard *laughing*
Eric: I can’t stand up either *laughing*
*Charlie and Eric clap it up*
Eric: Yo Damon why you not in on this, man? You good?
Charlie: We don’t wanna leave you out.
Damon: I’m okay.
Charlie: You single or something?
Eric: Hold up … HOLD UP! You don’t like one of us, do you?!?!
*Charlie and Eric move their seats from Damon*
Damon: I hate you guys! And no, I’m in a relationship.
Charlie: … With a girl?
Next day …
Denise: I heard you packing something serious.
Charlie: I heard you like your protein. Will you run?
Denise: I sure do. And umm … I stand and fight. Let me find out.
Charlie: Nah, you let me find out!
Meanwhile somewhere else …
Eric: I heard you know how to throw all that thickness back.
Teresa: Hmmhm … can you catch it? I heard about them tricks you can do with your long tongue.
Eric: Let me find out!
Teresa: Nah, you let me find out.
3 days later …
Denise: *crying hysterically* How could she do this to me, girl? All the men in the world and she sleep with mines. All the girls in the world and he sleep with my best friend. Then of all places they do it in my home … in my bed.
Ebony: I’m so sorry. Breathe! It’s gone be okay. I’m here for you. Let’s go out. You gotta get your mind off this.
Denise: You’re always tell me right and I never listen. Always had my back.
Teresa: *crying hysterically* I can’t believe she did this. I mean why can I never have something I can call my own??? Why they do this to me???
Ebony: You deserve better than this. You do. You are a good person. You deserve better. Better man and friend.
Teresa: I can’t get a better friend than you … you my only true one.
Charlie: I always say I got 99 problems and a *bleep* ain’t one but *sobbing* I loved her. Why she do this? Then with my homie, though. Ahhh-kneeee. I wanna kill both them.
Damon: Nah, don’t do that. They not worth your freedom. You gone find somebody better. It’s a girl out here for you. The right one.
Charlie: You always been my homie.
Next scene …
Eric: I’m slipping on my pimping. I never been hurt like this. I got played. My best man and my shorty … what did they see in each other? They never showed any signs they was attracted to each other. Damn!
Damon: They deserve each other. Not you. Take it as a lesson. Learn from it. Look! I don’t like seeing you depressed. Let’s go out. You need this.
Eric: I never realize how much you had my back. Only person I can trust.
Later that night …
*After 45 minutes of passionate sex*
Ebony: I love you!
Damon: I love you more!
Ebony: You’re my best kept secret, you know that?
Damon: I know. And you’re mines. I will never open our relationship up to the world.
Ebony: Shut up and kiss me!
Wake up! Get up off of your lazy ass and live your life! Your kids will not be kids forever. You passed up a chance to play Barbie’s with your little girl, and for what? To stare at your phone, aimlessly searching for nothing? She won’t want you to play with her forever. One day, she will hardly speak to you at all.
You’re letting your life pass you by. You’re sleeping your life away. I look back, and all I see is a bunch of missed opportunities, fleeting chances, and regrets. Get up now and do something about it before its too late! Open your eyes, see the beauty that surrounds you, stretch out your arms, and enjoy the life you have today! Stop waiting for good things to come to you and start making great things happen now! You can’t get it back. And it’ll be over before you know it.
Get down on that floor and play with your little girl. Pick up a Barbie and start to play. Play like you did when you were little. Pretend like you’re really that doll. Be silly. Make your daughter laugh hard. Let yourself laugh. It may seem simple today, but one day, it’ll mean something to both of you. And she’ll remember that her mommy always took the time to play with her. And she will love you for it.