#SagaSaturday: Love & War By Tia Becca
Chapter 4: Bees in the Trap
When you learn about your honey, you learn how to get what you want with it. Every girl has honey but we don’t all use it the right way. I did. At least I thought I was.
I had more than my fair share of poverty and that shit was for the birds. I recognized game early. I saw how the dope boys looked at me and I was looking at them with hope and prosperity in my eyes too. Finally, I found some people who wanted more than food stamps and roach infested houses. Finally someone showed signs of ambition. It had always lived inside of me but I didn’t see it, now I was not only able to give it a name but also a face. And although our neighborhoods had plenty of dope boys, I was never drawn to the employees, all I ever wanted was a boss.
Contrary to what anyone might have thought of me, I was not only smart but I had a keen sense of street smarts. I had that shit you can’t teach. Them niggas loved that. They loved everything about me from the way that I looked to the fact that I didn’t take shit from nobody.
I started dating R as soon as I completed high school.
One particular day, he asked me to take a ride with him. I knew immediately that it wasn’t a joy ride through the city when he would say it a certain way. I knew that it was business. I was down either way because inside I also felt like it was a sign of respect that he would include me in his business. I knew he recognized that I was sharp. The car ride was silent and I could tell that he has something on his mind. Another thing that I learned was that the boys in the trap did not like to be interrogated. If you were smart, you would look, listen and learn through keen observation. We rode in silence over to a home that I knew he did business out of.
When he exited the driver’s side, he motioned for me to come in with him. Like I’ve said, I was down to ride with him and do whatever he needed me to but this house resurrected memories of pain. Begrudgingly, I opened my door and got out. As we entered the house reeked of cooked crack. The smell made me nauseated as it reminded me of all the times we had to endure the smell when my mother cooked and smoked it. It has a unique smell all it’s own. It’s vile, grimy and if you ever have to be exposed to its poisonous venom, you shall soon never forget. Transactions were made here 24 hours. Imagine if Starbucks was open 24 hours and you could buy your coffee and enjoy it at the coffee shop as soon as you purchase. The concept of this house was the same. The only difference is that nobody dies for Starbucks. People were dying everyday because of crack. But in my mind, that has nothing to do with me or is for that matter. All I could think about was that R had found a way to rescue me from starvation and a poverty stricken life. I was never going back.
As I entered the door, I walked slowly into the house, closing the door behind me. R motioned for me to go to an empty room down a hallway and on the left. The smoke in the air made the walk down the hallway feel like an eternity. When I got to the room, I sat in an old chair because I damn sure was not about to sit on that nasty old bed. Only Jehovah knows what has gone down on that mattress. I sat there for like 30 minutes in silence. Even though I had a cell phone, it didn’t have all the apps and games and social media that we have on our phones today back then. If you weren’t calling someone, your phone had no other purpose. I remember thinking that the room had one extremely small window. The room was so mundane and hopeless. I could only imagine if someone sat in here smoking their worries away how things could only get worse. No hope. No glimmer of sunlight. No chance for freedom. No matter how much darkness I had seen, I never wanted to be like the crackheads in my family. Life with B had shown me what I already knew and that was that the world had more to offer and I wanted it all. Murder, money, respect but never poverty.
Love & War: A Story of Tragedy and Triumph chronicles the life of Tia Becca, a product of the rough streets of Dayton, Ohio. Born into a life plagued by drugs, abuse, multiple brushes with death and emotional turbulence, Tia’s story emerges as a relentless testimony of triumph. A must read for inspiration, power and a poignant reminder that although war is certain, the true battles of life are won with love.