Late spring in 1988, it was a dark and muggy night in Atlanta. The rundown neighborhood was quiet aside from the dog barking behind one of the homes. The laughter from a sitcom blaring through the screen door, and rainwater kicking back up from tires as cars passed by.
Just underneath the streetlight where the STOP sign leaned was a parked Corolla. The headlights blinked off as a flustered pregnant woman by the name of Angela Wright, also known as my mother, stepped out with her keys in her hand. A head full of thick curls, wide chocolate nose and red eyes from crying, she tried to get herself together.
“Lord be my peace,” she breathed silently to herself as she exhaled. She looked up at the dark sky seeing trickles of light rain disappearing in mid descent. “Be my strength, and be my peace as I face this man.”
A second car pulled up; a pearl white 1987 e300 Mercedes-Benz right in front of her as the window pulled down to expose two other pregnant women in the front seat. Jacqueline Jones was behind the wheel, and reapplying red lipstick on her lips as the chunky gold earrings tapped against her light brown cheeks while Terri Shaw flicked her cigarette bud against the steering wheel and cut her dark sharp eyes towards my mother.
“I’m shocked you showed up, scaredy cat,” Terri let out as Jackie smiled through the pain. She was undeniably the beauty of the two with Terri always making sly comments about how light Jackie is, or how long and straight her hair gets. My mother told me it was because Terri was jealous. Even though the two of them were as dark as they come in the south, my mother was never the type to put down someone else to make herself feel better. She didn’t need to.
“Have you been crying? Over him, Angie? Lu ain’t shit, won’t ever be shit and that’s why we’re all here now about to confront his dirty ass,” Terri went on as they parked the car in the middle of the street. She was the first to get out with her stomach protruding as she lit one final cigarette to inhale before tossing to the side. Her short bob cut was tapered against her neck, dark circles underneath her eyes and ripped jean shorts that had week old stains on them.
“Funky ass nigga can’t even pick up the phone,” Terri let out as she turned to face the brick home with her hand on her hip, “but can sit here and knock three bitches up at the same time! NIGGA FUCK YOU!” she hollered with a wave of her hand.
“I’m not doing all that arguing and huffing and puffing,” Jackie said as she stepped out with a flip of her hair. She tucked her gun inside her Chanel bag, applied black lip liner and batted her light green eyes towards mother. “I found me a man with bank, and he’s going to help me take care of my daughter,” she said as she rubbed her stomach, “I don’t need Lu for shit.”
“Speak for yourself,” Terri spat angrily as she leaned to the side to let out a thing of spit, “speak for your mothafucking self. Yall ready?”
“Wait a minute,” Angela let out nervously, “just wait a minute...Can’t we–––”
The two were already crossing the street as the rain began to come down. Angela quickly caught up with them as Jackie cocked her gun to check for bullets while Terri was the first to wobble up to the door and bang on the frame. Just underneath the small light that hovered above, you could see her stomach pressing against the door as she continued to bang.
Jackie turned to Angela with a forced red painted smile as she went on about her new man.
“Maybe after all of this is over, I can hook you up with one of his friends. He got a real nice job, like one of them big wigs up in New York...He’s a real somebody Angie, you should come up there with me sometime…You won’t have to worry about a damn thing with him…Nothing like these country ghetto boys we’re used to dealing with. These men have culture…They’re worldly up there in New York, and they love them a southern girl. You’ll see,” she promised with an uncertain twinkle in her eyes.
“I know this nigga hears me,” Terri mumbled as she reached in her back pocket to pull out a butter knife. The two of them moved like clockwork. Jackie pulled out a debit card without so much as being asked as she stepped up. The door popped open with a thick cloud of smoke piling out and all you could see was the kitchen light and hear the bass bumping from the basement below. Terri was the first to rush in, cutting the lights on and running straight for the back room they were all familiar with. Same place where this man told each of them that he loved them, they were the only ones and nothing would come between them. That is until Terri kicked the door down to the bedroom and saw my father laid up in his high with another woman.
My mother barely remembers what happened from there so I’m just going to make up the rest from pure imagination and rumors of that night. Okay, back to the story.
“You sorry lying piece of shit!” Terri shrieked, jumping on the bed with the knife waving erratically in her hand, “you sorry no good piece of shit of a man! Yo mama should have swallowed yo bitch ass, and who is she?!”
“Angie! Grab a bag and collect!” Jackie demanded, cleaning out his drawers as she searched for money, drugs, whatever her thieving ass could get her hands on.
“FRANK!?” Lucas yelled out, grabbing the sheets to cover himself as the woman in the bed tried to knock Terri down. Big mistake. Terri who had no intentions on attacking the woman turned her attention to her and began to swipe at her face.
“Oh, you think you something because you sleeping with his ass?! Huh?! Bitch I was with him last week! I just had this nigga! I’m having this nigga!” she pointed towards her stomach, “we all are! We’re all pregnant by this nigga at the same damn time!”
“Terri?! Get the fuck outta here! I’m not gonna say this shit again! GET OUT!” Lucas yelled as he yanked his boxers on, almost stumbling over to shove his legs in. “GET OUT!”
“Or what?!” she spat.
Now, Lucas Godfrey wasn’t a man to be played with. That is until he met these women. A high yellow man with pretty dark hair, wet curls that the women went crazy for, Lucas was a pretty boy with a problem. He and his entire family were funding their music dreams at the time by running an entire street empire. Whether it was running weapons, drugs, or women, Frank and Lucas Godfrey were the brothers you didn’t want to cross. That never mattered to these women, especially Terri.
He gripped her by the throat and yanked her off the bed with one swipe as my mother screamed from the doorway. Jackie reached in her bag and pulled out her gun to aim towards him while Terri was on the floor hollering in pain.
“Touch another bitch in here,” Jackie threatened with tears in her eyes, “you were supposed to take care of me…. You said you loved me, you would never do me wrong and I find out you…”
Her jaw began to lock as tears came down and her l