CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY-FOUR
“You’re starting to annoy the f … out of me,” Jeraine said.
The kettle blared. He turned to make their tea and Heather grinned at his back. He was attempting to stop swearing so that Jabari didn’t pick it up. Of course, Jabari swore like a sailor. Jeraine set a mug of tea in front of her.
“Okay for those at the back of the class …” Heather said.
“That’s clearly me,” Jeraine said into his tea.
“This man loves money,” Heather said slowly. Speeding up, she continued, “From what you say, he loves money more than wives and children.”
“He likely has friends but a love of money fills up those gaps too,” Heather said.
“So he doesn’t really have friends?” Jeraine asked.
“He has people who make him money,” Heather said. “Associates. People who work for him.”
“People he owns,” Jeraine said with a snort.
“Exactly,” Heather said.
“So?” Jeraine asked.
“What do you want?” Heather asked.
“I want … You mean like everything?” Jeraine asked. “Like my Miss T and Jabari and …”
“In this situation,” Heather said.
“Oh.” Jeraine thought for a moment before he shook his head. “Doesn’t matter what I want. He holds all the cards.”
“Chicken,” Heather said.
“What are you talking about?” Jeraine asked, his voice rising with irritation. “I am no chicken.”
“Then why not tell me what you want,” Heather said.
Jeraine gave her a dark scowl.
“Before you tell me that I could not understand your plight as a young African-American man in America, I remind you that I am a half-breed Olympian born out of wedlock raised in Olympia because my grandmother tormented my mother all over the world.”
“I knew there was a reason I liked you,” Jeraine said with a laugh.
“And I’m not saying that this situation isn’t infuriating,” Heather said. “It’s racism — plain and simple.”
“He tricked me!” Jeraine said.
“True,” Heather said. “And it is hard to be an African-American man right now.”
Jeraine gave her a sideways look, and she nodded.
“It is hard,” Heather said. “That doesn’t change the fact that you want something — whatever it is. This desire is a wind that you can set your sail upon.”
He took a long drink of his tea to avoid looking at her.
“You want lots of money?” Heather asked.
“I thought it would …” Jeraine said. “Before you said it, that guy would never get ripped off because his attention is always on his money. I wanted money because I thought it would get me something I wanted, but I didn’t pay any attention to it.”
“So someone stole your money and you didn’t get what you actually wanted,” Heather said.
“Sucks,” Heather said. “So maybe you should just be honest about what you want.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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