Hard Times, Chapter 5

Chapter 5

Ramen noodles, rice, some summer sausage, and Sazon. Topped with hot and spicy corn chips and mayo.

“Whattup,” a voice says.

I turn and notice Lynch.

“Yes?”

“I’m just saying whattup,” Lynch tells me on the lunch line.

I sigh, “Whattup. Goodbye.”

I go down the lunch menu. The guys on the lines are giving me these weird stares. I could be imagining it but I swear they are giving me less food. I’m not going to say anything but then I hear Lynch say something to one of the guys.

“Yo—ya’ll running out of mash back there or something?” Lynch asks the one guy.

“Nah I was going to give you mash,” the guy states.

“What about him?” Lynch asks looking over at me, “You ain’t give him no mash. I know you got punched in the eye a few weeks ago Williams, but you should still be able to see you shortening niggas on mash. Or maybe your brain fucked up. Maybe if I hit you again—-”

The lunch inmate reluctantly grabs the spoon, scoops up a regular serving of mash and slaps it on my plate. He has all this attitude.

“I didn’t need your help,” I tell Lynch.

“Oh your man got you?” he asks, “Where’s Grayson now by the way?”

“Yeah, my husband got me. And he’s sleeping late.”

Lynch looks annoyed, “He told you not to hang around me, didn’t he.”

“Grayson ain’t worried about you.”

“That wasn’t a yes or a no.”

I get quiet for a minute before turning to him, “Yo what do you want, Lynch?”

“A thank you would be dope,” he tells me.

“Oh ok.”

“So no thank you?”

“Thanks.”

I roll my eyes. I’m ready to walk away. I don’t get far. Clearly, he didn’t just want a thank you. If he just wanted a thank you he would have left me alone by now and that clearly wasn’t happening.

“What’s going on with that attitude?”

“Attitude. Didn’t you say not to follow you?” I ask getting irritated, “I’m doing what you said. I’m staying far away from you.”

“Yo stop being a bitch.”

“Not how you talk to me, Lynch.”

I start walking away. The thing about Lynch was that he had all this pride. It’s like he was struggling with himself and I didn’t get it. Sometimes he was cool and protective but other times he was a fucking asshole. He doesn’t protect me from the Yardies only to circle back and literally kill a Yardie because of what they did to me. I knew the truth and he knew the truth but he still seemed to be struggling with the smallest things in the world like how to talk to me.

“Fine, tell me that,” he states.

“Tell you how to talk to me?” I ask.

He pauses. I am asking in a sarcastic way because I believe it’s a stupid fucking thing to say to someone. He should know how to talk to me. it should be second nature. Right? I am going to walk away when I see his face. He’s looking at me as though he is really confused though.

He wasn’t being a smartass. He was really confused.

“Yes.”

“Talk to me like a human being,” I explain, “Not like we just some fucking prison animals.”

“But that’s what we are,” he states, before quickly adding, “Or at least that’s what I am. So I get it. I fucked you over. I apologize for not being there. I apologize for treating you like shit. I’m trying to say—-if you don’t like how I talk, tell me. Maybe I’m too aggressive. Maybe I’m too ghetto. I don’t know. That’s just who I am. If you don’t like it I rather you say that shit then what you’re doing right now…”

“What am I doing right now?”

“Nothing,” he explains, “You’re ignoring me and that’s the point. Stop it. This shit is pissing me off.”

I can hear it in his tone. He was a sexy guy who was cool and confident. He was probably not used to getting ignored. I hadn’t been in jail for that long and I already heard stories about all the female security guards he slept with. No lie I heard about a female security guard who worked the night shift and would go to his cell. He’d cum in some Kleenex and pass it to her through the door only for her to stuff it in her pussy. Supposedly she ended up getting pregnant and got fired. I don’t know if the story was true and if the baby existed. He only mentioned his one son and I don’t think we were on terms for me to ask about this ridiculous story.

“I’m not your fuckin Kleenex,” I state.

“What?”

Maybe the story wasn’t true.

“You’re not going to just use me when you feel like it,” I state, “I thought we were friends. That’s what I thought.”

“We are—-” he states.

I shake my head, “Nah. Not anymore.”

I walk away. I get he felt like him getting revenge with the Yardies fixed things between us but he was wrong. I still felt some type of way and him doing what he was doing definitely wasn’t going to make things better between us.

I didn’t need someone like Lynch in my life…

Ketchup on mashed potatoes, teriyaki flavored waters using ramen noodle season pockets and the worst was “Prison Pizza”. To make this “pizza”, prisoners mold ramen noodles and crackers into a crust using hot water and a trash bag. After the crust hardens, top with anything from the cafeteria or purchased from the commissary – leftover meat, cheese, salsa, etc. I was in some sort of literal hell where and I could almost feel myself getting suicidal. This place was dirty, it stunk and I still had nightmares thatttt

Buddha the Yardie would be reborn somehow and come looking for me.

Also, you ever add syrup to chow mein to get the sweet and sour taste? It was West who showed me this. I think he sort of had a crush on me. Not the kind of crush where he wanted to take me from Grayson, but the kind of crush where if Grayson struggled for a second, he wouldn’t hesitate to fuck me. I’ve noticed that they respect Grayson though and because of that they’ve been respecting me for the same time.

“Damn baby you taste so good…” Grayson tells me.

It’s morning and we’re in the same bed. He’s eating me out. Licking my asshole and spreading it wide open. I’m not into it. I should be. Grayson knew exactly what he was doing back there. He was amazing.

“I’m not in the mood—-”

“Is it him?”

It came out of nowhere how he asks this.

“Huh?”

“That motherfucker Lynch. Is it him? Did you let him fuck you?”

“Of course not…why would you ask me that?”

“He’s just a good looking guy and you both were in that cell for so long,” he explains, “Tavontay says that he thinks Lynch has a thing for you.”

“Tavontay thinks the Earth is flat. Dead serious two weeks ago we were arguing during a game of checkers about it,” I state.

He nods. He seems like he’s deep in his thought. I wonder how long he’s been thinking about this. How long has he been wondering if I’d fucked Lynch? I realize maybe I’m not being fair with this. I grab him and immediately start petting his dick.

“Damn baby—-you don’t know how much I love you.”

That’s when he does something weird. He starts crying. It is immediate. It comes out of nowhere.

“Everything OK babe?”

“Yeah…” he explains, “Just I love you so much, man. Just blame myself for putting you in this position. You should have never been in that car.”

Whatever he’s thinking about seems to be really eating him up because he gets real awkward like. He gets almost nervous. I start petting him harder and harder.

“Let me take your mind off of it.”

Before I knew it our heavy petting had turned to me naked on a cell bunk. I had never been so turned on in my life, it was so erotic. We could be caught at any moment and that just heightened the pleasure. The other inmates ambled by and a few even stopped to watch us and he was not bothered by it one bit, that just made the sex hotter.

As he was thrusting his thick cock into my dripping asshole, I would turn and be shocked at the other inmates watching. Some of them had their cocks out and were stroking themselves as they watched. Grayson continued to fuck my asshole for at least a half hour. When he came he thrust against me so hard I hit my head on the cell wall and was knocked out.

As I regained consciousness I realized several men had crowded around the bunk. Oddly I was only a bit concerned.

“Baby,” he tells me, “I want to try something.”

“Gray—-”

“It’s not what you think,” Grayson explains, “But we have two choices. A lot of these men want to protect you. A lot of them are down with the Black Union. But we have to give them something. You understand?”

“You want me to—”

I look around. I can’t believe this is happening but Grayson gives me a nod. He also gives me this smile. This smile that lets me know it’s OK and for some reason, I actually believe it. I actually nod back. I’d been raped before so this was different. This was willingly.

It was OK. Right?

“This is Jessie,” Grayson states.

The huge black man named Jessie had his monster of a cock near my mouth. I hesitated until Grayson nudged my head forward a little bit. I put the tip of his huge cock in my mouth and began to slowly suck and lick the entire length of it. It was so large that it came close to gagging me. I continued to suck on his huge tool for several minutes taking all of it I could down my throat.

After a while, he pulled his cock reluctantly from my willing mouth and said, “Show me your ass baby.”

I was only too willing to do anything Grayson asked. Outside of prison, he was always so jealous but in here it was almost like…I don’t know. Control. I turned on my hands and knees and put my ass in the air for him. I felt him rubbing his cock up and down the slit of my asshole and all I could think was “Fuck this was really fucking happening. What the fuck Worm.”

As he shoved that big black cock in my ass I screamed. I had never felt so full in my entire life. He pounded my hole brutally and deep down in this weird way, I liked it. I liked to please Grayson no matter how he wanted to be pleased. Grayson stood in the corner of the cell watch. A sexy smile on his beautiful face. I could tell he was enjoying this probably even more than I was. Jessie continued to pound me over and over, slapping my ass at intervals. I came as I had never come before squirting cum out of my dick until it was soaking his groin and balls. I felt his cock contracting and knew he was going to cum as well. He slammed his cock into me one last time and I felt his hot juices pumping into my asshole.

That’s when Grayson came over to me, “Are you OK?”

“I….I don’t know….”

“We had to do it, baby. Things have changed.”

“Like how?” I ask,

“Don’t worry about it.”

I feel…dirty. The high from the sex has come down and I feel fucking dirty. But then I realize Grayson was turned on. The sheets were still smelling like Jessie and Grayson picks his dick to finish himself off again inside of me.

After he came, before he withdrew from my wet hole he leaned over me and bit my shoulder hard enough to draw blood. “I marked you baby…you are my Gray Worm, don’t ever forget it. You’re mine. You always will be.” I knew that I never would.

Before I know it, I get the nickname Gray Worm, because Robinson’s lowkey geeky ass watches Game of Throne and feels like I look a lot like the Gray Worm character plus it’s a cool way for people to recognize me as being Grayson’s lover. Maybe they felt like it was less gay or something.

~

A week passes. More and more guys are brought in for Grayson. I am unsure of what he’s doing but I feel like he is definitely doing something.

It’s lunchtime when I sit at my table and for the first time, I don’t have Grayson with me. Maybe it’s because I’m wondering why he’s letting these people fuck me. Why did he all of a sudden come up with this weird ass fetish?

“Hey, guys…”

It’s lunchtime and I see a bunch of people sitting at the table. I notice Robinson, Tavontay and West. They were all guys who’d been pretty cool with me. When they do look at me though I’m confused about what I see in return. I’m confused by the long stare.

Silence.

I knew something was wrong. It wasn’t just the fact that they were all ignoring me. It was the fact that I see Officer Destin standing on the other side of the room. He’s watching me. Not normal watching either. He’s specifically watching me as though he’s shooting me a warning with his eyes.

“This food is fuckin’ nasty, ain’t it?” I ask.

I know I sound awkward as fuck. It sounds even worse when no one is looking at me.

West is the one who breaks the silence with a simple, “Yeah.”

That’s when I see Robinson shoot him a stare. It was the kind of stare that told him he should shut the fuck up. West receives the stare, looks down at his food and pretends as though whatever he’s eating is the most interesting thing ever.

“Everything cool?” I ask.

Silence. More silence. Weird. Awkward. Scary almost. What’s weird is this kid who sits at the end of the table. I saw him playing basketball with Lynch and almost getting into it. He was a pop off clearly, probably the same age as me but clearly seeming like he had something to prove. Right now, seemed like one of those moments.

Its Tavontay who is sitting next to me that leans over and quickly says, “You need to go talk to Grayson.”

Tavontay says it so quickly as though he’s scared to talk.

I’m confused, “What does that even mean?”

“This lil’ bitch hard of hearing,” I hear the little pop off kid whisper.

I hear what he says. He’s saying it to Robinson I think. The awkwardness is almost piercing.

“Sorry, I didn’t get a chance to meet you,” I state reaching over to shake the guy’s hand, “I’m Worm.”

“I know who the fuck you are,” he states not taking my hand.

“Is there a problem?”

“You tell me? You got a problem with me bitch ass?”

This kid goes from 0 to 100. I’m looking at him confused. I’m even more confused when no one is checking this guy. Literally, this group of guys had protected me against the Yardies and now they were letting this random kid talk to me like this.

“Did I say something wrong?” I ask.

“Did you say something wrong?” he mocks me, “You sound so proper and shit. Fuck all that proper bullshit, man. Why are you sitting here? You ain’t a gang.”

“Are you a member of Black Union?” I ask, “I thought I was introduced to all the major members.”

Me saying what I say gets a little laugh from West and Tavontay. It’s the closest thing to someone breaking down this wall that they have. I know what I’m saying when I say it to this kid. He was a nobody. I literally saw him kissing up to Grayson the moment that Grayson came into this pod.

“I’m Smiley—mothafucka.”

“Well Smiley, I’m sorry if I offended you, in any way,” I state, “I’m just here to eat. I don’t want no problems.”

I don’t think he’s expecting this. I think he expects me to either quiver up and die or buck up and try to fight him. An apology throws him all the way off and I can see it on his face as he looks around. He’s probably wondering how to respond to something like this. There was someone who was well-spoken who actually had manners in a place like this. And at that moment it just seemed like his desperation is showing. He had something to prove by starting with me at this lunch and he wasn’t willing to just let that shit go.

“Nah fuck that. I don’t do fake ass apologies from bitch ass niggas,” he says.

“How can I make my apology more real for you?”

At this point, I’m just trying to figure out what his problem was.

“I—-uh—”

Silence.

He was stuck and I can tell that he didn’t appreciate it. Out of nowhere he just decides to grab his lunch and throws it at me. Smiley tosses his lunch right on me and I’m standing there wondering what the fuck is going on right after he does it.

All hell breaks loose when he jumps across the table at me. I move just in time missing him and realizing that the guys weren’t trying to stop him. They were ALLOWING this motherfucker to make this crazy lurch towards me.

I keep backing up and it’s Officer Destin who grabs me right in the brink of time, before yelling, “What’s the problem?”

“Mind your fucking business pig…”

That’s when I hear a loud crash.

It’s with a chair.

I turn and realize it’s Lynch who did it. I hadn’t seen Lynch before this moment. It was as though he appeared out of nowhere. He is beyond quick how he just does that. It’s as though he literally jumps out of nowhere. Lynch smacks the kid dead in the back with the chair and the kid collapses on the floor.

As though realizing people may have thought he was protecting me Lynch announces loudly and very sternly, “I told your ass I was going to get you back after that basketball game.”

A bit of chaos breaks out after that. Food being thrown. Guards running in to try to break up how amped everyone was after the little fight of Lynch knocking out Smiley and Smiley getting up seeming lost and confused only to start acting tough when he realized that Lynch embarrassed the fuck out of him. He tries to get at Lynch but at this point, there were way too many guards.

And Lynch is being escorted to his cell by Officer Destin.

I can’t help but run after them.

“You need to go back,” Officer Destin tells me.

“Not until someone tells me what the hell that was,” I state.

“Wasn’t about you,” Lynch states.

“Never said it was—-” I state, “You made that perfectly clear.”

As though understanding how he was coming off he turns and explains furthermore why he hit Smiley with a chair, “I was checking that little loud ass wanna-be Smiley. Clearly, he wants to be a part of Black Union so bad that he’s doing everything to make a scene.”

“Attacking me will impress my father’s gang?” I ask.

Both of the men pause. By now we are on the second level where Lynch’s cell is. I have this feeling like something is being held from me. The weird behavior at the lunch was just one small example of it, but it was happening all day. Shit was getting beyond weird. It was becoming clear that motherfuckers were acting really weird.

“You don’t know,” Destin says.

Officer Destin looks at me really weird. He’s not the only one though. Lynch seems surprised that I don’t know what’s happening either.

“Know what?” I ask.

Destin turns away. He clearly doesn’t feel comfortable enough to talk about it.

It’s Lynch who gives Destin a look, “You not going to tell your fake boyfriend what’s happening? Or I guess you want to hide it from him like his husband clearly is doing.”

“He’s not my boyfriend, Lynch,” Destin responds, “You know I’m tired of your shit. I should be taking you to the HOLE for that fight, by the way. You’re lucky that—”

“Destin—-what aren’t you telling me?” I ask.

Destin shakes his head, “It’s not my place. I’m a Corrections Officer. I’m not supposed to talk about cases and all this other shit. I told you that this place was dangerous. I tried to warn you.”

“Warn me now. Tell me what’s wrong.”

Silence. Destin was really struggling with this. Maybe deep inside he did have some soft spot for me. Maybe that was real shit but right now I can see he’s struggling with not putting his own personal beliefs in front of his job. It’s possible he really believed I was innocent but at the end of the day something has him really freaked out but Destin was too cautious to really speak on it.

That’s when I look over at Lynch.

“What is it, Lynch?” I ask.

“Oh, you talking to me now?” Lynch asks.

“Man fuck you…”

“Fuck me?” Lynch asks, “See the disrespect. Anyone else would have got beat the fuck up for saying something like that. But you want to disrespect the one guy who got your back in this bitch. I just hit some nigga over the head with a chair for you. But no respect.”

Lynch has this real cocky smile on his face as though he expects me to bend over and praise him. Maybe that is what he enjoyed.

“Lynch you aren’t helping,” Officer Destin tells the prisoner giving him the look he’s given Lynch so many times. He thought Lynch was trouble and he was probably right.

Still, Lynch always kept it real.

“They are going to kill you,” Lynch states, “Point blank period.”

I shake my head, “What?”

“Your father is trying to get you out of jail. He’s cooperating. There have been multiple contracts on your life…”

At this point, I’m falling over. If it isn’t for Officer Destin I think I’d faint. I fall right into the Officer’s arm and he’s desperately trying to fan me to keep me up.

“You aren’t helping,” Destin tells him.

“He needs the truth,” Lynch states.

“Enough!” Destin argues.

“You think you going to protect him. He has a contract. Do you know how much Deathrow White knows?” Lynch asks, “When people get the sign there’s nothing that we can do to protect him. You think you’ll be able to protect him, WHITE BOY?”

Officer Destin shakes his head, ignoring Lynch’s question, “Avonte, I don’t need you to freak out.”

It was too late. At this point, I was already freaking out. I was already at my fucking edge. I was scared as fuck.

Lynch shakes his head, “See the bullshit? He’s feeding you lies.”

“I’m not feeding him shit. I’ll figure something out,” Destin states, “I’ve already spoke to the Warden…”

“And how far did that get you?” Lynch asks.

Silence from Destin.

This is followed up with a knowing, “I thought so” from Lynch.

I am standing there feeling like Destin may mean well but he’s clueless right now. My heart is racing. The good thing is my father was doing what he could to get me out of jail. The bad part is that I didn’t know if I could make it to being released.

And there’s only one person telling me the truth. It’s not Grayson. It’s not Officer Destin. It’s not those other people who said they were ‘cool’ with me.

It’s only one person. Lynch.

“What can I do?” I ask Lynch.

Lynch shrugs, “Worm, word on the block is that the sign is coming and we are all going to know when it comes up. And once we get that sign, every single Black Union member in this prison is going to be trying to kill you.”

“That’s not how our prison works,” Officer Destin states, “We’ll protect him.”

“Man fuck your protection?”

Officer Destin gives me a hard look, “You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about Lynch.

“He’s the only one being real. There are hundreds of Black Union members in this prison,” I argue with the Officer, “If I am blacklisted I’m dead. Lynch can help me.”

“How does Lynch know all about this?” Officer Destin asks.

“What?” I ask.

“You said all the Black Union members will be going after you. That’s because they put the gang above all. What gang is Lynch a part of.”

I turn to Lynch. He’s gotten quiet with Officer Destin going down this path of discussion. Officer Destin doesn’t seem surprised by Lynch’s sudden silence but I am. Lynch is acting surprisingly weird as though he doesn’t even hear what the Officer is asking him.

I look at Lynch hard.

“How’d you know about the contracts on me?” I ask.

“Because I was given one too,” he states, “But so was everyone else. Odds are once we get the sign, you won’t make it through the night. It will be impossible in fact.”

“What’s the sign?” I ask.

“You’ll know…” is all he says.

All of a sudden, I don’t feel comfortable around anyone. Not Lynch, not even fucking Officer Destin. I’m standing there just seeming awkward.

I swallow my spit.

“When you get the sign…will you kill me?” I ask Lynch.

Lynch shakes his head, “Man why are you asking me some dumb ass questions like that?”

“Answer his fucking question, Lynch,” Officer Destin forces Lynch’s hand, “Will you kill him?”

Lynch pauses.

“Hell, motherfuckin’ yeah.”

Officer Destin looks at me as though telling me “I told you so.” He doesn’t have to say it. I should have known what he meant. I should have known that Lynch’s loyalty was to the gang over anything else. I should have expected it but hearing Lynch admit it hurt still. He looks away as he says it and for some reason, that shit just stings my heart.

“Before you started telling him you were his friend maybe you should have told him all about the people you murdered while you’ve been locked up. How about that last ‘friend’ you had? Everyone thought you were so in love. Thought this guy changed Wisdom Lynch to actually be a good guy. That is until he looked at a gang member the wrong way. And he got a contract against him right? And we find the guy strangled. And whose standing over him the next morning with bruises on his hands from squeezing too tight?”

Officer Destin looks over at Lynch.

I’m shocked, “You….you did that?”

Lynch shakes his head, “I wrote it all in the letter. You knew what I was. You knew the kind of monster I was…”

I look over at Lynch and I’m beyond shocked. A monster was an understatement. He made a boy believe he was in love with him only to kill him. I remember him trying to explain his past relationship but I had no idea that was how it had ended.

That was why they were trying to put him on death row. That’s why they wanted to kill him.

Lynch and I just look at one another and I have no idea what to say. I have no idea how to react. We just stare at one another and I swear I am seeing this thing in him that I despise.

“You should go back to your husband,” Officer Destin tells me, “Lock yourself up in there for a while…I’ll talk to the Warden and see what we can do about—-”

Officer Destin stops talking.

The lights in the prison go out. Almost out of nowhere it’s as though there is an immediate blackout in the prison. My heart is racing. My palms are sweating. This isn’t normal. I knew this wasn’t fucking normal.

“What’s happening?” I ask looking around in this terrifying way, “What’s going on?”

Officer Destin doesn’t have an answer but Lynch does.

Lynch looks me dead in my eyes. It’s the eyes of a killer, “It’s the sign.”