by T’challa Williams

“Bootsie.” I said plainly.
“Like Bootsie Collins? Man, hell naw! You can’t play like no damn Bootsie, I don’t care what yo’ nickname is.”
“Okay! Pea-Nut!” I yelled. Everyone got quiet and I kept eating sunflower seeds. Peanut turned his small head and body slowly in my direction.
I looked him up and down. Then raised an eyebrow. He acting like turning slow made him grow or something.
“You know good and damned well don’t nobody call me that no more.” He said slow and in a voice so low it could have come from hell.
“Ayo Pea, on some real shit, I changed ya diapers. I don’t know what kinda new shit you on But I know ya’ motha’ and your grandmother. I cut ya’ Aunt Lauren grass last week. So unless ya chest swelling to do some work, get the fuck outta here Bee.” He was heaving now. Eyes glazed over in rage, Staring me down like he was really contemplating something.
Everybody on the block was frozen. Stuck as if this lil cat sparked fear in them. I rested my elbows on my knees. My feet were laced up in my Nike running shoes hanging half off the step. Ihad on grey basketball shorts and a t-shirt that said, ‘Try yo’ momma, not me.’
He was at the sidewalk in a white A-shirt and some jeans hanging off his ass. He rocked a gold chain and the newest Jordan’s but the wasn’t laced. A grimace of evil emerged across his face.
“My name is steel muthafucka. You know what that mean?”
His hands were by his side. He was swaying trying to calculate the best way to grab the piece in his back. Even though he was on the sidewalk, and I was sitting on the steps, we were eye to eye. Told you his name Peanut.
The people that were next to us had already tipped off during the tension. Enough of this!
I reached with my left and slapped the shit out of him. I halted his recovery and slapped his fronts out his mouth with my right. Staving off his stumble, I grabbed him by his pants and throat. Proceeded to pick him up over my head and dropped his ass on Ms. Jenkins’ patch of grass. I leaned over his moaning body, waiting for him to stop wincing from the pain and look at me. Just as the slits of eyes revealed pupils I smiled.
“Hey Peanut! I’m K. O. The Great!! You come over here with a gun again, Imma kick yo ass all the way to ya grandmother house. And I know ya whole crew. So don’t go getting no fancy ideas. I’m big with bigga friends. So what we doing?” I stood over him still, calm and back on my sunflower seeds.
“We good K.O. I gotchu man. Damn!” He rolled around some more searching for his roll up to his feet.
“That’s what I thought young blood. Be easy now.” I turned and walked up the street to the park. There were ice cream trucks and kids on bikes and me. It felt good to be back in the neighborhood. They need a brotha like me and I’m here for all of it.
“Hey Mr. Johnson” the beautiful brown vixen said to me.
“Hello Mrs. Wolcott.” I replied with a smile, she blushed.
“Uh, that’s Mizzzz you trying to marry me off Mr. Johnson?” she giggled that seductive way a sistah does when she already bending and folding for you in her mind.
“Let’s make sure your son passes my physics class first.”
“Always business.” She rolled her eyes at me in pity then slipped her business card in my shorts pocket as she whispered, ‘for pleasure’ right into my ear as she planted the lightest half kiss onto my cheek.
I smiled and watch the richness in her hips hypnotically pull away from my glare in giggling glee.
“Hell yeah, it’s good to be home.”