I stood quietly with my arms folded over my chest, staring down at my best friend as if she could really hear the words that were about to come from my mouth.
“How? Why?” I sighed, shaking my head as I slowly reached to touch her hand. Ice cold, destined to be twenty-four forever. Now that she’s gone; all that I could think about was the struggle she went through. So many times she told me she would never end up here, laying in a casket, face covered in bruises that the makeup couldn’t even hide. Love had done this to her; or, the shit that she thought was love.
I barely knew the nigga she’d been fucking with for five years; kind of sad because I spent that same amount of time trying to get her away from his ass. The changes creeped in slowly, shit she could play off with ease, shit she could say oh, he’s just a little jealous that’s all and the shit was actually cute.
Then it got to the point where he answered her phone. Then, she couldn’t have a phone. Had to tend to his every need, be at his beck and call. Couldn’t have friends, couldn’t go out. Oh, I know this nigga had to hate me with a passion because every chance I got, I pulled my girl away from his control. She tried so many times to get me to meet him, tried to show me that he was just misunderstood, that he really loved her.
Fuck that; love didn’t come with black eyes just because you didn’t wanna fuck, or cook. Love didn’t come with busted lips, side bitches, and death threats if you didn’t go through with abortions. Love didn’t come with multiple concussions, broken bones, or separation from your family. My girl had to drop out of school, quit her job, leave behind the one kid she did have all because he couldn’t stand the thought of anyone else seeing her, couldn’t stand her caring for a child that wasn’t even his. The fucking irony.
She knew though, any time she called me; I had a ready room for her and a full clip ready for his ass.
Wiping away my tears, I recalled the one time she finally got fed up. This motherfucker had beat her so bad she went into a coma. Bastard had the nerve to show up by her bedside and lead the prayers as if he wasn’t the one that had her laying up like that. That day alone, I could have sent his ass to the intensive care; only God and her father stopped me from unleashing the fury and anger that had been sitting on my heart.
My girl woke up, stayed with me for a month before he sweet talked her, promised to do better. Ha, that shit ain’t last long. Not even a good two days and she was sneaking to call me again, talking about how she’d begun documenting the abuse since police didn’t believe her any other time. Man, crazy how those motherfuckers can see blood gushing and your fucking eye popping out of the socket and still won’t do nothing. She went through some hell.
And then, that little bit of faith took over her. That strength she needed to get out. We had it all planned, out. She was almost out.
He cornered her, sweet talked her, showed her what she believed she’d had in him all of those years; ‘Love’. And foolishly, she caved.
At the end of the day, I couldn’t really judge her. She was my girl, and I had been through the same thing. Difference in our situation… I got out. And she’s laying here, about to be six feet under because this motherfucker found her notes. Conned her into thinking he had this romantic getaway planned. Let her see her daughter on a Friday night before they left, and when he returned on Sunday, she was nowhere to be found.
We searched high and low, checked every place we knew she went and when I finally got home, my worst fears became a reality. Checked my home voicemail and it was a message from my girl. Said he’d left for just a few minutes so she had to get a message out.
Hey DeJuana, I just want you to know that you’re my bestfriend. We’ve been through so much and I don’t know if I would have made it through this life without you by my side. I thank you for helping me, for never judging my situation like others have. Leaving this message, just in case. He got me somewhere in the mountains, in Wyoming, a place his parents own. If you don’t see me or hear from me after Sunday, you already know. Tell my baby I love her, tell my parents I’m sorry, and you–thank you for everything. It took me a long ass time to see, and I only have myself to blame for this outcome, but I know now what real love is. It’s the support and constant protection I got from you. It’s the encouraging words you gave to help pull me out of this shit. It’s the fact that you still talked to me like a regular person, and not like a bitch that was just dumb for not choosing better. I love you DeJuana, best friends for life.
And with that, the call ended abruptly. I remember playing that fucking message over and over, and hearing the door slam just before she hung up, I knew. Now we here, and I’m staring at my best friend. Life gon’ because a pussy nigga couldn’t handle that she was a strong ass woman before he broke her down to nothing.
The doors behind me opened; I heard them but never turned around. “Excuse me, are you DeJuana James?”
“Yes, I am.”
“I am sorry for you in your time of loss, but you’re going to have to come with us Ma’am. You’re under arrest for the murder of Alvin Sheppard.”
I nodded, looking down at my best friend one last time. I touched her cold hand, apologizing. “I’m sorry, Robin, but I did it for you. I love you too, best friends for life.”
I said a quick prayer and turned to face the officers, surrendering. Taking that motherfucker’s life; it’s worth whatever I’ve got coming. He deserved much worse than the quick death I brought to him.