From Chapter - 16
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Author : Terry Fulgham
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Excerpt From Chapter - 16
Chapter - 16
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Author Terry Fulgham

“Reggie, my man, what’s up?” Norman said, with his head hanging out the driver’s window.
I could tell that he was a little high.
“Man, what you getting high off of?” I asked.
Norman said, “I got some reds, a little cough syrup and a pint Old Granddad whiskey.”

“You want some, my brother?” Tyron asked with excitement in his voice.
“Come and hang with us,” Norman said, opening the car door for me to get into the back seat.
Hell, I was thinking, I ain’t doing anything, so why shouldn’t I hang with them? “Hold on,” I said, “I need to
lock my apartment door.”

As we were driving all over the city and talking shit, Norman said, “Let’s go over across the tracks and get
something to drink.”
“Man, you know we don’t have any business on that side of town,” I said in a loud voice.
“No need to raise your voice, man,” Norman said, “I ain’t going over there. I know them niggers over on St.
John Street don’t like us.”

I had been taking the pills that Norman had and I drank the remainder of the cough syrup mixed with whiskey.
I must have nodded off.

When I woke up in the back seat, I heard Norman cursing this young black girl out, calling her a bitch and
talking about kicking her ass.
I asked Tyron what was wrong with Norman.
He said, “Man, he asked that bitch to come and hang out with us and she said she was waiting on her
boyfriend to come out of the store. Norman said fuck your boyfriend and you too. Then Norman hit her in the
back with a brick.”

I looked at my brother in disbelief. I said, “What the fuck are we doing over here on St. John? Are you
motherfuckers crazy?”
Eight other men walked up to the store and surrounded Norman.
One of them said, “Who hit my woman with a brick?”
I couldn’t hear what Norman was saying. He was pointing over at the car where I was sitting and he was

This short guy pointed at me and said, “I am going to kick your ass.”
I jumped out of the car and he rushed me. As we were fighting, I remember saying to him, “Man, I’m a little
high, let’s finish this fight another day.”

The truth is that I wanted to stop when this fellow hit me the first time. It felt like a ton of bricks had hit me. I
knew he had hit me too hard, and I wanted to stop fighting. I had never been hit that hard before.
He was saying, “You hit my woman with a brick,” while he was coming back up on me to hit me again.
I bent over in pain from the blow to my stom-ach, which was hurting like hell.

I turned around to run. I looked and didn’t see Norman’s old car. In fact, I didn’t see any car. Norman and my
brother had left me. I couldn’t believe they really left me over on St. John, knowing that I would get my ass
whipped just for being from the other side of town. I knew that this was my ass.
I heard someone say, “Hey man, stop. I know him. That’s Reggie Manchester, man. He’s cool.”

I didn’t recognize the voice, nor could I look up. I was still hurting from that punch to my stomach.
“Reggie,” the guy said, “come on, man. I’m going to take you home.”
This guy who stopped the fight helped me into the car. He said, “Man, you need to go to the hospital tonight.”
I said, “For what?”
“You’ve been stabbed,” he said.
“What?” I said.
He said, “Reggie, look at your stomach, man.”
When I saw all that blood, I said, “Are you sure this is my blood?”

“Hell, yes,” he said. “The other guys who were there said you had been stabbed with an ice pick. That’s why
you were thinking that he had hit you with his fist.”
My newfound friend dropped me off in front of the store. He seemed to know that I had an apartment on the
side of the store. “Reggie,” he said, “you go to the hospital tonight, man. I’ve got to go. You know I can’t be
caught on this side of the tracks.
Hey man, you need to kick them two niggers’ asses that left you over there on St. John. Take care, man.” Then
he drove off.

I found out later who he was. We went to the same high school. His name was Jamie Summers.
I was still high, but the pain was unbearable. When I lay down in my bed, I must have fallen to sleep right away.
Sara Jordan was a close friend of mine. We would date off and on. She came over the next morning and used
her key to come in.
I was laying there in bed when she said, “What happened to your stomach?”
I noticed how my stomach looked and I got scared. My stomach had swollen to the point that I looked like I
was nine-months pregnant, and I was hurting so bad that I couldn’t move.

Sara went and got Madera from Big Mama’s house. As soon as she saw the condition that I was in, she called
the ambulance to take me to the hospital. While I was in the emergency room, my appendix was leaking inside
my stomach. The doctor told Madera that he had to operate as soon as possible.

After my surgery, I was taken to a room where there was another stab victim. I remember the nurse saying
“That man is in bad shape. We don’t think that he’s going to make it.”
I just knew she was talking about me. While I was lying in my bed, uncomfortable and in pain, I couldn’t help
but think about what she had said the morning after I had my surgery that I wasn’t going to make it. As I was
dozing off and on, I woke up to my grandmother coming into my hospital room.

I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life. My grandmother had her best-looking clothes on. She
was wearing a brown hat with a long feather sticking out the side, a black dress with white polka dots, and a
short fox coat with about six fox heads hanging around her neck and shoulders.

When I saw what Big Mama was wearing, I started crying and saying, “Big Mama, I am dying! I am

By this time, I was crying as loud as I could. My grandmother took me into her arms and said, “Shhh, shhh.
You’re my grandbaby and I ain’t going to let you go anywhere now. Why do you think you are dying?”
“Big Mama,” I said, “you’ve got your funeral clothes on. Every time you go to someone’s funeral, you wear
your hat with the feather and your polka dot dress.”

“Reggie,” she said, “Reggie baby, I wear my good clothes for special occasions and you are special, you are
my grandbaby. You are not dying.”

My stay in the hospital lasted about a week. After I was released from the hospital, Big Mama and Madera had
a long talk with me.
“Reggie,” Big Mama would say, “Boy, if you keep living the way you are living, you won’t see your 21st
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