Part 1: Dexter and Marique

“Man I can’t fucking believe that I just got off the phone telling Howard University that I was turning down a free ride,” Marique said to me as we sat in my car outside his house. “Man, that crazy I hope its because you got a better offer somewhere else. Even though I don’t know what else would be better than a full scholarship to the college that you’ve been talking about since we got into high school. I said to him as I looked down at my phone that was in my lap and seen a text pop up from Sharlene that said we needed to talk. I picked up my phone to text her back, and Marique said: “Man I just gave up the college of my dreams because my mom is pregnant.” I dropped my phone in shock of what he had just said. “Exactly how I reacted,” Marique said.

   It was damn near the end of the summer, and we had been living our best life all summer, since graduation. I never in a million years thought I would be getting this news. I had known Marique since I was eight, we both started playing on a community basketball team at the same time, and we became best friends. Been stuck together ever since. When you saw Que (or Marique as his mom name him), you saw Paco (which was me. My real name was Dexter, but because I looked Puerto Rican everyone called me Paco). “Man how many niggas do you know from Rochester that had single mom’s like us that get free rides to Howard,” Que said. “None that's why I do not understand why you aren’t going even if your mom is pregnant. You got a free ride take that shit.” I said to him. “Paco I can’t. With my scholarship literally, cover my tuition and my books. I still left to cover my food and my room. Which with my mom working as a CNA she can’t afford that shit and another child.” he told me.

   This shit was killing me it was always our plan that Que would go to Howard University to become a doctor and I would go to Flordia A&M. I had watch Que bust his ass in the classroom and kept all A and on the basketball court. While I was out partying with our other high school friends, Que was either studying or working to make sure he was on the right road to college and able to help his mom with the bills. This was fucked up that he was going to have to stay home when I wasted time the whole time in high school and only got a scholarship to Flordia A&M because I was unstoppable on the basketball court. But what made it worse is that Que mom might be carrying my baby.

   I was in my little world thinking as Que was talking until my phone started ringing, it was my girlfriend, Tyla. I picked up my phone looked at the caller ID and then put the phone back in my lap. “Go ahead and answer man you know how she gets when you ignore her,” Que said. “Nah she will be good I am with my bro right now, and you need me,” I said to him. “Nah I’m good I’m about to take my ass in the house. I want to be alone for a while.” Que said. “you sure bro?” I asked him. “yeah I’m sure.” he said as he opened the car door and got out. Before Que could close my car door, Tyla was calling back again. “Hello?” I answer. “what are you and what were you doing that you couldn’t answer the first time that I called?” she said. I rolled my eyes. “man relaxes I was with Que talking about some real shit he got going on.” I said. “that better be who you were with.” I said. I sucked my teeth. If Tyla weren’t one of the baddest chicks from the west side, I would even deal with her, but because she was, we had been together for the last three years. But that did not change the that her nasty attitude annoyed the hell out of me. But it was cool because her days were number when I left for Flordia I wanted to be a free agent so I would do whatever and whoever I wanted.

   “Well, are you coming to see me tonight? My momma working 11 pm to 7am, so we will have the whole apartment to our sleeves” she said. Just like Que momma, Tyla momma was a CNA too. The only difference is Que mom was sexy to be in her late 30s, Tyla mom was ugly and rude as hell. For the first year Tyla and I were together she wouldn’t even call me by my name she kept referring to me a boy. But now she was a little nice, but I knew if she knew I was fucking her daughter in her house at night while she was at work she wouldn’t be. “yeah I’ll be by at like 11:30/12” I said to her. “Okay baby I’ll see you then love you,” she said in a happier tone than when we started the call.

I hung up with her and finally responded to Sharlene yeah we need to talk asap meet me at our usual spot in ten minutes. I texted her back before pulling off. I drove to the beach where Sharlene and I usually met and waited for her to pull up. After about five minutes I saw her car. I got out my car and walked over to her’s. she unlocked the doors, and I got in. “what the hell is going on?” I said to her. “who are you talking to like that?” she asked me. “ you're pregnant?” I asked her ignoring what she asked me. “so you spoke to Que?” she asked. “yeah of course I did we are a best friend, so of course when he was faced with the decision to tell Howard he wasn’t coming he called me, and I pulled up on him.” I said. “what the hell you mean he told Howard he is not coming.” Sharlene said. “he called them today and told them he wasn’t coming to his scholarship only cover his tuition and his books and with you having this baby he didn’t want to put any more expenses on you.” I told her. “but I never told him he had to do that. I’m the parent I would have figured it out.” she said. “well that's between you and your son. I am just here because we have been having sex since I graduated in June and I need to know if it's my baby or not. and how we plan to tell Que if it is.” I said to her.

Sharlene sat there in silence for a little while. “hello?” I said to get her attention. “I don’t know she yelled. “you don’t know what?” I said her confused. “I don’t know if it's your baby because when I was having sex with you, I was having sex with my boyfriend Cory as well,” she said. I put my head down in my hands. “Listen, Dexter, you are young, and you have your whole life ahead of you. I can say its Cory baby he is head over hills in love with me and won’t question its.” she said. “and what if its mine do you deny me the opportunity to be a father to the child I created. and what about Que do we just idea this form him even longer.” I said. “Dexter I am the adult. I came on to you. I knew exactly what I was doing the first time we had sex after Que’s graduation party. But I like it, and that's why I kept it going. But I will not hurt my son and tell him I fucked his best friend.” she said.

I looked at her confused. “But you will risk hurting me and not letting me be a father to my child and possibly hurting Que later down the line if he ever finds out,” I said. “Que is my child, this baby I am carrying is my child. I will always do whats start for them and telling my son about my stupid hoe behaviors is not right for him. Nor is placing my other child on a young boy that just graduated high school even if he is the birth father. Until you are grown, you will never understand the hard decisions you have to make.” she told me. “I know a lot about hard decisions this is not a hard decision this is you just not wanting to face what you did or having to admit it. It was cool when you were fucking the young 18 years old in private now when its time to have a baby it's not cool.” I said to her. “Paco baby you just don’t understand,” she said grabbing my hand. I snatched it away from her. “Nah I don’t understand. But I know this if you won’t be honest I will if it means finding out if that baby is mine or not.” I said to her as I got out her car.

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