Chapter 1 - normal
Note: This story takes place about a year after the events on “Block House.” To get a bigger piece of the picture, read the short story, “The Things we do for Sunshine,” which is a prequel of sorts.

Jay lies in bed; it’s almost noon. He slept in late again, not unusual but still annoying to him nonetheless. Jay likes to think of himself as a morning person, except when he has been out partying, which is fairly often these days. After an extended struggle between mind a body, Jay finally rolls out of bed. He walks across his clothing filled tile floor and takes a look in the dresser mirror. The bloodshot eyes and heavy bags are undoubtedly the result of the copious amount of alcohol he drank at Ray’s party the night before. Maybe he went a little too hard last night, but nothing out of the ordinary. He reaches over, grabs the first shirt his hand lands on and puts it on. It’s his old, black graphic print T-shirt, one of his favorites and it looks like it is clean enough to face the day. After throwing on some shorts and his trusty black and red Jordan Cement Three’s, Jay grabs his phone with the cracked screen and heads out of his room.

Jay slogs his way to the kitchen, opens the fridge to find it empty—no surprise. On the counter next to the sink is a pile of mail, on top is an electricity bill left by his roommate. The amount owed is circled in red ink with the words “YOU NEED TO PAY THIS, FUCKER” scrawled in capital letters across the entire bill. Jay shakes his head and continues to sift through the pile of mail: bills, bills, bills . . . ads, credit card application, collection letters; the usual pile of junk that he has come to expect. He lets out a deep sigh and looks toward the living room when his eyes meet his trusty bong sitting on the coffee table. All he wants to do is smoke, but with empty pockets he is going to have to hit the streets to make enough dough to cop a bag, and then maybe pay the electric bill. Before he can continue the thought, his mind jumps back to smoke, maybe he could swing by Raymond’s for a quick sec; in the back of his mind he knows that’s where he’ll end up anyway. He looks to the corner of the living room to see his well-worn backpack lying there. He figures that he could hit the block and slang some work for a couple of hours, he has nothing else to do. Jay grabs the backpack and heads out the door.

Jay walks outside to a blistering sun which is typical this time of the year in the city. The heat never really bothered him; in fact, he is a big fan of the summer nights. He puts on his headphones and presses play, the first song on his “Rosemont” playlist jolts his ear drums to life. Immediately, Jay begins to see the colors: rhythmic pulses of light flashing through the air. The colors swirl into the sky, trailing off into nothingness. This is something that Jay has experienced since he was a kid, but he never really told anyone about, not even her. It seems to be innocuous, but nonetheless it adds a certain level of “cool” to his music experience. He smiles to himself as he steps on to his skateboard and begins to push himself down the street, admiring the neatly trimmed lawns and unique architecture of the homes in the upper middle class neighborhood. Jay always found it weird that just on the other side of Rosemont, past Speedway, things became a little more ghetto, just a few blocks away. This includes a strip club and liquor store on the corner of the two streets, or maybe that’s why it’s ghetto. It’s here that he normally goes to push his “work”. Customers often come from across the city to meet Jay at the corner to get some product—it is considered to be some of the best in the state.

Jay arrives on the corner with his backpack strapped and one of his favorite songs, “Dreams" bumpin’ loudly in his headphones; the colors and light swirling around flowing to the rhythm of the beat. He will probably go deaf at an early age for how loud he plays his music. By the look of things, he could tell it was going to be a slow day. It was already over 100 degrees outside and he didn’t have any text messages or inboxes from anyone asking for product. Suddenly, he phone chimed with a text from his roommate:

Where is the money for the electric bill?!?

Jay shakes his head and deletes the text. He knows that he has to get that money today…he’ll have to figure something out.

After about 20 minutes, Jay gets another text, this time from Ray:

Hey, you want to smoke?

Jay’s eyes light up. He hasn’t puffed all day. He immediately replies back:

FUCK YES.

Jay hops on his skateboard and heads towards the Block House. Getting the money for the electric bill would just have to wait.

******

Jay knocks loudly on #23 at the Block House Apartments. As Ray answers the door, Jay is instantly hit with the familiar smell of weed.

“What’s up, my nigga,” yells Raymond. His 5’7” skinny frame moves aside as Jay walks into the house. “You look like you had fun last night,” laughs Raymond as they move into the main living room. The room is filled with the sounds of “Block My Cool,” a track by a local artist that Jay had shown Ray. Jay sees a series of blue and white energy pulses barreling out of the speaker.

“YOU AIN’T FIN TO BLOCK MY COOOOL,” sings Raymond as he dances across the messy living room to the table in the kitchen. A couple of Raymond’s homies are sitting on the couch playing Titan Fall on his Xbox One. There is also an attractive brunette sitting on the couch, but clearly still trying to recover from last night. She smiles as she makes eye contact with Jay as he walks over to the table across the room. Jay remembers her from last night; she was giving him the eye then too. The girl stands up and walks over to the table where Jay is sitting and has a seat in the chair next to him. She proceeds to grab the weed tray on the table and starts to roll a blunt. She says nothing as she occasionally looks up at Jay.

Jay’s phone buzzes, he reaches in his pocket, pulls out his phone and glances at it. It’s a text from his mother:

Did you find a job today?

Jay shakes his head as he replies back:

No, no luck today mom.

Did you even look, Jay?

Jay looks at the text and deletes it. He has a habit of doing that when people ask him dumb questions. Besides, this girl was taking up most of Jay’s attention right now. Another text comes through from his mother:

Damn it Jay, why can’t you just be normal?

Jay smirks to himself as he reads it. Ray sees his twisted smile, “what’s good my dude?” Jay flashes his phone at Raymond, showing him the text. Ray mumbles to himself as he reads the text out loud, “why can’t you be normal?”

He smirks. “Man, fuck that hoe, what the fuck is normal these days anyway?” “A 9-5 job, a college education?” “Shit, most of us are just trying to survive these days, by any means necessary.” “What’s normal for cats like me and you might not be normal that hoe, feel me?” “And if we are going by what she’s talking about, then I ain’t tryin’ a be normal.”


Jay stares at Ray for a moment, absorbing what he said, his trance his broken by the sound of the girl’s voice, “it’s your hit Jay,” she says seductively. Jay hesitates for a moment then grabs the blunt. He looks at the text again focusing on the words:

Why can’t you be normal?

Jay shakes his head again and deletes the text.​​​​​​​
Chapter 2 - No Worries 

Jay is higher than elephant ass. The weed keeps coming though as Raymond rolls blunt after blunt. “We puffing that Hindu Kush tonight, my brother,” he proclaims as he licks the newly finished Dutch encased blunt. Ray stares at it admiringly for a few moments before blurting out, “yo, nigga, go to the fridge and get that bottle of Jack Daniels.” Jay hesitates for a brief moment, it is early afternoon still and he knows that if he starts drinking now, there would be no turning back. He shrugs, he probably isn’t going to push any work today anyways, it is too fucking hot on the corner—in more ways than one and no one is out. He might as well get a little buzz going. Jay hops off the sofa and walks into the kitchen. The smell of old trash and dirty dishes hits him immediately, it’s clear that Raymond hasn’t done any house cleaning in a while, not that he gives a shit. He grabs the bottle from the fridge and returns to the living room.

Raymond already has the blunt lit, the smell of the burned kush fills the air. He is on the computer again, something of an addiction to him. He likes to post his music to his blog and then share it various social networks, especially to online forums. Apparently he is in a “rap beef” with another rapper in the area. The funny thing is that they know each other. Stank is a rapper from the “Money Up Click”, a crew that Raymond actually use to be in. The details are unknown but Raymond “left” M.U.C. and went solo. Jay is pretty much the only other artist that Ray fucks with these days. Stank and Ray have proceeded to not only release “diss tracks” but go on the forums and make threats. This isn’t the first time this has happened, the two have even been in a scuffle recently. “This dude said his going to pound my face to the pavement” laughs Raymond. He takes another puff of the blunt. “These niggas are HILARIOUS, like…Nick Cannon HILARIOUS.” He states through exhaling the blunt smoke. Jay smirks to himself at the outdated Dave Chappelle reference, Raymond was the type to find a “catch phrase” and stick to it. Recently, his cable went out so he has been watching Dave Chappelle DVDs non-stop. He must have just watched that episode. “These dudes are mad because they can’t spit like me…I get it, I would be mad, too” continues Ray as he passes the blunt to the girl across the table who looks WAY too high. “They are ALWAYS trying to hate on me, but then I get mad likes on my page and comments and shit and they shut up”. Ray types something on the keyboard speaking every word out loud as he typed “Nigga..I..Will…see..u..Tomorrow Night!”. He hits the enter button with extra force then turns to Jay. “Tomorrow is going to be sooo turnt up, nigga! Are you ready?” Jay takes a swig of the bottle and grimaces as he hands it to Raymond. Ray smiles “I Take that as a yes, lil’ nigga”. He grabs the bottle, takes a long draw, and then sets it on the computer desk next to the keyboard. “5000 dollar prize and a distribution deal, my nigga? That’s that shit right there! We need that. Plus we can son those punk ass M.U.C. niggas” Raymond’s intensity increasing.

Jay is nervous; this would be his first time on stage…ever. He knows he can rap. All of his homies said that he is probably one of the best they have ever heard, but he has never been good at talking in front of crowds. The whole city is going to be there and he knows that his song will do well….maybe even win, he just needs the chance. What bothers Jay the most however is that anytime Raymond gets into “internet beef” it often leads to trouble. Ray looks over Jay and as if though he is reading his mind and speaks with a slightly more serious tone “look, I know last time was wild, but trust me when I say that those niggas will NEVER fuck with us again”. Jay glances across the table towards the girl, who is rolling her eyes as she hands him the blunt. “You said that shit the last time…and the time before that” she smirks. “Shut up, hoe!” Ray snaps back. “I ain’t worried about no punk ass bitch, trying to fuck up my buzz. Let some motherfucka roll up on me and see what happens. These niggas think that I’m just some hood ass nigga from the block house, until I kick they ass and smash on they girl”.

Jay laughs to himself, it is true that Raymond did seem a little hood and he is from the Block House, an apartment complex in the center of the city. In fact, the Block House is where Jay met Raymond, they use to be roommates. Apparently, Raymond has lived in the Block House Apartments his entire life. His mother raised him there and when she died, he took over the apartment that apparently his mother outright purchased. Raymond rents out the extra room to pay for whatever he needs although he also sells weed, so it’s hard to say how his income worked exactly. “Girl on the couch” is his latest “roommate” although Jay is pretty sure they are fucking. Jay lived here for about two years, during that time he had some of the craziest times of his life. He also met some special people there…including “Her”. It was also here that Jay also got involved in music. Jay wouldn’t call Raymond a mentor…at all but he certainly opened the doors for Jay, including show him how to record and spreading the word of his talent. Raymond also recruited Jay to push “Work” of two different kinds: Either bags of weed or Raymond’s newest mixtape, which includes a feature from jay, both of which sold surprisingly well. Jay was able to save up enough money to move in a “nicer” area on the eastside on the better side of Rosemont. Jay continues to push work for Ray while he keeps working on music, waiting for the day that he can push his own music in the streets.

This show tomorrow is going to big, he knows that it will give the buzz he needs to drop his almost finished first album. Jay’s thoughts are broken by his phone buzzing. It is a text message that says ”Where are You?”. Jay’s eyes widen: he forgot that he has some where he has to be. He takes a huge draw from the blunt, passes it to Raymond and heads for the door. “Hey, where are you going?” asks Raymond. Jay ignores Raymond as he bolts for the door. “HEY!” yells Raymond. Jay stops and turns quickly to look at Raymond. Ray smiles “Remember man…No Worries”. Jay smirks and quickly runs out the door.
Chapter 3 - Fuck Gravity

Jay arrives to a white house with a well groomed lawn. He is in the “Northern Hills” now. This is considered to be the nicest area of town where all the richest people in the city live. Jay doesn’t like to come out here but this is where “She” stays. He walks up to the neatly trimmed porch towards the door, as he is about to knock he sees that the door is slightly open. Jay pushes open the door slightly to see “Her” laying on the couch in the living room. She has her headphones on, eyes closed. She is singing loudly, as if she was the only person in the world. “YOU TAKE THE HIGH ROAD, I TAKE THE LOW ROAD, AND WE’LL BOTH GO STRAIGHT TO HELL”. She was singing that damn Diversity Higher song again. Diversity Higher was a local group that “She” was obsessed with. “They are next to blow”, She would always say. Apparently, She had a pretty good hunch about these things. When She isn’t in school, She spends a lot her time scouring the internet looking for the hottest and latest trends. She prides herself on being ahead of the curve when it came to…well everything.

Jay creeps into the house slowly and sneaks over to the couch. He stands over her for a moment, admiring her long dark hair, her tanned, almost almond color skin and her long legs. Jay feels that he is lucky he she was even into him. They met at the Block House a little after Jay moved in with Raymond at a party that he was throwing. She stood out like a sore thumb, especially at that party. While she is considered to be a “Northern Hills” kid, she loves nothing more than to slum it in the city. She is attending college still, so her parents let her stay in the guest house on their property as they aren’t going to let their precious daughter live on campus in the city. Of course, she has to keep up a front, as her parents aren’t aware of her party life style, although they know she is friends with Jay. Her parents actually like Jay, they think that he is different from all the other “hood” kids that she brings in. For this reason alone, Jay is allowed to come and hang out with her on a regular basis. Maybe they think that she will bring a change in him.

“She” always tells jay that there was something “special” about him. Being that she is the trendy type, it only made sense that she keep him around…so that she could be ahead of the curve, of course. Their partnership evolved over time and after Jay moved to Rosemont, their relationship actually seemed to get stronger as he was now closer to her. Jay wouldn’t say they are dating, although they have hooked up few times her and there, mostly in between her relationships or when she is lonely. Things have gotten pretty heavy at various points in their friendship. She has feelings for him, but often feels that Jay is not a “Safe” choice for her right now. This is probably why she keeps him on a leash, he is who she really wants…but the kid is broke. Jay doesn’t really mind, though. He doesn’t really have anyone else in his life, she is one of the only people that truly cares for him, something that he is forever appreciative of.

Her light brown eyes flutter open, making contact with Jay. “Finally” she says as she gives a broad smile. She sits up, removes her headphones and wipes a wisp of hair from her face. “You smell like blunts, you were over at Raymond’s, huh?” Jay blinks a few times before sitting down on the couch next to her. She doesn’t really like Raymond. He tried to hook up with her on multiple occasions, even after Jay stepped into the picture. She knows that Jay hangs out with him often and she doesn’t really mind, except when it interferes with their hanging out time. “Whatever” She scoffs “I don’t own you”. She reaches over to the coffee tab and grabs the half burned joint from the ashtray, puts it in her mouth and lights it. A silence washes over the room. This is something that they are used to; they often sit together in silence and just enjoy each other’s presence and energy. She passes the joint over to Jay. He shakes his head as he turns down the offer. She might come from money but for some reason the weed she smokes most of the time is horrible and she refuses to cop that bomb from Raymond, probably because he would try and hit on her. She shrugs to herself, her weed might not be the best but it did the trick. She doesn’t smoke too often so pretty much everything gets her high. It’s the summertime now though, so she has been increasing her intake.

After a few moments of silence, She puts the rest of the joint out in the ashtray. She sits back on the the couch and sighs heavily. “I had a dream about you last night” She says, breaking the silence. Jay, who was staring off into infinity, breaks his trance and turns to her. “It was really weird” She continues. “You and I were in it, I think it took place way in the future because we looked much older. Things were…different. Almost kind of a post-apocalyptic dystopia or some shit, but you were some kind of leader or something, and I was your girl” she says somewhat excitedly. “It was kind of like a Mad Max movie, or that Tupac video from the 90’s”. Jay blinks at her, She always tells him weird dreams like this, but never anything about him and her being “together”. She looks down for a moment as she continues. “There was another part…We had a child…a little boy to be exact”. She looks up and tries to gauge Jay’s reaction to her statement. Jay stares back at her, but he is more looking “through her” than “at her”. He doesn’t really have much of a reaction.

“Would you ever want a kid?” She asks. Jay’s eyes go wide as he thinks about the question for a moment: He would probably be a good father. Although his died at an early age, he could see himself taking care of his own like a man should. He is too young to concern himself with all of that right now. He wants…and needs to focus on his music and nothing more. As if though she reads his mind, she quickly follows up “I think you would be a great father…if you didn’t smoke so much weed”. Jay finds it funny and hypocritical that she is talking shit about him smoking weed after JUST smoking her shitty ass bunk weed moments ago. He keeps the thought to himself, though…he didn’t want to argue right now. She sighs heavily and cuddles up against Jay, burrowing herself into the crook of his shoulder. “I would have a baby with you” she continues. “I think that we would make some dope looking kids”. Jay begins to stroke her hair. She is in between relationships right now, the last dude being some college bro douchebag with a lot of money. She is attracted to wealth, she likes to be pampered and taken care of. Jay wants to fill that role but he is barely scraping by with rent and bills. He knows that he is destined for great things, or at least that what everyone keeps telling him.

She is his muse, though. Often times, she gives him little bits of inspiration for songs here and there, and she really does enjoy all of his music. In fact, she is the only one that has his “album” that he is working on. As if almost on queue She chimes in “I’ve been listening to your album, it’s coming along very well”. She pauses for a moment then follows up “ I think something is hold you back, though…something is weighing you down.” Jay stops stroking her hair and he thinks about what she said. “When I look at you, I see great things. You are destined to fly, but you have to have to defy the laws of natures in order to do so. You can’t let weight of the world hold you down anymore” She rambles on, something that she tends to do when she is high. “FUCK gravity”. She sits up and stares directly into Jay’s eyes. “I believe in you, Jay. But sometimes I think that you don’t believe in yourself.” Jay returns the intensity of the stare, he know she is right…she normally is. “This show tomorrow will be the beginning of something beautiful and hopefully the end of some the things that have been holding you back”. She pauses for a moment “If you can’t believe in yourself, this will all be for nothing”. Jay grabs Her face and kisses her deeply. He wanted to do that since he got there…he also wants her to stop talking. She returns the kiss for a moment then breaks away “Ha, I was talking too much wasn’t I” she laughs. “You always try to kiss me when I ramble on”. Jay laughs to himself, she knows him pretty well. “Well” She continues “Let’s go to the bedroom and…take a nap”. She stands up and walks towards the hall, taking her shirt off in the process and tossing it aside. As she goes around the corner towards the bedroom door, she turns and gives Jay one of the most seductive stares Jay has seen in a while then proceeds to go into the bedroom. Jay quickly stands up, takes off his shoes and runs after Her. She laughs as he swoops her up and carries her into the bedroom, her infectious laugh causing them both to chuckle as they head into the bedroom. The laughs trail off as they close the door behind them, replaced by the sound of pleasure.

Chapter 4 - bulletproof
Jay’s eyes flutter open as he lies in the bed. It completely dark in the room save the moonlight beaming through Her bedroom window. He rubs his face and feels the indention marks left behind from his pillow. They have been sleeping for hours. Jay rolls over and sees Her lying next to her, dead asleep. She is completely naked; the blanket barely covers her beautiful skin. Jay grabs the blanket and puts it over her. She proceeds to nuzzle the blanket, clearly she was cold.

Jay smiles to himself, then turns and reaches down to grab his phone out his jeans. “5 missed phone calls” shines brightly in the dark room. Jay unlocks his screen and sees that all of the missed calls are from his roommate. Shit, Jay had completely forgotten about the Electric Bill. He didn’t push any work today, either, so he has zero dollars. He knows that his roommate is going be pissed. Jay thinks to himself for a moment, he will be getting paid for the show tomorrow…if he wins, maybe he could convince his roommate to let him slide until then. His roommate is actually a pretty nice guy: he is quiet and keeps to himself. He works as an account manager at some big corporation, Dynamation or something like that. He let Jay move in after he posted an article on craiglist. He knows that Jay was from a “seedier” area, but he knows that he is a good kid. The only issue they ever really have is when it comes down to paying bills. He is the type of kind that is considered “No-Nonsense” but will often give Jay a break. He resorts to passive aggressive methods to get Jay’s attention, although recently he has been more direct. Jay knows that he is going to be livid.

Jay quietly sneaks out of bed and puts on his clothes. It is almost midnight, Jay figures that he should go ahead and head home now so that he can catch his roommate in the morning. He walks over to Her side of the bed, bends over and gently kisses her on the forehead. He then heads out the door. Once outside, Jay takes a moment to enjoy the somewhat cool breeze blowing. During the summer, nights are actually quite pleasant especially compared to the blistering heat of the day. Jay sticks his headphones in his ear and queues up hops on his skateboard and proceeds towards home.

Jay wanders toward his house in his own zone as one of his favorite songs “La Dolce Vita”, plays loudly in his ear. A series of greys and purple beams of light fill the sky, riding along with Jay to the melodies. As he gets closer to his home street, Jay notices a black Cadillac parked on the corner of Rosemont up the street from his house. Jay recognizes the car immediately: It’s Stank’s.. Stank normally chills on the south side of the city, for him to be this far north is really odd. Jay feels a wave of anxiousness wash over him as he begins to wonder why Stank was on Rosemont. Jay is pretty sure that Ray and Stank got into earlier today when Ray was on the computer, as their beef has been getting pretty serious. Jay knows that if Stank sees him, he will probably confront him about Ray. As Jay gets closer he notices that there are three other men in the car with Stank…probably other members of M.U.C.

Jay has to make a choice, he can go around but that will take another hour or so. It’s not that he afraid of Stank but rather the fact he is vastly out numbered. Stank is probably strapped too, he has already been to jail a few times and is suspected in a couple of drive bys on the southside. Stank is the type of guy to “shoot first, ask questions later”. Jay takes this into consideration as he proceeds to move up the street in an attempt to go around. Just then, the lights of the Cadalac turn on, shining across the street…directly on Jay. The quiet air is filled with the sound of a honking horn. “HEY!” yells Stank from his car “JAY! Is that you nigga?! Come here. Stank continues to blare on his horn, waving his hand out the window.

Jay pauses. He thinks to himself, he can run. Maybe hop a few fences, lose them in the neighborhood. No, they would probably just wait him out. Jay decides to take to diplomatic approach and walks across the street towards the Cadillac.

“LIL NIGGA” Yells Stank, his green eyes reflecting in the moonlight. The ladies always found his light colored eyes against his dark skin to be attractive. “Whatchu up, tonight?” he continues. As Jay gets closer he could smell the freshly light blunt being passed around. Jay creeps slower to the car and remains silent. “What’s wrong lil nigga, giving me the silent treatment?” smirks Stank. “That’s cool, I just wanted to give your bitch ass message”. The blunt gets passed to Stank, he takes a long drag and proceeds to blow a giant cloud of smoke into Jay’s face. The smell of the blunt and the old Hennessey on his breath was enough to make Jay sick. Jay coughs and backs up a little bit. He is feeling a little nervous about the situation. He wants to run but its too late for that. He decides to stand his ground and moves back to the car.

“I want you to tell that mother fucker D-ray, that if he EVER mentions my name in his mouth again. He is fucking done.” He spits angrily. “That goes for the internet, on the streets; to his mom…I don’t give a fuck. I already smack up his punk ass the last time I saw him and that was me being nice.” Stank reaches under the seat and pulls out a black, gold plated 50 caliber desert eagle. He points the gun directly into Jay’s face. “You see this mother fucker?” He continues. “This is my favorite toy and I have been itching to use it.” Jay freezes; he never had a gun pointed in face before. He is surprisingly less afraid than he thinks. He isn’t afraid of death, he is more afraid of the idea that he will leave this world before he has a chance to do what he is supposed to. He takes a deep breath and looks directly into Stank’s cold green eyes. “Oh you a tough lil nigga, aren’t you.” Laughs Stank. He slowly pulls away the gun and puts it back under his seat. “I heard that you competing in the contest tomorrow night…against me” Snickers Stank. Jay blink, he actually wasn’t aware that Stank would be competing in the competition too but it makes sense. Who would pass up a chance at five thousand dollars and a distribution deal? “If you or Ray even fucking look at me during the show, I’m going to blast the both of you bitches” threatens Stank. Jay continues to stare at Stank. Stank notices that Jay is unwavering “I like you…you are brave, lil nigga. Maybe you should just ride with M.U.C. and tell that bitch ass nigga D-Ray to jet.” Stank says with a slightly friendlier pitch in his tone. Jay remains expressionless but runs Stank’s words through is head; joining M.U.C. would actually be a great look for him. The exposure would be huge and with him being a new artist, it really could set the course for something huge. On the other side of the coin, Stank is a fucking dick and D-Ray is his boy, there really is no way that he could turn his back on him after all they had been through. Jay shakes his head and begins to turn around. “I’ll take that as a no. I hope you remember this conversation when your broke ass is asking niggas if they “want fries with that” laughs Stank, his voice changing back to aggressive cadence.

Stank laughs as he rolls up the window and turns on his radio. The bass is so loud, Jay can feel it in his chest as a bright, almost distorted, red energy fills the starry sky. He couldn’t even tell what song it was because the bass was so loud…a constant rumble piercing through the quiet summer night. The Cadillac proceeds to speed off, screeching its tires in the process. As the car speeds down Rosemont, Stank rolls down his window, takes his gun and proceeds to shoot three shots in the air. This startles Jay as he is still standing where he was before he left. He knows that he has to tell D-Ray, now. Jay pulls out his phone texts D-Ray “I just saw that nigga, Stank”. Almost immediately D-Ray texts back “What did that bitch say” Jay replies “He said don’t ever mention his name again, and then put his Desert Eagle in my face”. D-ray replied a little slower this time “You need to get over here….now!”

Jay thinks for a moment, it is almost 1 o’ clock and he still needed to talk to his roommate about the rent situation. He knows that Raymond is just going to talk a bunch of shit and yell for the next hour while smoking a copious amount of blunts. He also knows that if doesn’t go over there right now, he won’t hear the end of it. Jay sighs to himself, looks to his phone and loads up “Midnight Train”, hops on his skateboard and pushes his way back to the Block House leaving a trail of purple and gold energy in his wake.


Jay arrives to Raymond’s door a little after 1:30. He can hear the heavy bassline thumping through the door. As he goes to knock on the door, Raymond answers the door. “About time, nigga” He pulls Jay into the apartment. Music is blasting through the house, Jay knows from the black and silver colors flying around the room that the song is “Twelve Dollars”. Across the room, the same girl from earlier is at the table rolling up another blunt, as one sits in her mouth. “These niggas don’t know who they are fucking with dog” continues Raymond. “They want to pull a gun on my nigga? Make threats to me and team? Nah son, I don’t play that shit.” Raymond walks over to his desktop computer. “These niggas over at AZSource keep deleting all of my post. I think one of those M.U.C. fools is a moderator on the site”. Raymond begins to type furiously on the keyboard as he mumbles to himself. Jay feels a wave of nervousness wash over him. Is Raymond really going to continue to make threats to Stank after all that just happened? As if though he read Jay’s mind Raymond speaks up “Nig, I know you are worried…but I got your back. We shouldn’t be afraid of no damn guns… we are bulletproof”. Jay isn’t quite sure what the hell he means by that statement. “Besides” Ray continues “I have some protection myself”. Ray reaches under his desk and pulls out a 9mm Glock and smiles to himself. “I just got this the other day, It’s something that I’ve been meaning to get, especially after that last robbery”. He looks at the gun admiringly before he puts it on the desk next to his keyboard.

Jay doesn’t know how to respond. Jay hates guns: he lost his father to one and few of the homies throughout the years. However, Jay understands the necessity of one, especially on this side of town. Jay shakes his head as he walks across the room and sits at the table next to the girl. She hands him the blunt and continues to roll the other one. She gives him a quick glance almost as if they both understand how stupid Raymond can be sometimes. “Tomorrow is going to change a lot of shit for everybody” Raymond says as he moves towards the table. “The whole city is going to be there, I heard there might even be some label executives in the building. Who knows what’s gonna happen, mang. This could be our time to shine.” He reaches over and grabs the blunt from Jay, hits and blows a huge cloud it the air. “If that nigga Stank tries to stop us from shining, it will be the last thing does, bet.” He chokes out through the smoke. “I hope you are ready with that new music, killa”. Jay blinks for a second, with all that was going today, he had completely forgotten about practicing his music. He glances at his watch…it’s almost 3 in the morning now. Jay stands up and heads towards the door. “You out, nigga?” Ray asks in a hazy tone. Cleary the weed is setting in. Jay nods briefly on without stopping or looking at Ray. He is over Raymond’s bullshit for the day and he is ready for some sleep. “Alright, Nigga. I’ll catch you on the flip then.” Jay exits the apartment to the cool night air. He loads up another song from his playlist, takes a deep sigh and begins his trek back to Rosemont to gets some much needed sleep.
Chapter 5 - Blast OFF
The smell of pancakes and eggs wafts across Jay’s nose as he lies in bed, this startles him as he knows there is absolutely NO food in the house. Jay hops out of bed and throws on a pair of jeans, he cautiously heads towards the kitchen. Maybe his roommate made breakfast, Jay didn’t get a chance to talk to him last night about the rent, but maybe he was in a good mood. Jay slowly peeks his head around the kitchen corner to see Her standing at the stove with her back turned. Her long brown hair cascaded down the back of her pink halter top, just barley touching the top of her short white jeans shorts that complimented her wide but seductive hips. To no surprise, She has her headphones on again humming to herself as she cooks up some eggs in the frying pan. Jay wonders how she got in as he stares at her swaying her hips back and forth. As he watches her intensely, he begins to see a barely noticeable blue light surrounding Her. He blinks for a moment as he studies the light, which begins to flicker brighter for a brief second before fading away for entirely. Jay has no idea what he just saw, he normally only see energy when associated with music, he has never see it surrounding a person before…at least he doesn’t think so.

She turns around and smiles as she sees Jay. “Hey there, Tiger” She smirks. “Nice to finally see you awake”. As she takes off her headphones, Jay can hear the music blaring from the earbuds and wonders how she isn’t deaf. Jay notices a blue energy blasting out of the tiny headphone, he analyzes as it trails out before his concentration is broken by Her. “I ran into your roommate…Mike, I think he said his name was, and he let me in. He was pretty pissed at you” She continues. “He kept babbling about you owing him the money for some bill. So I gave him some money to shut him the fuck up and he let me in.” Jay’s eyes widened, did she really just pay his bill for him? He really didn’t know what to say. As Jay goes to open his mouth she interrupts him “Don’t even try to thank me, Jay”. “You have helped out a lot over the years, I mean you didn’t pay any of my bills or anything but you were always THERE, you know?” She continues with a softer tone, her voice slightly breaking. “I really care for you, Jay, and I want you to know that I will always be there for anything, even if its paying some stupid bill”. She turns around real quick, grabs the pan off the stove and slides the eggs on to a plate on the counter with pancakes on it. She places the plate in front of Jay on the nook where he was standing. “Or making you breakfast” She winks, returning back to her bubbly tone.


Jay shakes his head, there is no use arguing with Her over this. He takes a bite from the plate of food then walks over to the table where some weed broken up on the table. He must have missed it when he left yesterday. He packs the weed in the pipe on the table then walks back over to Her. He pecks her on the cheek as he hands Her the pipe and a lighter. She smiles to herself, takes a hit and immediately starts coughing. This weed was infinitely stronger than the weed she normal smokes. “Shit” She coughs out. “I’m going to be high as fuck”. Jay laughs to himself, he knows that he is in for some serious rambling. He walks back over to his plate and keeps eating. ”Fuck” She continues “I got shit to do today” Her eyes getting redder by the second. She walks over to the couch and sits down. “Come sit next to me” She says as she pats the couch cushion of Jay’s Roommate nice brown couch. Jay takes another bite from his plate and walks over to the couch. He lays his head on her lap and stretches his legs out. She strokes his hair as she looks off into space, She hasn’t been this high in a very long time. “I know you think I’m gonna talk your ear off, but I think I’m too high for that” She says quietly. “I just want to say good luck tonight. As she speaks, Jay notices the blue light surrounding her again, still faint and flickering “I have a feeling that what special that is hiding inside of you will be revealed tonight for the world to see. I can’t wait to see it happen”. Jay looks up in Her eyes. She is his muse, if she is going to be there then everything will be okay...he thinks. “I know you have a lot to do before the show tonight, so do I” She continues. “But is there any way that we can just sit here in silence for a little bit? I’m really liking this vibe right now.” This surprises Jay, she must be really high. Jay smirks to himself at the thought: maybe he should get her to smoke his weed more often. The blue light surrounding her begins to fade away again until it is gone entirely. Still confused by what he is seeing, he chooses to ignore in lieu of the peaceful silence. Jay sighs and begins to nuzzle up to Her, if She wants to sit in silence he is going to take a little nap before the show.


*********

Jay, Raymond, his roommate chick and Her walk up to the large building serving as the venue for the concert. There is already a line wrapped around the venue and it starts in about an hour or so. It looks like the entire city is showing up for this event. The muffled bass booms loud from the building. It must be the DJ spinning to get the crowd warmed up. Jay feels nervous but excited; he had a chance to practice some of his new material and the songs with Raymond. His part of the show is a small but vital one: add a guest verse to Raymond’s track and then debut his new single at the end of the set.

Jay eyes the people standing in line, some of the faces look familiar, he knows that he sold some “work” to a few of them. Jay turns to look at Her, she is dressed to kill. She is wearing a Black dress with some kind of X cross thing in the back and a pair of high heels that made Her almost as tall as Jay. As they make their way towards the entrance, Jay notices Stank and the rest of the M.U.C. click coming out of the corner. “Fuck, here we go” says Roommate Girl. Ray turns and makes eye contact. He immediately goes into action “Oooh, look at this bitch” He says coyly towards Stank. Stank turns to his squad “You and you come with me, the rest of you go inside and get ready for the show, I need to take care of this bitch”. Several of the members nod and make their way towards the front entrance. The security guard nervously lets them in, he is a big guy but he isn’t going to try and start shit. He pulls out his walkie talkie and mutters something into it as he eyes Stank walking towards Raymond and Jay.

“I’m so sick of you” Yells Stank. “This shit needs to end now.” Raymond yells back “I agree, mother fucker. All you DO is stay holding me down. Why? Huh, because I fucked your sister?” Jay’s eyes go wide, this is new information to him. “I gave you the world, you little piece of shit” Stank angrily retorts “You could have fucked any bitch in this town but you decide to fuck my sister? That goes against the code” Stank’s fist begin to ball up. “I had feelings for her man, I would have done her right, and you didn’t even give me the chance” Raymond snaps back, his breathing increasing in intensity. “Done her right?” Laughs back Stank “How can a broke nigga from the Block House with NO future do MY sister right? You are out your fucking mind.” Raymond screams and lunges at Stank. Stank’s two goons side swipe Raymond before he can touch Stank, knocking him to the ground. Jay, Her and Roommate Girl run to Raymond’s side and help him. Stank Laughs “Nigga, you really think that you can hit ME?” Stank yells “I RUN THIS FUCKING TOWN! I’M THE BOSS, YOU ARE NOT SHIT”. Jay can feel the anger rising in him and he turns to look at Her. She is breathing heavy as well, a fire building her eyes. “Do you think that some broke new nigga and some wannabe hood bitch from Northern Hills is going to protect you” Continues Stank. Those words set of Jay in a burst of fury, you can call him whatever you want but you can’t talk about his girl like that. Jay springs up from helping Raymond up and barrels through Stank’s goons, knocking Stank to the ground. Jay proceeds to punch Stank in the face several times before he his hit in the head by one of the goons. The other goon then grabs Jay, tosses him to the ground and follows quickly with a swift kick to the ribs. She starts screaming as the goons encircle Jay and proceed to kick him some more. Stank stands up slowly and walks over to the melee. He pulls out his Desert Eagle from his jacket and yells “STOP!”. At this point everyone in the line is watching the event go down, the security guard is on his walkie talkie again, maybe calling for back up.

Stank walks over to Jay, stands over and points the gun to his face. Jay is in a lot of pain, his head is hurting and his ribs were definitely bruised. As he looks up to Stank he sees a black, almost evil energy swirling around him. Jay turns to look at his goons and see the same dark aura surrounding. Jay is too out of it to comprehend what he is seeing at the moment, plus there is a gun a in face. Stank begins to yell “That was a good shot, mother fucker” he spits some blood onto the ground next to him. He is talking softer now, so that only Jay and the goons can hear him. “You know, I should shoot you right were you lay, you piece of shit.” He cocks back the hammer “But you know what, I think that I’m going to give you one more chance to live.” He smiles as he continues to point the gun in Jay’s face. “ I like you, I think that…”

Just then a shot rings out through the night. Stank’s eyes look huge as a look of shock washes over his face. He looks over and sees Raymond holding his 9mm glock straight up in the air. The people in line begin to scream and scatter. Jay looks on, mouth agape and still in a daze from the brutal kicks of Stank’s men; the black energy that surrounded them had disappeared instantly at the sound of the gunfire. “LEAVE HIM ALONE, MOTHER FUCKER” yells Raymond as he points the gun towards Stank and his men. “Back away, now.” He continues. She and Roommate stare at Raymond dumbfounded but also relieved that he may have saved Jay. Stank laughs “Oh you bad now? You got a gun, but are you willing to shoot it?” Stank turns and points the gun at Raymond “Because I know I am”.

The very next moment the sound of sirens and police fill the air. Raymond quickly tosses his gun aside and watches it as it slides under a nearby car. Stank, taken off guard by the police can do nothing but his hands up. Jay is still lying on his back staring into the sky as the sound resonating from the building pumps a white and yellow energy into the night sky. “Fuck!” yells stank as the 3 cop cars pull up and surround the group. “PUT YOUR FUCKING HANDS UP, STANK” An officer yells over the intercom on his car. “WE KNOW IT WAS YOU SHOOTING THE GUN OFF”. Just then 4 other officers spring from the cars and rush Stank and his men, knocking the gun out of his hand. They tackle them to the ground and hold their guns on them. “You are going to jail, tonight” smirks one of them. “I didn’t shoot the gun!” Yells Stank. “Ha!” laughs back one of the officers as he throws a pair of handcuffs on Stank, “You have multiple warrants and you are carrying without a permit, we could really give a fuck if you did or not. You are going away for a long time, but it might help you street cred”

Raymond, Her, and Roommate girl run over to help Jay up. “We got to get out of her before they haul us off, too” Says Raymond as he picks up Jay. They proceed to run to the entrance of the venue where the security guard is standing there talking to a man in a suit. As they approach them, the man in the suit speaks up. “There is no way I’m letting that mother fucker in here tonight!” he waves his finger towards Raymond. “I saw you with that gun, mother fucker. There is no way you are walking through those doors”. Raymond looks shocked. “I’m supposed to compete in the competition tonight!” He yells. “You can’t do that”. “I own this fucking building and I’m the one running the contest, you little shit” The suited man Snaps back “Maybe you should have thought about that before you fired a gun off in front a crowded venue”. Jay is still a little out of it from the fight but the realization begins to sink in. Would they not be performing tonight? “What about him?” Says Raymond, pointing his finger towards Jay. The manager looks him over one time. “He looks a little beat up but he not shooting off guns and shit, so yeah he is fine” replies the manager.

Raymond turns to Jay, “Bro, you gotta do your song. We can still win this!”. Jay’s eyes widened. Is Raymond is really asking him to go on stage by himself and try and win this contest. Jay was speechless as he feels himself get nervous. “Jay, you are ready man. You were always ready. You are the captain of this space ship now and it’s time to blast off.” Raymond continues in attempt to motivate Jay. Jay still isn’t sure, though. He looks over to “Her”, she was staring at him intently, waiting for an answer. Finally after as few seconds, she speaks up. “He will do” she says as she walks over to Jay. She looks deep in his eyes. “You will do it.” She says with a certain conviction that Jay has never heard before. Jay stares back into her eyes for a moment, then closes them and he nods. “Fuck yeah!” yells Raymond. “You got this shit”. He hands Jay a USB drive. “Your one song is better than anything I have heard. If you perform it, you will win, mang. I’ll be waiting outside with a blunt” Jay takes a deep breath as he grabs the USB drive. He turns and looks to Her again. “It’s time to go” She says softly as she takes his hands. Jay sighs deeply as they both walk into the venue.

Chapter 6 - Howlayuah
The Arena is packed. It is surprising that they didn’t shut things down after the gunshot went off but then again it is very possible that they just didn’t hear it. Jay can see the huge stage, with an act already performing. The speakers were blaring out some trapped out synthesizer garbage and was emitting some ugly green and yellow energy to an unpleased crowd. The audience begins to grow restless as the rapper continues to mumble over the horrible production. Boos begin to rise and eventually begin to fill the entire arena. The Rapper stops rapping, drops the mic and runs off stage. The judges on the side of the stage begin to laugh to themselves as they all hold up “0” for their scorecards. Jay gulps to himself, he definitely doesn’t want to get booed off stage. As if She feels his energy, She squeezes his hands as they make their way to the backstage area. When they approach the entrance they see the show order list of performers posted on a clipboard on the wall. She approaches the clipboard and mumbles to herself. “Good News and Bad News.” She speaks. “Good news, You are going on last, that is going to give you some time prepare.” She pauses then continues. “The Bad News is that you are going on right after M.U.C.” Jay tensed up a bit. It is certain that majority of the people in the crowd were there to see M.U.C. they were the most popular group in the city. However, with Stank getting locked up earlier tonight, they will definitely be less effective. It’s like watching D12 without Eminem or the Rolling Stones with Mick Jagger. Jay knows that the crowd will be upset that Stank is not there and that is going to make for a tough act to follow. Jay nods to Her as they make their way backstage.

The show was an interesting one to watch, most of the talent was pretty bad and while there were few exceptions there was a clear line between “Really good” and “Really Bad”. The judges base their scores on a scale of 1-10, most of the acts are averaging a 4-5 and it is actually looking pretty good for Jay. Throughout the night, Jay pays closer and closer attention to the audience. As he does he begins to notice something, a faint aura of color surrounding them. Some of the people in the crowd have a yellow aura, some green, some red, essentially the entire spectrum of rainbow exists amongst the crowd. As the night continues, he notices that the colors are changing. The energy of the music was flowing into their auras and mixing the colors. Suddenly, everything clicks for Jay: The colors he has been seeing all of his life through music was the same energy that controls our auras and our very souls. This is why we are drawn to music, it helps us control our feelings, out thoughts and our very being. Jay watches closer as the watches the puke green energy of the rapper’s music flow from the speakers into judges sitting across from him. They are all surrounded by a puke green tint in their aura, and clearly they were not pleased with the music. Jay turns and looks to the crowd, their aura too begins to turn puke green as boos began to rise amongst them.

Jay turns to Her. She is surrounded in an illuminated blue light, the same one from early and Jay’s house only the light is much brighter. Her aura almost pulsates off of her as she stares at the stage, unfazed by the crowd’s yellow energy. She notices Jay staring at her “Is everything okay” She smiles at him as the energy swirls faster around her. She reaches out to grab Jay’s hand, as she does the blue energy almost explodes out her, radiating the entire room with a cool blue hue. Jay is shocked as She is literally glowing in front “Don’t be nervous, you got this.” She continues. She squeezes his hand. At that moment Jay looks down notices the blue energy travel from Her hand to his, encasing him in a tornado of blue energy. Suddenly, the nervousness that Jay felt earlier washes away, the blue light is almost warming from the inside out. Jay smiles to himself, she really is his muse. Jay turns, grabs Her by face and kisses her deeply.

Just then, the crowd roars to the sound of M.U.C. coming to the stage. Jay breaks the kiss with her and turns to watch the show. 6 men all dressed in black come to the stage, to the sound of loud bass and heavy synths. Jay notices the Dark red and black energy firing out of the speakers into the crowd. The energy almost immediately changes the entire crowd’s aura of deep red. “GOTTA GET YO MONEY UP!” one of the men raps to the audience, right on the cue, the crowd chants back “GOTTA GET YO MONEY UP”. Crowd seems hypnotized by The Money Up Gang’s music, the red and black energy flying through the crowd as the colors intensify, leaving a deep reddish hue through the entire arena. Even She is succumbing the effects of the music, as the blue light begin to bleed red energy She starts swaying back and forth to the beat. Jay sees that something isn’t right here. She NEVER fucks with M.U.C. there was something about this song that was almost like…mind control. Jay looks over to the judges to see them bobbing their heads and tapping their feet, a deep red energy surrounds them. All of the judges seemed to be out of it, they all have a glazed over look in their eyes as they look onward towards to baggy jeans clad men dancing around in front of them.

Crowd continues to sway, the light of their auras only getting dark and more sinister. Suddenly, one of the members of the group on stage yells “Cut the music!” The Dj abruptly stops the music and looks on the audience. “The mutha fuckin’ police arrested out boy Stank earlier today!” He continues. The crowd begins to boo, Jay notices the black and red energy swirling like a tornado as the congregation grew angrier. “We are sick and tired of this shit! What are going to about it?” At this point, the crowd yells angrily back at the M.U.C. members. Jay watches the red and black energy swell as members of the audience begin to yell obscenities and throw garbage on stage. The M.U.C. members all take a bow as they walk off stage. The crowd is now at a fever pitch as they chant “Fuck the Police!” over and over again. The Host walks on stage to the rabid congregation, picks up the microphone and speaks sternly “Calm down! Calm Down! We don’t need a riot in here!” The audience continues to toss trash as they being to boo, causing the Host to run off stage towards Jay. “Hey man, you got to get out there and perform, maybe it will calm them down.” He speaks urgently.

Jay stares at the Host for a moment before looking on towards Her. The red energy is still swirling around the light blue energy but it hasn’t completely encompassed her. He turns back to the Host and nods. Jay then walks over to her, grabs her face and waist, and kisses her deeply, she repsonds by going almost limp in his arms. As he pulls back he notices the blue light swirling brightly, completely wiping out the remain red energy. She looks upon Jay’s dark eyes and smiles “I think you are ready now”. She composes herself as she pulls away from Jay. “You know what you have to do…so do it.” Jay nods and walks out to the stage.

As Jay gets to the center of the stage he sees a sea of red and black energy swirling amongst 5000 people, pulsating and illuminating as the crowd continued their chants and angry cries. They barely even notice the lone Jays standing on stage as he picks up the microphone. Jay looks on as he takes a deep breath, gently puts his finger to his lip and ever so softly releases “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh” into the microphone. As he does, he begins to notice a blue energy trickle out of the speakers as if though it was a heavy smoke, washing over the crowd as it begins to engage the red energy. Some of the audience members stop what they are doing and turn their attention towards Jay, as other stop their booing. The blue energy continues to move through the crowd as Jay notices that he is actually calming the crowd…but he needs more. Jay turns to the sound man on the side of the stage and nods. He sighs heavily as the song begins. Light blue energy begins to barrel out of the speakers, hitting the crowd and the red energy with a huge impact. As Jay performs the song and dances across the stage, he watches as the two energy engage in a heated battle, the blue energy slowly overtaking the red as more and more of the audience begin to pay attention to Jay. By the middle of the song, the blue energy has almost completely overtaken the red as the once red sea of energy slowly succumbs to the sky blue light coming from Jay’s music. Jay can almost feel the blue energy battling the red light while he moves across the stage with grace.

A final blue starry mist floats through the crowd as the song ends with a beautiful, melodic violin solo. A brief silence washes over the audience for a moment as they all stare at Jay, who is standing in the middle of the stage in awe. Suddenly the blue mist explodes in a ball of energy, filling the arena as the crowd explodes into cheers! Jay smiles to himself as he looks over to the judges, who are standing as they applaud Jay. Still in shock, Jay shuffles off stage towards Her, who is completely ecstatic. “You did it!” She yells as she runs to embrace him in a hug. “I think you got this in bag, Jay!” Jay nods back, he agrees with her, but it’s not really up to him anymore. Just then the Host runs out to the stage and grabs the microphone. “Ooooooooooh!” He yells. “That was incredible, we didn’t see that coming now did we?” He asks the audience, who roars in an approving response. The Host continues “Looks like the judges have a tough one to work out! I’m gonna leave it to them and we will back with a winner soon!” He drops the mic and jogs off stage towards Jay. “Hey man, that was great! Good shit” He says without stopping as he continues towards the dressing room.

Just then a man in a black suit with slicked back dark hair approached Jay and Her. “Hey, that was you on stage right?” He quickly blurts out. Before Jay has a chance to respond the man continues “That was great performance, man. My name is Chase and I am an A&R for Takeover Records and I’m going to get right to the point.” Chase is firing off words at the speed of light. “I want you on the team; we need someone like you on our label to help our…agenda.” He pulls a sheet of paper from his jacket sleeve. “I have a million dollar distribution contract right here in my hand; all you have to do is sign. M.U.C. already did early tonight after their set.” Jay looks at the record contract then stares at the man for a moment. As he does he begins to notice a black and red energy surrounding him, similar to energy he saw M.U.C. with early that night. Something didn’t feel right about this man. She must have read Jay mind because She chimes in with “…and why would we just sign a piece of paper without reading it first.” She turns to Jay “Don’t be dumb and sign that right now.” The suited man looks over at Her and smirks “Listen, whore. I was talking to him, not you.” As the man said this he notices the dark energy surge for moment. The man reaches out and hands Jay the contract. Jay grabs the contract and pen and looks it over. This is his dream scenario; a million dollars and a record deal? This is even better than winning the contest! He would be set for awhile and he could finally have to money to take care of Her.

“Don’t do it.” Her voice breaks through Jay thoughts. “You don’t know what’s in that contract and god knows that this man is tool” She continues giving a sinister glance towards the man. Jay looks toward her and see her blue energy swirling brightly around her. The same blue energy Jay used on stage early. Jay gazes deeply into Her eyes and sees something that he had never quite seen before. He can’t explain it but he knows that things are different between them now, it’s almost as if she has known the whole time. Jay sighs and turns towards Chase. Chase stares back at him “Don’t do this Jay. It would be not only in your best interests but in everyone else’s too if you would just sign the contract” His tone is much more stern now, almost threatening. Jay shakes his and proceeds to rip the contract up, throwing it Chase’s face. Chase shakes his head as he laughs “You are a fucking fool, Jay. And now you are doomed.” The Chase turns and walks away. He heads straight for the judges, once he gets there he whispers something into one of the judges’ ear. The judge looks at him for moment before shaking his head and turning to the other judges to talk to them. Chase gives Jay one more glance before flashing a suspicious smile and disappearing into the shadows backstage.

“I wonder what that was about.” She says. Jay wonders too, but he has a pretty good idea of what just happened. It would only be a few moments before his suspicions are confirmed as the Host returns to the stage. “Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we have a mutha fuckin’ winner ya’ll.” He yells into the mic. The Host slowly begins to open the envelope as he continues. “…and the winner is.” He says as he pulls the piece of paper out of the envelope and brings it to his face, he blinks for a moment before he reluctantly announces the winner “um….M.U.C.!”. The crowd erupted into a combination of boos and cheers as Jay notices the blue energy that once calmly surrounded the audience becoming swarmed by the same dark energy from energy. “Bullshit!” She yells. “This shit was rig! That guy told the judges not to vote for you”. Jay looks at her and notices the dark energy beginning to surround her to. Her grabs her and hugs her tightly, as if he is trying to contain the blue energy physically, funny enough it seems to be working. “I’m sorry, baby.” She continues “Let’s get out of here.” Jay nods as he looks to the stage one more time to M.U.C. accepting the prize. He shakes his head and puts his arm around her as they begin to walk out towards the entrance.

Jay is angry but there is nothing he can do about it. He has been given the short end of the stick time and time again and this time wasn’t any different. He knows this has to change, but something is different this time around. That man Chase was a part of something evil. The energy that was surrounding him was from a dark, manipulative place. Jay knew that nothing good would have come from signing that contract, even if he did just turn down a million dollars and blew winning the contest. As they get outside they see Raymond anxiously waiting. Jay notices a yellow energy that he had never noticed before surrounding him. “Did you do it, my nigga?” He asks. Jay doesn’t want to disappoint Ray; he knew that he had a lot riding on this contest. Jay just shakes his head. Seeing that Jay wasn’t trying to talk to Ray, She speaks up “the shit was rigged, man. Jay should have won that” She reaches down and grabs Jay hand, giving a quick squeeze as she does. Raymond shake his head “It’s alright, brother” He says with a softer tone now. “I know that you probably lay that shit down proper, no worries over here.” He walks over and pats Jay on the shoulder. Jay looks at Raymond and nods. He really did appreciate that but there was so much more on his mind now: The true meaning behind the lights and energy he has been seeing for years, the man in the suit, the dark energy that surrounded him and M.U.C. and the way it effected the crowd; it is all connected somehow. Jay feels a wave of uneasiness wash over him as he realizes that something big might be on the horizon and no one really knows.

Just then Jay hears the sound of small voice “Excuse me, sir”. Jay turns towards the entrance to see a young child, maybe 11 or 12 looking up at Jay. Jay is in awe; the child is surrounded in a beautiful gold and platinum light, one that Jay has never seen before. Jay is stunned as the young boy continues, “I just wanted to say that your performance was amazing. I have never seen or felt anything like that before in my life” The boy continued to speak meekly as the gold and platinum light pulsated around him. “I feel like I just saw the beginning of something incredible. I feel like you are destined for great things, sir. You make me think I can do great things too. I was wondering if I could have your autograph?”. The boy reaches in his pocket and pulls out a piece of paper and marker and hands it to Jay. Jay smiles as he takes the paper and begins signs his name, this is the first time he has ever done this. The boy continues “If you could make it out to “MAX” that would be awesome.” The boy excitedly watches as Jay finishes the autograph. He hands Max back the piece of paper. Max folds it delicately and places it in his wallet. “This is going to be worth something, some day, I know it! Thank you so much! I have to go, my mom is waiting for me!” He squeals as he runs off down the street, leaving a trail of bright, beautiful gold and silver trails in his wake.

“That was cute.” She says “You really inspired that kid. Who knows, you may have changed his life, tonight.” Just then it hits Jay as he realizes what he needs to do. He suddenly begins to walk towards Rosemont. “Hey!’ She yells. “Where are you going?”. Jay stops and turns around for a moment. He sees the bright blue energy pulsating from Her, as well as the bright yellow energy radiating from energy. He smiles as he realizes that these two people care for him more than anyone else in the world and this mission that he is about to embark on is one hundred percent because of them. He walks back to Her, grabs her face and kisses her deeply. He pulls away and looks into her eyes. “I have some work to do.” Jay says, his deep voice radiating calmly. “It’s about time that I fight for what I love, before it’s too late.” Jay turns to Raymond and offers him a fist to pound. “I have to go finish what I am destined to do.” Jay turns and begins to head back towards Rosemont, hoping to finally fulfill his long awaited destiny. ​​​​​​​
Epilogue - The Cherish 

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