Hello. This is another Jimmy-background story. I wrote sort of one before, but didn't ever say where Jimmy came from. This story tells of Jimmy's early life as well as when he met Mr. Hayes. Also, I thought it would be interesting to have this written more through Jimmy's eyes than through Mr. Hayes', since that's what my other one was. It's still 3rd person, but it follows Jimmy's thoughts and feelings more than anyone elses. I've got a few chapters already written, but I haven't completed the story yet. I will though, so don't worry about that. :) So read this chapter if you'd like, review it, and I'll post the next chapter shortly. I hope you like it.
Jimmy had never known his father. His mother didn't really talk about him. She mentioned him a few times, but never in a way which would suggest he was a good man. Occasionally she would say something about him abandoning them or him being a coward, but most of the time she would try not to mention him at all. Judging by his mother's words and his lack of any memories of the man, Jimmy assumed his father had either left before he was born or while he was still too young to remember him.
So Jimmy spent the first six years of his life living in New York without a father. He and his young mother had only each other. His mother couldn't get a descent job, as she was young, inexperienced, and had quite a temper when someone tried to manipulate her. While his mother managed to keep a job for a while every now and then, she was not one to be taken advantage of, and would quit jobs frequently when one of her employers was too unfair towards her. Jimmy couldn't find a job either, though by the age of six he was already an expert in thievery. Oftentimes the two of them would have to survive only off whatever she and young Jimmy could manage to steal.
She had gotten pregnant when she was fourteen years old, and by the time Jimmy was born, she had just turned fifteen. Jimmy's father was likely young as well, and scared by the thought of having to raise a child, he fled either when he learned of the pregnancy or when he had enough of taking care of Jimmy after he had been born. Either way, now Jimmy and his mother lived without the assistance of a father for Jimmy. They were forced to fend for themselves in the cruel streets of New York.
Presently, Jimmy's mother was employed by a large man whom Jimmy called Rick. Jimmy didn't know exactly what his mother did, but he knew it was her job, and he knew Rick was her boss. She informed Jimmy that he was to respect Rick no matter what, because her job was important.
"I'm going to try to keep this job this time, Jimmy," she had told him, "we are both going to have to respect my boss, even if sometimes we don't want to. We'll have enough money this way. So even if he says something mean, don't get mad, okay?"
Jimmy nodded in agreement. His mother had been employed by some very vile men in the past. She had always eventually yelled at them and quit, telling Jimmy they would find a different way to earn money. Jimmy trusted his mother. She wasn't perfect, of course. Sometimes when she was under too much stress she would act grumpy and would even yell at him for the tiniest things, but would always apologize afterward. Jimmy understood she was having a hard time with her work and with life in general, so he always forgave her. He knew she loved him, and he trusted that she would find a way to earn money. If she wanted him to respect her new boss, he would do just that.
When Jimmy's mother had to work, she left Jimmy either at their residence, where they were living illegally with another family; a man, Paul and his two teen-aged daughters, Anna and Sarah or simply let him roam about in the city, always telling him to stay within a certain area. Whenever she could, she left Jimmy with Anna and Sarah or with their father, but the three of them were also trying to survive in the city and could not always look after Jimmy.
Today, Jimmy had gone with his mother to Rick's house. Jimmy didn't think it really looked like a house, but that's what his mother called it, so he didn't ask questions. Rick didn't seem to be a bad guy, so Jimmy sat on a chair at the 'house' while his mother talked to Rick. After a few minutes of talking, his mother walked up to another man who had been standing in the room. Together, Jimmy's mother and the man left. Jimmy sighed and looked down at his feet. His shoes were starting to get holes in them. He had come to Rick's house before while his mom worked, so he knew it would be a while before they could go back home. He looked up at Rick, who smiled back at him.
"Hey," Rick greeted him.
"Hi," Jimmy shyly responded.
"You wanna do me a favour, boy?" Rick asked, staying seated behind his desk.
"What kind of favour?" Jimmy asked. He knew he couldn't say no anyway, since his mother would surely be disappointed to find Jimmy had refused to cooperate with Rick.
"Could you take his bag and deliver it somewhere for me?" Rick asked, holding up a brown bag, "I'll pay you ten cents," the large man smiled down at Jimmy.
Jimmy stood up from his chair and walked over to the desk, "okay," he agreed, "what's inside the bag?" he curiously asked.
"Oh, nothing," Rick told him, "just some spices. Don't open the bag, understand?"
Rick's tone didn't seem so friendly anymore. Jimmy hoped he wasn't angry with him, "okay," Jimmy's small voice squeaked.
Rick smiled again, "it's alright," he said, "I'm not angry. The spices just lose their flavour if the bag is opened, because the air will get into the bag, you see?"
"Good," Rick began, "now, just take this down the street three blocks to the red building with a gate in front of it. You can reach through the bars and unlock it and then go up the steps and go ahead inside without knocking. Tell the man inside that Rick sent you. He'll give you a bag in return, and don't open it either. It's also spices and the air will make them lose their flavour too. You get it? Take him the bag, get the other bag and come back here. Don't open either bag, and go straight there and back. No side trips."
"Okay," Jimmy agreed, taking the brown bag from Rick.
"Be quick about it," Rick said.
Jimmy nodded and made his way out the door. He carried the bag three blocks, just as Rick had instructed. He wondered why Rick was trading so many spices with someone. He didn't know a lot about cooking, but he thought spices were something you didn't use very much of when cooking. He had no idea why someone would need such a big bag of spices.
He walked down the sidewalk until he saw a brick building with a black iron gate in front of it. He hoped it was the right building. He didn't see any other buildings with gates nearby, so he assumed this was the correct one.
Jimmy reached his small hand through the bars and unlocked the latch holding the gate closed. He pushed the gate open and walked up the stairs to the door. He paused for a moment and then knocked on the door. After a moment, no one had answered the door. Then he remembered Rick had told him not to knock. He hoped no one would have noticed. He didn't see what harm knocking on the door could do, but he hoped no one would be angry about it for some reason. He opened the door and walked inside the room where a few men were sitting in chairs, smoking cigars.
"Hi," Jimmy's small voice interrupted their conversation, "um... Rick... Rick sent me to give this to you."
"Ah, good," one of the men said, standing and walking toward Jimmy. Jimmy fought the urge to back away. He didn't like the look of these men. The man took the bag from Jimmy and walked over to a table, setting the bag down and then opening it and looking inside at its contents.
"He said not to open it," Jimmy informed him. The man turned toward Jimmy, frowning, "Um... Rick said not to get air in the bag... but you can do whatever you want... I... he just said... He told me not to open it..."
The man laughed and picked up a different bag which had been sitting on the table. He walked over to Jimmy and ruffled his hair, "Take this one back to Rick," he said, chuckling slightly, "and don't open it either."
Jimmy nodded and exited the building, holding the bag close to his chest. He closed the gate behind him, re-locking it and then began his walk back to Rick's house.
The man in the red building had opened the bag, and didn't really seem to care when Jimmy told him what Rick had said. Maybe it didn't really matter if he opened this one too. Rick probably just didn't want Jimmy messing with the spices in the bags. Jimmy wanted to see them though. He wondered what kinds they were. He decided he would just look. He wouldn't touch any of them. He would just look and then close the bag back up, and Rick would never know. Jimmy was almost back to Rick's house by now. He knelt down on the sidewalk and opened the bag, peering inside.
To Jimmy's surprise, the bag didn't contain spices at all, but rather money, and quite a lot of it. Jimmy had been taught by his mother to steal, and just some of this money would sure be useful to them. Perhaps he could just take a few of the bills. Rick wouldn't notice just a few missing. Then everyone would be happy.
Jimmy reached his hand into the bag, but gasped as he felt someone roughly grab his arm and jerk him to his feet. Rick grabbed his wrist and squeezed. Jimmy let go of the bag, but Rick didn't let go of his wrist.
"What did I tell you?" Rick yelled, snatching up the bag and pulling Jimmy inside the building, "I told you not to open the bag! And you did anyway!" Rick growled, squeezing Jimmy's wrist tighter and tighter, "Did you think you were going to steal from me, boy? After all I've done for you and your whore of a mother!?"
Tears welled up in Jimmy's eyes as Rick yelled at him and kept a very tight hold on his wrist, "I'm sorry!" he cried out, "I just wanted to look and see what was in the bag. I wasn't gonna steal none of it!" Jimmy pulled at his wrist, but Rick held it too tight, "please let me go," Jimmy whimpered, tears now streaming down his face.
At this point, Jimmy's mother walked back into the building, "You son-of-a-bitch!" his mother yelled, rushing to Jimmy's aid. She pulled Jimmy away from Rick, who released him now without arguing. She hugged Jimmy tightly, giving a look of complete abhorrence to Rick, "what the hell do you think you were doing?" she noticed the bag in Rick's hand. She knew he sold drugs, and recognized the bag as either drugs or the money from a drug sale.
"Don't bother coming back here," Rick spat.
"I wouldn't come back here for all the money in the world," Jimmy's mother replied, scowling at Rick. Jimmy had never seen his mother so angry. He hoped she still loved him. He hadn't meant for this to happen. He didn't know Rick would see him looking in the bag; he was just trying to steal a little bit of money because he knew his mother needed it.
Jimmy sobbed as his mother carried him away from Rick's house. She walked a distance and then sat him down on a bench.
"I'm so sorry, baby," she told him, with tears in her eyes.
Jimmy looked up at her. He was certain she was going to be angry with him, but now she was apologizing to him?
"Are you hurt?" she asked, looking him over. She looked at his wrist where Rick had held him, "Is your wrist okay?"
With tears still streaming down his face, Jimmy sniffed, "I don't know," he said softly.
She gently lifted his wrist and rubbed it with her slender fingers, "I don't think it's broken, sweety. You'll be okay. I'm so sorry," she was crying now and pulled Jimmy close, hugging him.
Jimmy had stopped crying now. He wasn't physically hurt very badly, and was now just a bit disturbed at the fact his mother was sobbing right in front of the world, when she normally tried so hard to keep her feelings hidden.
For what seemed like a long time, the two of them stayed in this position. After a while, Jimmy's mother took him home, only to find the abandoned building they had been living in was surrounded by men who looked to be architects. Some were walking in and out of the building while others were pointing at various walls and windows and then down at papers, talking amongst themselves.
Jimmy looked up at his mother, who was silent, "remember when I told you we were just borrowing that building for a while?" she asked Jimmy. He nodded, "Well... someone else is going to use it now..." her voice sounded as though she was fighting hard not to cry, "we'll find somewhere else to live..."
For a while they walked around until they ended up in front of a building with no windows. Apparently his mother could find nothing any better, so settled for this. She made a bed for Jimmy out of some clothing.
Hugging Jimmy, she said to him, "I love you very much, Jimmy. I know you never knew your father, but when he left, he was young and scared. I'm sure he's grown up now. He'll be more responsible now, and surely has a paying job. If you went to live with him, he could take care of you."
"But I don't want to live with him!" Jimmy protested, "I want to live with you... I don't know him... I want to live with you."
"He's your father, Jimmy. He'll take care of you," she insisted, writing something down on a piece of paper, "if anything ever happens to me, take this piece of paper and go to the address written on it, okay?"
Jimmy nodded, "but nothing will happen to you," he said, his voice small and uncertain.
She hugged him again, "I love you Jimmy. I always will. Now go to sleep."
Jimmy laid on the tattered clothing, watching his mother look out the hole where a window once was. He had never seen her act like this before. He wondered why she was so sad all of a sudden. Was she sick? Was she going to die? Or maybe she was too tired of all of his mistakes and was planning on leaving him here all alone. He hadn't meant to make Rick angry with him. He watched her and thought about these things until he fell asleep.
Please review and let me know how I'm doing. I'll try to update soon. :)