Tell Me What's Wrong
Disclaimer: Boondocks is owned by Sony Pictures Digital Inc. and Aaron McGruder. All the copyrights associated with Boondocks belong to them. Only the ideas contained within this story are the property of the author. No profit is being earned by the writer of this story.
Chapter One: November 10th, 20XX
The retired domestic terrorist terminated his cell phone call and shoved the mobile phone into his pocket. He didn't want to make the previous call to cancel his time with his guest. He groaned as he stared at the numerous books of black history in the middle of the table, ready to be read out loud to his "little brother". However, he promised years ago, albeit cajoled into it, that he would protect his significant other no matter the circumstances. A child's cough brought the young man out of his reverie. He looked across the large wooden table at the young black boy who gazed naively into his eyes. The rest of the students in the library kept to themselves, busy with their schoolwork. Huey looked back at the kid he called his "little brother". His brain could not create a truthful excuse for his sudden departure. He couldn't start the first day of the Big Brothers program with a lie, but he couldn't expose his "little brother" to the horrible truth he received from the phone call.
"What's up?" the boy asked.
An uncomfortable moment of silence passed before he spoke. "I have to go, Akil," he said. After a beat and a sigh, he continued. "My granddad needs me. He's very sick."
Instead of an assumed reaction of disgust, the boy nodded with a neutral face. "It's cool, big bruh. We can always chill next week."
Huey's lips formed a small fraction of a smile. "No doubt. Little bruh."
The boy shook his head, his dreadlocks flopping up and back down on his shoulders. He grinned. "Thanks, Huey."
The two stood up and participated in a quick fist bump and half hug, one Huey used to do with his younger brother Riley before they moved to Woodcrest with Granddad. The same one Huey gave to Granddad a day before he passed away. The same Granddad he lied to his "little brother" about.
Huey tossed his books into his black backpack. His red, black and green striped wristband swiveled around his wrist as he put on his backpack on one shoulder. He nodded at the boy before he departed the classroom of Ed Wuncler Sr. High School.
The sun started to set on the trip back to the other side of Woodcrest. The trip usually took less than fifteen minutes. To Huey, it felt like forever. He parked his black Dodge Challenger in the driveway of the spacious house. Without turning off the car, he ran out the car and through the wide open front door of his best friend's home. His feet grew heavier with each step up the stairs and down the hall to the right. At the end, Huey burst into the bedroom to his left. He spotted a trembling petite teenage girl laid out on the bed.
Cindy told the truth, he thought.
Huey raced in the room and approached the girl's side. Lifting her up under her arms, he heard her moan in what he guessed was a form of passive defiance. The sudden damp spots he felt on his fatigue pants, he assumed to be sweat. He couldn't look at that right now. He had more important things to worry about.
Huey threw his arms around the young woman. He figured her head bobbed unconsciously into his shoulder, the way it fell into his flesh with such an unneeded and uncontrolled force. He tilted her head back, guided his ear to her mouth. An air of relief came over his heart. The soft, airy inhale she gave made Huey release a large sigh.
She murmured into the lapel of his green army jacket, "Huey…" she said. She paused. "Huey…"
Huey grabbed her head, his hands buried in her large, red orange bundles of curly hair. With a firm yet careful touch, he pulled away to look in her semi-closed eyes. "Stay awake. I'm taking you to the hospital."
She gasped. Her green eyes enlarged and completely open, she reached for Huey's hands and threw them down in his lap. "No!"
Huey took hold of her head once again. He aimed her face toward his own, her eyes moving around as if they had a mind of their own. "Jazmine, this is no time for playing around-"
A tinge of moisture on his leg made him shut his mouth. He looked down at his pant legs. His jaw dropped a little upon his discovery. Small, crimson stains littered throughout the various shades of green. His eyes wandered up to the eighteen year old girl's bright wheat colored arm. Two long, deep gashes ran up and down the underside of her arm. He seized her other arm, twisted it around. The same thing, he thought. He drew in large amounts of air, his breath leaving him from the sight of the wounds inflicted on her body.
Jazmine brought a blood stained hand to her cheek. She sighed, looking down. "He's right. I am retarded."
Huey kept his voice low, although he wished he could yell his frustrations at her. "For the last time, you're not."
Huey took Jazmine into the bathroom attached to her bedroom to wash her arms with warm water. While he let Jazmine's arms rest in the sink, he thought of the next steps necessary to treat her wounds.
Too many soaps and girly trinkets, he complained as he threw cupboard doors and drawers open in his search for bandages. Moments later he found some gauze, butterfly bandages and polysporin. It took a few minutes to apply enough pressure on the bandages and gauze on her arms to effectively keep the wounds closed. As he helped Jazmine walk back into her bedroom to put on her pink Keds shoes splattered with blood, he stared at the other bruises and scars on what was once a flawless, beautiful face. The emotions that wanted to burst forth, he held back. He couldn't bring it up in her current condition.
Jazmine stopped and faced Huey. She sniffed. "If I wasn't retarded, I wouldn't be cut up and-"
Huey placed a finger on her lips. "Quiet. Save your strength."
She nodded in response. He turned and backed up into Jazmine, hands rested under her thighs. "Get on."
Bent over, he allowed her to climb up his back and wrap her arms around his neck. Her cries that would melt the stern expression off his face on any other day would not work this time.
He could hear her whimpers, her face brushing against his large afro. A few tears dropped on the back of his neck. "I don't want to go."
Huey grunted. "We're going. Resistance is futile."
He stood up with Jazmine on his back. He exited the bedroom. After he locked the front door, he made it to his Dodge Challenger, its engine still running. Its twin red and green stripes down the center of its black exterior made it stick out in the middle of the darkness.
Her breathing short, but rapid, she said into his ear, "Wait, where's Zora?"
A sharp jolt rocked Huey's heart. He squeezed Jazmine's hand after he left her off his back. "Cindy's watching her."
She sighed in what Huey felt was a release of worry. She then sputtered a few nervous giggles. "I love you, Cindy…"
He opened the passenger door for Jazmine and guided her with caution into the seat. Her body continued to tremble after he let go. After he shut the door, he nodded. "I'll pay for the visit. From now on, you're staying with me."
Jazmine looked at Huey. Her face crumpled up, hand over her mouth to muffle her cries. After he got in the driver's seat, he planted a soft kiss on her forehead. He discovered his show of affection always lifted her spirits. He blinked, aware of how his body unconsciously started the car and sent him down the road to his destination.
Her voice remained weak and scratchy. "I don't know how I can repay you."
Huey shrugged, looking at Jazmine. "Don't worry about it."
He observed Jazmine's face shrink; become less sullen and depressed. Her cheeks started to glow a bright red.
Ten minutes later, they arrived at the hospital. Streetlights lined up and down the dark, busy street, the sun now completely out of sight, hidden below the horizon. Huey pulled the car into the driveway to the hospital. He looked over at Jazmine who lay on her side. Eyes closed, she mumbled a few words before she threw a few limp hands in the air, entrapped in her dream. He shook his head, his mind now on finding a close parking spot in the giant parking lot, the majority of the spaces occupied by other patients.
A few minutes passed before he squeezed the Challenger between a black Escalade and a blue Ford F-150. He stepped out of the car and ran around it to open Jazmine's door.
Jazmine's head turned toward the young man. "We're…here?"
He took her hand and helped her stand, half a foot shorter than her significant other. He wrapped her arm around his neck. Her mumbled words caused him to open his mouth. His words sliced through the eerie vibe that filled the air. "C'mon. Let's go."
They began their journey out of the parking lot and followed the pedestrian crosswalk to the hospital. The whole way, Huey showed no emotion. This wasn't the first time he had to do this. It was like Groundhogs Day, only this same situation occurred maybe once a week, or once a month. He checked Jazmine in at the desk of the urgent care waiting room, packed full of other people waiting to be seen.
Sitting down never felt so good, he thought as he flopped down into one of the soft, leather seats, Jazmine in the seat next to him. He wished the newborn baby behind him would shut the hell up and stop crying so much.
Fifteen minutes came and went. The nurse stepped out of a door on the opposite side of the room and called Jazmine's name. She stood up and followed the little African American nurse down the hall.
Until he saw Jazmine return with a weak smile on her face, signaling they could return home, a thought lingered in Huey's head. A thought he wished would not be true.
He thought of their baby, his daughter, Jazmine's daughter: Zora Neale Freeman. Her lovely, little fallow face materialized in his brain. He grinned one of his rare grins he only showed his other half and his daughter a few times.
He felt a tear form as he remembered Zora's birth. He was there the whole delivery, his mind all over the place. Those Modern Lamaze childbirth classes were no joke. He had never felt so confused in years. But, he kept his cool, even when Jazmine stood up in the stirrups, screaming for morphine, codeine, anything to remove the pain. Counting to one hundred was the solution to calm down after she called Huey an emotionless, self-absorbed, Afrocentric bastard in front of the whole staff working on delivering their child. To Huey, it didn't matter. Hearing Zora's first cries, the doctor announcing the top of her head was visible, it all made him forget that bizarre moment. He wiped a rare tear from under his eye before it could slide down his face as he held his daughter for the first time.
But then, the happiness all went away. The pain, the sweat, the blood, the tears, especially the blood, it took over everything.
The haunting thought returned. The exact one he told his brain to never bring up again. It kept asking him the same question over and over, hoping Huey had the answer. One he had to find out very soon.
Is he truly Zora's biological father?
. . .
Note: As always, I thank everyone who reviewed and/or made a favorite of my stories. I appreciate it very much.
A quick note about this story: I wanted to publish it earlier. However, school has made me release it later than previously planned. This explains my little "sabbatical" from . Until "Tell Me What's Wrong" is finished, my other "in progress" stories are put on hold.