I Make it Look Eazy (THE INTRODUCTION)

The Introduction

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Ace stood with his back to his brother, his fisted hands shoved into the pockets of his tailored jeans. His Gucci t-shirt fit him loosely and matched his shoes, a rule he had followed since he’d begun to pay attention to the way he dressed as a young teen. Despite his expensive casual clothing, Ace was tense. He inhaled and exhaled slowly, trying to maintain his composure and figure out what to say to the man lying in the narrow bed behind him, bandages covering the gunshot wounds in his extremities. Nothing he’d said before had seemed to matter, and he struggled to find the words that would make this time different. This time had to be different because the next time could be deadly. As Ace continued to breathe, he closed his eyes to stop the tears that threatened to spill from relief that he was visiting his brother in a regular hospital room and not the morgue. He hated himself for wanting to cry. He wasn’t soft, but this was his brother – his only blood brother, and the bullet holes in his arm and leg were real. The blood that had been spilled was blood they shared, and he had to find a way to protect him from the life he’d left behind. They had come from nothing. As children, they were surrounded by poverty, drugs, and crime, just like everyone they knew. The dangers they faced in the hood were hazardous; the fact that they had survived to become adults was a miracle. The only thing more amazing was that Ace was a rising star in the music industry. The street life had given him plenty of content for his songs, and they resonated with listeners from coast to coast. He was on his way to becoming one of the biggest music artists and global entrepreneurs in the world, but the street life kept calling him back, especially when it involved his brother. Despite Ace’s growing success, his brother remained involved with gangs and illegal narcotics. Even though they didn’t have to live a life of poverty anymore, his brother wanted to “stay real,” but Ace just wanted him to stay alive. Instead, his brother kept interacting with criminals like Drip, an upcoming drug lord that sells any drug he can get his hands on, and King, an older gang leader with a dirty past and major connects throughout the tri-state region. Ace knew these dudes well from his time in the streets, but that was behind him. The thing is, the streets never let you go easily. You have to fight your way out, and once you do, it’s almost impossible to ever go home again. Ace took one last breath and lifted his eyes to the ceiling. He exhaled and turned to face his brother. Their eyes met, and Ace knew that this was his final attempt to save his life. Blood brother or not, he was going to have to leave the hood life behind, or get left in the hood while Ace chased his dream

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