Six hours, twenty six minutes and 42 seconds ago I was Tay Skye Mason, almost sixteen and the son of Tony ‘Shango’ Mason. Only now I was wiping blood from my lip and praying my ribs were not broken. There were three of us inside the jet black, chrome SLK Mercedes but only the hummed of the engine made noise inside. Outside the heat was blazing and throngs of people stroll towards the carnival procession. I watched the people milling around as the car cruised past through the mist of the carnival excitement the band’s sound systems shifted the car and crowd with smooth vibrations unsure it I would ever experience that carnival vibe. I lived music and the rhythm it created in a room and amongst people.
Right now I couldn’t even focus on the beat was trying to stay alive.
When I woke up this morning this was not how I had envisioned my sixteenth birthday. It was as if someone had ripped the ground from beneath my feet my whole world torn apart with the revelation of truth I had stumbled upon. See, there was never a good time to find out your whole life was a lie but hey that’s were I’m at. Looking down at my previously crisp white suit splattered in blood the pain in my chest exploding as the car braked a the lights I gritted my teeth.
“He doesn’t look good. “ Shango whispered as if I wasn’t afoot behind him.
Shay didn’t say a word as I stared at the back off her head still uncertain of her motives but intrigued all the same.
Banging the dashboard Shango roared “I’m gonna kill Que.” Their eyes made one as they spoke silence words with their irises, words I wanted to hear.
After all it was about me!
Earlier, I had been preparing for my birthday party that had been planned a year in advance with no expense spared. There was an all white theme, a throne dead center stage and a backdrop display pictures of me and the man who raised me. Preparations had started months ago , Shango had done been hoarding bottles of champagne until this day, he had even forked out for caterers to prepare the best west Indian food in North West London.
“What about my party?” I asked.
“Look at you Tay!” he exclaimed.
“So what we doing then.?” Shango sighed and my stomach swirled.
My eyes rested on the gun sitting in the holding space under the stereo and my eyes trained upon it admiring the shiny black steel. It was the first time I had ever seen a weapon of its kind. Each muscle hurt like hell as I shifted on the back seat to get a closer look but Shango looked back at me and raised his eyebrow as I leaned back slowly maintaining the thick silence. There was so much I wanted to say just resting on the tip of my tongue yet I said nothing listing to the sound of heavy breathing that again resumed its space within the cars interior.
“Where are we going.” I waited for an answer but I received none. “Where are we going.” I asked again.
I saw her eyes flicker across my reflection in the review mirror but she remained silent. A heavy sigh erupted from the passenger side as Shango turned to face me.
“I don’t know but we will be together.”
I looked into his eyes for some sort of reassurance but the watery glaze hid his true emotions.
Wincing I touched the top of my head and drew them back as the sticky blood soaked my fingertips.
“Yes.” I grumbled as the nerves in my brain trembled.
“He doesn’t look to good, man. Cha.”
“When we get there he will have everything he needs. “ she said with certainty her familiar eyes catching mine again. “I promise.”
Closing my eyes I took several deep breaths as the pain slowly subsided. Focusing on the gun I tried to ignore the pain my body was screaming out for medical attention. The sunlight glistened through the window shining on the coal black metal. It lay there shifting from side to side, cocked on one side my fingers itched to touch it. It ‘s beauty was blinding. There was three things holding me within the boundaries of my seat belt, pain, speed and the nervous look on Shango’s face, it was a look I had never seen before and it was making me worry. You see, no matter how I dressed shit up when you looked at this situation it was clear to me that we were running.
My only question was from what?
I had been willing to stay and fight any battle that would lead me to the truth but my urge to stay was being quash by the new tag team in the front seats, a united front to flee from everything I had known.
“We need to get him to a hospital.” Shango insisted.
“I told you he will be fine when we get to Caddington.”
I had never even heard of Caddintion, I don’t think Que had either.
“Look no one will find us there.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Whose gonna think your hiding in a farm surrounded my acres of land and fifty animals. No one. Look relax, I’ll protect him with my life if Diamond wants a fight she picked the wrong one.”
Shango sniffed. “Skye didn’t have that spirt.”
“Your telling me. Look trust me your safe. beside where else would you go. A crazy bitch like Diamond won’t rest until she has found him and since you practically peeled back you skin when you saw me.” She took a breath before she realeased her next words into the air. “I assume my sister is dead.” there was a deep silence as the words resonated in my head.
I closed my eyes incased they looked in my direction.
“I’ve known for a long time, I could feel it in my chest, you get me?. Twins have a bond like mating butterflies without her spirit I’m broken.”
She cut him off sharply. “Let get there first I don’t think I’d be able to drive once I hear the details.”
“I hear that.” His voice sounded different, soft and somewhat remorseful.
Here I was bloody and bruised the world crashing down around me. I was scared of nothing especially Diamond but they had other ideas. Apparently she was a force to be reckoned with and if I just heard right the reason my mother is no longer around. I had always hoped she would turn up someday but that hope had just died. Driving through the streets of London my home was getting further and further behind me I could hear them whispering at the front through the subconscious haze as the sound of my heart beat thundered over their voices. I had known Diamond all my life she had actually been nice to me until this day.
But I wasn’t the only one who had been lied to. My father, the real one had abandoned me at six months old and Shango had raised me as his own ever since. I had never questioned my heritage before but hearing the two of them discussing me as if I didn’t exist had blown my mind I was still trying to procees that fact that Que was actually my father, nothing didn’t make sense. The sight of the two men hovering over my body before Shango gathered me in his arms his large frame shrunken as he had collected my broken body off the ground my real father had walked away will live with me forever.
Diamond had set her boys on me like pit bulls to prey while Que watched on as if he saw no evil but if evil had a name it was defiantly Diamond. Trust it made me sick to the stomach to know that while my father lived the high life and played happy family’s with his twin sons and Diamond; Shango had raised me on top of a record shop with everyday struggles. My ribs were the only things fractured, but the pain numbed my thoughts as they rocked my inner core.
I wanted to sleep so bad the haze sucking me in but I knew that wasn’t right. Pressing the automatic button the window shuttle down half way letting a cold breeze blow over me. This had to be a dream. Some warped virtual reality that was mimicking real life. Shango would never abandon his home, his business; but the bags in the boot said otherwise. As our eyes met once more it hit me suddenly, he didn’t fear for himself his fear was for me. I had no idea I was not his son; all my life he had been my daddy now the truth was out he couldn’t protect me anymore. The whole dynamic was off. I felt as if my brain had been fried as the small pieces I had fused together blended into a muddled version of heritage
Shay was driving , my dead mothers identical twin peeking at me through the rear view mirror, eyes meeting similar ones to mine I tried to manage a small smile. Her sudden arrival couldn’t have come at a better time for me as I could only imagine the identical identity of my mother and the mood shifted the inside of my chest. This was the only family I had. On the road to no particular destination I had Shango at my side and an aunt I never knew about claiming they were down for me. Even though we were running and I had no idea where to or what we would find when we arrived but I needed pieces to the puzzle that completed me. I knew that history had a way of resurfacing only for the story wasn’t being told, at least not to me. Yet.