It’s 4th of July weekend and I was working at the restaurant all day trying to get extra money for the weekend. This was a small restaurant but we stayed busy during certain times of the day. My homies will always come in around 4 o’clock to keep me company. Really it was to get some free drinks but Daniel made sure to always leave a big tip. He would say it made him feel better tipping me more rather than paying a lot for the meal. As long as he paid something for him and his friends I didn’t care.

Daniel is my best friend of 16yrs now. In the streets they call him Gamble or G. This is because he stays taking a gamble on life. He was more like my older brother. His mother died when he was younger so my family took him in and we’ve been close ever since.

Gamble and about three other hot head boys walk in the restaurant loud as usual.

“What’s up Jamy?” Gamble asked as he approached the counter.

“Same thing as every other day. Trying to get this money. The legal way.”

“Oh so you got jokes?”

We both laughed.

“What y’all want to eat?” I yelled out to all 4 of them.

Darius shouted, “Jamy hook us up with some philly steaks!”

“You better be lucky I love y’all lil bad asses.”

I noticed G was holding a white shoe box in his hand.

“Aye, G what shoes you selling today? I know those ain’t the new Yeezys and you walking around like ain’t nobody gon run up on you.”

“I ain’t worried bout these lil dudes. Me and my homies ready for whatever.” He laughed, Turning to dap up all his homies.

They all got loud and started talking about how they ain’t tryna kill nobody just tryna make this money. I loved them all but they give me a heart attack every time they walk out this restaurant.

Everybody finished eating and Gamble told them he was going to chill a bit longer with me. We sat down at the table and chopped it up a bit. Moments later 4 new faces I’ve never seen before came inside the restaurant. I instantly felt threatened. One guy approached the table as the other three stood by the counter.

“Yo, homie run me those shoes.” The ringleader demanded.

“Nah, but you can buy them for 400.” Gamble told them, not making eye contact.

The other three guys let out a laugh. “This nigga must be a fool.”

The ringleader folded his arms across his chest, “I’m gone say it one more time.”

I was looking at G hoping he can see it in my eyes that I wanted him to just give them the shoes. Gamble grabbed the box from me and held them close to him.

“If you want these shoes, you can buy them. I’m out here tryna hustle just like y’all. I’m not giving you my shoes.” Gamble got up from the table and walked outside. I think he did this so no damage was done to my restaurant.

The guys followed him outside and I ran behind the counter trying to call the police. Keeping Gamble in my view just in case something happened. I saw the guy hand G money and he gave them the shoes. I hurried outside to make sure he was good.

“They bought the shoes?” I quickly asked him.

“Yea, they gave me the money. I told dude like damn, y’all out here tryna rob people, y’all need to find a better hustle. They lucky I sold them for 400.”

“Man you had me scared. I told you these young dudes don’t care about nothing.”

We were walking around the parking lot while G smoked and we saw a car drive by and let the window down. Gamble grabbed me and we hit the ground as he covered my body. All I heard was gunshots that sounded like they were by my ear. Then it was nothing but silence.

Opening my eyes, “Aye, G get up you’re heavy.”

He wasn’t responding. I felt something wet on my face. Looked down and blood was dripping from his mouth. I used the little strength I had to push him off me.

“G! No, no, wake up! C’mon. Don’t do this to me.”

There was nobody outside like I woke up in a new dimension. I dragged his body into the restaurant as quickly as possible. I leaned against the bench and put Daniel across my lap. The floor had puddles of blood and tears. I knew he was dying and I didn’t really know how I was going to live without him.

“G, I love you so much. You hear me?” I knew he couldn’t respond but he had to hear me. “You remember when you used to make fun of me for working here? What I used to always tell you?”

I wiped his face with my shirt but tears kept coming down. “I told you that I was going to be the head of this restaurant didn’t I? I’ll make sure Darius, Markus and Jayson get their favorite meals.”

Daniel looked up at me and took his last breath. It felt like I sat on that floor for hours before I heard police sirens pull into the parking lot.

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