TW: Minor Violence. Mention of a gang.
“I won’t let you throw your life away, to follow in your fathers' stupid footsteps. All he ever did was get himself killed and that’s all you're going to be doing too.” My mother said eerily calmly. Being her son, however, and I could hear the tremor in her voice. It was so slight that for a second I thought I might have misheard or made it up, but it was definitely there.
I shook my head at her, no emotion behind it, just a simple nod. “Mother, what dad did runs in the family. It is my duty to take over. Whether it gets me killed or not is none of your concern.” I said as I crossed my arms over my lean chest.
“None of my concern?! You are my son, I raised you more than your father ever did. You will always be my concern. You have no right to tell me that it’s none of my concern.” She fired back quickly, I had only seen this fire in her eyes once. It was the day my father had decided to start training me to take his place.
“Mother, this is not up for debate. I will either take his place and live for ten to twenty years more, or they will kill me now. Take your pick.” I said before storming down the hallway of the overly pricey and huge building. I made my way to my bedroom and slammed the door hard enough that the sound echoed around in the emptiness.
I pulled out my phone and called my, soon to be, second in command. Kendra answered after the first ring, just like she always did. “How did she take it?” She asked softly.
I let the sigh rake through my body and then I collect my thoughts and answer “As well as any mother could. I felt so bad, but it’s what I have to do right? If I don’t they’ll not only kill me but they’ll kill her too. I can’t be the reason for her death. I promised my dad I would make sure she lived a happy life and died happy too. Am I doing the right thing?” I said, questioning myself just like I always do. Overthinking every action I make, it’s why I always call my second. She always knows how to be rational and answer me the right way.
“Weighing the pros and cons, I would say that you are in fact doing the right thing. I think if you told your mother of the threat she might come around eventually, but for now, keeping her in the dark is the safest option. As is taking over.” She paused for a moment “You're going to have to stop questioning yourself. I might not always be there to slap you across the face.” She continued.
I sigh quietly “I know that, Kendra. I can’t help it. I know my father taught me to stop questioning and to be sure. I just can’t be sure of this. For all I know, they will kill us anyway, but you’re right logically this is the best option.” I said finally.
I can hear the shuffle of her hair as she nods her head on the other side of the line. “Good, now that you have your head on straight again, I have to go stop the little troublemakers from making even more trouble.” I laughed over the line as I heard the yells and protests of Kendra's kids. “Bye, Day. Call me anytime, yeah?”
“Yeah, of course. Bye, Kendra.” I said before I hung up the phone. I laid back on my bed and closed my eyes, for what felt like only a brief moment, when I opened my eyes again it was dark outside and I shuffled out of my bed.
I looked at my phone and cursed under my breath, twenty minutes late. They are going to have my head for this. I quickly put my new outfit on, black sleeveless shirt(only during summertime), black leather jacket(to conceal the two custom made hand cannons), black jeans with several hidden compartments(to hide the several serrated knives and one taser), and black leather boots(also hiding small non-lethal compact bombs). I placed my hand into the black grease and made my usual war paint pattern across my eyes and down my nose. I opened my window, not wanting to wake my mother and cause her more worry, and slip into the night.
I made my way swiftly down the street, crossing from the wealthiest neighborhood to the quote-on-quote slums. I weave through the groups of people, handing some of the beggars one hundred dollars or more, and after 5 minutes I slip into a secluded alleyway. A metal door is sitting oddly out of place to the left of one of the buildings. I walk over to it and knock four times and then wait. After 1 minute and thirty-five seconds the peephole at the top of the door opens(an estimated guess). Dark blue eyes peeked out and eye me suspiciously. “Password.” comes a raspy voice through the door. “Daydreamers dancing on the skyline,” I said, crossing my arms impatiently. This is a code only the leaders know. The blue eyes widen suddenly and the door quickly opens. The door reveals a tall bald man. “Apologies, Day,” he said with a quick bow. I shrugged and made my way through the forbidden bar. I go to one of the back rooms and slip in unnoticed. The meeting has already begun and I hear the rumors spreading through the room like a wildfire. Kendra spots me first but doesn’t give me away.
Several men are shouting, but one stands out the most. “He’s not going to be here. Which means that I will be taking over. You all must listen to me.” The voice of my cocky and spoiled cousin causes a chill to run down my spine. Of course, he would be here. I think to myself. “He’s too big of a pussy and a mama’s boy to go against what his mother wants. I say we kill him and his mom and do what we want. Take over the city and the streets.” He said sternly. A few people start to agree before I clear my throat. “You realize, cousin, that there will be a lot of steps in order to take control of the entire city, it would be almost impossible. With over ten gangs and twenty police stations around this city, it would take a lot of planning and a lot of hard work. It would also take a leader, something you are not.” I paused to let my words settle and make their mark and then continue “Another thing, you just threatened both your leader and his mother. Both punishable by death.” I said, eyeing him, I can see beads of sweat making their way down his forehead, he gulps heavily.
I pulled out my hand cannons swiftly “Tell me why, shouldn't I pull this trigger right now?” He stampers over his words looking desperately into the crowd for help. They are no longer listening to him, their eyes are on me, and me alone. “I’m family.” He said simply, I scoff. “Didn’t seem to stop you from wanting to kill me and my mother,” I said taking several footsteps towards him. His eyes dart around the room the closer I get to him. Once I’m three feet away from him I place the gun against his head. “I apologize, Day. Truly, I'm sorry.” He says and I can tell he is about to piss his pants. Several people in the room seem genuinely scared of me, I want them to respect me not be scared of me. My brain is going a mile a minute. I remember the conversation I had with Kendra earlier and all the lessons my father had taught me.
“Never doubt yourself, if you think you are doing the right thing, then you are. Only a true leader questions what’s right and wrong. You are a true leader my boy, show these people that. Change things the way I never could.” His voice echoes in my head. It took me no longer than twenty seconds to think everything through. I drop the weapon and point to one of the guards “Take him to the culling room. He doesn’t leave until I say he does. Is that understood? He will not die today, at least not by my hand.” I said before he got dragged away. I turn back to the group, with Kendra by my side. Every person in this room is looking at me with respect.
I am these people's leader. I will not let them down.