“Man, I can’t believe this shit!” Low thinks to himself taking a long pull of his spliff. He looks at his phone, memorizing and rereading the messages Chase had sent earlier this morning. “She’s buggin’” he says while exhaling the smoke, shaking his head. He had texted Jay asking her to come over. Even though their relationship is nothing compared to the past, Low knows that he could always rely on Jay to understand Chase’s irrational decisions. Low hasn’t always been the most emotionally available or understanding man to Chase. Since his injury things started to change between them. It might have been too late though. Low had always taken her presence for granted and was finally beginning to appreciate it. Regardless of their history, she has always been his first responder. Considering when Chase left for college, she became very distant which led to their relationship becoming a “situationship”. Low settled for the idea because there’s no love in the streets, and the streets are all he knows. He never chose to talk about it although it troubled him. He may have not always shown it well but he truly loved Chase. After the shooting Low had no energy to entertain any other girl. Although he had a past of infidelity, he cannot figure out the reason for her walking out on him. Low shakes his head to clear his thoughts and yells out “Alexa! Play D.T.B by A Boogie”. He raises the volumes from his phone and texts Jay, a couple more times before tossing his phone onto the couch.
It’s 70 degrees, feels as if it’s 80 and the sun is shining extra bright on this beautiful Spring afternoon. People are riding their bikes, playing sports, and families are playing in the park. Jay gazes out the window admiring the happy people of the city enjoying the fun free things life has to offer. The thought of possibly never being able to enjoy the basic fun activities with her family and fiancé puts fear into her heart. She would’ve never imagined herself dealing with a fed case unless she was covering one for an article in her magazine. Some people take the small aspects of life for granted. At this point, it’s as if how else could this day possibly get any worse? So much has happened within only a month. First, it was the Zion situation, which has already put the crew in harm’s way. One person kidnapped and one person shot resulted in a murder. Then, later learning that Chase is a federal agent. Now what? It has Jay wondering if the universe is working with her or against? Jay knew what she was getting herself into before considering the idea of taking her relationship to a more serious level. Same as any other woman dating a drug lord, she had mentally prepared herself for the type of lifestyle that would come with being Dice’s lady. Yet, how does she go about telling Low and Dice? Jay side-eyed the envelope in her passenger seat, it felt as if she was carrying a bomb that would explode at any subtle movement. This will not be easy, and the last thing needed is the death of a federal agent on their hands. Surprisingly Jay had no remorse or empathy about the notion of murdering Chase. The history of their friendship was nonexistence, and obviously never mattered. There’s no time to panic, strictly strategic planning going forward. Even though it’s nerve-wracking, Jay has to inform them before anything else gets worse. The question is, how are they going to respond?
She arrives at Low’s loft apartment building which sits upon the Hudson River, adjacent to New Jersey’s Palisades. The sunlight glistened off the river causing a slight shimmer from the sun’s reflection onto the water. It had slightly blinded Jay as she admired the view after parking her car. She could appreciate this view all day if she did not have bad news to deliver. Jay exits her car with the envelope and purse in each hand. Still deep in her thoughts, she locks her car then proceeds to the building. As she walks, she begins to hear a faint muffled noise. She suddenly realized the noise is her phone receiving messages, she fumbles through her purse looking for it. Her head was down and suddenly bumps into someone. Still, irritated from earlier, she sucked her teeth as she grasped her phone tightly trying not to lose her grip. “Well damn, the phrase is ‘excuse me’, thank you. You need to watch where the hell you’re going” she says before lifting her head up to see the person that bumped her. “Maybe you should take your own advice, you actually walked into me. Are you okay though?” Brenden responds in a concerned tone disregarding her attitude. He has become a custom to it after the first time they’ve met. “Oh, it’s you. Yeah, I’m alright. I’m having one hell of a day but I’m alright” she says while exhaling deeply and begins to smirk struggling to hide the frown. “What are you doing over here? I did not know physicians did house calls anymore” she inquired attempting to change the subject. ”Huh? I don’t. I live here. Why’d you ask?” he says with a confused expression. “Ohhhhh. My brother lives here so I assumed you were making a personal visit” blushes Jay. She’s always in someone else’s business. Knowing that she’s the owner of a magazine company, she often forgets that she is not doing an interview. “Mr. James lives here? For real?! That’s dope, he’s a cool guy. I would’ve never known until now. I just moved here not too long ago” says Brenden. “I can’t tell if that was sarcasm or not but, I don’t have time to care” Jay responds back in an abrupt tone and rolls her eyes. She looks down at her phone and notices Low is still messaging her, which is causing her phone to break the flirting between the two. “Boy, this better be important — I’m right here,” thinking to herself.
Brenden loudly clears his throat bringing her back to reality before she drifts into deep thought. “Look, I don’t mean to hold you up. I’ll be sure to stop by soon, and hope you’ll be there whenever I do” he asserts with a confident flirtatious grin. Brenden slightly bites his lower lip admiring her beauty and body. It’s rare to see a woman from New York with a body that’s not from Dr. Miami, you would think she’s from Georgia with that peach behind her. It’s obvious her body is all-natural by how nicely proportioned her figure is. Jay notices he’s picturing her possibly wearing nothing more than his bedsheet. If she wasn’t engaged she just might have considered the idea. “Yeah, I’ll most likely be there with my man. I like the consistency though” she says while flashing her large diamond ring. “If you give me your insta’ or number I can be even more consistent” he replies, “ not happening, cute though. If you’re really consistent, you’ll find me” said Jay with a smirk. She walks off flipping her hair without looking back and continues to walk towards the building. As she walks away, Brenden yells out to her “you know, you ain’t making this easy. I like games, may the best player win!” Brenden is the ideal man her parents always envisioned her to love and marry, which is why she’s not with a man like him. Of course, she wants to make her parents proud but her happiness comes first.
BUZZZZZZZZZ! comes from the intercom in Low’s apartment. Shockingly, you can hear that over ‘Almost Slipped’ by Meek Mill blasting. After taking a few shots of Dusse, Low staggers over to the intercom shouting “who the fuck is it!”. He shouted so loud, Jay can almost feel his hot breath through the intercom. “Casper the friendly ghost” responds Jay rolling her. “Sisss. It took you long enough, pull up” he replies then buzzes her in. She walks into the building, waves at the security guard, and gets onto the freight elevator. Since it’s a loft apartment building, there are only two apartments each level yet being that Low is Low, he purchased the whole floor when he first moved. He had the owner redesign the floor to his liking, so when you step off of the elevator you’re walking directly into his apartment. When your money is long you can do stuff like that. Jay looks down at the envelope in her hand and squeezes it tightly. The envelope holds so much information, it can ruin many lives besides Jay, Dice, and Low. Various people have helped them over the years, some have even gotten their hands dirty for a price. Policemen, lawyers, doctors, politicians — you name it, the majority has dealt with them. She exits the elevator which leads her into Low’s living room and becomes disgusted by the sight. His apartment was a mess, which is unlike him, he’s a clean guy. There were liquor bottles scattered on the table and clothes tossed around all throughout the room. Jay assumed that the amount of time he had text and called her, she assumed it was urgent or had additional information about Zion’s return. Yet, it doesn’t seem as serious as expected. “Good thing I did not take the safety off,” she thought to herself while walking towards him. Low is standing in the kitchen searching the cabinet for a glass “have a seat in the living room, I’m just grabbing something real quick” he yells out to the living room. Jay looks around the living room and notices there are bottles of liquor, an ashtray full of clips and clothes tossed around wondering “what the hell happened here” to herself. She clears out one of the leather lounge chairs and takes a seat, still holding the envelope tightly. He walks into the living room and passes Jay the glass while lowering the music from the remote on the table. “The bottle is right there. Poor your own troubles, I have enough of my own” says Low. The D’usse is in the middle of his glass table surrounded by issues of GQ and Sports Illustrated, including an ashtray. “I’m good bro, I’m more concerned about how you’re doing. You look musty and it only been a week or so since I last saw you” she replies with a concerned expression on her face. She loves Low as if they shared a womb, they’ve always been close before she started dating Dice. He always looked out for her and kept her best interest at heart, and being his best friend’s fiancé makes their relationship even more tight-knit. “What’s going on? Why do you look like this” she questions as he refills his glass, “you texted saying it’s sticky… but I don’t think that’s the situation here”.
Low sits there quietly side-eyeing his phone on the couch that he threw after texting her earlier. “I don’t know what the situation is” he responds in a low, sad tone. “That’s why I reached out to you. I thought I was doing right, I don’t want to lose her to bullshit” says Low as he grabs the bridge of his nose holding back the tears from streaming down his face. “You’re not telling me much of anything… which is kind of annoying me, I’m having a bad day myself to be hon—” “Damn Jayla! I’m fucking going through something, it’s not about you right now!” Low shouts loudly interrupting Jay. She slightly jumped in her seat from his shouting. Before responding, she took a deep breath. This isn’t the time to rain on his parade with her attitude, yet, she’s not going to allow someone to raise their voice at her as if she’s a child. Jay slowly exhales “I’m going to be the bigger person and disregard that your voice was ever raised. What’s going on bro? I know it’s not about me, that’s why I’m here”. “Look, just unlock my phone and read the messages. It can explain it better than I can. I just want to know why she doin’ this to me? You know my code, right? 1-0-9-0 — grimy, you know my body” Low responds before taking a sip of his drink. Jay reaches for his iPhone 11 Pro Max and proceeds to read the conversation between the two. Soon as she begins reading, he watches her see if her reaction is going to be the same as his. Jay’s face begins to frown up the more she read the messages. Her frown is more so in confusion because now she’s wondering if Chase’s plan begun. Yet, if she wanted to arrest Low why would she break up with him? What kind of plan does Chase have up her sleeve? “Wow,” Jay says aloud and locks his phone placing it onto the table.
“Bullshit right?” Low ask while lighting his spliff. He chuckles to himself reminiscing the past couple of days he had spent with Chase. “What do you think caused the sudden change?” Jay questions in a concerned tone. “I wish I could give you an answer but, I don’t have a sensible one for you. It was all good just last night. I had shopping bags leading to the dining room table where I had dinner already cooked. We laughed and talked while sipping until we got drunk, which led to us getting crazy while Netflix watched. When I woke up, she was gone. I’d figured she left early to go to work. She didn’t take anything with her besides the belongings she already had” Low expresses to her in a low aggressive tone. He has a relatively hurt yet irritated expression on his face. It’s in her best to be cautious about how she communicates with him. This conversation can end abruptly, resulting in a WWE Smackdown vs Raw cage match. However, whatever Chase is plotting must be happening faster than she expected. Now it’s the opportunity to get her before she makes another move. She takes a deep breath and looks down at the floor in disappointment before opening her mouth. It can go left from here. He must know though unfortunately, it had to be after his break up. Jay lifts her head keeping eye contact with Low “what I’m about to tell you is not good news at all. We have to plan strategically from here on. You cannot act irrationally”. He starts to scowl, it is almost as if you can see the anger rising in his body starting from his toes. It’s evident. If he’s already upset from that warning, imagine how he’ll be afterward. “Continue I’m listening,” he says, knocking the ash off into the ashtray. She takes a big gulp then inhales deeply “my dad gave some information today — this information can change our lives for the worse if we don’t move and think smart”. Low continues to smoke then begins to sit up more in his chair. As if sitting up helps him hear any better. She picks up the envelope then gently slides it across the table towards him. “In that envelope is an FBI case pertaining to all the criminal activity of Dice Jackson and you, Low Jones for the past five years. Also stating that the federal agent Chase Matthews is undercover as one of their lovers. I’d planned to tell you guys together but after reading that information and the messages — I don’t trust any of her actions” her hands were completely doused in sweat. Low remains silent which is frightening Jay, she has never seen him nonchalant yet aggravate at the same time. He’s not acting as she predicted him to. Usually, he’ll be loading up his guns and handing out toe tags before the mortician can. When it comes to the woman you love and your freedom, do you kill her if she’s the one responsible for you never having freedom again? Low is processing everything Jay had just told him. He’s calm because he knew that one day the feds would come for him, except he imagined they came in guns blazing and didn’t expect them to hit so close to home. It’s one thing to do now. Jay gazes at him searching for any expression to appear on his face, yet he’s emotionless.
After moments of silence Jay is waiting anxiously for a response. She begins to wonder if she should repeat herself or say something to break the silence. He has smoked the spliff down to a clip placing the clip in the ashtray then proceeds to finish his glass in one gulp. Low picks the envelope off the table and begins to skim through the pages. He finally breaks the tense silence between the two saying “so what’s the plan? Based on this information — she has to go” in a calm tone. “Well .. that’s the thing I don’t have yet. We can start by learning Chase’s schedule and play her close so she doesn’t realize what we’re up to. You know the saying “keep your friends close and enemies closer”” she responded. “You right sis. Now that we know a fed, we have to find out who’s her allies and take them down as well. If she’s undercover, imagine who else is?” Low states while placing the envelope back on the table. “I think I should be there when you tell Dice. My actions shouldn’t be the one to worry about. Dice has been running from the feds almost his whole life. This isn’t something he’s going to take lightly, like you said it’s our freedom we’re talking about” he says while pouring himself another glass. Low begins to express himself as he walks over to the window “I gave that woman the best of me since a youngin’ and in return she tries to tear me down in every way possible. Just want to know what is her motive behind all of this”. Jay did not want Low to keep dwelling on the break up, so she inquired for them to plan out more for Chase’s takedown to change the subject. The pain from this information is something they share, someone that they loved and trusted dearly has betrayed them in the most unthinkable way. A plan is needed before mentioning anything to Dice, he’s not the type of person you bring serious problems to and have no intentions on how to resolve it. He’s a man that does not do anything unless it’s fully thought out and planned so in case of any scenario he has a back plan. Also, Chase was not always someone who was a member of his fan club so although this will not probably be a shock to him, he’s still going to be furious. It’s street low to never rat anyone out, especially not someone you consider yourself close to. Nor envy or greed should turn you against the ones you started with. The sun was just starting to set when they started the discussion, when they’ve finished the moon has faintly appeared dark blue sky. Seems as if time passed within the blink of an eye. Within only a few hours they were able to accomplish more than expected. When they meet with Dice he can either elaborate more or straight proceed with action. Jay gathers all the papers and documents they highlighted and scribbled on back into the envelope. They walked over to the elevator laughing about good memories trying to lighten the mood, Low pushes the down button before giving each other a hug good-bye. Jay steps into the elevator and takes a deep sigh of relief once the freight elevator closes. “This day actually ended up going better than expected” she thought to herself. She exits the elevator, and walks through the lobby towards the main entrance. Her eyes wonder hoping to see if she sees her crush anywhere around, as much as she enjoys their flirtatious conversations. The only thing on her mind is heading home to her man. As she is walking to her car she notices a paper flapping from the wind attached to her windshield. While trying to remain calm yet panicking Jay hurries over to her car to grab the paper. “I thought there was free parking after 12pm on Saturday’s” she wonders. Luckily for her it wasn’t a ticket, it was a letter for her. “Finding you was that hard after all. May the best player win, right? – B” read the letter, “wow this guy is something else, if he knew what’s best for him he’ll stop” she said aloud after reading his letter. She crumbled it up and tossed it on the ground before getting into the car. Jay does not want Dice to know she gave another man the time of day to where he can leave cute messages for her. She hops into her car and drives off.
Dice is kick-backed across on the large grey suede couch in the living room with his feet up watching Sports Center on a 70 inch flat screen tv. He frequently checked the time on his black Rolex and peered outside the window to see if Jay would be arriving soon. “I know she’s at her parents house but, if she knew or planned on staying for dinner she could’ve called” Dice thought to himself. Since his return, he has been on edge and moving more cautiously. Although if it wasn’t for her Zion would’ve had the opportunity to kill him. No man wants his fiancé in the streets. He only feared losing Jay or someone hurting her. Lately, he has been trying to convince her to work from home, hence she already has a home office. Dice is able to provide for Jay eternally yet, she’s an independent woman that never envisioned herself to become a stay-at-home wife. The strength of their love is unmatched to her career and company. He knows it will be a never-ending argument between them, it’s only for her own safety though. A few minutes passed before Jay pulled into the drive-way. He tried to keep his composure and not show he was bothered, last thing he wants to do is argue they’ve been in such a great space lately. Jay walks into the house and places her purse, the envelope and keys on the end table by the front door. “Hey baby” she says before kissing Dice on his forehead “sorry I’ve been out all day, there was so much going on today I really lost track of time”. “Oh yeah? You missed dinner, I left your plate on the counter. Hope everything is okay though” Dice responded while watching her walk over to sit next to him. “Really? I just apologized. Can we just watch something? I don’t want to argue” she says in a calm tone. “Damn I knew he’ll be annoyed. I should’ve texted him but I wasn’t thinking, I was just trying to resolve our problems” Jay thinks to herself. Dice turns towards Jay to softly grab her chin before kissing her. “There’s no argument babe” he says while caressing her cheek, “but, with all that has been going on lately I would appreciate you telling me if you’re going to be out long. I’m just not trying to lose my lady to no bullshit, that’s all” before kissing her again. Jay rolls her eyes and turns towards the tv. She knows him well enough to know that he’s still bothered, yet that’s the least of her concerns.
“What’s in the envelope?” ask Dice breaking the tension in the room. Her mind had begin to scramble as she’s thinking of a good excuse. Although lying to him isn’t going to change anything, it still gives her time on how she plans to address him. “Just some business stuff. Actually, you just reminded me I need to bring it to my office before I forget again” says Jay. She walks over to the table, grabs the envelope and her phone. “What do you need your phone for? The phone doesn’t work in your office or something?” questioned Dice in a serious tone. “Now I can’t use my phone. What’s up with you?” Jay asked in an aggressive tone. Dice stood up and walked over to Jay, looking into her eyes. They’ve been together long enough to know when the other is lying or telling the truth, and in this case Dice can see the lie sliding through her teeth. He’s already upset, no reason to add more fuel to the fire. “Something is going on, I wasn’t born yesterday Jayla. Whatever it is, I’ll find out” said Dice before walking into the kitchen. Jay rolls her eyes and mumbles smart remarks under her breath as she walks towards her office. After this long exhausting day she barely has the energy to entertain any arguments. She tried to seem like she was pissed off but she’s actually nervous. Jay doesn’t want Dice to find out on his own though, he’ll be furious at her and Low for knowing everything before him. Lying is not of her special talents. When she finally reaches the offices she locks the envelope in her desk draw. Jay grabs her phone and text Low: “He’s becoming suspicious. Come over at 9 a.m so we can tell him together” and locks her phone after pressing send. “He’s moving on my time, he’ll find out how I want him to” Jay says to herself.
To be continued..