World So Cold

Love is never simple. Love is never easy. There is more grey than there is black and white. Zayn Malik Fan Fiction

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13. With us or Against Us

Paco

When I wake, it is two in the morning, and in one hour, I have to meet up with Ramon Perez. I get off Siobhan’s bed quietly so I don’t disturb her and I take a piece of paper from one of her notebooks. I write.

Siobhan,

Te quiero mucho chica. Last night was so amazing for me, and I want to thank you for giving me a taste of heaven. A taste of heaven before hell. Every night I dream of you, I dream of what a future with you would be like. I wonder at times how the hell this all happened, you and I but I am glad it did. I have something to do tonight, and I’ll be waiting for you in the morning. Meet me at the rose garden near the school. I promise it will be worth it

Te amo,

Paco Fuentes

I leave the letter beside her sleeping body and go to my room to change. Before Siobhan’s parents left to speak with a private investigator, Ramon called my phone. I wonder how he had my number, but a little detail like this is nonsensical. “I’ll work out a bet with you homes…meet me at 234 Thompson street at three…don’t be late” and the phone call ended there. 234 Thompson street is the same street that Westside Apartments is on. Giancarlo lives there, could it be that Giancarlo had really been living closer to the enemy?

Loretta urged me not to go, so did Orson and Olive….but the more people told me not to, the more it solidified the fact that I would go. I told Siobhan’s parents I wouldn’t, and I feel bad for lying, but this is something I do for myself. This is something I do for Damien. I get on my bike and drive to the address, it is a few buildings down from the apartment complex. It is Lobito’s auto shop, an old autobody that was notorious for gang activity.

Around my neck is a rosary, in the waist of my jeans is the gun Giancarlo gave me, and in my back pocket is a photo of Siobhan. I take it out and look at it, she is smiling in the photo, and her tongue is peeking out between her teeth. Her hair is a tangle of waves and she holds a bowl of cereal with her knees to her chest. I run my fingers over it and kiss it saying a silent prayer.

Ramon Perez is a man who stands about 5’10, two hundred pounds at most. His hair is cut short, and he wears sunglasses, his skin is pale but the minute he opens his mouth, there is no denying he is Mexican. “You showed” his tone is eerie, and he gestures for me to sit in the chair across from where he sits, so we can be face to face. When I do, he takes off his shades and leans forward some, his hands resting on the desk before him. “I’m not a man of small talk Paco” he says my name sourly and he smirks. “Didn’t you see what I did to Giancarlo?”

Es un puto” I hiss at him, and he leans back in the chair, as if he is studying me.

“You got balls kid” his eyes narrow into slits. “Callin me a puto” he pulls a gun from his waistband and puts it on the desk. “Man to man, no bullshit entiendes? You gonna be with us or without us. Honcho is going away for life, and I’m running things now. I’ll do things my way” he lights a cigarette and blows out grey smoke rings. “And the way I want to run shit, you can help me”

“No” I tell him meeting his intense glare. “I don’t want to be a gang banger”

He snickers and reaches for his gun, cocking it. “I’m gonna say it one more time,” he sit’s the cigarette in the ashtray and stands. “You either with us, or without us”

There is a noise from behind me, I stand and look. It is Giancarlo, he has a gun in his hands and it is pointed. Only it isn’t pointed at Ramon, it is pointed at me. “Giancarlo que pasa!” I hiss at him. Somehow I already know, Ramon is building his gang, he is picking up where Honcho left off. He is recruiting new members, and when Giancarlo directs his gun to me…I know he has been recruited. Shit. Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.

I turn back to Ramon, my heart beating like a hammer to a nail. Hard. Fast. He doesn’t point his gun at me, he just holds it, as if to threaten me with the possibilities. “So tell me Fuentes, you in or no”

“No” I say again. Giancarlo steps forth, the barrel of his gun cold against the back of my head. I swallow the lump in my throat and curse myself. This wasn’t no deal, this was a set up. “Giancarlo” I say, I hear him cock the gun behind me. His grasp on the gun is not firm, it shakes and his face is not hard, it is unsure and afraid. There is pain in the pride he tries to present to Ramon, there is a love there that he tries to disguise. Maybe he wont shoot me, maybe he’ll back down.

Shut up cabron” he fires at me. There is a silence, and it is deafening. “Don’t be stupid Paco” Giancarlo warns in a voice that would make the toughest of sailors shit a brick. I step closer to Ramon. He doesn’t move, he is so confident, too confident.

“One more time, you either with us, or your against us”

I think of mi familia, and how my mother would die if I were in a gang…again. I think of my brother Carlos, and how he doesn’t realize the dangers of things now, he just thinks being in a gang makes you tough. I think of Josephine, and how she looks just like mama. My father is looking down at me proud, proud that I am fighting rather than being a coward. He would be proud that I refuse to let them have me.

I think of Olive Green, the bizarre girl who had come off as annoying but is now a part of my home. Damien Sewell, who once walked by our sides, dead. It snows outside, he always loved the snow. I think of Loretta Kline, and how she took me in as her own with arms wide open. I think of Orson Grey, the man who paid money so mi familia is protected in Mexico. I think of Zayn Malik, and how easy it is to dislike him but how hard it is not to. How he had been an ordinary person just like us until he hit it big. I know he will look after Siobhan. I just know it.

And I think of Siobhan, the girl I love. The girl who’s life I treasure more than my own.

“So Fuentes” Ramon shrugs his shoulders some. “You with us, or against us”

POP! POP! POP!……..POP!

 

Ramon falls to the floor, his chest bearing four bullet holes, and I turn quickly. Giancarlo is holding the gun, and smoke comes from its barrel. He steps forth slowly and looks at Ramon who is choking on his own blood. “He’s against you” Giancarlo snarls shooting Ramon once in the head. When I look at him, he is the Giancarlo I knew from the days of being a Latino Blood. He is vicious looking and has no remorse. “You know I wouldn’t go against you” the corners of his mouth twitch into a smile as he says this to me. “Now c’mon, we gotta go” he spits on Ramon and turns, he runs through the auto body shop, and I follow, we both stop in our tracks when the sound of the metal door opening creaks through the air. It is loud, and the footsteps that follow it are heavy.

“You bought your glock?” he asks me hiding behind a corner. I am crouched down, peeking around the corner. I take the gun from my waistband. “Paco, I don’t promise we make it out of here, but I do promise I wont go down without a fight”

“Damn straight” I tell him as we limberly make our way closer to the sounds. There are two men, both with LB tattoos that run up their arms. And they hold guns.

When they see us, everything goes into a blur. Adrenaline spikes my veins as I shoot my gun. Giancarlo has good aim and brings one of the men to the floor. He is a heavy man, and scurries around trying to find the gun he dropped.

POP….POP POP POP…..POP

Bullets are ricocheting off old cars that were getting fixed. Glass is shattering from bullets piercing through windows. Giancarlo is fearless with the gun in his hands, the next round of gunfire, both men are dead, and I haven’t shot my gun once. The auto body shop goes quiet again, it is the kind of silence that makes your stomach knot and your muscles tense. I see both men dead, Giancarlo, he’s laying on the cement floor, a bullet wound in his leg. I crouch down beside him and tear a piece of my shirt wrapping it around his leg and making a tourniquet. When we stand, I put his arms around my neck, and slowly make our way to the door.

“So you’re against us?” a bloodcurdling voice says from the doorframe that separates us from outside. Its Javier Calderon, one of Honcho’s closest men, and someone who has avoided getting arrested somehow. He steps forward, and I know this is unavoidable. I sit Giancarlo down, he is going in and out of consciousness. Does he even know Javier is standing right in front of us.

Javier draws his gun and cocks it. “Where is Ramon”

“Dead” I respond holding up my gun. Javier furrows his brows and looks at me.

“You killed Ramon?” he steps forth and we are face to face. “You’re against us”

“This life isn’t for me” I tell him.

Y tu novia….what about your girlfriend? Or her family?” when he says this, my blood boils underneath my skin. “Ramon had me watching you guys, she’s a pretty little thing”

“Shut up”, I step back some, but her only follows. When he smirks, I do the only thing I know how, I direct the gun at him.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you Fuentes” he tells me, two more men come through the door. Two men who I grew up around, when they see me, there is a strike of hesitation but they keep their guns raised.

Javier and the two men stand side by side now. “One more time Fuentes,” Javier tells me as the other men cock their guns. “You either with us, or against us”

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