We took the main highway to New Orleans, I could look out the window and see everything that happened that night. I try to focus on Sampson’s taste in music, but it’s too fresh. A few weeks have gone by an I remember every detail of that night. The way she marched towards her death eagerly, only pausing to protect me. I never want to be in a situation where I need someone to protect me again. I thought spending time with her cult, family, would help me ease the pain of losing Destiny. It hasn’t, nothing has. I feel like I can at least function normally, but the pain hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s still a dull stabbing in my heart. I wonder if Sampson feels the same way. He didn’t marry Destiny, but they were together and she left without ever contacting him. I guess I got the honor of saying goodbye, about a dozen times. She gave me her diary filled with all kinds of notes and a goodbye letter. She left me words, and items, but more than anything she left me with the pain. Every now and then I’m able to come back to reality as Isaac and Sampson argue.

It's a 95 SS Impala, fully custom interior and full of mechanical upgrades; Sampson keeps telling us, and remind Isaac of the rules. Isaac just wants to take his shoes off in the car so he’s comfortable. Sampson doesn’t want smelly feet smell in his car. Isaac asks me if his feet stink. I’ve never smelled his shoes or feet, I don’t know. The argument is cyclical and hasn’t stopped the entire time we’ve been on the road.

“Granny ain’t here, but the rules still apply on this trip. Don’t do anything to embarrass her name. More importantly, don’t embarrass me, because I’ll fuck you up,” Sampson starts giving more rules as we drive through the city. “Stick with the group, going solo is how you end up dead. Don’t let no pussycat in the dog house.”

“What,” Isaac and I ask in unison.

“Stay away from women, they might get you killed not thinking straight,” he answers with a sigh.

“So men are okay,” Isaac asks.

“Yeah, I don’t care,” Sampson answers to Isaac’s delight. “Wait, just keep your dick in your pants unless you’re pissing or washing,” Sampson corrects himself.

“What if I want to add someone else’s dick to my pants,” Isaac quickly responds.

“Get your friend,” Sampson looks at me.

“Be serious Isaac. We’re already set, you’re the one who wants to turn into a vampire,” I join in.

“Adze, become Adze. It’s like the V.I.P. of Club Vampire,” Sampson retorts.

“Where are we going,” I ask.

Even in the dark I can tell we’re entering a rough part of the city. Katrina was a while ago, and it looks like a few spots haven’t been touched since then. We pass by an abandoned project building and the people out loitering let me know things aren’t all legal around here. I try to avoid eye contact with people outside the car. They’re already watching us, we’re drawing attention. Sampson treats this car as his child, but it really is a nice car. Black with little silver flakes of glitter in the paint, some big rims that don’t look tacky and slightly higher than normal. What do they call it down here? Stunting, he’s basically stunting, daring someone to do something.

“For real, where are we,” Isaac asks in the calmest tone I’ve ever heard him ask.

“Home,” Sampson smiles as we pull past a park slowly.

“Yeah, I could see how you and Destiny were a couple. You both love those short answers that don’t answer anything,” I’m irritated, it’s like he’s looking for a fight with the people here. “What section of New Orleans are we in? Where is our final destination?”

“We’re uptown, Magnolia actually. I grew up in the projects, but they’re empty now. They wanted to tear them down and Katrina made sure they were finally empty.”

“Then why are we here?”

“I got some business here, and I need to get reacquainted with the territory.”

“Are you selling drugs,” Isaac asks, seemingly shocked.

“Not anymore. Why did you assume I was a drug dealer,” Sampson is equally shocked.

“You kind of carry yourself like a drug dealer.”


“He’s right this time,” I add.

“I’m not here to sell drugs,” Sampson goes to smack the steering wheel but stops himself. “I’ll explain it to you tomorrow night. Actually, you’ll understand in the morning, let’s go to hotel.”


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