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Welcome to Atlanta

Welcome to Atlanta

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Published by AuthorBalogun
A young woman comes to Atlanta with big dreams. Will she live to fulfill them?
A young woman comes to Atlanta with big dreams. Will she live to fulfill them?

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Published by: AuthorBalogun on May 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/01/2011

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WELCOME TO ATLANTA
 
A salty-sweet smell smacked Keonna in her broad nose and awakened her.³Mmm«never smelled anything like
that 
in Brewton,´ she whispered as she rubbed her eyes.Keonna peered out of the dusty window of the Greyhound Bus. ³Yang¶s Lemon-Pepper Wings. I¶ve
 gotta
try
that 
The Greyhound¶s wheels squeaked as it came to an abrupt halt at the Atlanta bus depot.Keonna slipped her backpack over her smooth shoulders and shuffled towards the frontof the bus. Her pristine, white leather Adidas made a dull thud as Keonna leaped from the busand onto the hot Atlanta pavement.An emaciated man soft-shoed towards Keonna with his crooked fingers outstretched. Hisshiny, black skin reminded Keonna of old axle grease. ³Welcome to Atlanta, where the playas play,´ the old man rapped. ³And we ride on them thangs like ev-ery dayKeonna slapped a dollar into the man¶s hand as she joined in. ³Big beats, hit streets, seegangstas roamin¶. And parties don¶t stop µtil eight in the mo¶nin¶.´The old man bowed. Keonna curtsied and then skipped across the street to µYang¶sLemmon-Pepper Wings¶.A soft ³ding-dong´ heralded Keonna¶s grand entrance into the crowded restaurant. Atiny Asian woman, who stood behind the counter, waved her hand, gesturing Keonna to comenear. Keonna read the menu on the wall as she approached the counter.³Can I take your order, ma¶am?´ The tiny woman asked.³Umm«I¶ll try your ten-piece lemon-pepper wings.´³You want to make it a combo for one-seventy-five more?´Keonna squinted at the woman and shook her head. ³A combo?´³Yes. It come with large fry and large drink.´³Sure, make it a combo and make my drink a sweet-tea.´³Okay,´ the cashier replied, ³That¶ll be four-ninety.´Keonna handed the cashier a crisp five-dollar bill.The cashier placed a tarnished dime in the palm of Keonna¶s hand. ³Have a seat. I¶ll bring it to you when it¶s ready.´³Thank you,´ Keonna said, as she turned towards the booths.
 
Keonna slid into a booth and stared out the window. Her hazel eyes narrowed against therays of the sun, adding a touch of sultriness to her pretty face.³May I sit down?´Keonna snapped her head towards the husky, alto voice. A woman towered over her.The woman¶s athletic body stretched the polyester, navy blue uniform she wore to its limit,which accentuated her musculature.Sure, Officer«´ Keonna searched the woman¶s shirt for a name tag. The woman pointedto the bronze plate that rested upon the swell of her right breast. ³
Ser 
 g 
e
ant 
Caldwell,´ thewoman said, as she slid into the booth and sat across from Keonna. ³But you can call me Carla.´Keonna extended her hand. ³Pleased to meet you, Carla. I¶m Keonna.´³Keonna,´ Carla began, as she shook Keonna¶s hand. ³Can you do me a favor?´³A favor?´³Yes.´Carla drew a small knife from her belt, unfolded it and handed it to Keonna. ³
 Pl 
e
as
e
, cutthose tags off your backpack. Muggers and pimps look for girls new to Atlanta to victimize. Ilost a sister to these damned streets. Been looking out for naïve, young women like you ever since.´³I¶m not all that naïve,´ Keonna said. ³But«thank you.´Keonna quickly cut off the Greyhound tags and tore them into tiny pieces.³So, what brings you to the A-T-L?´ Carla asked.³Well, my grandma passed about six months ago and she left me with a nice sum of money.´ Keonna leaned toward Carla and began to whisper. ³It¶s over half a million. I decidedto leave Brewton, Alabama ± that¶s where I grew up ± and move here to shop my demo.´Carla¶s eyes widened. ³A demo? You sing or rap?´³I sing,´ Keonna replied.³Do you sing, or do you
 sang 
Keonna laughed. ³I
 sang 
Carla reached into a small pouch on her belt and pulled out a larger than normal businesscard. The phone number was printed in large, raised numbers. ³Well, call me when you get adeal. I want to support by buying your CD.´Keonna touched the large numbers on the card. ³Wow! I¶ve never seen a business cardlike this!´
 
³My husband owns a print shop,´ Carla replied. ³He¶s extremely near-sighted, so hecame up with the ingenious idea to make business cards that people with poor vision can see
and 
 feel. I had him make mine like that, so I can market his work.´Keonna slipped the card into the pocket of her sweatpants. ³Thanks. I¶ll be sure to call³Carla rose from the booth. ³Alright, Keonna. Good luck and be safe.´³Thank you,´ Keonna replied. ³Take care.´Keonna watched Carla as she sauntered out of the restaurant and out onto the sidewalk,where she resumed walking her beat.The cashier brought the foam container of steaming, lemon-pepper wings to Keonna¶s booth. ³Here you go.´Keonna bent close to the container and inhaled deeply. ³Mmm. Yeah, I think I¶m gonnalike it here!´
e
lcom
e
to
A
tlanta,
w
h
ere
th
e p
layas
p
lay,
  A
nd 
we ri
e
on
 
th
e
m
 
thangs
 
ike ev-er 
 y
 
day.
  Bi
 g 
be
ats,
  Hi
 
 st 
ree
ts,
 See
 gangstas
oam
i
n¶.
  A
nd 
p
a
ie
 s
 
don¶t 
 
 sto
 p µ 
i
ei
 ght 
i
n
 
th
e
mo¶n
i
n¶.
 
**
TWO
**
 
³Help!´ Someone Help me! Please!´Keonna tried, frantically, to free herself from the ropes that gnawed at her wrists andankles. She strained to open her eyes, but a bolt of pain stabbed her in the temples and radiatedacross her face. ³My eyes,´ she screamed. ³What¶s happened to my eyes?!´Keonna stopped struggling and tried to calm herself. ³Gotta think. Where am I?
h
i
n
,Keonna!´The last thing Keonna remembered was checking in to the Super-8 Motel on PeachtreeStreet and lying down for a nap. She had felt so sleepy after her meal at µYang¶s¶.³Is this still the Super-Eight,´ Keonna whispered. ³It can¶t be. The bed didn¶t haveanything to tie me to. Wait? Who«who tied me to this bed? Oh, God. Help me!´

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