A Snippet from Let Me Free You

Yooooo! Long time no blog. Popping in here to share a little something from the fourth McClain Brothers book, Neil's story (Coming 12.18.18). Enjoy!!!


“Damn! You sure you ain’t Nolan?! Man! You look good! No wonder you didn’t want any visitors. We thought you was in there detoxing and getting group therapy and shit, but what you were really doing was getting facials and massages and pedicures,” Everett said, as he stood by the passenger side of his SUV outside the healing center.
I stepped up to him and slapped his hand, smiled when he pulled me into a hug and smacked me on the back.
“Man, ain’t been nothing but hard work going on, but it was worth it,” I said, stepping back a little.
“It looks like it paid off. You ready to roll? Hey, Chink! Come grab Neil’s bag!”
Holding up a hand, I said, “I got it, Ev.”
Everett looked at me and nodded. “A’ight. You can throw it in the back and we’ll bounce.”
We made small talk as Chink drove us to my place. Well, the conversation was actually pretty one-sided with Everett catching me up on what was going on in his world. He shared the success of the Mrs. South EP, which had already gone double platinum. That was crazy in a time when folks could download a single cut with ease. But it was a good body of work that I couldn’t believe I’d contributed to in the fractured frame of mind I was in at the time. I wasn’t perfect after treatment, but I was a hell of a lot better off than I was before.
“I bet Lena has really gotten big,” I said, after he filled me in on the video shoot for Panty Gag.
“Man, let me tell you. I think my baby girl is gonna be tall like me. She’s growing like a weed!”
“Nat and Ella ain’t jealous, are they?”
“Naw, Ella is obsessed with Lena. If she could, I think she’d move in with us just so she can hold her all the time. And you know Nat; she goes with the flow. She loves her little sister and is taking this big sister thing real serious.”
“That’s what’s up.”
I’d been so damn preoccupied, talking to Everett while fighting my fears about leaving the center at the same time, that I didn’t notice we were in Calabasas until Chink was punching the gate code into the key pad at Everett’s place.
“I thought you were taking me home?” I said, my eyes on my big brother.
“This is still home for now. Look, I’m proud of you for getting help, but I wanna keep an eye on you for a while. If I like what I see, you can go to your crib.”
I wanted to curse him out, tell him I was damn near thirty-seven years old and that I needed my space, that one of the things that kept me from losing my fucking mind during the early days of my treatment was knowing the end result would be me getting my old life back, my independence, but I got it. He’d been out of a lot of money paying off my gambling debts and missed a lot of sleep worrying about me. He was afraid I’d relapse, fall back into my old ways, and since I shared the same concerns and knew beyond a doubt that it was all love on Everett’s part, I simply said, “Okay.”
“Now, look…I know you don’t wanna stay here anymore, but that’s the way it’s gotta be.”
“I feel you, Ev. It’s all good.”
“No, you are not going back to your house yet. I don’t care what you say. I’m your damn big brother, and I’m tryna take care of your ass.”
“Ev, I said it’s cool. I’m good with staying here.”
“For real?” he asked, his forehead full of lines and creases.
“Yeah, I know you’re just looking out for me. Am I in the same room?”
“Uh...yeah. Yeah, same room.” Everett sounded and looked confused as hell, but I understood that, too. He expected me to fight him on this, but I wouldn’t. I was determined to make this life thing work, to straighten my shit out for good, and if that meant being held captive for a minute, so be it.
“A’ight,” I said, as I opened the door and hopped out of the backseat. “I’ma head on up to my room and take a nap. Tell Jo I’ll catch her later.”
“Uh, okay?” Everett called after me as I hopped up the front steps of his house.

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