Friday, March 28, 2008


It’s not that I didn’t want to see Michelle; I’ve always had a great time with her. But it was weird that I was just thinking of Candice and Michelle pops up. Is this the universe telling me that I can’t have Candice?

Not only because of the itch in my throat, but also because I didn’t really feel social today. I didn’t want to be at lunch with Michelle – or any of them for that matter. I wanted to drop in on Candice and be reminded of her smile. I think I should just go home for the rest of the day.

I flipped open my phone, hoping to think of a way out of lunch. Just then I realized that I had not answered any messages from last night, including the reinstatement text from Dispatch and a missed call from Terra. Quickly, I typed a “glad to be back” text to Dispatch then dialed my voicemail. We met the ladies and I hugged Michelle as I keyed through the prompts to get my voicemails. Apparently there were five. I went through four before I reached Terra’s.

Michelle was already frowning that I was on the phone this long, but when I finally heard Terra’s message I blocked everything else out. …something about Christopher taking Kera. The drama never ends.

“You know what guys, I just remembered I had a meeting scheduled with the boss. Michelle, I will make it up to you. Promise.” I stood from the table and walked away.

I could feel the stares as I walked off. Derrick would definitely be upset and Michelle would no doubt want a long conversation about all of this. All that can wait, though. I flipped my phone open and sent a text message to Terra. I needed to know where to meet.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I woke up this morning with that weird feeling that I know I’m getting sick. Not just a sinus issue where you can take a few pills for clarity – thank the Lord I don’t suffer from allergies. But this however, was a real cold. This was that kind of scratchy, itchy feeling in your chest and throat that has you involuntarily submitting to a dry cough. I could already feel the tiredness creeping in to stay.

Regardless of my body, I went into the office. Not so much that I’m dedicated to the cause or anything like that, but because I was already behind on some things. Over the last week, since before we saved Ean from a guy who plays in the dirt, I’ve been not-so-motivated to finish a few projects. But as they say, sometimes you have to pay what you owe. I needed to get the work done.

The one thing I certainly missed about the old building was stopping by for coffee in the morning. There was no Candice to purchase coffee from – no matter how bad it was when she made it. Of course, from the outside, I was just wasting money. Who else buys coffee just to throw it away? But I ask in return, was that coffee made with love by Candice? Didn’t think so… On the other hand though, I’ve saved about $15 - $20 a week since I’ve been here. Good times.

By noon, I felt like I was finally catching up. I also felt like I need a nap. Damn cough! Derrick buzzed in on the work phone – probably to say he was dropping by for lunch.

“Dude, what the hell is going on?” Derrick seemed impatient.

“What do you mean?”

“Michelle told Tracie that you hadn’t called her in days. Now Tracie is mad at me because Michelle is mad at you because Michelle thinks you don’t like her any more.” Derrick was really concerned.

“Are we 12 years old?” I failed to see how me and Michelle could affect Tracie and Derrick.

“Huh?” Apparently Derrick didn’t see my point.

“Michelle’s been really busy with a case, and I’ve been taking work home. You know that. I’d love to see more of Michelle, but…” Derrick cut me off.

“See, that’s what I told Tracie. So come on downstairs. I told Tracie that we would meet her and Michelle for lunch.”

Ok, maybe it’s me. But think that whole conversation was a set up.

Monday, March 24, 2008


No point in staying the lobby long. When I noticed the time, I sent a quick text to Crystal who replied by saying I could still make my appointment. I'm definitely going to have to tip – right after I get home and change to regular clothes with actual cash in the pockets.

March, Leah, and Tina assured me things would go well. Though I acted like I didn't care, they knew I was really disappointed. I wouldn't be the same doing things without the Urban 30. But all that pride I have stored up won't let me beg. Especially when Dispatch is just being petty.

There was some sort of uproar inside just as we left. I decided not to look back. They knew how to reach me with the results. And if it turns out that I got voted out, I didn't want to look raggedy and depressed. It's just not a good combination.

I flew as fast as I could to get home and change. I landed in the vacant apartment in my building, grabbed the change of clothes I had stashed and entered the hallway just regular Leroy Powers. I ran down the steps to get some cash, then right over to Crystal's. Immediately, I'm reminded of why I don't schedule late appointments with Crystal.

Her boyfriend, Malik doesn't necessary walk the straight and narrow. Even more, he and his friends convene at Crystal's before a night on the town. Darrius was guzzling his second 40… Mark and Alfred were throwing dice against the wall. And you can't forget Alexus, actually a guy with a girl's name, who was lingering in the refrigerator picking through the leftovers. In one of my sittings with Crystal, she'd been gossiping to another girl in the room that she would hook her up with Alexus. He may be a lil bit big, but he got a good heart. She tried to convince the girl. But when the girl declined based on his name, Crystal defended by saying, his momma named him that. She think that the "U S" makes it masculine, instead of using the "I S". I think the next time I came to get my hair done, the same girl was there saying that she and Alexus were going to have a baby. Good enough reason for me to only come during normal hours. It's less drama.

As soon as I arrived, Crystal immediately began working on my head, fussing about the dirt. I know I was complaining earlier, but it wasn't that bad. At least I thought. Malik offered me a drink – dark liquor. I had to pass. I could tell that Mark and Alfred had just gotten out of Crystal's chair, their heads were like live billboards of Crystal's talent.

Crystal wasn't 10 minutes into what she was doing when I got a text message on my phone. FUCK YEAH! I suddenly realize that I said it aloud, as opposed to in my mind. Awkward! I grimaced as they all returned to whatever they were doing, shaking their head. I'll never admit just how happy I am to get this news. I'm back 100% with the U-30…. No suspensions or probations or anything. Hell yeah! That's what I'm talking about. But I will reply after Crystal finishes my head in an hour or two. It's the Leroy thing to do...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The hearing opened with Dispatch asking me if I had anything to say for myself. I was all set to humble myself and not be anything less than mature and professional – but then it hit me. Again! This was all bullshit. Why am I on trial? All this because I kicked Brice through the freakin’ wall? The dude damn near floats, he wasn’t going to die. Sure, I may have broken the rules by striking a team member, disabling the inhibitor that Dispatch gave me and... what am I saying? This is all just dumb.

And so I said it...

“This is all just dumb.” Those were my first words.

“Is that it?” Dispatch seemed a bit cocky. Too serious.

“What more do you want it to be?” Ok, there I am. I’m sounding like myself.

Dispatch went on to say that I have been insubordinate, unprofessional and uncharacteristic of what a superhero is to stand for.

“As a mainstay in the Urban 30, it is your responsibility to set an example. Not just to the public, but to your peers. And example to the newer members and maintain respect for the more seasoned members.” Dispatch never really looked at me. He only stared at some papers on the table in front of him. “To add on to your less than acceptable behavior and lack of team work, I’d like to point out your above the law actions as the super hero ‘BAM’… something that you failed to mention when you first solicited membership with the Urban 30.” Dispatch got quiet and looked me directly in the eyes.

I think shock is the best way to describe the gasps and moans from my colleagues. Me, I was just feeling like I was thrown in front of a bus. That was just really messed up.

But, I’m me. “So what’s your point?” I focused only on Dispatch. Angry.

“BAM was a reckless, careless and unscrupulous character. Nothing about him reads hero. And by my records ‘Sonus’, you were him.” Dispatch placed his hand on an overstuffed file folder on the table he stood behind.

But I didn't need him to gloat over his evidence. I'll admit it. “I got the job done.” Why defend?

“You should be locked up for what you’ve done.” Dispatch looked aggravated that I wasn’t begging for mercy yet. I don’t scare easily.

“I don’t see the Urban 30 handing out rent vouchers. In fact, all financial benefits that go along with saving the city are just about gone. You get all the money to keep your lights on. But we don’t live here.”

“I will repeat. You should be locked up.”

Ok. So if I hadn’t thought it before. I think it now. Dispatch does not like me. But you won’t sucker me into a sympathetic monologue about why I need to stay. I got pride and all that junk.

The U-30 started talking amongst themselves and Dispatch demanded silence. This dude is crazy.

“The council will decide your fate, Sonus.”

“I don’t need no guys behind a shaded glass to tell me if I can play with the big boys. So, let me tell you what I know.” Dispatch tried to quiet me. If you are going to prove to the room that I don’t follow orders, what makes you think I will start now? Just a thought. “I know that I’m darn good at what I do. I know that I crossed the line a few times. But I also know that I made a lot of folks happy and saved a lot of folks from bad situations. So if you want me out of the club, that’s cool with me, but I don’t stop being a hero. You don’t get to call those shots for me, U-30 or not.” I'm a bad mother (shut yo mouth) - Just talkin about Shaft!

The room was real silent. Dispatch was fuming. I really thought we were better than that. Even friends at one point. But something is definitely going on. And he isn’t giving us all the details. In fact, I think everyone should know that.

I continued in the quiet. “I think your obsession with me being too close to the line has something to do with you, Dispatch.” He frowned his face. “Someone tells me you know something about these little totems that decorated my office until now.” I pulled out the totems, including Terra’s and tossed them at Dispatch. “You can decide what you want. I don’t care.”

I walked back to the lobby to sit down. Leah, Marc and Tina followed. I probably blew my chances. Oddly enough, my mind quickly wandered to Candice and if Crystal can still fit me in tonight.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I went home to get my costume. Believe it or not, there is actually a cape to it, too. I don’t wear it. It’s much too formal, and for lack of a better word – old. Wearing a cape is just not as cool as it used to be. Most of the up and coming heroes don’t have capes. Only the more established veterans still wear them. When you think about it, even then they still look dated.

It’s definitely a “no” on wearing a cape. It’s just not me. The more I stand here in the mirror with it on, the more I want to burn it – or use it to wash my car. The most depressing thing about this moment was that I was going to miss my appointment with Crystal. I kept hearing the voice of Candice’s friend in my head. Does his hair always look like that?

At least I no longer felt embarrassed. I don’t see her ass out there saving the city. The only thing she saved that night was the ice melting in her drink. I’ve never seen a woman drink alcohol so fast. But, you can’t judge a person by their friends. Candice remained sexy and classy. Her smile lights up a room.

Unfortunately, I had no time to get lost in my thoughts. I grabbed my backpack and walked through my apartment collecting my U-30 devices. If I was getting kicked out today, I wasn’t coming home to look at any of this stuff. It was bad enough that I really didn’t understand why Dispatch suddenly had it in for me. In my opinion, all of this is just over the top. The punishments aren’t fitting the crimes.

Just as I was leaving the apartment, unnoticed of course, I remembered to fly by the office. There was no need in holding on to the totems any more. I had no idea what was going on with them, and no way of really finding out. The way I see it, if something comes after my friends, I will handle it the only way I know how. And if that means beating down every bad guy I come across until all is well, then so be it.

Naturally, this late in the day, the office is empty. I hadn’t told anyone, but I had Dispatch to replace the window in my office with one that opens. There is also no sensor to trigger the alarm. This of course comes in handy for moments like this. I’d look like a fool being caught on a security camera. Sonus has no business riding the elevator to Leroy’s office.

The only thing left were the totems. I almost felt a weight lift from my body as I tossed them into the backpack with the intentions of never seeing them again. Before leaving, I went over to the kitchen a few doors down from my office. Probably not a good idea, but I really wanted a juice box from the refrigerator. Nothing calms the nerves like an apple juice-juice box.

I hurried back to my office and out of the window. Focused too much on my juice box, I dropped my backpack. Instead of flying, I allowed myself to just drop – hoping to catch it. I didn’t catch it. I was 2 seconds too late. But someone else did.

“Is this a present for me.” The air around us got colder as he spoke.

I saw my breath as I spoke. “Bitter, what are you doing here?” How do these guys know all my personal business and where I work?

“Just a friendly reminder, Sonus.” He smirked.

“I don’t remember anything friendly about you, at all – Bitter. In fact, you had your cousin and her associates try to beat me down a few weeks ago.” There is no need to say that I was ready for a fight.

Bitter handed me the backpack. “It was never about you Sonus. It was about what you possessed. But even that need has shifted.”

I wondered if he was talking about the totems.

“Be careful of the ones you follow, Sonus. They can lead you in the wrong direction.” Bitter walked away.

My juice box was now empty. I should have grabbed three. Bitter walked away as if he didn’t have a care in the world. I flew toward HQ, replaying the conversation in my head. When I arrived, Derrick, Tina, Leah and Marc were at the entrance to greet me. Tina, Leah and Marc even wore their old costumes for support.

As we entered, and walked toward the main hall, I was greeted by everyone in the Urban 30. Raz and Tam came over to apologize for being shady earlier when we set out to rescue Ean. Ean even walked with me to talk as if nothing had ever happened.

In the main hall, the U-30 split into two groups on either side of me. Terra was there with some older guy. She looked worried – probably not a good sign. I didn’t see Brice, but I don’t even know why I looked for him. Leah, Tina and Marc stood behind me. They are no longer U-30, so as support, they stand behind me as I make my case. Surprisingly, I did see the little guy from the coffee shop – where Candice works. I never pegged him for the super hero type.

Dispatch stood ten feet, directly in front of me. I guess it was time to get things started.