When money is the motivation, for some the motto is to get it by any means necessary. When love is the motivation, some will go to the furthest extent to maintain their position while fighting for the #1 spot. Journey with Zeh’Shon while he walks and squawks the maze of his concrete jungle in search of the culprit tried to shake the foundation of his empire. With all the toes he’d stepped on to achieve his status, there were a number of those who welcomed his demise. Frustration sets in when his search yields no results. All the while the person causing all the turmoil was a part of his inner circle… This is a Hustlaz Dream
“Dearly beloved we are gathered here today…” Rev. Huddleston’s voice bellowed through the sanctuary’s surround sound speakers.
‘Ohh my goodness, look at me! I am actually standing at the altar, getting married to the love of my life… Is this a dream, should I pinch myself because this can’t be happening to me?… ummm ummm ummm, Look at him, standing there looking like he just jumped out of a Men’s health magazine. So sexy and he’s all mine, finally. I’ve only been waiting on this day for what, 7 long years? My dreams have totally become a reality, thank you Lord!
Well I’m not going to lie, there’s been quite a few hiccups in between, as far as dealing with the scanks and groupies. I refer to them as groupies because my man is a hood star. Not only is his money longer than the 880 freeway, but he has a swagger that’s outta this world. The hood rat chicks from around the way look at him as if he were royalty; king. But wake up bitches, I am his queen and shall receive my crown in the next few minutes.
Rev. Huddleson cleared his throat.
‘Ohh shit, I’m day dreamin, and they’re all waiting on me.’ She thought, looking around she saw the congregation with their eyes glued to her.
Once eye contact was made the Pastor continued.
“Jai’Myiah Amonya Liggins, do you take Zeh’Shon to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, through sickness and health until death do you part?” He repeated in a sluggard tone.
“Yes! I do” She replied anxiously.
“And do you Zeh’Shon Montiece Banks, take Jai’Myiah to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, through sickness and health until death do you part?”
“I do” he said with a smile on his face like he held the winning lottery ticket.
Rev. Huddleston closed his bible and spoke. “By the power invested in me, I now pronounce you hub—”
Four loud shots filled the church like a thunderstorm. Confused screams danced through the building like the guns after smoke, tapping the stained glass windows and ceiling. Guests began to scatter like the running of the bulls, some stopped, dropped and rolled for cover while others ran like hell to the nearest corner screaming to the high heavens.
‘Why does it feel like my chest is on fire?… Oh my GOD look at my dress, it looks like somebody threw ketchup all over me… Wait,… why am I so tired?’
“Baby, baby. Myah!…Don’t leave me baby. Please don’t go. I need you, I love you so much. Please, please.” cried Zeh’Shon, “somebody call the ambulance, tell them to hurry the fuck up!”
‘I love you too baby!… Why am I laying on the floor with all these people surrounding me? Help me up, baby… Why can’t I move my leg? Let me find out Prada uses cement in their products… Zariah, I hear you girl, I love you too best friend. Don’t let me die, help me y’all! …Why is my chest so hot, and the rest of my body feeling so cold?… I gotta… I gotta take a nap, I’m so sleepy.
Outside of the house of God a car door slammed, tires screech loudly while burning rubber from the curb followed by ambulance blaring sirens. A few wedding goers hit door in pursuit of the fleeing vehicle but was a second too late, the shooter was long gone.
Jasmin Johnston, born and raised in the Bay Area, grew up on the streets of East Oakland were crime was very apparent. Refusing to become a product of her environment, she fought to turn the negatives into positives and began pursuing her dream of sharing her encounters with the world. At the age of 21 while fulfilling a debt to society, she documented her life’s experiences which resulted in her first book, ‘A Hustlaz Drama. Currently residing in Vallejo, Jasmin continues to allow the pen to tell her stories.
Get to know Jasmin:
1) What was your inspiration/ motivation for your Hustlaz series? I was at a dark space in life and felt that no one was able to feel my pain. I began to jot down my thoughts on paper, just to get them out of my system. As I began to write, I began to have visions of what could’ve been had situations been turned around. I let the lid off of my imagination and wound up with a short story initially title ‘A Hustlaz Drama’.
2) How did growing up in the streets of Oakland help to create character or how did it affect you as a young person? I feel that growing up in the inner city is a far cry from the kids in the suburban area. Luckily for me, I had the best of both worlds. I knew the difference between right and wrong, but the appeal of the street life caused me to gravitate towards the wrong direction. The characters in my books were formed from individual’s I’ve met and things I’ve unfortunately witnessed firsthand.
3) What challenges have you faced as a young African American woman? The word No has always been my greatest challenge. When I first began shopping my work around I would get rejection letters on a daily. I have thoughts of giving up, feeling that my work wasn’t worthy to sit on a book shelf or be advertised on anyone website. I was down in the dumps for a while, but that deter me from relieving my stresses through the pen. While surfing the web one day I read an article on Dr. Seuss and it said that he’d gotten hundreds of letters that told him that he wouldn’t make it, and I see that his name still rings as the biggest name in children books. Now that’s motivation.
4) When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Well, I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I remember back in grade school that English was my favorite subject, aside for Drama. I’ve been told for years that I should put something on paper, but they path I’d choose to take diverted my focus momentarily.
5) Who are your writing influences? My family, friends, and mainly my surroundings. I’ve always played close attention to the goings on and tried to understand people. What made them think the they way they did, etc.
6) What advice would you give young adult/aspiring writers? I would tell them to go for it. I know this may sound cliché, but I feel that if I was able to do what I’m doing now, anyone can. Everything was built on a dream and if one doesn’t act on it, it will remain just that, a dream.
7)What are you passionate about and how does it affect your writing? I am passionate about getting my story heard. I don’t write to promote violence or downplay anyone; I just try to paint a picture to the younger generation on the end results of the ‘fast life’. Speaking from experience, when I began to read, I picked up books that I was able to relate to, and I feel that this generation needs a voice to identify with. Now that I appreciate literature, I will read what ever I can get my hands on. I am fan of James Patterson to Langston Hughes. I love it
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