Episode Six: Daddy Issues: Scene 14

I did look into it. And found a road block right away. For Kanesha. Her father had to agree for her to be emancipated. I took that back to her the next day.

She swore. “So, he has to agree. Which he never will.”

“He shouldn’t have a say. Especially as his parole officer told him to leave you alone.”

“Which is overruled if they give him custody. Which they will. Everyone knows how much the DC foster system sucks. And then he’ll take me away from here.”

“I wonder if somebody would help.” The temptation to remove Kanesha’s old man from the equation bubbled up in my mind. No. I would not even consider murder.

“Somebody meaning the trickster? Maybe. He could fake a signature, but…”

“He could tie your old man up somewhere and pretend to be him for long enough to get consent, but…” It wouldn’t work in the long term. “No. I will talk to your dad.”

“That won’t achieve anything. You’re not just a girl. You’re a white girl. That makes you scum in his eyes.”

How come black people were sometimes the most prejudiced? Probably that thing our history teacher said about reactions to oppression. “Maybe…”

“If you do, take your gun. Just in case. He might decide to get violent.”

“I hope he does. He tries to kill me, he goes back to jail.” And that, I knew, was the solution. Get the guy put back in jail. He clearly belonged there.

“And if he succeeds?”

“I know you learned martial arts to defend yourself from him, but trust me. I’ll deal with this one way or another. Without hurting him too much.”

Because he was her father and because I wouldn’t cross that line. Maybe I should…and I smiled a bit. “I won’t promise not to embarrass him, though.”

“Oh, that’s on the table. He’s embarrassed me enough times.”

“Where is he living?”

She told me. Great. Pretty much right in Southeast. Hopefully I could do that ‘don’t notice me’ thing again that I wasn’t sure I’d actually done in the first place. I went upstairs and grabbed a bag…which contained my gun and Tyr’s horn. About time that thing developed some utility.

Then I headed for the address. Which led me right into a part of town I knew I shouldn’t be in.

Southeast was the part of Washington that everyone wanted to build a big wall of no-see no-hear around. It wasn’t just that it was a black neighborhood. Washington was a black city.

Southeast was where the dregs of society rattled down to the bottom and hovered there between the gutter and the drain. No sane person went there. Especially if white.

It was where the desperate lived.

It was not safe.

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