I've known Chris Thompson since we were boys in elementary school....That was the only time when I was ever sure of where he lived. As young men we took different paths...I went to college and he made his mark in the drug trade....During those years he miraculously avoided getting arrested and made a fortune. He also had no known residence...He stayed with a series of girlfriends...Never staying any one place too long. If I needed to contact Chris..I called his cell phone number or sent word through his other close partner, Donald "Smooth' Ellington...another childhood friend. Me...My name is Chess...I play chess and I'm a businessman. Chris gave up the entire drug game and came in with me in the real estate business..A business he put me in after I graduated from college. We are partners in a business called "C&C inc." We own several Apartment, Condos and houses in the West ,South and North Philadelphia area, which we rent for reasonable prices...We own a couple of gyms and juice bars...and we operate out of an office near Penns Landing...Far from the hoods we grew up in...We have been doing good financially.
I said all of that to give you a backdrop of what happened next. After being legit
for close to three years...Chris tired of moving about and he bought a property in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia...I hooked him up with a construction company and a contractor and the house was gutted and completely renovated.
When finished, it had three floors with a bathroom on each floor, complete with a jacuzzi in each one...a flat screen tv in each one and speakers in each one in which smooth music is constantly flowing from a satelite. A gym with a bike and a treadmill and a small mini bar... Like everything Chris did...He did it big.
So on this afternoon when he walked in Josie's with a frown on his face..I was a bit surprised...I was playing chess with Gus, the bartender and owner of Josies
When he and Donald Smooth walked in...They didn't interrupt us..they let us play...I was close to winning anyway. They ordered drinks and sat in a booth.
After I beat Gus..I walked over to where they were sitting.
"What's happenin Chris? , "Smooth" ? " I said.
"Chess, I've been robbed." said Chris without an expression on his face.
"Robbed? You??" I said... Even though Chris was an honest man now...His rep traveled far...Few streetwise people could say that they didn't know who he was..One of the most successful playas in the game...and feared..
"Yeah....I know who did it...Kevin had his friends, Lockpick Johnson and Peeping Tom wire my house with an anti-theft device and with video and and audio detection equipment when I first moved in... Three punks broke in ,stole about $800.00 in cash I had lying around and two of my guns...I showed their photos to cats in the neighborhood and I found out exactly where they lay their heads....I just need you and Smooth to ride with me..to back me up." he said.
"Okay man..but you know they done spent that cash by now." I said.
"The cash I aint worried about...but I want those guns and I want to send a message." said Chris. I could tell he was upset...There was no sign of humor on his face. That wasn't like him at all.
We got in Donald Smooth's car...Chris was riding shotgun...I was sitting in the back.... We drove around the neighborhood and it didn't take long before we saw three guys sitting on the steps of ironically, one of the buildings we owned.
They looked to be in their twenties...One guy was pretty muscular, dark skinnedand had a bald head....Another guy was taller, lean and had an earing in his ear...The guy who looked to be the ring leader was Short, stocky and had a round face...They all were wearing white wife beaters, jeans and sneakers.
We drove up, parked and got out and walked calmly up to the steps....Chris walked over to the short stocky guy and smiled..
"Evening Junior.....I beleive you have something of mine and I want it back and I'm not here to play games about it either."
The young boy looked at his partners and they all began laughing.....
"Old head, you better get yo azz outta here, while you still can." he said.
Chris looked at him...Smiled....Then he grabbed the guy by his ear and punched him in his stomach several times...He spun him around and cracked him hard in his jaw..... The muscular guy went to go for his gun....Donald Smooth leveled him with a hard punch to his right temple...He hit the ground and Donald put his .45 to his forehead...I pulled out my .45 and shoved it into the tall slender guy's rib cage before he could do anything... Chris was still beating the daylights out of the short stocky guy when I told him to stop...
"Chris...CHRIS...that's enough...." I yelled.
Chris smiled...Looked at the bloody boy and then said.
"You oughta thank my man Chess here..He saved your life...for now at least..Now you wanna be gangstas..Let's go inside..."
"You don't know who my dad is.." mumbled the boy in tears...
"I know who your dad is...I been meanin to see him for years...he and I got business to settle...but for now...we gonna settle this business ,now let's go inside." he snapped...no longer in a mood to play.
We hearded the boys inside...and Chris collected his two guns...a .45 and a .44 magnum... He looked on the table and found $450.00, he scooped that up too.
"I'm assuming you boys spent part of the money you took out of my house..so I'm gonna take this nine mili too...You don't need it..it'll probably get you in trouble." he said.
The two guys with him were so frightened that I think both of them releived themselves while they were in our custody...
"Damn...you guys stink" said Donald Smooth...
"Get outta here and don't come back." he snapped.
Didn't have to tell them twice..They ran for all they were worth.
"Okay, tell your dad you met Chris Thompson....Tell him I'll be seeing him." said Chris.
"Oh you'll see him alright ." said the small round faced boy.
"You got a lot of mouth, just like your dad...Well, you ask him about me...Make sure you ask him about me...and tell him where I live too since you been in my house and all....and listen..if I even see you walking down my block..I'm gon call the police and have you and your punk ass crew arrested...now deal with that." said Chris as we left. I turned and smiled at him-"Enjoy the rest of your afternoon." He gave me the finger.
That night, Donald Smooth, Ralph Mole and I were sitting in Chris's house drinking Rum and Coke and watching the world cup.
"Chris, you know that boy?" I asked ,now knowing the answer.
"Yeah...His dad is Bobby Valentine.
Donald Smooth and Ralph Mole's eyes lit up....
"That's Bobby V's kid?" asked Donald Smooth.
"Yeah...Years ago, he and two of his goons stuck me up...Robbed me of 250G's..it was the only time I'd ever gotten stuck up...back when me, you and your cousin, Little Pistol was workin for the old man." said Chris.
"Wow" I said.
The Old man put a contract out on him....They took out his two goons...but he took out the old man's hitters and almost killed the old man....His boy Wally Gator called a sitdown and they gave half of the dough back...I had to make up the other half...Ever since then...I've wanted to get back at Bobby V." said Chris.
"Yeah, well you probably don't know this..you being out of the game and all, but Wally Gator is back in town..He's Big Daddy's point man...He's already gobbled up real estate in South Philly and he's making moves against Fathead and the Diaz Brothers..." said Ralph Mole.
"Looks like you guys got problems...what's that got to do with me?" asked Chris.
"His enforcer..His number two man is Bobby Valentine." said Ralph.
Chris smiled for the first time that night. A murderous smile. Not one you would want to be on the other end of.
"Chris man...we out of this...that run and gun stuff....I helped you get your stuff back..." I said.
"Relax Chess..They aint comin after you....I aint got no quarrell with Wally Gator, he's always been a reasonable ,stand up guy...but Bobby V...I been waitin a long time to see him." he said.
"You think he'll come after you?" asked Ralph Mole.
"After the way I beat up his punk son...you can make bank on it." said Chris.
(To be continued...)