the Other Wes Moore (2010)

the Other Wes Moore (2010) by Wes Moore

Book: the Other Wes Moore (2010) by Wes Moore Read Free Book Online
Authors: Wes Moore
explanation for the leaning tower of Nikes. Wes stuttered out a story: he'd become a popular DJ in the neighborhood and was making incredible loot DJing parties. It was the story he'd used with Mary, and she'd bought it whole. Maybe because she really believed him. Maybe because she really wanted to believe him. She'd asked Wes about the shoes when they started to multiply, but after her first inquisition, she'd left the subject alone.
    Tony knew better.
    Tony had now spent over a decade dealing drugs and knew how much money could be made in the game. He also knew there was no way for someone as young as Wes to make that kind of money DJing. There were not enough records to spin, enough beats to play, to buy that many sneakers.
    Tony grabbed Wes's shirt collar and pulled him in close. "How many times do I have to tell you to leave this stuff alone, man?" His tone was low and serious, but he barked his words out like a challenge as the two boys squared off on their front lawn, out of sight of Mary, who was inside the house.
    Wes's eyebrows arched up and his voice rose, his best play at sincerity. "I told you, man, I made this money DJing!" he repeated, almost convincing himself that it was the truth.
    Tony closed his eyes and asked again, pounding out every word. "Wes. Where. Did. You. Get. The. Money?"
    "I made the money D----"
    Before Wes could even finish his sentence, Tony cocked back his arm and punched him dead in the face. Wes tumbled backward onto the grass. His left eye immediately began to swell. Tony jumped on top of him, pinning Wes's arms to the ground with his knees. Once he'd locked Wes's arms down, Tony unloaded blows, striking his younger brother's chest, ribs, and face with wild abandon. Wes was trying hard to wriggle free, but his stronger and tougher older brother was getting the best of him.
    Mary heard the commotion and ran outside. She rushed over to the boys and tried to pull Tony off Wes, screaming for an explanation. After a brief struggle, Wes wrestled free and jumped back from his incensed brother.
    "What the hell is going on here!" Mary screamed.
    "Wes is out here hustling! I told him to leave this alone, but he won't listen!" Tony yelled back.
    "No he isn't, he is making the money DJing," Mary said.
    Hearing this, Tony pulled back his anger at Wes and turned it on his mother. "Are you serious? You really believe that? Are you blind?"
    Mary hesitated. Her voice was less assured when she responded. "Well, that's what he told me, and I believe him," she said. Her eyes turned to Wes. He stood about ten feet away from them, head tilted back, trying to stop the bleeding from his nose. He suddenly jerked his head down to spit out the blood pooling in his mouth. Mary knew her younger son was no innocent. In addition to the knife fight when he was younger, Wes had been arrested a few years back after being caught stealing a car. But the sight of Tony punching Wes in the face infuriated her. Maybe it was because Wes was younger than Tony and Mary knew well how violent Tony could be. Or maybe it was because she wanted so much for Tony to be wrong. She knew what her older son was into but didn't think there was anything she could do for him now. She hoped that Wes would be different.
    Wes was completely taken aback by his brother's anger. Tony had tried to keep Wes in school and away from drugs for as long as Wes could remember. But Tony was still deep in the game himself. Wes didn't think Tony was a hypocrite exactly--he knew why his brother felt obliged to warn him off. But it was clear that Tony himself didn't have any better ideas or he would've made those moves himself. And the truth was, Wes now had more money in his pocket than he'd ever had before, which kept him outfitted in new clothes--including the two-hundred-dollar Cross Colours set now covered with grass stains and dirt.
    Tony looked over at Wes, his clothes, his crisp green footwear, the laces gleaming white even after their tumble through the

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