Having It All

The gray sky began to glow with the first approaches of dawn. The buzz of the streets began to fill with the din of normal everyday commute. The city began to come to life as it did daily. The passing echoes of distant sirens, the low growl of honking horns, the occasional people on the street shouting greeting but more insults, could be heard. Another day had dawned.

In the suburbs it was much the same, the still morning began to break over the rows of houses lined up in constant uniform. In one particular house, much like the same. Well manicured lawn, nicely maintained, lawn sculptures adorning the green grass. The trickle of the sprinklers springing to full vitality.

The room was dark, the first rays of sunlight spilling through the closed blinds. The room was big, very clean, several scattered weights lay strewn about the floor. On the dresser were several bottles of expensive cologne, a tube of hair gel and several pictures of girlfriends, friends and family members. On the opposite wall stood several basketball trophies, athletic medals and a teddy bear. The walk in closet lay open showcasing a variety of clothes, sneakers etc…On the walls hung several posters of rap idols such as Tupac Shakur, and Snoop Dogg. This was the room of seventeen year old Darrion Tavarez, a well rounded young Hispanic who seemed to have it all.

While Darrion lay in bed, his diamond earring glistened in the first light of the sun. The perfect silence was broken with a loud somewhat obnoxious wake up call.

"Wake up nigga! Wake up motherfucker! Wake the fuck up!" shouted his cell phone in a repeated loop.

After about five minutes of that Darrion slowly opened his brilliant hazel eyes, filled with sleep. He took in a deep breath as he rubbed his eyes to greet the morning. He absent mindedly reached back to grab his cell phone to silence it. He pulled the phone around to his view, flipped it open and pressed a button.

"I'm awake, so shut the fuck up" Darrion said groggily.

He slowly sat up in bed and looked around his room and noticed the clock on his dresser, it read 6:30 A.M. His head slowly turned to see an empty bottle of Tequila on his night stand. The night before he and a few of his friends decided to celebrate the end of the school year a little early.

"Oh shit, neva again." said Darrion.

In one motion he threw the bed covers off of him and hopped out of bed. He headed straight for a few dumbbells in front of a large full length mirror. He lifted one in each hand and began to lift. He was in quite good shape, well framed body, tight abs and nicely defined biceps. Ever since he was young, Darrion made it a point to work out almost everyday. Already at seventeen he was six foot one and was quite the star on his high school basketball team. After a good twenty minutes of lifting, Darrion slowly set the weights down and went to his closet. He had a good fashion sense and liked to show it. He flipped through several high end name brands such as Echo, Phat Farm, Fubu, Nike and Sean John. After a few minutes of deliberation he pulled out a short sleeved red shirt with the collar ironed up. To match he took out a pair of baggy khaki type pants and a pair of wheat colored Timberlands. Slipping on the clothes quickly he made his way to the bathroom where he brushed his pearl white teeth rather quickly. They were straight and it was times like that that Darrion was thankful he had braces when he was younger. After brushing he pulls out an electric razor and evens out his connecting beard, goatee and mustache.

A sharp ring from his cell phone breaks the endless routine of getting ready in the morning. After splashing some water on his face he goes back into his room to answer it.

"Darry, where you at babe." says a sweet voice on the end.

"I'm still at the crib girl…I'll be over in a lil bit." says Darrion.

"Nigga we gonna be late again" says the female voice.

"Gabby don't trip, I'll be over, I'm almost done".

"Aight, I love you babe".

"I love you too babe" says Darrion as he hangs up.

Gabriel Santiago, arguably one of the most gorgeous and popular girls in school. She was on the cheerleading squad, was a straight A student and was homecoming queen two years running. Long dark hair, a figure to die for and eyes that would hypnotize a snake…she was the epitomy of a Latina beauty. She and Darrion had met in the beginning of the year and everyone said they were the perfect couple.

After the phone call Darrion went back into his room, applied some hair gel to his well groomed jet black hair and sprayed on some cologne. He walks down the hall and peers into his father's room, which of course was empty. He continued to walk through the hall and passed a picture of his mother. He looked at it somberly and wiped some dust from the picture.

"I know you always hated it when he left early in the mornings" Darrion said to the picture.

For the past ten years it had only been Darrion and his father Raul. His mother Alicia had died when he was seven in a car accident. Being an only child, Darrion didn't have any brothers or sisters to rely upon, only his father. For some time afterward the two of them struggled emotionally to make it. Over time the bond between father and son grew stronger until they finally felt they could put the tragic past behind them and move on.

Raul Tavarez and Alicia Castillo had met sometime in the mid eighties. Raul was born in Puerto Rico, Alicia was Mexican and was born in the Bronx. They had met while still teenagers and got married at a very young age. They had it very rough at first, both were trying to attend school to build careers for themselves. Raul had just finished technical school to become a computer programmer and Alicia was studying to become a nurse. She had to put her schooling on hold when young Darrion was born. As the years wore on Raul became more successful and afforded the family financial stability. Darrion's faint memories of his mother is of that of a caring and devoted woman. By all accounts Raul's and Alicia's marriage was a happy one, made complete by the arrival of Darrion. She had revived her schooling and was on her way to achieving her dream of being a nurse. Than that fateful night arrived to tear the family asunder.

Seven year old Darrion was sitting by the T.V. with his father on the couch. Raul had cooked dinner for Alicia because of her late classes. Both were waiting for her return when a knock came at the door. Raul got up to answer it only to find a police officer on the other side. Young Darrion couldn't understand what they were saying, but Raul's tears spoke volumes. Alicia Castillo Tavarez was dead. That moment would forever replay in Darrion's head, the night he lost his beloved mother.

Darrion tried to shake off the painful memories, when the phone rang. Answering it, Raul's voice came across the line.

"Darrion, mijo I'm glad caught you before you left for school." said Raul.

"Well good morning pops…early meeting?" asked Darrion.

"You know how it is papi, but listen look in the front kitchen drawer, I left something for you." said Raul.

Darrion went over to the drawer and opened it to find a greeting card in Spanish that said "To my beloved son". Inside the card were three one hundred dollar bills. A bright smile crossed the young man's face.

"Just my way of saying great job this year with your grades and your sports papi" said Raul over the phone.

"Gracias pop, don't work to hard" said Darrion.

"Have a good day at school nene', I love you" said Raul.

"Love you to pop" said Darrion as he hung up.

Still smiling, Darrion popped a Pop Tart in his mouth and walked out the door…