“I’m sorry I lied to you but Jude, you are her father….I gave birth a week ago and I just cant raise her, you have a more stable life….I know she will be better off without me, I was never ready to be a mom. Dont try to look for me as I have left the country with Connor
From the note in my hands and the baby fast asleep on my door step, my mind had a hard grappling with any of this…..
Okay okay….you guys must be so confused right now, more than I am. My apologies for starting the story at its climax….lets take back to a few months back and maybe we can all make sense of this as we go along….how the fuck did I end up with a baby!!!
9 months earlier….
It was just another normal depressing day for me, a Monday to be exact. I had just come from yet another botched, failed interview with this up and coming company in Halsbury Brooklyn, kind of the surburban area for Brooklyn. I arrived at my crappy apartment to prepare for my shift at the bar where I worked as a bartender, now you might think working at a bar is fun but it gets tiring at some point especially when you graduated top of your class at NYU, through a scholarship that failed to give you a job like they promised I worked my butt off for those assholes but when the time came for them to provide me with a permanent job all I got was “thank you for your hard work Mr Howard but we dont have a position to offer you right now” ch! Dont have a Position to offer me my ass! Ugh my blood boils every time I think about how they screwed me!
Anyway, so I arrived at the apartment where my girlfriend of 3 years now was waiting not so eagerly for me.
Leila “and? How did it go?” I went to open the fridge and took out some beer
Me “it didnt”
Leila “you didnt get the job again?!” I looked at her
Me “you make it sound like I’m doing it on purpose! I cant hire myself Leila”
Leila “I know that but its tiring Jude! Do you know how much I hate this life? Working for minimum wage, supporting myself, supporting you?! Living in this crappy apartment in this fucked up neighbourhood?! Ugh I hate it!”
Me “so what? You think I’m enjoying this? I hate it too! I am a graduate…an IT genius but what can I do?!”
Leila “I’m tired Jude, I want out” I gave her a confused look
Me “what is that supposed to mean?”
Leila “it means that I am pregnant Jude” my face dropped
Leila “I just found out that I’m pregnant okay….and I just, it just made me question some things about my life” I put the beer down and sat on the sofa
Me “pr-pregnant?” I couldnt believe it, in this crappy life time I was going to be a father, how does one bring a child into this fucked up world?
Leila “yes Jude, pregnant as in I have a human life growing inside of me” I looked up at her
Leila “I’m leaving”
Me “what? Where are you going?! Where will you go? You cant leave!” I stood up “my child, our child….how will you take care of a baby alone?”
Leila “how will you take care of a baby! You can barely take care of me!”
Me “I’ll take extra shifts at the bar but you’re not leaving with my child! No matter how crappy things are or what type of loser you think I am but its still my baby” she kept quiet “Leila!”
Leila “its not yours” I stepped back
Me “what?” It was a whisper
Leila “I said its not yours. Why do you think I want to leave?”
Me “what do you mean its not mine? Have there been other men?” She walked closer to me and took my hands
Leila “oh sweet naive little Jude, of course there have been other men honey…what did you think all those late nights at the office were about?”
Me “you said your boss asked you to work late”
Leila “I lied, I’ve been sleeping with Connor, I love him and we’re going to have a baby now, he asked me to move in with him ”
Leila “look sweetheart, you must know why I dated you in the first place right?” I shook my head “because I always thought that with your brilliant mind, you would take over the world one day so I overlooked everything else, your outdated fashion style, your awkward sense of humor, your boring personality and everything in between, look babe….this was fun and I hope you didnt think it would last right?” She smiled and patted me on the cheek. I couldnt understand why she was smiling while breaking my heart in pieces
Leila “I already packed my stuff, Connor will be here any minute now” I just looked at her as tears stung my eyes, I couldnt say a word to her, I was too stunned to even speak. I watched her drag her luggage out of the bedroom
Me “Leila….” I finally found my voice “how, how could you do this?”
Leila “dont do that….”
Me “do what?”
Leila “do that pathethic sad face thing you always do, its sad and annoying”
Me “how can you be so cold? How can you be so unfeeling? We’ve been together for 3 years…how can you say all these things”
Leila “I’m sorry if you feel cheated but I’m just being honest with you. I dont love you anymore Jude and now I want to be with someone who can give me the kind of life I want. I’m moving to Halsbury with Connor”
Me “really? So you’re going to leave just like that?”
Leila “yes” a car honked outside “thats my ride” she pulled her suitcase to the door, I ran quickly to block it
Me “please dont go, I promise that I will change….that I will be the man you want me to be. I promise I will scower the streets of New York and look for a job so I can provide for you. I will take care of that baby even if its not mine. Please just dont go….”
Leila “Jude…dont beg either, its pathetic. You cant stop me from leaving. This baby….this baby is my ticket out of this life, to be with Connor and far away from you” I looked into her eyes and there was no warmth whatsoever, she was as cold as ice. I moved from the door and watched her leave.
After she left, I sank on the couch and cried, yes I know it sounds unmanly and weak to be crying over a girl who clearly did not feel about me the way I felt about her.
A little background info, my name is Jude Howard, I never knew my biologocal parents but I was raised very well by my adoptive parents who loved me so much and provided me with a good life until they passed away in a tragic accident. After living a comfortable life for the past 16years of my life, aunts and uncles came in like vultures after my parents’ deaths and took everything. I bounced around in the foster care system until I turned 18, I took an interest in IT since I was still a kid, always fascinated by computers and what makes them so amazing. My father used to say, I started typing the minute I could talk so it was only natural that I got a scholarship to study at NYU and lucky for me, I managed not to get into the bad stuff even though the temptation was there, living in poverty can make you do crazy things but it always comes down to choice, I chose education because I felt it would have the best outcomes in the future. I met Leila in my 2nd year at NYU, she was studying there too under a loan, something with admin I think . She was the most beautiful girl I ever saw, not that I hadnt had girls before but they all used me, you know when the popular girls use the nerd? That was my situatuon. Anyway Leila seemed different, she saw something in me and stuck with me through all the ups and downs in my life. She was the first girl I ever felt actually loved me even though I thought I was beneath her. We dated for 3 years…well until just a few minutes ago when she dumped me
After sitting on that couch for what seemed like forever, I had to get up and get ready for work. I freshened up and wore my uniform then I left. I arrived at work while to relieve Afredo from the bar, Jason was there too, my best friend since my childhood days, he was a manager at a local bank which meant he was doing far better than me
Jay “hey man! I have great news!” He said to me as I approached him
Me “whats up?” I said deflated
Jay “whoa! Whats with the spirit?”
Me “nothing, I’m just tired…whats your great news”
Jay “I got a promotion!”
Jay “yeah! They want me to manage the branch in the Upper East Side!”
Me “you’re moving to Manhattan?”
Jay “yeah! In two weeks! Can you believe it!” I could believe it all right and it made me resentful as hell! Jay always had things go smoothly for him, he grew up with both his biological parents, he didnt go to NYU like me but he did study at a community college because of his marks but immediately after college, he got a job at the bank, a few months later he was promoted and now he was going to move out of the slumps! Fantastic!!
Me “wow! Thats great man!” It was hard to be happy for him when my life was so crappy “I’m happy for you bro”
Jay “thanks….oh! How did the interview go?” I shook my head “I’m sorry Jude, you’ll find something soon I’m sure of it”
Me “yeah…anyway congrats and let me get back to work”
Jay “cool” I could see that I dampened his spirits too with my obvious bad aura. I breathed out a loud sighed and started on my work by attending to customers.
I was still went for interviews and they all gave me the same answer “Mr Howard your resumè is astounding but I’m afraid you’re just not the right fit at this moment” or “we just dont have anything for you right now” I was so tired of the I’m sorries, I mean if my resumè is that impressive then why not give me a job! Why was God punishing me like this yet I made the right choice! Even though all odds were against me, I chose the right path, I chose my education and though I am an IT genius, I had been offered side jobs but they all entailed criminal activity and I hadnt studied IT to use it to break the law but even though I lived my life by the rules I somehow ended up being a loser
I still worked at the bar and to be honest I kept hating it everyday of my life, I kept praying and hoping for a change but nothing ever happened! I saw Leila once, she looked happy pushing around a big tummy with a kid that was supposed to be mine had she not cheated but I guess it was for the best, what could I have done for the kid anyway? Leila was right, I could barely take care of my self
After some time, I had to give up on my big break, I could definitely see that I was going to live in Williamsburg and work as a bartender for the rest of my life, I even stopped applying for jobs, posting my resumè on ever single job seeking website. It was over for me and I had to accept that, I started to regret the choices I made and I realised that it was all just a waste of time. Choosing the right path, the path of righteousness, the path of thinking that if I stuck it out and studied then I would reap my benefits, the benefits I worked so hard to get but all that hard work was for nothing so I decided to make another choice, maybe it was time I used my skills for something else, that something people always wanted me to use them for, because I always thought to myself that fast cash was bad cash, I strayed from that life but now, I felt I had no option but to dive right into it or I’d live as a pauper for the rest of my life
The first job I got was from some guy who wanted to rip of his ass of a boss, hacking into someone’s banking is easy…you just have to hack into their system, wait for them to use either internet or cellphome banking in order to access the password then you can take as much as you want but you must always ensure that you dont leave a trail and that was my specialty, I could hack into anything without leaving a trail that would lead back to me. After hacking into the guy’s bank account, I also noticed that he had many offshore accounts and people who have those kind of accounts are the ones who have something to hide. The guy I was doing the job for had just gotten fired, unfairly so he kept telling me and he wanted to teach his boss a “lesson”. He had an axe to grind and I had money to make, it seemed like a win win to me.
Looking at the offshore accounts and the amount of money in every account, I mean the guy had accounts in Europe, London, The Bahamas and even Brazil
Me “what kind of work does he do again?”
Ray “trading, import and exports…judging by this, that bastard is into more than just that” I chuckled
Me “you think? He is basically using the legit business to clean his dirty money, this guy is practically a billionare”
Ray “I know! I knew he had shady dealings but he fired me because he knew I was getting close, thank God I found you…now I will get whats due to me”
Me “how did you know about me anyway?”
Ray “a friend of a friend apparently you guys went to NYU together, he said you were the best in class but you’d never use your skills for this”
Me “but you came anyway”
Ray “everybody has a price, you just need to find out what it is”
Me “how much to you want?”
Ray “5 million” I choked and coughed
Me “$5000 000? Are you serious!!”
Ray “yes, its child’s play compared to what this mother fucker has! You said it yourself, he’s a billionare”
Me “yes but….”
Ray “your cut will be a million. That money will buy me a first clasd ticket out of this place where I will go live the rest of my days in a private Island”
Me “1 million? For me?” He nodded and I was flabbergasted. Just one job and I was going to be a millionare…that morning I had woke up witu exactly 250 dollars in my bank but now I was going to sleep with 1million US dollars!! Wow!!
Ray “yeah, you in?”
Ray “then lets start working” I nodded and started working, thinking about all the things I could do with 1 million dollars, because I was so poor, I didnt have any debt because I learned to live in between my means. I wasnt going to change my life instantly but I was going to gradually improve myself and perhaps start a company of my own then get out of this shady business….
It took me, us a few days to complete the job but we finally did, Ray walked away with his 4 million and I hid mine safely in a secret account, I knew I had to smart about everything because people would be suspicious if I suddenly became rich cos no one would believe I won the lottery like that!
Knowing that I had 1million dollars, definitely made things easier for me. I no longer had to worry about money, how I was going to pay rent, buy food and just get by to the next month, I felt good and positive about life again. Jay moved to the Upper East Side and I knew I was going to be following him soon. After working with Ray, the job offers kept coming in and I was piling in the cash, keeping it in the secret account. I told myself that if I was going to get sucked in to that life then I would at least steal from the bad people…you know like a Robin Hood type of set up. I would bring justice to those who had been wronged by giving the wrong doers a little bit of Karma. From hacking into accounts, to email accounts, defrauding small companies, I was on a roll…so much that I had to quit my job at the bar and work from home full time, still keeping the money I made in a secret account, I still didnt make drastic changes to my life but minor changes like buying myself the essentials that I didnt have before.
It was on a Friday when I got a call from someone who wanted me to do a job for them. He told me that we would meet at some shady bar which was known as a strip bar and a drug mosh pit. I agreed to meet him there so after completing a job for some other client, I dressed up and made my way to the strip bar. I immediately spotted the guy, he had told me that he’d be wearing a dark navy suit, he was sitted in a dark corner with a scotch on the rocks in front of him. He waved me over and I walked to him
Him “sit down Mr Howard” I sat and looked at him, he was very elegant and sophisticated, he definitely did not belong in Williamsburg, he stood right out like he should be in Manhattan or something
Me “how can I help you?” He chuckled
Him “right down to business huh? I like it…but let me buy you a drink” he summoned the almost dressed waitress and she walked over with a wide smile
Her “another drink?” She flashed him a flirty smile
Him “yes, a drink for my friend here ”
Her “what would he like?” She asked, without even looking at me
Him “what will it be Mr Howard?”
Me “a beer thanks”
Him “you heard the man” she nodded then walked off
Him “lets kick this off with introductions shall we?” I stared at him “my name is Chace Tatum, I got your name and contact from a friend of mine that you did a job for recently, Mr Pablo?”
Me “oh yes, I remember him”
Him “he says you’re very good”
Me “I try”
Matt “modest, I like it”
Me “so what would like me to do for you sir?” My beer came
Chace”thank you” she smiled again and walked off “when I heard about your talent, I just knew I have to meet you”
Chace “because Mr Howard, I figure I might have a proposal for you” my interest was immediately peeked
Me “yes…” he took a sip of his scotch and gave me a crooked charming smile
Chace “what if I said there is a way to take your skills to the next level?”
Me “I’d ask how” he chuckled
Chace “well, I know that you’ve been….helping those few people who have faced injustice but that is just child’s play…why dont you work with me Mr Howard into tackling the bigger companies who commit big crimes by taking from the poor and making themselves richer”
Me “how do you mean?”
Chace “by using your amazing skills of course, we can make a lot of money by ensuring that karma pays each and every one of them a little visit” I smiled and took a sip of my beer
Me “I’m listening….. “