Life of an EX College Bandsman 11:
A Sneak Peek
Dr. Raidon Harris
Sunday, October 16, 2016
It felt good to have my family here. Unfortunately, it was under dire circumstances. We had been talking for hours about what I knew in regards to Micah’s case. In addition, I spoke to everyone about my lawyer’s plan of action. Everyone was down with the press conference. We all knew something shady happened in the wee hours of the morning, and we were not going to let our brother’s death be in vain.
I looked around the room and thought about everyone’s relationship with Micah. Ra’Jon and Micah didn’t really care for each other. I know it goes back to when Micah was younger. Ra’Jon found out that Micah was having sex with dudes and held that over his head, blackmailing him. In order to keep Micah’s secret a secret, RJ forced Micah to do things to break up the budding relationship between Zach Finley and Chaz McDaniel. Micah always resented RJ for doing that to him. Even though everything blew up in RJ’s face, Micah never really forgave him. After RJ moved to Orlando, nobody in the family really dealt with him. When it was revealed that our father—Morgan, Micah, Michelle and myself—wasn’t his father, it only made the rest of my siblings separate ourselves from him. RJ never acted like a Harris, and we now understood why.
Morgan and Micah used to be very close. You couldn’t split those two apart. Once Micah got on drugs, everything changed. Early on during Micah’s recovery, Morgan tried to be there for Micah, but their relationship went sour, very fast. To this day, I still don’t know what exactly happened between Morgan and Micah, but they never spoke again. It wasn’t until recently that they started to rebuild their relationship as brothers. Still, you could tell that it wasn’t the same—it would never be the same. Even though they were on speaking terms, they didn’t talk often. I was usually the person to bring them together by going out to eat or going to church. I mean the three of us lived in Atlanta, we should have done more things together.
Michelle and Micah were close. It was hard for Michelle to accept that Micah was an addict and that drew them apart. Michelle spent majority of her time dedicated to her family. As Micah cleaned himself of the drugs, their relationship slowly started to repair itself.
When Micah got addicted to drugs, the family gave up on him—everyone but my mom and me.
“So, what are we going to do about the funeral?” Morgan asked. “How are we going to pay for it?”
“Funerals aren’t cheap,” I said looking around my living room. “We’re looking at—at least fifteen-thousand.”
Michelle glanced over at me and said, “Didn’t Micah have a life insurance policy?”
“He tried, but because of his prior drug usage, the rates were very high for him and he didn’t want to pay.”
Morgan turned to our mom and said, “Didn’t you have one out on Micah?”
“No,” our mom replied. “Your father did when y’all were young, but once you all became adults, your father stopping paying the policy in an attempt to cut expenses. He said that y’all were grown and able to take care of yourselves.”
“Well, I’m just gonna be honest. I don’t have any extra money,” Morgan said. “I’m just a high school math teacher. I’m barely making it as is. On top of that, this child support kills any spare money I could have.”
RJ added, “I’m with Morgan. I don’t have any extra money to give up. Black and I are just staying afloat down in Orlando. We don’t have any money.”
I looked at Michelle and waited for her excuse. Micah wasn’t just my brother—he belonged to all of us. She said, “Ced and I don’t have a lot, but I’ll check our accounts and see what we can scrap up.”
I looked at her husband and Ced nodded his head in agreement.
Frustrated, I said, “So nobody in this house, besides Michelle and Ced has any money? Nobody can put a thousand on your credit card? This is pathetic. Micah is OUR brother!”
“Why can’t you pay it?” RJ interjected right as my mother was getting ready to speak.
“Excuse me?” I replied, taken aback at his aggressive tone of voice.
RJ and I never got along. This nigga was always jealous of the relationship I had with our mother. Yes, Ra’Jon was the first-born, but I was my mom’s and dad’s love child. I’ll never forget when we all found out RJ’s dad wasn’t our dad. Alonzo, RJ’s biological father, was our father’s best friend and secret lover. I swear this family is fucked up. We need our own reality show.
With attitude in his voice, RJ said, “Why can’t you pay it? You’re the one with all the money. Let’s not overlook the fact that when you combine your salaries, you and Tony make well over $200,000 a year. Look at this house. Look at the neighborhood you live in. Look at y’all spoiled ass son. When we were growing up, we could only dream to live the life TJ has. Point being, you can pay for it. Y’all ain’t struggling. It’s not gonna hurt your fucking pockets one bit.”
“Nigga, fuck you!” I jumped up. “First off, you need to keep TJ’s name out of your muh’fuckin’ mouth. Secondly, if you would’ve spent less time scheming, blackmailing and videotaping niggas when you worked at FAMU, then maybe you’ll be in a similar position like I am today. Don’t hate on my success because you fucked up your own life! Just because I have money in my bank account doesn’t mean that I’m the only person obligated here to pay for our brothers’ funeral expenses. I worked hard for my fucking money! This burden doesn’t just rely on my damn shoulders.”
“Y’all calm down and stop cursing,” my mother pleaded.
“Fuck Raidon’s ole’ bitch ass!” RJ stood up. “I swear I never liked you. From the moment you were born, you’ve been nothing but a pain in my motherfucking side. Everything has always been about you. You are the only person that mattered in Mama’s eyes. Mama had five children and you’re the only Harris that mattered. So, you pay for it! You are the golden child. Micah only dealt with your ass anyway—you and Michelle. He didn’t call me. I couldn’t tell you the last time I heard from him. Now he’s dead and you want my money to pay for his funeral? Fuck outta here!”
“RJ, you need to grow the hell up,” Michelle said. “Our brother is dead and you’re on this petty shit! That’s exactly why nobody deals with your delusional ass now.”
“Get the fuck out of my house!” I demanded to my older brother. “Take your prissy ass and get the FUCK out of my house!”
Right as RJ was getting ready to speak, TJ came into the living room with another man. I looked at TJ as if he was crazy. Why is that man in my house?
TJ said, “He wanted to be with the family. I figured I would bring him inside.” TJ smiled and hurried back outside with his cousins.
“What the hell are you doing here?” I asked Brandon, Micah’s ex-boyfriend. Micah told me last night that Brandon ended things with him earlier that morning.
“I came here to show support for Micah,” Brandon replied.
“Who are you?” Michelle asked.
Brandon looked at me.
“Raidon,” my mom added. “What is going on? Who is this young man? How does he know Micah?”
Morgan interjected, “That’s Micah’s boyfriend.”
“EX boyfriend,” I exclaimed.
Brandon rolled his eyes.
“The fuck you rolling your eyes for?” I asked, heated. “You broke up with Micah yesterday. Y’all are no longer together and that means you are no longer family.”
“Raidon, there is no need to be like this,” Brandon said. “I still loved Micah. This is an unfortunate situation.”
“You broke up with my brother so you can go fuck another man.”
“Let’s not act like Micah wasn’t still having sex with his ex,” Brandon said. “Kris, correct?”
“Micah and Kris were still having sex?” Michelle jumped up. “Oh, my God.”
“Lord Jesus,” my mother called out.
I stared at Brandon and said, “You need to get your ass out of my fucking house.”
“Raidon, your mouth!” my mom said upset. “I am still in this room.”
“Umm, hmm,” RJ cut, looking at my mother. “He ain’t as holy as you think he is.”
Ced got up and walked out of the room.
“Raidon, baby, calm down,” Tony said. “He was with Micah for years. Brandon is hurting, too.”
“Years?” Michelle said. “Why haven’t I heard of you? What is your name?”
“He is irrelevant, Michelle,” I said.
“Everybody just calm down,” Black interjected.
I looked at Black, rolled my eyes and said, “I asked your boyfriend to get out of my house. Can you please take him and go!”
“Raidon, Ra’Jon is your brother,” my mom said. “No one is leaving! We are a family.”
“But this is my house. I pay the bills here. They need to get the fuck out. I don’t have time for their smart remarks. The only people that need to be here are the people that truly loved and cared for Micah.”
“Fuck y’all and this fucked up ass family!” Brandon said. “I see why Micah turned to drugs. Fucking with y’all, I would, too.”
“What was that bitch-nigga?” Morgan jumped up.
“Bruh, you need to bounce,” Tony stepped into Brandon’s face. “You’re not gonna disrespect my family, bruh. It’ll be best if you leave.”
“Fuck y’all! I’m not gonna be somewhere I’m not wanted. Micah knows how I felt about him. Even though our relationship ended yesterday, he knows how I felt,” Brandon said.
Before anyone could say anything else, he turned around and walked out.
Once he was gone, my mom stood up and said, “EVERYBODY SHUT THE HELL UP!”
“Mama,” I said.
“Raidon, sit your ass down!” she demanded. “Michelle, go outside, get your husband and bring him back in here.”
As my only sister left the room, I looked at mother. She said, “I said, sit your ass down!”
“Raidon, shut up!” she demanded. “I’m not gonna tell you again to sit your ass down. I am still the matriarch of this family. I am still in charge of this family.”
As Michelle and Ced came back into the room, she continued, “I will continue to be in charge of this family until the day I die.”
When Ced and Michelle sat down, I eased into one of the dining room chairs that Tony had brought in the living room, hours ago, so everyone could have a seat.
My mom looked everyone in the eyes. She said, “I know everyone’s emotions are running high. I know everyone is upset about Micah. I know everyone is hurting. Raidon, I know you are probably hurting the most. You were there for Micah when everyone else turned their backs on him. Raidon, you helped him get his life back on track. You were Micah’s lifeline. He depended on you. We understand that. Regardless of what has happened in the past, we are still a family. This is our family. No family is perfect. All families argue and fight, but now is not the time for that. This family is only as strong as its’ weakest link. My four grandchildren are playing right outside those doors. They can probably hear everything that’s going on inside of this house. This is not the example we need to be setting. I don’t know who the hell y’all think y’all are, but this cursing and blatant disrespect, right in front of me, will stop right now! I don’t give a damn whose house this is, no one standing under the sound of my voice is leaving. This is our family. OUR FAMILY! We have to be strong. All this bickering and fighting is only going to tear us apart, and that’s something we don’t need. Micah will not like or approve of what’s happening in this house right now.”
My mom looked to me and said, “Raidon, you were dead wrong for treating that young man who just left here like that. Yes, he and Micah may have broken up, but he is hurting, too. You are not the only person that loved Micah. This isn’t about who has the most money. This isn’t about who can afford to pay for Micah’s funeral. Y’all need to check y’all damn egos at the door.”
She turned to Ra’Jon and said, “RJ and Raidon, y’all been going back and forth like this since y’all were children. The both of you need to grow the hell up! This is about Micah, not y’all petty issues.”
My mom took a deep breath and continued, “Now, because I said so, when we go face the public, we will be a unified front. We will stand together, as a family, in the name of Micah. Tony, is the food done?”
She said, “Good. Someone go get the grandkids. Everyone go wash up so we can have dinner as a family. Raidon, what time is the press conference?”
I cleared my throat and said, “I don’t know. My lawyer said she will call me with the information.”
She nodded her head as everyone prepared for an early dinner.
Because it was a lot of people here, everyone couldn’t sit at the dinner table. We placed all the kids at the table, so my house wouldn’t get fucked up with spaghetti stains. Michelle and Ced ate dinner at the table, all the other adults went back to the living room.
Nobody really said anything during dinner. I was thinking about everything my mom said, and upon reflection, I was in the wrong. I allowed my rage in the situation to get the best of me. All that being said, I wasn’t apologizing to RJ. His fuck ass meant everything he said.
During dinner, my phone started to ring. I glanced at it and saw that my lawyer was calling. I quickly answered, “This is Raidon.”
“Hey, Raidon. This is Marie. I’ve listened to the 911 tapes in addition to seeing the video footage from the police car. Raidon, based on the pieces of the puzzle I’ve put together, I feel there is foul play here. I’ve alerted the media of the press conference. Can you and your family meet me at 6:30 in front of the Cobb County courthouse?”
I looked at my time. We had a little over an hour to get there. “Yes, we’ll be there!”
“Ight, see you there. We’ll talk then.”
As soon as I hung up the phone, Morgan asked, “Was that Marie?”
“Yes. She saw the police car footage and she listened to the 911 tapes. She feels foul play is involved. She wants us at the courthouse at 6:30.”
“Is that for the press conference?”
“Yes,” I exhaled. “We need to hurry up so we can get going.”