From a Boy to a Man

From a Boy to a Man

Troy L. Sweetney

Fiction, Heard/Arlington County Detention Center writing contest, August, 2019

            Lamont Fayney was born in Washington, DC on the day of September 14, 2004. Born to an unbelievably wealthy family that he wouldn’t soon to know until he was much older. But as far as he knew, he only has a brother 2 years older than him, a mother and a step-father. Lamont was introduced to things a at very young age that made him curious as he grew. Living in Southview Apartments on Southern Avenue, he had his first encounter with a girl at his age of 7. He would never forget it. Although Lamont was active in inappropriate ways for his age, he also stumbled upon some good qualities. He won the Spelling-B in the 3rd and 4th grade that were on 7th and 8th grade levels, he played the violin and also was skipped from the 5th grade to the 7th. Lamont was very intelligent indeed for his age. He was as some people would call him, an “educated-nut.” But a lot would soon change in years to come for Lamont that he never would have intended to happen.

Lamont, his brother Bernard, mother and step-father moved out of the rough ghettos of Washington, DC to a small town in Maryland named Langley Park. “Ma,” Lamont called to his mother, whose name is Sonja. “I’m headed to work in an hour, do you need me to do anything for you before I leave?” She replied, “Yeah, as a matter of fact I do. Go get me some Newport’s from Andre real quick.” Andre is Lamont’s step-father. He didn’t like him much but he still called him “dad” for the sake of normality. Lamont never knew his real biological father. “Damn ma, can you just call dad and tell him to bring you some?” She replied, “What I just say?” “Ok, I’ll go ma, wasn’t asking to leave the house though. Thought you might’ve wanted something done ‘around’ the house but whatever.”

While Lamont was walking to his step-father’s job site, which is 5 minutes from where they live, some guy named Ghost caught up to him. Lamont didn’t know Ghost so he was skeptical as Ghost approached him. “What’s up Rock?” Few people called Lamont “Rock.” He was given the nickname from around the neighborhood because of his solid body like a rock and he was only 15 years old. Lamont replied, “What up bro, do I know you?” “No, but people told me a lot about you. I think you’re a good candidate for the cause.” Lamont said, “What cause the hell you talking about man?” “I know this is probably ‘weird’ but we been watching you for a while now, we like your style. Just wondering if you trying to get some real money other than working at that crusty burger joint,” said Ghost. Although Lamont didn’t know Ghost, he was curious as to what he was offering, so they exchanged phone numbers. Ghost set a time and date for them two to meet.

The day came for Lamont to meet Ghost and as expected Ghost called Lamont early in the morning at 8 am sharp. “Yo what’s up Rock? I need you to meet me in downtown Silver Spring near the hotels at the Subway.” Lamont replied, “Damn bro, I know we spoke on this a couple weeks ago but my job called me in today even though I took off. Can we reschedule this man?” Ghost said, “Rock, what we got to offer you, you’ll never have to work in your life, neither will your kids. Look Rock don’t get it confused. We don’t need you bro, we want you. So come on man forget that rinky dink burger joint. I’m talking real money. Plus, I put in a good word for you so don’t make me look dumb.” Lamont pondered on it, not even knowing what he was getting himself into but gave-in and replied, “Ok, I’ll meet you there. Hope it’s worth me losing my job, I’m still on my probation period; I’ll get fired for not going in.”

So, for the sake of money for his immediate and only family he knew, Lamont met up with Ghost at the appointed destination gambling the risk of him losing his job. As they spoke, Ghost went over every little detail of the plan of what him and his team wanted Lamont to do. Lamont thought they probably wanted him to be a get-away driver or a muscle-man to rob a bank, but he was wrong. Ghost and his team wanted Lamont to enter into a multi-billion dollar company office building, locate the treasury department, find the safe, crack it open and take all the financial papers that are in there. The only problem about cracking the safe is he has to solve an algorithm, but not a mathematical algorithm; it’s an alphabetical algorithm. It’s a very hi-tech sophisticated safe and he only as 3 attempts to open the safe before police are notified. Lamont still wonders why he was nominated to attempt this task but know he’s smart and slick enough to fulfill it.

Now is the day when Lamont is to put to the test, risking everything behind it. If he gets caught, he would be looking at serious jail time. Ghost calls Lamont around 7:30 am and gives him the run-down once more. “Rock today is the day you go from a boy to a man,” said Ghost. Lamont was ready, dressed fully in business attire. Although Lamont is 15 years old, his facial features and physique would make him pass for a 20 year old intern. Ghost’s team specialized in a lot of things, so Lamont was given an ID badge and a key card courtesy of Ghost’s team. Once in the building, Lamont went straight to the building’s directions, then to the treasury department unnoticed. Surprised that his key could work for the treasury department’s main office, Lamont went in and hid in a janitor’s closet near a corner far off until 9 pm when everybody was completely gone. Once clear, he went to the safe; although nervous, cracked it open on the second attempt. “One step closer to pay day,” Lamont thought, now he just needed to leave. But little did Lamont know he dropped a sheet of paper near the safe.

There was no way for Lamont to leave the building without the hallway motion sensor detecting that somebody is there alerting security, so Lamont slept in the closet. He was awoken by chatter near-by and heard his last name “Fayney.” Lamont’s heart dropped, he just knew he was caught maybe by a hidden camera, but that wasn’t the case. Lamont heard his last name again, “Mr. Fayney, who could have possibly known the code to get into the safe other than you?” a lady said. The lady is Mr. Fayney’s personal assistant. Mr. Fayney is the founder of the company being ran throughout the building and their business being to sell and ship “hi-tech automatic self-buffering machines” to all hospitals and government facilities across the nation. As Lamont tuned into their conversation, he suddenly became curious when he seen that him and the founder has the same last name. Lamont had a plan.

Stepping out of the close unnoticed, he slipped into the bathroom to freshen up. Going over to himself in the bathroom as to what he was going to say until, coincidentally Mr. Fayney suddenly appeared. “Like a sign from the heavens” Lamont thought, he went straight to work. Seeing Mr. Fayney’s ID badge, Lamont said, “Wow, Mr. Fayney I was just headed to your office to request to speak with you. I’m from a firm in Virginia that would like to consult and do business with you.” It was 11:30 am so Mr. Fayney invited Lamont to lunch to further their discussion.

As Mr. Fayney spoke on things that didn’t interest Lamont, Lamont waited patiently to speak on what he really wanted to say. Lamont thought to himself, if there is no relation, then he’ll just turn the financial papers to Ghost. But if there was his conscience wouldn’t let him go through with it. Lamont now took the floor to speak and asked Mr. Fayney some personal questions such as, did he have any siblings, nieces or nephews etc? Mr. Fayney felt Lamont was out of pocket asking such questions but he answered them as asked. And to Lamont’s surprise, Mr. Fayney said, “I have one sister named Lois Fayney and one niece named Sonja Fayney.” Lamont shouted, “That’s my mother’s name!” Then Mr. Fayney said, “My sister was a ‘hard egg shell,’ she kept her daughter away from the rest of the family and never said why.” It was like a family reunion to Lamont.

Lamont confessed about the financial papers and explained he only did it to better his family. He gave the papers back to Mr. Fayney. Then Mr. Fayney said, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you and ‘our’ family.” And so he did, so Lamont never contacted Ghost again.