You know the saying, “life is stranger than fiction”? Well, after reading this entry you will see why. As I mentioned I went through a ‘Ghetto’ phase. I wasn’t ghetto and could never pass for ghetto and never even tried to be ghetto…but I was a bored college girl who found some fun and excitement in hanging out with local thugs one summer. I think it was influenced by all the ‘hood’ movies I had seen. So one Christmas break when an old friend and I were reunited after the murder of her boyfriend who was a good friend of mine, I was introduced to thug life and could not wait to come back that summer.

One night I was going to hang out at ‘The Carter’. I was entering the building with as girl name Miranda (the story is that her father was arrested so many times that he knew the ‘Miranda rights’ by heart and named his daughter after it). After entering the courtyard, the police swarmed down on the place and raided it. A man I had never seen before ran up to us and said, “take this!” and tried to hand us a bag of crack rocks. We both refused to take it. I was thinking, “I have never been asked to hold drugs before, what if he kills me for refusing to help him?” The police were getting closer and closer to us and as they approached us the man stuffed the rocks in his mouth. They asked me and Miranda our names and what we were doing there. We gave them our names and told them we were visiting friends. I was a nervous wreck, but Miranda was taking it all in stride so I was following her lead.

After the police questioned us, they turned to this strange man and started to question him. Remember, he had a mouth full of crack rocks and  I almost peed in my pants, because I could only think of how I had ruined my future for a little adventure and would now be in jail on drug charges because they would think we were together!

As I was contemplating my fate, the man with the mouth full of crack, started talking…IN SIGN LANGUAGE!!! Miranda and I stood there in disbelief and were shocked when the police officer allowed us to go in the building. As we ran up the stairs, laughing hysterically, I told him, “You are a MFing genius, I can’t believe you did that!” He said, “I told them to kiss my a$$! I learned sign language when I was in the joint. Them dumb a$$ police thought I told them my name!” Once we were inside the apartment he befriended me and told me his story. According to him, he had just been released from jail after serving ten years in the penitentiary. He said, that a police officer had raped his ten year old sister and at the trial they only sentenced him to Alcohol rehab. He said that in court he stood up and threatened to kill the police officer. A week later the cop was found dead, and he was charged with murder based on circumstantial evidence. This man’s name was Shariff, and he took a liking to me and nicknamed me, “Lucky”. He told everybody I was his lucky charm (why he did not pick Miranda I don’t know). He became a real pain in the butt to the gang but they all treated him with respect because he was an ‘Old G’ who was down with Jeff Fort and the El Rukns. He just got on everybody’s nerves cuz he was very talkative and too friendly. Every time he would ring the bell at ‘The Carter’ they would tease me and say, “hey Lucky it’s Shariff.” Around this same time there was a rapist on the loose in the South Shore area. It made the nightly news all summer. He was called, The South Shore Rapist and he was preying on little girls and women early in the morning on their way to school and/or work.

One day, my friend and I were bored and went to Terror Town to hang out. It was more like a ghost town that night because nobody was around. We started to walk back to her house. and as we passed an alley, someone jumped out and grabbed us both from behind and tried to drag us into the alley. We both screamed and started to fight off our attacker, when we noticed it was Shariff and he started laughing and was like, “Oh hey Lucky, I was just messing with you!” He reminded me how I was his Lucky Charm and that the police were out deep that night and he wanted to know if we would stay outside with him, while he slang his rocks (sold drugs). He said I was his Lucky Charm and as long as I was around then the police would leave him along. He even offered to pay us if we just stayed with him. I wasn’t interested and declined.

Later that summer, while visiting ‘The Carter’ I was asked if I saw/heard the news. I said, what news? I was informed that it was all over the news that Shariff had been captured and he was The South Shore Rapist. They turned on the TV and it was reported that he had recently been released from jail after serving ten years on a rape case. Everybody teased me for the rest of the summer. They kept saying, “you sure are LUCKY!”