FICTION: Dangerous Love

By Chere Brooks 

[Editor’s Note: The following is an original short story written by a Patterson student.]

It was the end of summer and 12th grade was right around the corner for 17 year-old Serenity. She never thought that her life was about to take a turn for the worse–and for the better. Serenity stood about 5’3 and had a beautiful pecan complexion and almond eyes that made people think that she was part Chinese. She went to Longwell High School in the hopes of making new friends and excelling in school. Never would she have thought that she would meet one person that would change her whole life. His name was Rodney Speaks and to her young eyes he was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. He stood at about 6’1 and his eyes were so hazel that when the sun hit them they seemed to sparkle. Her first day as a 12th grader was normal, coming along fine. She befriended a girl named Ty’asia Edwards. They had so much in common; they both loved dancing and shared the same passion for writing poetry. They grew inseparable to the point that they even started acting alike sometimes. Now Serenity met Rodney one day at lunch time at the cafeteria table where she and Ty’asia were seated. For some reason, Serenity couldn’t keep her eyes off of him as hard as she tried. But to her surprise, he stared right back at her. Both of them stared along time until Ty’asia broke Serenity out of her gaze.

“Girl, who are you staring at?” Ty’asia asked Serenity.

“Oh, that’s my brother. Why? What, you like him or something?” Ty’asia asked.

“I don’t know, but he keeps staring at me.” Serenity blushed.

“Oh, well yea, that’s my big brother. Hey Rod!” Ty’asia screamed out to Rodney, calling him by his nickname.

“Oh God, don’t-–“

“Too late,” Ty’asia said, cutting Serenity off mid-sentence.

“Wassup?” Rodney asked, walking over and sitting across the cafeteria table from Ty’asia and Serenity.

“Oh, nothin’. My friend wanted to know who you were, So, Rod, this is Serenity. Serenity, this is Rod.” Ty’asia introduced them.

“What’s good?” Rodney said, reaching his hand out for Serenity to shake. But she couldn’t. Her palms were too sweaty from being nervous. She couldn’t even speak. Ty’asia nudged her under the table.

“Oh, hi,” was all she could come out with.

“So you’re new here, huh?” Rodney asked her.

“Yeah, I am.” Serenity hoped that she spoke nonchalantly.

“Well, what class do you have after lunch? I’ll walk you, you know, so you won’t get lost”, Rodney said, flashing a cute smile.

“English, Ms. Bright,” she replied.

After lunch, Rodney walked Serenity to her third period class, but before she went to class, Rodney popped the question and asked Serenity for her number. She wrote it on a piece of paper and walked inside the class. Throughout his third period class, Rod couldn’t focus on anything his teacher was saying. He played with the torn-off piece of paper that had Serenity’s number on it and couldn’t wait to go home to call her. When the time came, he rushed to Ty’asia’s last period class to ask her where Serenity’s last period was. To his surprise, they had the same last period. He asked Serenity if she wanted him to drop her off at home, but she declined his offer, letting him know that her mother was picking her up from school.

“Well I’ll see you tomorrow then in homeroom.” Rod said, slightly disappointed he couldn’t spend more time with her.

“Yea, see you tomorrow in homeroom”, she said and rushed outside to her ride.

The entire ride home she was silent. She couldn’t keep her mind off of Rod for some strange reason. But eventually she shook him out of her mind, thinking that it was just a phase. Little did she know, Rod couldn’t stop thinking of her either. He was never the type to stress over a female, especially one he didn’t even know, but there was something different about Serenity, He wanted to know everything about her so he asked Ty’asia to tell him everything she knew about Serenity. He had to know more about this girl.

The next day came around and Serenity rushed to homeroom so she could see Rod but he wasn’t there, She asked Ty’asia where Rod was and she told Serenity that he had to work from nine to three that day. Ty’asia felt bad lying to her friend about her brother’s whereabouts. The truth was Rod was a hustler and as much as he wanted to do right, he couldn’t. He and Ty’asia’s mom was completely strung out on crack cocaine and the little bit of money that they received from the government, their mother used to support her habit instead of using it to support her kids and satisfy their hunger. So Rod had to hustle so that he and Ty’asia could eat and have a roof over their heads. Ty’asia knew that Serenity hated drug dealers simply because of the many conversations that they had together. The day felt like it was going by so slow for Serenity because Rod wasn’t there. After school, she went straight home and showered so she could get ready for work. When her cell phone rang, she answered and almost dropped her phone when she heard his sweet baritone voice coming out of the receiver.

“Hello, Can I speak to Serenity?” Rod asked with silk in his voice.

“Uh…Yea, this is she. Who’s this?” she said, not wanting to sound too pressed.

“Oh, my bad. This is Rod. Sorry for not being in school today. I had some business to handle”, He explained.

“Oh, it’s OK. Ty’asia told me you had to work nine to three.” Serenity said.

“She did?” Rod asked, confused. He knew Serenity hated drug dealers, but he figured Ty’asia only said that so that Serenity wouldn’t think that he felt the streets were more important than school. Rod and Serenity talked until Serenity reached her job.

“Well, I’ll call you when I get off of work. Later, Rod”, Serenity said and hung up. She couldn’t wait until ten o’clock came around so she could call him back. When she got off, she called Rod back and they talked until they were both at home in their beds, and had both dozed off on the phone.



June 3: Graduation Time

As the year went on, Serenity and Rodney became inseparable. They went everywhere together and never went a day without talking. Summertime rolled around and it was time to graduate. Serenity was named valedictorian and started working in Elmhurst hospital in the pharmacy department. Rod was still selling drugs and Serenity still didn’t know about it. Every time he pulled his disappearing acts, Ty’asia would just say that he had to work.

Growing up in Sumner projects was beginning to get old to Serenity, and she wanted a way out. Her mother would get Serenity to give her money to support her drug habit and then never return until days later. Now that Serenity was old enough to get her own place, she moved to a place called Dara Gardens in Queens, New York. She was hoping that Rod would move with her, but he declined and decided to stay in the projects. When she received her acceptance letter from St. John’s University, she was actually glad she moved, since her condo was only a few blocks from the school. When she called Ty’asia to tell her the good news, she was surprised when Ty’asia told her that she had been accepted also. Serenity offered to let Ty’asia move in with her, since she had two bedrooms and two bathrooms in her condo. She agreed and decided to move in that following week. Both had academic scholarships that were good for all four years so long as they kept a 3.5 GPA. That was easy for both of them because both girls had the highest GPAs in their senior class.


Rod and his best friend since grade school, Aaron, sat in Rod’s new condo in Brooklyn, playing on his PS3.

“Yo, how ya girl doin up top?” Aaron asked. “I don’t know, yo, I ain’t talk to her since she left Friday. Maybe she been too busy to call”, Rod said, focusing on scoring the next touchdown on the game.

“Naw, man, maybe she met a new dude up there.” Aaron joked, but quickly stopped when he noticed Rod wasn’t laughing with him.

“Naw, yo, she loves me too much to ever cheat”, Rod spoke with certainty in his voice. But he knew that as soon as Aaron left, he would call her to see just what was going on. Later on that night, Rod called Serenity to check on her.

“Hello,” Serenity answered the phone groggily

“Hey Babe, I miss you. Did I wake you?” Rod asked concerned.

“No. I was on my way to sleep though. I miss you too, babe.” Serenity sat up from lying down in her bed.

“So, how you been? It feels like I ain’t talk to you in years”, Rod laughed.

“I’ve been good, babe—just been busy with class and work”, Serenity replied

“Well, I’m going to roll through, Saturday; I’m taking you out, so clear your schedule”, Rod said. The sooner he saw her better.

“Ok, I’ll see you then, but let me get some rest. I gotta get up in the morning for my A.M classes.” She said, yawning.

“Ok, boo, I’ll see you Saturday. I love you.” Rod said seriously

“I love you too.” Serenity said, hanging up.


Serenity walked into her first morning class when an eerie feeling came over her. She turned around to find a seat, only to notice a guy sitting in the back of the class staring dead at her. ‘Why is this dude watching me?’ Serenity thought to herself. He couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. Even if he tried to look away, something made him look right back at her. After class the guy followed Serenity out the door. He pulled her by the arm and introduced himself.

“I’m Terrell. What’s your name?” He asked.

“Serenity,” she replied.

“I’m sorry. You’re just so beautiful. Can I treat you to dinner tonight?” Terrell asked.

“Sorry, I have a boyfriend.” Serenity said and walked off.

“Don’t worry; I’ll get you one day.” Terrell said to himself aloud.


Serenity and Rod walked into a restaurant and took a seat. Rod had missed her so much that he ignored Serenity’s suggestion to go to a movie. He wanted to look her in the eyes and talk to her without having to whisper.

“So how’s it been in the projects?” Serenity asked after they ordered their beverages.

“Cool. I wanna talk about what I came for.” Rod replied.

“OK, so talk.” Serenity said.

“I wanna know what’s been going on. Why haven’t I seen or heard from you in a week? It feels like forever.” Rod explained.

“Look, Rod, I’ve been busy with school, OK? You know I love you but my education is more important.” Serenity explained her situation to Rod as clearly as she could but with Rod was stubborn and he did not listen.

“Yo, why you so bent on finishin’ school. I can take care of both of us. You can have my child and just be a house mom. This school thing aint even for you,” Rod exclaimed, not really wanting Serenity to be in school this far away from him.

“Look, my mother depended on my father to take care of her too and he left her with me to take care of by herself. So, me not finishing school is out of the question. And now my mother is a damn dope fiend. I’m gonna finish school so you can either deal with it or go find another chick that don’t wanna do nothing for herself.” Serenity fumed. She was upset Rod had talked to her that way.

“Who the hell you talkin to, Serenity! If I say that you ain’t gonna go through with this then that’s what I mean. Matter of fact, let’s go. I don’t have an appetite no more. I’m takin’ your ungrateful behind home.” Rodney was upset that she had the audacity to talk to him in that manner.

“Fine,” Serenity said. She was done talking to Rodney and just wanted to go home and get ready for school the next day.
Terrell saw Serenity walk into the classroom with a tense and upset expression on her face. He approached her.

“Are you ok Serenity?” Terrell asked, pulling a chair up to her table.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Me and my boyfriend are just having problems right now. I’ll be fine.” Serenity replied.

“Well, if you wanna talk about it I’m here to listen, OK?” Terrell knew what had transpired the night before because he and Ty’asia had the same Pharmacology class. He didn’t like the fact that Rod was treating and talking to Serenity the way that he was. He hated it because when he was younger his father used to stay out all hours of the night and get drunk then come home and take his anger out on Terrell’s mom. He had vowed that when he got old enough to be in a serious relationship he would treat his woman with the utmost respect.

When Serenity went home, she arrived to see all of her clothes in big, black hefty trash bags. She asked the guards what was going on and they told her that her “husband” told them that she was moving back to Sumner projects with him and to pack her clothes.

“He said what? Oh no, that’s a big misunderstanding. Please take my bags bag up to my room please. I’m not going anywhere.” Serenity exclaimed.

“Yes you are!” Rod’s voice came from behind her. “You can do this the hard way or the easy way.”

“No, I’m not, Rod! Now stop playing and help me take my bags upstairs.” Serenity said picking up her bags.
Rod smacked her in the face so hard she dropped the bags and held her face.

“Who you think you talkin’ to, Serenity? I made you. Don’t think I won’t break you.”

“You really hit me? I can’t believe you really hit me!” Serenity said holding her face.

“I told you, what I say goes! Now get you’re a** in the car. We got places to go.” Rodney said, grabbing her bags off the ground and throwing them in the back seat of the car.

The whole ride back to Sumner Projects was silent and awkward. Serenity was shocked and hurt that Rod had even raised his hand to her.


A month later, Terrell was confused about the fact that Serenity had not been to class in a whole month. He was on his way to his first morning class when

Ty’asia ran up to him with news that he wished he never heard.

“Terrell, Serenity and Rod got into an argument and he hit her really hard. He made her change her number and he won’t let me speak to her. You have to drive me to Sumner so I can talk some sense into my brother.” Ty’asia said on the brink of tears.

“He what!? Oh Hell no! Let me tell my teacher that I’m leaving and then we can go.” Terrell said, immediately heated.

They rode to Sumner in silence. Ty’asia was too busy crying and wondering about her friend and Terrell was trying to figure out what he was going to do when he came into contact with Rod. He always despised men who abused women and he never thought another woman he cared about would have to endure what his mother endured so many years ago. When they pulled up they saw that the projects had gotten worse from the time Ty’asia and Serenity had left. The houses were run down and crack fiends were jumping from dealer to dealer trying to find their next fix. Ty’asia and Terrell were scoping the premises like eagles in the sky searching for their prey. Terrell was the first one to spot Rod coming out of a trap house.

“Rod! Where the Hell is Serenity?” Ty’asia screamed with tears streaming down her face.

“Don’t worry about it. She’s in time-out right now. She’s been a bad girl.” Rod laughed, scratching his neck and wiping his nose.

“Are you sniffing that crap you selling? Because you look like you are wasting away,” Ty’asia said, looking at her brother like she didn’t know who he was anymore. She was hurt that he had changed into the person that he was.

Terrell couldn’t take anymore jokes. ”Where the Hell is she? Haha, OK, jokes over and nobody’s laughing. Where is Serenity?” Terrell was sick and tired of the games and he just wanted to know where his crush was.

“And who the Hell are you? Oh, so you must be the dude that Serenity was tryin’ to stay up north for, huh?” Rod said, getting up in Terrell’s face.
Terrell had enough and punched Rod in his face. He repeatedly punched Rod until he got tired but Rod was so high that he didn’t even feel the blows. So he stopped and asked Rod again, “Where is Serenity?”

“She’s in my house but you won’t be able to unlock her from where she is.” Rod laughed. He was not letting Serenity go that fast.

Ty’asia ran to Rod’s house and unlocked the door. She found Serenity tied to the bed naked and beaten with a foul odor, as if Rod hadn’t let her bathe in months. She looked as if she was wasting away. Ty’asia rushed to Serenity’s side and tried to wake her up. Serenity wouldn’t budge and it scared Ty’asia. She started shaking her and screaming her name. When Serenity finally came to, she looked up at Ty’asia and started crying, saying, “I should’ve listened to Terrell when he told me to let him know what was going on when I still had the chance.” Serenity cried out.

“Shhh, sweetie, it’s OK. Don’t blame yourself for what my stupid-a** brother has done to you. You didn’t deserve this.” Ty’asia confirmed. “He’s just an a**hole that only cares about himself and I’m ashamed to call him my brother.” Ty’asia couldn’t believe the trouble and danger that Rod had put her best friend through.

“I know, but if I would’ve listened, then this wouldn’t have happened.” Ty’asia was fed up with Serenity feeling sorry and trying to blame it on everybody but Rod. Ty’asia called the ambulance and dressed Serenity in the little bit of clothes that she had left, because Rod had sold most of them for drugs. When the ambulance arrived, Terrell and Ty’asia drove in silence to the hospital. Rod was nowhere to be found once the ambulance pulled up. The doctors ran tests and took her blood pressure. They diagnosed her with anemia and told her that she was three weeks pregnant. Serenity was hurt and felt like a dark cloud fell over her. She didn’t want to be bringing a child into the world that had Rod’s blood running through its veins even, though that would mean Ty’asia would be an aunt. She still didn’t want to have a child by someone who brought her so much harm and misery.

“Aren’t you happy, Serenity? You’re gonna have a baby!” Ty’asia exclaimed.

“No, I’m not! I don’t want to have a baby by Rod. He hurt me and abused my whole body. I can’t have this baby,” Serenity cried.

Terrell had been standing quietly in the hospital room, but now he spoke up. “Well, maybe I can help you take care of the baby, Serenity. Look, I know we barely know each other but I would like to spend the rest of my life with you. You don’t deserve this life and I can’t promise you that I could make it all better but I do know that I can repair what he broke.”

“I don’t know, Terrell. How can I know you won’t hurt me like he did or treat me even worse?” Serenity asked him

“I’ve experienced my drunken father beating my mother day in and day out. He used to hit her even if she breathed the wrong way. I vowed that when I got old enough to have a long-term relationship I would not treat my woman the way my father treated my mother.” Terrell explained as he grabbed her hand and kissed the back of it.

Rod burst into the hospital high and upset. “I need to know which room Serenity Montgomery is in.” he said.

“Room 255, sir, right down the hall,” The receptionist informed him.

Rod walked down the hall stumbling. He wasn’t going to let Serenity get away that easy. He walked into the room with his 9 millimeter drawn. “So you thought you could get away that easy, Serenity? I made you! I’ll be damned if I let you leave me.” Rod said, pointing his gun at Serenity.

“Rod, stop it! It’s over! I’m pregnant and I can’t have you stressing me out.” Serenity said, trying to calm Rod down.

“You said what? Pregnant? Oh, now I hope you know that you damned well ain’t leaving now! And to make sure you won’t have anybody to help you this time–“ Rod raised his 9 millimeter at Terrell and shot him in his stomach, then pointed the gun at Ty’asia, “Sorry Ty, I love you, but this ain’t something I’m letting go easy.” He pulled the trigger but nothing came out. Ty’asia’s eyes were closed so she didn’t see the police officer run into the room and put a bullet in both of Rod’s legs.

“You’re under arrest for attempted murder, assault with a hand gun, rape, battery, possession of a deadly weapon, and possession of illegal narcotics.” The officer began reading Rod his rights while Terrell was being tended to by doctors and nurses. The police rushed Rod to another room to get medical services as well. Ty’asia and Serenity hugged and Ty’asia whispered to her, “It’s finally over, sweetie. It’s finally over.”



One Year Later:

“Serenity, go and get Hayden’s diaper bag ready to go over to his grandmother’s.” Terrell said to his wife. After the whole incident at the hospital, Serenity and Terrell went back to St. John’s to finish their education and start off fresh while Rod was serving 25 to life at Rykers Island. “It’s already in the car, babe. Now all you have to do is get him into his car seat.” Serenity laughed. She was happy that she chose to have the baby because Hayden didn’t remind her at all of Rod. Besides the hazel colored eyes, he looked just like Serenity. Terrell was man enough to give Hayden his last name and sign the birth certificate. He was going to raise Hayden as if he was his own. Terrell and Serenity vowed that no matter what they would always be together forever and that they would be dangerously in love with one another…….Well, except for the dangerous part.



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