Chapter 1 Half Empty Half Full (edited for this excerpt)

Posted in Uncategorized on April 6, 2021 by drevolution357

Chapter 1 – Past and Present
When I was a child, my mother always said,
“Nobody owes you shit.” I took that statement to heart and set out to get what was
mine, even if I robbed to get it. I have two kids with my
girlfriend, Stacy. She is a blessing, a very loyal woman
who stayed with me through my four years in the joint,
but there is a conversation we continue to visit, and that
is “Why haven’t you married me?” I try to explain to
her I need time to get things right after my four years.
I’ve had to rebuild everything. I’m close to things going
well on my job at the auto parts store.

I woke up this morning with Stacy standing over
me, holding the phone. I grabbed the phone. My boss
asked me to meet him at the Starbucks; I agreed and
hung up before rolling over and getting more sleep. I
looked at Stacy, who was looking at me with a puzzled
look. I said, “You okay?”

She forced a smile on her face and said, “I’m fine.
Aren’t you getting up to go to work?”
“Mr. Fuqua asked me to meet him later for coffee.”
Stacy leaves the room, and I roll over, hoping to
catch another hour of sleep, but my two girls, Unique
and Rachael, bum-rushed the bedroom. “Daddy! Can
you make us your breakfast casserole?”
“No, let me sleep. Why aren’t you guys at school?”
Rachael says, “Yesterday was our last day.”
“That gives me the entire summer to make you guys
breakfast, but right now, let me sleep.”

I sat at the Starbucks sipping on my French Vanilla
Cappuccino when Mr. Fuqua stepped in. “Hey Niven,
I’m glad you could meet me here.” We shook hands,
and suddenly he said, “I’m going to grab me some coffee” and walked away. I’m still very curious why he
requested me here, but as I’ve learned over the years,
periodically just go with the flow.

I stared out the window to get my mind right for
whatever Mr. Fuqua had to say. I locked eyes with
Rusty as he walked past the Starbucks; Rusty used to be
my cellmate. I suddenly feel tension and anger filling
up in my chest while Rusty looks at me with a smirk on
his face.
Flashback: Stateville Correctional Facility,
Joliet IL
Rusty is standing near the steel toilet with
his back against the wall. Niven walked into
the cell with a trash bag and began moving
things from the wall. Rusty, hoping to get
all of Niven’s attention, says, “In the twelve
hours, you don’t have to small these sweaty
niggas no more.” Niven laughs, “In 12 hours,
my girl will be pregnant, so congratulate me
now. Rusty, get serious. “Say, look, man, we’ve
been cellys for a while.” Rusty signals Niven
to stand near him; Niven faces Rusty with his
back to the cell entrance. “Look, you have
12 hours left in here. Every man is vulnerable here in his last hours, so be careful; any
enemies you’ve made here look out for them.
Any wrong move will keep you in here for
another year.” Niven looks at Rusty, “Man, I
appreciate you,” and shakes his hand. Three
guys tiptoe into the cell and put a blanket over
Niven’s head. Rusty punches Niven and helps
the other guys tackle him to the floor.

Mr. Fuqua sits at the table, looks at me, and said,
“Are you ok?” I must’ve had a puzzled look on my face.
I said, “Yes, I’m a little nervous as to why you
invited me here.”
“Don’t be nervous; it’s a good thing. Are you familiar with Strong Arm Auto parts?”
“Yes, I am.” I sat there, still trying to clear Rusty
out of my mind. Mr. Fuqua, sensing he didn’t have my
attention said, “I need you to listen to me closely; we
are merging with them very soon, and we’re going to
need more supervisors, and I want you to apply.”
I looked at him and said, “Really?”
“Yeah, man, no one knows this information; that’s
why I had you meet me here. We expect the deal to be
official in 90 days.”

I have a smirk on my face as we exit the Starbucks,
feeling good about our conversation, and suddenly out
of nowhere, Rusty appears.
Rusty: You a big-time businessman now, huh?
I can tell he startled Mr. Fuqua. I didn’t respond, but
I was fuming on the inside.

Mr. Fuqua: Excuse me?

Rusty: I’m talking to him.

I looked at Mr. Fuqua and said, “I don’t know this

Rusty: You don’t recognize me, my nigga?
Maybe if I gave you another blanket party, you
would feel more comfortable.
I almost hit him, but I had to keep my cool. I again
looked at Mr. Fuqua and said, “Let’s go, before there’s

Mr. Fuqua looks at me and then looks at Rusty and
then back at me and says, “That’s a good idea.”
I was ecstatic and angry at the same time, happy that
Mr. Fuqua thought enough of me to consider me for a
promotion. Mad about Rusty’s punk ass! But trying to
figure out why things happened the way it did. My past
and present clashing right in front of my eyes.

I lay in bed watching Stacy move around this house,
getting the girls settled and ready for bed. I love this
feeling. “Stacy with her sexy ass,” she knows me well
and knows I get a kick out of watching her, so she puts
on an extra seductive walk when she knows I’m looking.
Stacy got in the bed; my dick was hard. Stacy said,
“Can you take off Friday and go to the Clinic with me?”
“Sure,” I said, “where?”
She said, “On 21st and Ashland.”
I said, “Okay, but why are you going all the way
over there?”
Stacy looks at me and says, “Because that’s where
the abortion clinic is.”
I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I said, “The girls
are too old to abort.”
Sarcastically Stacy says, “Ha Ha! The one I’m carrying is not.”
I get upset. “Are you fuckin serious right now?”
Stacy sensing my anger, says, “I’m not going to
keep having kids, and we are not married.”
Her words resonated with me. Then I got more
irritated and said, “You could’ve told me you were
She said, “I just did.” An awkward silence followed
for 10 minutes, and deep down, I knew she was right.
Stacy broke the silence and said, “Are you going, or
I said, “No!” She looked at me, and then I said,
“Because I’m going to marry you.”
Stacy looked at me with wide eyes and said,

At that very moment, I realized how much it meant
to her, and it gave me great satisfaction to put a smile
on her face. I loved her so much. I then said, “I was offered a supervisory position today; well, they asked
me to apply for it.”
“Really!” Stacy said.
I kissed her, “Everything’s coming together.”

On my way to work the following afternoon, I was
at a red light when I looked over and saw Rusty in the
park playing basketball. Damn! “Why the fuck I keep
seeing this dude?” I’ve been trying to work on my spirit,
so I pulled into the parking lot of my job and sat for five
minutes to listen to calm down.

I walked into the store, and it was packed full of
mechanics. I started immediately helping customers
before I punched in. I saw Mr. Fuqua, who I could sense
was watching me. I gave him a thumbs up and continued helping customers.
After an hour of helping customers, the store got
back under control; I ran to the back and punched in. I
just gave my job a free hour of work. I didn’t mind; I
loved my job, and besides, if I was going to be a supervisor, I needed to get used to it.
The punch clock was next to Mr. Fuqua’s office. Mr.
Fuqua sat in his office and said, “Hey Niven,” I said,
“Hello, Mr. Fuqua,” and kept walking.
“Niven, let me speak to you for a second?” Although
I was asked to be a supervisor, I wasn’t trying to be buddies.
dies with Mr. Fuqua, but I felt him trying to get my attention all morning. I stepped into his office and said, “Hey.”
Mr. Fuqua said “I looked in the urban dictionary
to see what a blanket party was; it was alarming,” and
then he handed me what appeared to be an application.
“I need you to fill this out; I have to get your paperwork in ASAP.” I looked at the application, and at the
top, it reads “BACKGROUND CHECK.” Naturally, I
started calculating time and money in my mind. I knew
I only had so long before I was exposed. Mr. Fuqua
said, “They want an extensive background check, for
every new supervisor. Is that a problem?” Damn! How
quickly things change?
“No, not all,” I said. “How long does this process
“Ten days”, he said. I got ten days to get as many
hours as possible, and then I thought about Stacy and
the baby.

I came home with my tail between my legs. It was a
long day for sure. I entered the kitchen, and there was a
brown paper bag and a note that reads:

Hello. Mr. Calvin, I bought you two of them nice
burritos just the way you like them. I had to take the
girls over to your mom’s for the weekend. I’ll see you
when I get home. Your wife

Stacy didn’t waste any time claiming her wife’s status. I have to admit it turned me on. I tore through the
burritos like the last supper. Stacy enters the kitchen.
“Did you enjoy your burritos?”
I said, “Yes, the same way I’m going to enjoy you.”
Stacy says, “Um-hmm, we’ll see.”

Stacy walked out of the kitchen, putting an extra
strut in her walk, but before she could exit, I said,
“Stacy, I need to talk with you about something.”
Stacy looked at me and said, “Call me, Mrs. Calvin.”
I laughed and thought to myself; this is not the time for
reality. Stacy and I made love and went to sleep watching Netflix. When morning arrived, I thought I would
tell her about my job situation.

I was at the kitchen table waiting for her to sit down,
and when she sat, I got straight to the point. “I may be
losing my job in a couple of weeks.”
Stacy sipped her orange juice and said, “Why,
because of your record?”
I was shocked at her response; naturally. I said,
“Why do you say that?”
“If they are thinking about making you a supervisor, they are going to give you an extensive background
check.” I sat there thinking for a second, and then Stacy
said, “Baby, fuck this system. Do your own shit; you
and Jeff were talking about starting your own business
as personal trainers.”

I loved that about Stacy; instead
of feeling sorry for me, she got my mind to work. Stacy
changed the subject and said, “We need to spend some
time with the girls.” I had become so deep in thought
that I ignored her and said I’m going over to Jeff’s house.
Jeff was a friend from high school; he took good care
of his body. I got in good shape while I was in prison.

I knocked on Jeff’s door. He answered with a book in
his hand. He was always reading and researching what
he called the truth and also meditating. I walked in and
said, “Man, what are you reading on this early Saturday
He said, “It’s not early. Besides, I do my best reading in the mornings, because it’s peaceful.”
I flopped down on his couch. “Stacy and I are getting married.”
Jeff chuckles and says, “It’s about time. She has
been hanging in there with you.”
I nod my head in agreement. “Yeah, man, she
deserves it.”
“Deserves?” Jeff says, “That’s exactly right.”
I said, “What do you mean?”
Jeff closes his book and says, “Marriage is a gift.
Most men don’t marry women unless they feel she
deserves it; men don’t marry women if they feel they
can do better.”
I said, “Women feel the same way.”
Jeff looks at me and says, “But it’s not the same. The
reason why it’s not the same is that men and women
look at marriage very differently; women look at marriage as a ‘rite of passage.’ Men look at marriage as an
Damn! I thought to myself, and he hit it on the nail;
that’s how I feel about Stacy.
Jeff then said, “Everything you’re doing right now
you are doing for Stacy.”
Confused, I said, “What am I doing.”
Jeff looked at me and said, “I can tell you what
you are not doing. You’re not robbing people anymore.
Stacy has made you a better man.”
I was not in the mood for Jeff to get preachy, so I
changed the conversation. “What are you reading?”
“This book is called Celestine Prophecy, it talks about
being able to see and read energy, and following the right
signs. It’s an excellent book. You should read it.”
“Nah, I’m good. I’ll get all my enlightenment from
you.” I cracked up, laughing, and said, “Remember
when we were talking about starting an exercise class?”
Jeff said, “Hold up,” and reached and grabbed a stack of papers off his desk, held them in front of me,
and said, “Bam!” It was a stack of flyers advertising a
workout class at the Angela Davis community center.
Jeff said, “I decided to do it, whether you were in or out;
what’s up with your job?”
I wasn’t exactly in the mood to try to explain it, so
I said.” I decided to leave in the next couple of weeks. I
wanted to do my own thing.”
Jeff smiled and said, “Well, my brother, we have a
lot of hustling to do” and handed me the stack of flyers.
I had ten days left at my job. I decided I would give
out flyers before and after work.

I went to pick up the
girls from my parents. When I walked into the house,
my dad and Rachael played Connect Four, and my mom
and Unique was playing UNO. I sat back and watched
before making my presence known.
I walked in and said, “It’s time to go.”
Rachael got up and put on her shoes, but before
Unique got up, my mother said, “Hold on, Unique.”
My mother stood up and slammed a card onto the table
and said, “POW!” She looks at the ceiling and says,
“Changed the color to red” and threw all of her red
cards on the table. She looked at her granddaughter and
says, “Now you can go.” She cracked up laughing.
I said, “Momma, you going to hell for treating my
daughter like that.”
Mom said, “That’s okay. I hope the devil can play
Uno better than her.”
I look at the girls and say, “Make sure you get everything cause I’m not coming back.” The girls run off into
another room. Mom, Dad, and I sit at the living room
table. I thought to myself, while we are all sitting here, I
might as well tell them. I said, “Stacy is pregnant.”
My mother said,” Are you going to marry this girl?”
I said, “As a matter of fact, I am.”
My dad looked at me and said, “Are you sure you
know what you are doing?”
“I’m sure I will be okay,” I was a little offended by
his question. “Dad, I just want to get my shit together;
excuse my language, but that’s the truth.” My dad
looked at me like he understood.

I gathered the girls and went home, and over the
next several days, I worked as many hours as I could.
After long days at work, I would make sure I passed out
flyers. After doing this for a few days, I was exhausted.

Today I left work a little early, went home, and was hoping to get to bed a little early. I got out of the shower, and
Stacy was sitting on the bed. Stacy said, “We haven’t
spent much time with the girls.”
I was thinking, “Shit, it won’t be tonight.
Stacy then said, “Let’s take them swimming.”
I looked at her and said, “Tonight?”
She said, “Yes, they have night swimming at the
community center.”
I looked at the time and said, “It’s almost 8 o’clock.”
Stacy looked at me, and I know what that look means.
It means if I don’t get my ass up and go swimming, I
will have to deal with a cold shoulder from Stacy for the
next week.
Stacy said, “They closed at ten.”
I casually said, “Let’s go.”

We pulled up to the center, and my phone rang. It
was a potential student for our class. Stacy waved at
me and softly said, “We’ll be inside.” She and the kids
went inside.

A second later, I got off the phone, and my favorite
song came on the radio. I decided I would go in after my
song went off, but Stacy and the kids came back to the
car before I knew it. Puzzled, I said, “What’s wrong?”
Stacy gave me a stern look and, with attitude, said,
“What do you mean, what’s wrong?”
I said, “Why did you and the girls come back to the
car?”Stacy gave a long pause and said, “We were in there
for two hours!”

I looked at the time, and sure enough, it was two
hours later. I fell asleep. Stacy was furious.
The next day I walked off the job; I wasn’t going
to wait for them to fire me. This was the second job I
lost since getting out a year ago, but I felt good about
working for myself besides the response Jeff and I were
getting had me extra excited to get started.
I’ve been sleeping on the couch. Stacy was a little
upset with me because I haven’t spent much time with
girls lately. It didn’t bother me because in order to make
things work, something will suffer. I hate that it had
to be my babies, but it’s now or never. I have changed
my life so much since meeting Stacy. I robbed so many
people before I met her that I eventually had to do some
time. Rachael was five, and Unique was 6. Stacy gave
me a different focus on life, and suddenly I see the
importance of family. Since I decided to marry her and
she was pregnant again, I was more determined than
ever to provide for her and the kids. It gave me a sense
of purpose. Stacy walks in and sits next to me on the
couch and says, “You can sleep in the bedroom tonight.
I promise not to bite you (pause) this time.”
I laughed and said, “you sure?”
Stacy smiled and said, “Yes, but promise me after
your first class that you will spend some time with girls?” of course, I will.” Stacy grabbed my hand and led
me to the bedroom.

Niven and Stacy enter the Starbucks barefoot,
Stacy is in a wedding dress, and Niven stands
there in a tux. Niven is ankle-deep in thick
mud. He looks to his left and sees Mr. Fuqua
standing there. He looks to his right and sees
Rusty. Niven immediately tries to run toward
rusty, but the mud is too thick for him to move.
Niven struggles and gets loose from the soil,
and his feet are clean; he begins to make his
way toward Rusty when four nuns walk into
the Starbucks barefoot. The nuns were white,
but their feet were black.

I woke up late for my first class, so I didn’t have time
to shower. I was nervous and anxious at the same time.
I officially started my own business. I wanted to be selfsufficient and didn’t have to worry about background
checks. Being in business for myself means I control my
destiny. On my way out the door, Stacy gave me a big
kiss and hug. I love her so much, and she is so positive.
I pulled up to the Angela Davis Center and saw

Jeff’s truck that gave me some sense of relief. I walked
into the center. I walked to our designated room and
stood outside for a second, and took a deep breath. I
heard Jeff giving instructions. I walked into the room
and was shocked. I stood there, not believing my eyes,
all the hard work and calls I got about this class; only
one person showed up. I felt discouraged. Jeff looked at
me and said, “Hey man, this is Yolanda.”
I looked at her, smiled, and said, “Hello.”
Jeff saw the look of disappointment on my face and
then said, “Everything is a process.”

I went home, and all I could think about is the reality of my situation; I understand everything is a process,
but Stacy is pregnant. I need to make something happen
now. That muthafucker Rusty fucked everything up for
me! Everything was fine until I ran into him.
For the next two weeks, I continued to go to class,
and by the third week, we lost the one person we had.
I was deep in thought while Stacy was cooking. Stacy
kept looking at me smiling; it’s like she had already
prided herself as a wife and mother. If a woman understood what it means to a man to provide for his family,
I could not do it today. I decided to move on from the
personal training class, which means I need to have an
uncomfortable talk with Stacy tonight.

Stacy, sensing my distance, sat across from me at
the table, eating quietly while the kids laughed and
played over their food. I said, “Stacy, Jersey called me.”
Stacy takes a deep breath, looks at me, and begins
cleaning the table, and tells the girls to get ready for
bed. I sat there and continued eating. Stacy got the kids
in bed and came back to the table, and sat across from
me. “Jersey called and what?”
“I’m going to meet with him in a couple of days.”
Stacy looked at me with pure disappointment and
said, “You’re sure in a rush to get back in the streets;
Jersey is bad news. He always gets you to do his dirty
work for him.”

I quickly said, “Stacy, we are running out of money.”
Stacy yelled, “We are not starving, if you go back to
jail I will not wait on you this time!”
The conversation was not going in the direction I
had hoped, and I had something more to say. I had to
get up the nerve to say it. While Stacy sat there huffing
and puffing. I said, “Stacy, there is something we need
to talk about.”
She said, “What’s that?” I sat silent. I had to get up
the nerve to say it. Stacy says, “What is it?”
I looked her in the eye and said, “I think you should
get the abortion.”

Deadly Illusions ( A Netflix Review)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2021 by drevolution357

Deadly Illusions was a complex film that tried too hard. It took too long to bring the audience up to speed of what was going on. It had me and lost me minutes later. Sometimes writers and directors can do too much to try to make a great story, and totally forget about its audience. I didn’t like the film, but if you want an entertaining thriller, this one is as good as any.

The Sentinelle (A Netflix Review)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 9, 2021 by drevolution357

The Sentinel didn’t do it for me. Poorly executed. This film had elements in it that didn’t apply to the story and was not resolved. When watching a good movie, everything comes together. That was not the case here. The writer and director didn’t care about their audience. It felt like they said, “Hey let’s make a film about a woman who is tough, but screwed at the same time.” No structure, no interesting dialogue and no closer. 1 star from me.

Pacific Rim Black (A Netflix Review)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 5, 2021 by drevolution357

I am fair with my reviews, Pacific Rim was not what I was hoping, and that’s not to say someone else would not like. It didn’t have testorone for me. After watching the first 3 episodes, I lost interest. Flat out it didn’t keep my interest, but I am not giving this a bad review because of that.. If you’re a reader please check out my award-winning book.

Behind Her Eyes (A Netflix Review)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 24, 2021 by drevolution357
Behind Her Eyes

Behind her Eyes has more twist and turns than a super pretzel. The series delivers! and it’s setup to make you look forward to next season. I know. It is now on my radar. The series unfolded at a perfect pace. Great acting by all parties involved. I love risk takers when it comes to a unique concept. Behind her eyes is worth binging. 4 stars from me. Check out my new book at

I Care a Lot(A Netflix Review)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 24, 2021 by drevolution357

I care a lot. Though a good film it was immoral and arrogant which is why I can’t recommend this film. The main character was not likable, and it’s hard to sit through a movie when you do not like the main character. This film almost said it’s okay to do the wrong thing. Unique concept a few twist and turns, but immorality is why I say skip this one. if youre a reader please check out my new book at www,

No Escape room (A Netflix Review)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 19, 2021 by drevolution357

No Escape Room. I wonder what this movie is about. Oh! They can’t escape! They really need to stop making movies like this. They don’t work. It’s a formula seen over and over again. This movie was so bad that it was hard to keep my eyes open. At 1 point I felt like I was in a no escape room while this terrible film held me hostage. There is nothing original here. We’ve seen all before. 1 star from me. Hey please check out my new book at

New Excerpt “Half Empty Half Full”

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2021 by drevolution357

On the drive to the clinic, Stacy had a slight grin
the entire ride. When we parked, she looked
over at me and said, “What time is it?”
“It’s 8:45,” I replied.
She said, “Good, we have a couple of minutes.” And
then she looked at me and said, “You impressed me last
night proposing to me in front of the girls.” I smiled and
said it was natural and felt right. Stacy smiles and says,
“I don’t want you to worry about this abortion. I know
this is the best for now, and besides, this was my first
choice; we’re in this together.” Stacy smiles again, “It’s
a great day today; the sun is shining. I have a great man,
soon to be my husband. I feel good.”
Stacy leans over and kisses me. I said, “I love you.”

We proceed to get out of the car. We both felt raindrops.
Stacy laughs and says, “Did I speak too soon?” We
walked into the building. I couldn’t believe my eyes,
the place was packed. We approached the front desk.
I asked the nurse how long is this procedure, she said,
“Prepare to be here at least 3 hours, we’re short of staff
today.” Stacy registered, and we found some seats, but
the place was so packed that we were lucky to find seats
next to each other. I sat down next to a table of magazines. I picked up a magazine with a picture of a nun
that read, “The laws of cause and effect.” Stacy nudges
me and says, “Look, a dove.”
I looked at the window, and it was a pigeon on the
window seal. I said, “That’s not a dove; that is a pigeon.”
Stacy says, “Doves and pigeons are the same thing
except pigeons can also be gray and white, but that one
is all white, so I consider that to be a dove.”
I said, “Why would a dove be on the window seal
in the rain?”
Stacy says, “Oh my God! Doves are believed to
conduct the souls of the dead to heaven; Look where
we are.”
I can hear the rain pounding against the ceiling. A
nurse enters the waiting area and calls Stacy’s name.
“About time!”


Black Rose (A Netflix Review)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 15, 2021 by drevolution357

Black Rose is intense and emotional film. This movie is set in Africa. They speak English ,but the accents are a little thick, so you may need to use subtitles for this film, but it’s absolutely worth it. This movie made my mouth drop and at times and I wanted to get off the couch and slap somebody. When a movie pulls out that type of emotion, that means it’s a brilliant film. Good story-Telling is acceptable no matter where you are on the globe. Black Rose was superb. 4 stars from me. Please check out my new book at

MALCOlM AND MARIE (A Netflix Review)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 6, 2021 by drevolution357

A delightful film with great writing. Do you understand how talented you have to be to make this type of film. The actors did such a superb job with great dialogue it made me jealous as a writer, because it appeared to be so easy. I give this 4 stars .

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