When we made it to the cabin, it was literally in the middle of the woods. Like, there was no road and we were driving on straight grass and rocks. It was the kind of place that you would never catch me in at night or in the daytime for that matter. The kind of place that spelled, “You’re gonna get lynched and no one will hear you scream or ever find your body.” So you already know that Akeem was having a fit in the front seat. He kept shaking his head and muttering, “Ya’ll gonna get us killed. I ain’t about to die like this.”
And I had to admit that I was definitely having second thoughts about this plan. But we all walked into the cabin and sure enough, your father’s friends were all there waiting. There were six of them: three of them were wearing different variations of red, blue, or green lumberjack jackets. Two were in white long sleeve T-shirts, despite the cold, upstate, November weather, and one even had a short sleeve University of Alabama shirt on with the elephant mascot. But you know white people don’t get cold. They were super excited to see your father and started going off about how they were gonna blow the Natives to kingdom come and rain the judgment of God on them and all sorts of other craziness.
“Why don’t y’all come out back?” one of them said. “We’ll show you the big guns.”
Your father laughed and started walking. “Don’t gotta tell me twice.”
Me and Akeem looked at each other at the same time.
“You know what?” I said. “I’m gonna stay here with them. You know, in case somebody comes. We’ll uh…keep an eye out.”
“Suit yourself,” the guy said. And the rest of them disappeared out the back door of the cabin.
“Are we gonna die?” you asked me.
I knelt down and took a deep breath before answering you. “I’m not gonna let anything happen to you.”
But Akeem had to be his regular dumb self and say, “Don’t lie to her. If the Wasichu find out we’re out here plottin’ World War III, they’re gonna kill us and make Mary into their little vanilla cupcake dessert.”
And instantly you started crying.
“Akeem what is wrong with you?” I said, rubbing your shoulders.
“She needs to know the truth!” he said.
“I hope they kidnap you and eat you alive!” you spat at him.
“What’d you say?!” Akeem snapped. And he started walking towards you like he was about to do something.
I jumped in front of him and shoved him back. “Back off, bro. You made her cry first. Relax.”
He rubbed his head and sat down on an armchair.
“Sorry. I’m just…I’m just freaking out.”
“We all are,” I agreed.
About half an hour later, your father and his gang came back in carrying all types of guns in their arms and on their backs. I’d never seen people with more ammunition before and I grew up watching Commando and G.I. Joe. They had AR-15’s, M-16’s, pistols, shotguns, and even had serrated knives strapped to their thighs and ankles. I didn’t know if I was more afraid of the Natives or more afraid of them. They looked like the cast of Rambo and Duck Dynasty got together to go on an Indian killing spree. If that sounded weird and scary, that’s because it was.
And they were way too excited for my taste, smiling from ear to ear like they had just taken a mean dump they’d been holding in for seventeen hours.
“What are y’all so happy about?” I asked them. I knew it wasn’t just because of the guns. They knew something. And I didn’t like it.
Your father looked at his friends then looked back at me, grinning so hard I thought his teeth would fall out.
“They know where The Indian is,” he told us.
Akeem smacked his hands against the sides of his head and started pacing the room and muttering like a wild man. He already knew where this was going and so did I.
“He’s got a secret hideout on a reservation a few miles west of here,” your father explained. He raised his shotgun to his lips and kissed the barrel. “Kill two Indians with one stone, you know what I mean?”
“No,” I said. “That didn’t make sense. And neither does your plan.”
“We find it,” your father kept going.
“No,” I cut him off.
“We sneak in…”
“We take him out.”
And that’s where I officially crossed over to Team Akeem.
“No thanks,” I said. “It’s a hard pass from me.”
“Listen,” said Alabama Shirt. “We’ve got solid intel on this. We’ve been staking this place out for the past week and we’ve seen Natives and Wasichu come in and out of it. They’re probably reporting to The Indian.”
“Probably?” I asked, putting my hands to my mouth. “That’s the best you came up with?”
“They usually come in and out around the same time every day,” Alabama Shirt went on like there was no hole in this plan. “In the morning between 10 and 12 and at night between 10 and 12.” He looked at his watch. “It’s 1:47. We’ll get there latest by quarter past 3. So we’ll be in the clear.”
I looked straight at Akeem and he shook his head like he was trying to knock something out of his ears.
“Stop being such a scaredy cat,” your father said to me.
“Scared?” I replied. “I’d rather be scared than dead.”
“You were down with fighting a bunch of Natives a few hours ago,” your father said.
“That was when we just gonna hold down the fort,” I replied. “Defense was the plan. Assassination was never the plan.”
Your father shook his head. “First, we were gonna fight off a whole bunch of Indians. Now all we have to do is fight one. What’s worse? An army of Indians or just one little Indian?”
“One little Indian who just took over the whole freakin’ country!” I shouted. “This dude shut down the entire U.S. power grid and blew up every airport and train station. You don’t think he knows who his neighbors are? You gonna just walk up to his house and shoot him up?”
“Fine,” your father shrugged. “If you’re too scared, then just sit in the car and be a lookout.”
I ran my hand over my head and took a deep breath.
“You in or you out?” your father asked.
I looked at Akeem, whose hands were still on his head, then at you, sitting on the couch and shrugging. I looked back at your father and groaned.
Coming up here was questionable. Lying to the Wasichu was risky. Getting these weapons was riskier. But this, sneaking onto a reservation to take out The Indian—this was definitely a bad idea.