You Know Who I Am (YKWIA) is a novel, that tells the story of Donte Allen, a former pro basketball player turned marketing & branding superstar. It’s an in-depth look at the day to day crazy life of a man of the people, and the individuals who make it easy, worthwhile, frustrating and at times dangerous.
Sitting in the den on the left side of his sofa, Raymond takes in the information resting on his lap. The one good thing that comes with being a successful power attorney is, you make just as many friends as you do enemies. And through the friend of a friend, he was able to have the cell that he lifted hacked. That was the hard part, everything else was cake afterwards.
Jillian Frazier, he said aloud, reading over the information he was able to uncover on the woman. Former reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Three time finalist for a Pulitzer. Impressive. All-State volleyball player, nice. Walked on at Long Beach State. Injury derailed her playing career. Damn, that sucks.
He continued to read, and turn pages in the file he was able to put together on the woman, however was unable to find anything remotely close to what he was looking for.
“FUCK!” he exclaimed, slamming the file shut.
Grabbing one of the remotes on the coffee table in front of him, he hit the power button and then another button on his blu-ray shuffle. The announcers voices were heard before the video was viewable on the screen, leading him to reach down and turn on his TV irritably with a second remote.
The play-by-play men had just finished with their telling of the fierce back and forth battle all season long between LSU’s fearsome foursome of a relay team and the upstart squad from Florida, anchored by Raymond Jefferies. The boys from the Bayou had exhibited a form of dominance on the sport not seen since the 90s Arkansas teams. With all of their top runners being from the talent rich SEC country.
Florida on the other hand, had only returned to respectability in the past two years. Led by the cocky but talented Guatemalan from New York, Jefferies. He seemed to toil away in what was a so-so program his first two years, until they were able to land the talent necessary for the school to once again compete on the highest level.
As the race began, the network all but broke its neck to split the screen and cut away to an interview from the prior season, where Jefferies guaranteed a win at the Men’s Track & Field Championships in his senior year. The bold statement almost started a fight at the following race from his junior season, as the LSU team sought to embarrass the field. As their anchor leg pulled away from the competition, stopped a few feet short of the finish line, placed the baton on the ground, bent over to pick it up… and walked backwards across the line.
The move was frowned upon by the NCAA and was the talk of every sports show that aired for the next couple of months. And it was that gesture that indirectly caused a fight involving Jefferies. Not with the LSU runners however, but with his coach, who insisted on running Raymond on the first leg. A not so idle threat from the young star once they returned to Gainesville, led Raymond to run anchor leg the remainder of his senior season. Not so coincidentally, the Gators squad finished strong throughout their remaining meets.
As the third leg in the Gators squad neared the halfway mark, he trailed the Bayou Bengals runner by about one hundred yards before the LSU runner pulled up lame. The gap was closed to fifty yards as the purple and gold clad runner neared the hand off point. Just before their anchor began to start his jog and reach back, he caught Jefferies eye.
“Here it comes,” Raymond said to the TV with both hands on his hips.
“Did you see that?!?” one of the announcers said excitedly. “Jefferies just grinned at the LSU runner and mockingly throat slashed him.”
The LSU runner stumbled as he took the pass but regained his composure briefly as he exploded around the bend. Raymond already jogging in place, took off, grabbing his half of a heart pendant around his neck and kissing it. With his hand reached back he accepted his pass and with his head moving from back to front launched himself into the bend of the track. His first few strides to this day are viewed as the stuff of legend.
A good majority of American runners from the south are athletes who are built as such with next level speed. Raymond Jefferies was the epitome of a throwback track star. Tall and lean, deceptively strong in his legs and core. And every inch of his fibers fired off on that anchor leg. With two hundred yards to go in the four by eight hundred final leg, the LSU runner began to feel the pressure caused by his burning out too fast. Once he glanced up at the big screen to see how big his lead was, the race was over.
The image the big screen captured was the cover of the following months’ Sports Illustrated, with the header… “THE INEVITABLE!”
Raymond, eventually walked right up the LSU runners back and beat him by seventy five yards easy. The picture that ended up winning an ESPY for sports moment of the year, was a picture of a grimacing LSU runner and a winking brash New Yorker who was making his move to cement his place in track & field history. Following thru on his guarantee just one year prior, delivering the four by eight hundred trophy to UF.
His celebrity seemed to explode overnight. As a shining star whose popularity bubbled at a holding pattern for two and a half years, turned white hot instantly. He hit the pause button as his teammates were taking their championship photo with their coach. Then zoomed in on his half heart pendant against his own better judgement.
“Got dammit Jo-Elle,” he said quietly before turning off the system.
Picking up his glass of Ron Zacapa Centenario and coke, he sipped and walked over to the wall switch in the corner to turn off the lights before heading to his bedroom. When he reached the switch, his hand subconsciously went to his neck where that pendant used to lay…
He picked up the file on the reporter from California and thumbed thru it. Looking at her high school years. Trying to figure out how an All-State player from the state of California would have to walk-on at Long Beach State. Yes it was a perennial power in women’s volleyball, but a player of her pedigree and physical make up should have been afforded a scholarship.
Freshman year, nothing. Sophomore year, nothing. Junior year, noth—… an extra news clip not of the Sports section variety was listed in very fine print, with a reference point. The file was not listed on the page of the paper listed. But he did find something in the concealed information portion of her file, his friend dug up.
All-State volleyball player, only known survivor in camping incident. Three teens on a camping trip near Malibu Lagoon, were involved in an accidental drowning near Santa Monica Bay. Only one of the three youths survived. No alcohol or foul play was found to be evident upon conclusion of the police departments’ investigation.
As he looked over information on Malibu Lagoon and Santa Monica Bay, a red flag went off in the counselor’s head.
“With no alcohol or drugs having been found in her system, there’s no way in hell those two kids could have drowned accidentally. I mean I guess there’s a chance that they couldn’t swim and went too far away from land. But this is California, those odds aren’t that great.”
As he read on, he saw that her senior year was just as productive as her prior three. And yet all of her scholarship offers were from smaller D-II schools. Then he came across a report from several high school talent evaluators, all of which looked identical. Once in a generation talent, major issues & concerns over her temperament.
“The bitch is nuts! All of this is way too coincidental. Her popping up, this drama in DC. What the fuck is Diam’s number?”
Realizing that he was on to something, what he had no clue, he decided to call Donte in the morning. He needed to get in contact with Diam like yesterday. Why, he didn’t even know the answer to that. But he seemed like the person to pass this information on to. And Donte was the only one he knew who had his contact info. Hell Rachel might.
Looking over at the clock that blinked 3:47 am, he decided now wasn’t the time though. Wait, what time is it in France he wondered. Chante should definitely have her brothers info. Deciding that he was entirely too tired and filled full of his favorite Guatemalan rum to compute the change over in time, he opted for bed.
“In the morning, we’ll get to the bottom of this.”