Gold lettering against black fabric looked clean and tight against William’s chest. The new Gina’s Pizza delivery shirt announced the new name for Gina’s family pizzeria. Just Gina’s said it all. Goodbye Blessed Mama Mia.
William liked working for Gina, staying safe while protecting customers who tried to comply with the rules and enjoy a slice or two of normalcy during these troubled pandemic times. He called Darryl’s cell, announced the delivery and put down the hot pizza box on the top step to Darryl’s apartment building where William also lived.
Thirty seconds later, Darryl answered the door.
Dumbfounded, William couldn’t speak.
Darryl could and did.
You got a problem?
Standing 6-foot-one-inch in polished black combat boots, Darryl wore black body armor, a black tactical helmet, dark tinted goggles, assault webbing, black knee pads, black gloves and weather-proof black tactical pants, shirt, and jacket. On his right hip he wore a loaded MARSOC M45 Close Quarter Battle Pistol .45-Cal. 1911. On his left hip he wore an Emerson fighting knife.
A black arm band with the red letters NFAC fit tightly around his right bicep.
You’re definitely not fucking around, William said.
You are definitely not as dumb as you look, Darryl said.
William felt the insult, however slight.
I’m now officially part of the NFAC, the Not Fucking Around Coalition, Darryl said.
William reacted fast.
That armed black militia I saw on the news yesterday out in Louisville, Ky.?
Roger that, Darryl said.
I saw the videos that showed a massive militia, hundreds of guys just like you.
Just like me as in Black?
That and armed to the teeth, William said.
I’m moving, man, Darryl said.
Wherever the NFAC revolution needs me.
You’re really not fucking around, are you?
Darryl got agitated.
I did everything I know how to do to be a good person, William, a good nurse, a good American. Then all this white boogaloo aggression started and talk of a race war got me worried. But you know what surprised me most?
William stood silent.
I thought white people would bring the war to me. Now I realize Black people have to take the war to you. You won’t break the chains so we will.
Armed and dangerous?
By whatever means necessary.
William’s voice broke as he lowered his tone.
You want my guns?
That paintball BB gun pea-shooter toy you running around with?
My collection of assault rifles, handguns and riot shotguns.
I’ll put them to good use, Darryl said.
Consider them gifts, William said.
Darryl finally smiled.
You can drop them on the top step like a couple of pizzas, he said.
White William didn’t laugh.
White William didn’t speak.
White William turned and walked away.