action taken in return for an injury or offense
“You wanna die or go to prison, Bri? Either a Crown will kill you in
retaliation, or somebody will snitch and the cops will take you down. That’s all that can come from this.”
conspicuously and tastelessly indecent
“We barely in the house and you already lying,” Grandma says. “Y’all ain’t fine. What’s this about Brianna making
a noisy quarrel
We were more likely to be subjected to pat-downs, to random locker checks, and to secondary screenings. Several of us have been in physical
altercations with them.
take into police custody
“There have been weapons brought on campus,” Karen claims. “Gang activity. If I’m not mistaken, Officers Long and Tate recently
apprehended a drug dealer on campus.”
struck with fear, dread, or consternation
“Like everyone, I saw the videos from the incident, and I was
appalled. There was no respect for authority from many of our students. They used a vulgar, violent song to taunt two gentlemen who were simply doing their jobs. A song that my son says was done by a student and specifically targets them. We cannot and should not allow our children to be exposed to such things. I personally signed a petition this morning to have that song taken offline. I encourage other parents to do the same.”
causing something to happen rather than waiting to respond
Superintendent Cook has the most uncomfortable smile as he waits for the applause to die down. “Mrs. Jackson, I’m sorry that you feel that the school district has not been
proactive regarding the incident with your daughter; however, an investigation is ongoing.”
summon with a wave, nod, or some other gesture
beckons him to come on, but Dr. Cook puts a hand up and comes over to us.
code of correct conduct
Jay reaches into her briefcase and takes out some papers. “I’m sure this is not the proper
protocol for applying for a position, but I figured why not. Here is my resume as well as my references. I have several years of secretarial experience.”
“Oh,” Dr. Cook says, clearly taken
aback. But he accepts the papers and pulls out his glasses.
moderation in or abstinence from alcohol or other drugs
“However, I recently celebrated my eighth year of
worthy of high praise
commendable, Mrs. Jackson.”
firmness of purpose
“Yes,” he says. “It shows your
determination. That’s a good character skill. I’m thirty years sober myself from alcoholism. Have to take it one day at a time. I can only imagine the type of willpower you must have. You should be proud of yourself.”
the trait of firmly controlling your own behavior
“Yes,” he says. “It shows your determination. That’s a good character skill. I’m thirty years sober myself from alcoholism. Have to take it one day at a time. I can only imagine the type of
willpower you must have. You should be proud of yourself.”
overcome as with astonishment or disbelief
dazed as she shakes his hand.
a sudden sharp feeling
I get this
pang in my stomach, like a little knot that’s twisted up tight, and I think—well, hope—that I’m still breathing.
disturb, especially by minor irritations
“Look, he may try to push your buttons,” he says, keeping his voice low. “That’s Hype though. Don’t let him
rile you up too much. Just be yourself and say what you feel. All right?”
suggest in an indirect or covert way; give to understand
“But c’mon,” Hype cuts me off, “even you gotta admit that some of the lyrics are a bit much, baby girl. You talk about being strapped, you
insinuate that you’ll kill cops—”
move or cause to move energetically or busily
Usually, this place is
bustling as employees toss pizza dough in the air, yell out orders, and slide pies into the oven.
a tablet that commemorates a person or achievement
Platinum and gold
plaques line the walls of the reception area.
said or done without having been planned in advance
He even wrote a damn intro, like I can’t get in there and
spontaneously say something.
improperly forward or bold
sassy has always rubbed me the wrong way for some reason, like articulate.
characterized by clear expressive language
That word sassy has always rubbed me the wrong way for some reason, like
the power to use something or someone
“Baby girl”—he says each word slowly, as if to make sure I hear him—“you’re in the music business now. Keyword, business. This is about making money. That man in there”—he points toward the studio door—“got more cash at his
disposal than he knows what to do with. We’re about to damn near commit robbery and take as much of it as we can. You just gotta do this song.”
look with amazement
It must’ve been awful to have people
gawk at you and demand you entertain them how they see fit.
devoid of any qualifications or disguise or adornment
There are no windows, so no sunlight. Just
stark bright lights that you see long after closing your eyes.
call before a court to answer an indictment
“I talked to your attorney this morning,” says Jay. “It’s one of those court-appointed ones. He thinks they’ll have you
arraigned early next week.”
a feeling of deep regret, usually for some misdeed
“You’re in jail, Katricia,” Jay says. “Jail! Yet you’re sitting here plotting some of that same street mess that landed you here in the first place. You don’t care that this has been hell for your family. You aren’t showing any
remorse. You’re plotting!”
try to manage without help
"...now you leaving me to
fend for myself again, huh?”
showing a sense of shame
Miles holds the back of his neck and looks at Sonny
a large entrance or reception room or area
Seems like half the congregation fills the
the experience of thinking a new situation already occurred
I can’t help the feeling of
déjà vu that hits me.
“The other day,” Jay says. “We talked for a few hours. Hashed out a lot of things, even stuff from way back when.”
moderate it?” I ask. “’Cause that’s the only way I see this working.”
determine, order, or control how something is done
dictated to me. You wanna talk to Trey about pursuing his dream, but I can’t pursue mine?”
a prescribed number
I swear, I’ll never eat enough vegetables to meet this woman’s
habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition
You see, I’m
headstrong (and petty) like Grandma.