Shaka comes back from the hospital after getting shot—he's reasonably okay physically, but deeply traumatized emotionally.
He's completely lost his innocence now, and he starts carrying a gun everywhere.
Seriously, he even takes the gun along on bathroom breaks. That's how obsessed he is. And he's ready to use it if a situation gets even a little bit confrontational.
Shaka does a brief stint zipping from Detroit to Ohio frequently to sell drugs.
He's making double or triple what he'd make in Detroit, so this is financially profitable.
But—surprise—the local drug dealers in Ohio don't like having competition.
It becomes obvious to Shaka's team that they can't win a long-term fight over clients on someone else's turf, so they give up and focus on local business back in Detroit.
Business is slow for a while.
Then Shaka meets a girl. That's nice, right? Except that they meet when she asks to borrow a pistol, and pretty soon they're dealing crack as a team.
Turns out, this girl is Brenda, so we already know she and Shaka will later have a child together. Shaka likes Brenda a lot.
Brenda turns out to be the kind of big sister who would do anything for her siblings.
But in the rocky environment she's grown up in, that means dealing drugs and fighting dangerous people.
Shaka and Brenda are both pretty hurt from dysfunctional aspects of their home lives, not to mention the drugs and violence dominating their neighborhoods.
So it's not a surprise that their relationship has a lot of ups and downs.
They start living together and dealing crack from their house.
It's probably clear that dealing drugs isn't great for a relationship or a healthy lifestyle. Shaka says it was also a bust financially. Brenda and Shaka are basically risking their lives for about the same money they'd get working at McDonald's.
In a few months, they do start making some more money when they begin working with the guy who's dating Brenda's cousin.
They also discover Brenda's pregnant, making the extra dough especially attractive.
Brenda and Shaka also start planning to leave the drugs business behind so they can give their child a better life. They really do want that, but they really don't know how to get out.
No lie, the ending of this chapter's a bit of a downer, with Shaka saying the desperate cycle they're in will soon claim him for good.