The Company You Keep: Forbidden Treasurs Part 6

“Yo what’s good dawg.” I said as I slapped hands with Brown. Brown is my neighborhood buddy. We met back when my mother and father first moved into this house. I was nine at the time. He was older than me by a year. I was sitting outside reading, when Brown walked up to me and asked if I wanted to play basketball. We’ve been friends ever since.  “Bro, where you been? Mother got you on lock down huh?” his friend joked. “Man she been tripping on me hard. Everything I do, she questioning me. Where you going? Who you going with? Like mom chill. Dang!” Brent explained. “I feel you bro. That’s why I moved out and moved in with my shawty. I can’t take that mess.” “You moved in with Charlotte?” “Heck yea. It’s been going good too. She don’t question me, hounds me, or nags me. Life is good right now.” “Yo man that’s some serious stuff. I’m not ready to move out yet. I mean my mom is aggy, but after what my dad did, I can’t leave her right now.” “Yea man, I feel you. That’s tough seeing that. Have you spoken to your dad any?” “Nah. I can’t face him right now. He’s been calling, but I’ve been avoiding him.” “Yea, I feel you man.”

I stood talking with Brown for a few more minutes, before his phone rang. I stood back a minute so he could take the call. While he was on the phone, I leaned up against the wall and got lost in thought. My first thought was my father. I despised everything about him. He tore our family apart. He was the one always telling me how to be a man, and what men were and weren’t supposed to do. I looked up to him. He was my hero. In my eyes, my father could do no wrong. When me and mom came home that day, she was frantically running around the house trying to find him and tell him the good news. For her to open up her bedroom door and see another man with his head between my father’s legs, was a thing no child should have to experience. It sent me into a state of depression. I shut everyone and everything out for a very long time. I couldn’t sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, that image popped in to my head. My mom has tried desparately to get me into counseling, but I’m not ready for that yet. 

I then thought about Christa, my girlfriend. Ever since we caught my dad, things have been strained between us. Mainly because of my issues. Christa is a wonderful girlfriend. I met her when I first started high school. I’m in the 10th grade now and we’ve been together ever since. She calls everyday, and I either avoid her or make the conversation short. I know it’s wrong and I shouldn’t shut her out, but this has really been tough on me. I often wondered how she was doing, what was she doing. I really did miss her. I made a mental note to call her when I got home.

A few moments later, Brown walked up to me and asked if I wanted to take a ride with him. I glanced down at my watch to make sure I had time. My mom demanded that I be in the house before 9 p.m. It was only 7:45, so I was in the clear. I followed behind him to his car, and got in on the passanger side. Once he was in the car, I strapped on my seatbelt, and waited while he fiddled with his radio. “Yo Brent, have you heard the new Bryson Tiller CD?” “Man you know my momma all saved now. Don’t be listening to the devil’s music in my house. That’s how your father ended up in his situation. So no bruh, I haven’t heard much of anything new.” I replied. He chuckled and shook his head. “Mrs. Jeanine tripping on you like that?” “Man you don’t know the half. I think she has a new boyfriend though. Every night this week she’s been going out and coming back in late. I’m kind of glad. Maybe she can get off my case a bit.” I explained. He chuckled again. “Man my mom getting a new boyfriend made my house unbareable. Every time I turn around they’re arguing about something. Then a few moments later they’d be having sex. It was just irritating.” he countered. I let out a loud hardy laugh. “Don’t laugh man. That mess is disgusting. Imaging coming home from school and all you hear is moaning. Loud moaning at that.” My laugh subsided a bit as I glanced in his direction. “Man you forget my mom and dad were married. Trust me bro. I know how you feel.”

While I was riding in the car, I started to think about Christa again. I really missed her and I know she misses me. I thought about how much of a jerk I had been to her lately. The other day when we were in between periods, she approached me and tried to talk to me. I was in the middle of talking to Brown and completely ignored her. To make matters worse, another girl walked up to me and started talking to me right in front of her. I glanced back at her and noticed the hurt look in her eyes. I turned and walked away with my head down. Brown tried to console me, but it didn’t work. I was wrong for what I had done, and I knew sooner or later I’d pay for it. About fifteen minutes later, we arrived at an abandoned house. I watched as Brown unbuckled his seatbelt and reached up under his seat. “Yo man you going in there?” I questioned. “Chill bruh. Ain’t nothing gone happen.” he said while brandishing a handgun. I sat up straight. “Man where’d you get that thing?” “I got connections bruh. Don’t worry about anything. I’m good.” he said as he got out the car. I watched as he disappeared behind the house. I reached in my pocket and pulled out my phone. The time said 8:06. “I hope he hurry up.” I mumbled to myself. I turned my attention back to my phone, and decided to text Christa. She instantly replied back. Before I could tap the message to I was distracted by what sounded like gunshots. I ducked down in the seat. I peeked my head up just enough to see a man running from behind the building. My heart raced as he glanced back in my direction. I quickly ducked back down. 

A few seconds later, the air was silent. I eased out of the passanger side of the car, and crept around the back of the house. To my horror, Brown was sprawled out on the ground riddled with bullet wounds. “Brown man get up.” I said frantically. My heart rate sped up. I went over to lift him up, and to my relief he took a big gasp of air, followed by blood drooling out of his mouth. “Hold on man. We’re going to a hospital. Just don’t close your eyes.” I cried. I hurriedly rushed him into the backseat of the car and jumped in the driver side. I was in the process of learning how to drive, so I didn’t have my license yet. I quickly backed out of the driveway, and sped towards the nearest hospital. I prayed the whole way there. Pastor always spoke in church about how God always worked miracles in people’s life. I sure hope this was one of those times that a miracle could come through. I glanced in the rearview mirror to check on Brown and saw that he was still holding on. “Brown just sit tight man, we’re almost there.” I cried. Tears were streaming down my face faster than I was speeding down the street. When we finally arrived at the hospital, I ran in the hospital, “Help please, my friend has been shot! Please help.” The available nurse grabbed a gurney and rushed out to the car. I stood back and watched as my friend was loaded on to the gurney and hauled into the building. I followed quickly behind them. They wouldn’t let me in the operating room, so I was forced to sit in the waiting room. “Dear Lord, please take the pain away from Brown. He’s my best friend. Dear Father, please help him. Dear Lord, please Jesus.”

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