January 13, 2007

Lost Boys

My last year in junior high school, I had a boyfriend that was the best boyfriend ever. He was very cute, sweet, considerate and very respectful to me and my family. At most he could do was walk me to and from school and we could talk for a few minutes when I got home. He took me to the big dance the school held for ninth graders, chaperoned of course. At the time, I didn’t pay attention, that the other side of his personality was thuggish. Every now and then I would hear of some escapade of the group he ran with. I guess I thought when he got older he would stop. I don’t remember how we broke up that summer. Everybody’s family was in an upheaval trying to find other places to live, because I-75 was coming through. My family moved before school started. I looked for him when I started high school. He wasn’t there, so I thought that maybe he was held back. At that time I couldn’t receive phone calls and God forbid I should call a boy, so I didn’t know how to contact him.

Beginning high school was such an adventure, that I soon forgot him. Several years later I ran into a mutual friend, I ask about him. I was told he was in prison for fatally shooting his best friend. I never knew why, although I did see him later, I never asked. That last time I had seen him he was high and his appearance disheveled. We just made small talk. I walked away thinking what had happened to that good looking black boy. He never really became a man, because murder and drugs had usurped that. What is sad, is that there are so many stories like this one. That was almost fifty years ago.

No one seemed to care back then, certain people were just written off; because they came from the wrong sort of family. There was never any expectation that my boyfriend would ever be anything. Our community had a tendency to only promote those who would be good for the race. Trying to fit in with white standards to become accepted as citizens; we sometime sacrificed the harder personalities. Not that I think this was conscious, we were told if we were this and that things would get better. Our performance was held to a higher standard and the ones we were told to emulate were superstars in their field. In this striving we left the lost boys behind. If they could have been found then; would we have so many now?


Anonymous said...

I just found your blog, and though I haven't fully acquainted myself with it, I just had to comment. This post was so moving; it could have been my own story, and that only fifteen years ago. Your last line killed me---it rings so true. Thank you for sharing...Aishya

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