Let me tell you a story about my childhood best friend and his tragic end,

Let me tell you how it all began

I’m a private person and I don’t want to name names,

So we’ll just call him James,

and we met when I first started school,

We hung out often over the years,

He lived in the next block, so that was cool,

We were raised in two different environments,

His world was free, no rules,

The requirements in my world were more strict,

I do admit he was in a loving place, He was just in a race to get old,

As we got a little older he became cold,

Not towards me but almost everyone else,

He got labeled the “weird kid” in the sixth grade,

The shade he received for just being himself changed my life,

James didn’t think twice about his decision to quit school,

A immature teen with a eighth grade education,

What was he going to do,

James decided to take the long move to the west coast from down south,

His mom sent him to live with his sister because he kept getting in trouble,

and he had a smart mouth,

I didn’t see James for three long years,

My fears of him being a different person when he returned came true,

It’s like someone drew him directions on how to be a rebellious teen,

He tried to lean on me for support when he got back,

But he was into the street life heavy,

I couldn’t be down with that,

I think back to one particular day that changed lives forever,

On this day James kept coming by my house wanting to hangout,

I was living with my mom at the time and she really didn’t want me to go out,

Without a doubt James was persistent he kept coming by until I came outside,

We walked a few blocks through the hood and then these known criminals asked us did we want to go for a ride,

I just lied and said l was on my way somewhere,

James got in immediately without a care,

Who would have thought that not taking one ride could spare a few teen lives,

James went for that ride,

The teens he was with robbed a gas station,

James didn’t do anything but hide in the car,

They didn’t get far before the cops got them,

Now James was seventeen in jail waiting to find out the hell the judge was going to pass down,

He was in jail only a few days before he started to mentally break down,

The jail said they put him in solitary confinement so no one else was around,

James was feeling suicidal,

He was supposedly in solitary confinement,

That detail is vital to me,

Because James hung himself while his cell mate was at bible study,

I lost my best buddy because of the incompetence of that jail,

Explain to me how in the hell can you have a cell mate in solitary confinement!!

The alignment of all the mysterious details always bothered me,

I think the guards deserve to be in jail,

Where were the guards that were supposed to keep check on this unstable teen,

They said when they got to the scene, James had already hung himself with a bedsheet,

This news swept me off my feet,

His family was crushed,

A hush fell over the hood for awhile,

Even all those clowns that gave him a hard time in middle school paid respect,

I remember his funeral vividly,

His friends and foes showed,

My sister went with me for comfort, James mom was inconsolable,

I found out that year life is uncontrollable,

I never had a human best friend again,

I don’t know what else to say except,

I love you James, rest in peace brother, The End

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4 Responses to James

  1. This broke my heart! I’m so sorry about your friend. I pray for healing for all involved. 🙏🏼

  2. rothpoetry says:

    So sorry for the loss of your friend! This is a heartbreaking story!
    Thank you so much for reading so many of my posts today!

  3. K E Garland says:

    Wow. This is a beautiful way to remember “James.”

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