Today I cried and I could tell I still have yet to heal from the many tragic memories I hold on to but this specific memory I don’t think I’ll ever get over. Each tear that rolled down my eye signified each emotion I felt the night I lost the person closes to me, my brother Jajuan. I yelled as loud as I could with my eyes closed and fist balled up as tight as I could all while driving. The tears signifying hurt, anger, vindictive behavior, and helplessness. I just wanted my best friend by my side (sigh) with my eyes getting watery as I write this very sentence trying desperately not to cry, the tears rolled down anyways altering my vision. Unfortunate for me the only thing tears could blur was my vision and not my deep depression from the hardest lost I’ve ever endured in my lifetime. With 2 Pac playing in the background I yell louder with every ounce of energy I had in my body hoping and wishing he just pop up with comforting words to calm my bruised soul. I try to repeat the lyrics to the song keep your head up and all I could do was drown my voice out with the tears profusely pouring down my face. I more than miss my brother because I can’t help but blame myself for his demise. I still fight with my conscious with the feeling I could’ve done something to prevent it by simply keeping out of trouble but being my 17-year-old self anger got the best of me and merely cost me apart of myself. Weeks prior to his demise we were inseparable, chilling tougher than the cement we stood on. One day I was having a bad day at school and I tried hard to search for one of my friends after school let out, so I went to the one place I knew where most of my friends would hang out, the school’s basketball gym. Sure enough I found my homie Elias but we called him kiwi. I walked over to him to ask if he had seen my brother and he hadn’t so I thought I’d just vent to him but before I could a voice from the stands said “move” with authority. I responded in a calm manner asking the guy to relax and he could be more courteous. I wasn’t aware I was blocking his view from the freshman basketball game that was going on beside us. So I turned back to Kiwi to continue conversing and again the voice from the stands spoke not 3 seconds after I turned away. Again the words “I said move nigga” were uttered. I instantly snapped and walked up the stands to this individual and grabbed him by the throat and exchanged some heated nouns and verbs to him with rage that came from the darkest place I know. After I let go of his throat and pushed him down further into the bleachers I walked back down to where kiwi was. The guy got up upset cursing and then said “get down blood” antagonizing me to fight him and at this point I was beyond livid. I was ready to beat his face in but kiwi nor the school security who had walked in on the tail end of the altercation made me leave the gym. l remember it was a Friday and as I was walking home more angry than I originally was from earlier in the day thinking I had to do something to release all the anger I had built up inside me. I got home didn’t speak a word to anyone as I sat of the couch watching television with my cousin. My parental units were on their way out-of-town for the weekend and said less than a few words to them with no eye contact. Later that night I went back to the school to see if the kid I had the incident was up at the school because there was a varsity basketball game that night and sure enough as I pull up on my bike with my cousin riding on the back pegs he stood with a buddy of his. I got off my bike and approached him asking if he was still putting on his tough guy act and before I knew it he bolted around the schools parking lot running in between the few cars there. I caught him before he could get far and hit him square in the back of his head knocking him to the ground. I then continued to punch him with blows to the face and head. I also threw in a few kicks to the body and head. Every punch that landed drew more and more blood from his body, I beat him to unconsciousness. I got back on my bike and road home. Monday couldn’t arrive any quicker that weekend. That day I was arrested and booked on assault with a deadly weapon, the deadly weapon being the use of my feet to kick him. I spent a few days in jail without a regret in my bone with what I had done. I blacked out and had no remorse, I had anger that could only be explained as demonic. I ended up being released from jail and sentenced to 3-4 months on house arrest. I was free from a jail cell but not from what was about to happen that changed my life forever. Now I would still be able to see my bro at school and everything but I had to be back home at a certain before my probation offer called. I was given about an hour to get home and I would get random visits from her. She happen to make a house visit one day where she laid all the rules down insisting that friends nor family members were to be in contact with me. After that day is where things got cold. I would often stand in front of the screen door waiting for someone to pass by to talk to but that never happened until the day I didn’t know would be the last time I’d ever see my brother again. I had seen him walking up the block and called him over to barrow the Ja Rule 3:16 album so I could burn it lol. The good ol days when we still listened to actual CD’s. Any who he came over and dropped it off and asked if I was good and I responded yes although I was bored to death. Since my P.O didn’t allow anyone over my house I fell into a daily routine, homework then did whatever I could to quite from being bored. I’d stand in front of the door way waiting to see Jajuan again so I could give him back his CD. One day I did my homework watched a little TV and then passed out earlier than usual because I had nothing else to do.This night I’d never forget, it was a nightmare but this was reality. I was shaken out of my sleep I can’t remember who it was that did it but I came to and was taken down stairs. I had my blanket still covered on me, it was cold and after I got to the door life got colder than it’s ever been and no blanket in the world could warm me. I stood in the door way still half asleep, Kadeem and Day Day telling me “Jajuan got shot, Jajaun got shot”! At the time it wasn’t registering to me I was in disbelief like what in the heck is going on type of expression on my face. All I could ask is “Is he dead?” They responded shaking the heads yes, I then dropped the blanket standing as still as a statue. I couldn’t speak nor move I felt frozen, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t fall I just stood there in shock. I was having an out-of-body experience in the moments I heard the words that my brother was dead. I ran to a corner in my house sitting and rocking. I cried for hours, until my eyes were swollen shut. I didn’t move out of that corner for nearly 24 hours not speaking, just a mute. No one could get through to me I was long gone and really had nothing to look forward to. I didn’t even get to hear what had happen the night of his death until about a few weeks later. I learned he was murdered in a car to car shooting, taking a bullet to the head DOA. There had been different stories evolving from that horrifying night and until this day I don’t know if I believe the story I was told. This incident happened a weekend before I got off house arrest, I was distraught. I can’t explain how guilty I feel for the demise of my best friend. If only I had controlled my anger a few months prior I wouldn’t be here telling this story. In my mind I saw it going one of two ways, one being me 100% sure we would have been hanging out on the block until the late hours of the night or me being in that same car with him probably resulting in my demise. Ironically, Kiwi the same person I went to confide in the day I got into that fight with that kid, was the same persons arms my brothers fell in the moment he was shot and killed in the back seat of that white Chevy Caprice. By the end of this post I had cried an ocean filled with emotions that feel impossible to overcome. The only thing to help me through the days when I’m feeling hopeless are the memories we shared they’ll last me centuries.