Down On Jackson Street

Nobody ever expected them to become friends, much less brothers.


3. That First Night

    After a while of walking, I headed back home. A girl caught my eye. She was watching the trees sway in the breeze. Her hair looked like heaven with the sun setting behind her. She glanced at me and I quickly walked away. As I walked through the door, music came from the living room. I sighed and walked up to Jay and I's room.

 I plopped on my mattress as Jay walked in.

  "Hey, I heard the front door close. Why are you up here?"

 "No reason."

 "Ki, come downstairs with me." Jay said.

   "If this is some kind of prank, count me out."

 "It's not a prank. I told you I'm sorry."

 "Sorry doesn't mean anything, Jay. My dad said sorry for walking out when I was 1 and I haven't seen him for a few months. He walked out again." I sighed and picked up a book.

   He sat next to me.

 "Ki, I know what you mean. But my dad won't walk out on you guys. I know he may not be your biological dad, but he won't leave."

   "That has nothing to do with what I'm feeling right now, Jay."

 "Well, explain to me."

  "Why? So you can plaster it all over the school?" I sighed.

  "I am truly sorry about all those times, okay? But nobody can help you if you push them away. I am really trying, Ki."

    I looked at him.

  "Well, lately, I don't even know what is bothering me. It's like everybody is judging me. I mean, I'm not strong, I'm not talented, I have to work 5 times as hard to get an A, I'm not popular." I sighed.

  "I'm taking psychology. Okay, so fear of judgement, insecurity, and low self esteem. Hmmm... Do you by any chance have a cactus up your butt?" He asked.

 "I'm guessing you're not doing too well in psychology."

 "Nope. I don't even know why I brought up the need to tell you I'm taking psychology because I obviously stink at it." He laughed. 

 "Look, Jay, I'm just not good enough." I sighed.

 "In what field?" He smirked.


 "Ki, when you're in high school, you really don't have time to get tough unless you take steroids."

 "But you're tough."

 "And did you see how I was doing in psychology? Next."


 "Are you fucking kidding me? Okay, you've yelled at me seventeen times since you got here. You even spit chicken in my lap. Next."


 "Okay, why are you so sore on the subject of smarts?"

 "Well, I'm dyslexic but I don't want to end up a deadbeat like my dad. I want to do something with my life."

 "Ki, Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. You see things differently. It's not your fault. And for the little time I've spoken to you, you are going to do something with your life. Next."


 "Okay, so society has this idea that cool people should wear skinny jeans and chains and that they shouldn't have a care in the world. That's not what coolness is, Ki. Coolness is relating to others, meeting people that have the same interests with you. You're one of the coolest people I know."

 "But, Jay, you wear skinny jeans and chains. You socialize with people who aren't anything like you."

 He stared at me.


 "You are smart. You may not act like it but you are. You actually listen, okay? You care. The other popular kids aren't caring or smart. You aren't like them. Is it possible you're trying to fit society's definition of 'cool'?"

 He sighed and took off his hat.

He threw his hat across the room.

 "God, I'm a horrible person." He sighed.

 "No, you aren't. Peer pressure does horrible things to people."

 He looked at me.

 "Ki, why are you still trying to help me? I was horrible to you."

 "I've been through a lot of bullying and not once has anybody ever said sorry. I know I said it doesn't change anything, but it really does."

 "Thank you." He smiled.

 "You're my brother."

  The bedroom door opened.

 "Are you guys okay? Do we need to call an ambulance?" Mom asked.

 "We're fine." Jay smiled.


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