NowComment
2-Pane Combined
Comments:
Full Summaries Sorted

[4 of 5] Dear Martin, Chapters 15-19, by Nic Stone (2017)

Author: Nic Stone

“Chapters 15 - 19.” Dear Martin, by Nic Stone, Ember, 2018, pp. 91–124.

0 General Document comments
0 Sentence and Paragraph comments
0 Image and Video comments


PART TWO

New Conversation
Paragraph 1 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 1, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Transcript from evening news, January 26

New Conversation
Paragraph 2 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 2, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Good evening, and welcome to the Channel 5 News at 5.

New Conversation
Paragraph 3 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 3, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

In our top story, tragedy in Oak Ridge this afternoon, where two young men in an SUV were shot at a traffic light.

New Conversation
Paragraph 4 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 4, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The incident occurred just after noon at the intersection of Thirteenth Street and Marshall Avenue. According to the wife of the shooter— who was riding in the passenger seat—there was a brief dispute over loud music before shots were fired from one vehicle into the other.

New Conversation
Paragraph 5 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 5, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 5, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The identities of the wounded are being withheld pending further investigation, but we’ve received reports that one of the teens was pronounced dead en route to the hospital, and the other is in critical condition.

New Conversation
Paragraph 6 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 6, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The shooter has been identified as fifty-two-year-old Garrett Tison, an officer with the Atlanta PD. Officer Tison was not on duty at the time of the shooting and was taken into police custody at the scene.

New Conversation
Paragraph 7 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 7, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 7, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

More on this story as it continues to develop.

New Conversation
Paragraph 8 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 8, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

February 1

New Conversation
Paragraph 9 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 9, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

DEAR MARTIN,

New Conversation
Paragraph 10 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 10, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

He’s gone.

New Conversation
Paragraph 11 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 11, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Never did anything to anyone, and now Manny’s gone.

New Conversation
Paragraph 12 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 12, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

New Conversation
Paragraph 13 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 13, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

I can’t do this anymore.

New Conversation
Paragraph 14 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 14, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

CHAPTER 15

New Conversation
Paragraph 15 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 15, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Twenty-seven days.

New Conversation
Paragraph 16 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 16, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

That’s how long the Riverses keep Manny’s body in a mortuary cold chamber, waiting for his best friend to recover enough to attend the funeral. Frankly, Jus wishes they’d gone ahead and had it without him. He really doesn’t wanna be here.

New Conversation
Paragraph 17 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 17, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 17, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 17, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The first words out of the pastor’s mouth were “We are not here to mourn a death. We’re here to celebrate a life, gone on to glory.” Manny didn’t even believe in heaven and hell. Jus can imagine him saying:

New Conversation
Paragraph 18 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 18, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 18, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 18, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 18, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The only place I’ve “gone on” to is that overpriced casket.

New Conversation
Paragraph 19 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 19, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus didn’t have it in him to go up and look at the body during the viewing. He knows the cause of death—“gunshot wound to the head”— because he asked to see the death certificate, and the Riverses consented. To see Manny laid out all serene after knowing there was a bullet somewhere in his head? Yeah, there’s no way. Jus can’t do that.

New Conversation
Paragraph 20 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 20, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 20, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 20, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 20, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 20, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

He would love to just get up and walk out. Keep going until his legs fall off or he dies from thirst or starvation or exhaustion or some combination of the three. Problem is there are media people everywhere outside. Based on some of the “speculation” he’s heard— Manny threatened Garrett Tison, one of the boys threw something into Tison’s Suburban, Justyce had a gun, etc.—he’d rather not be seen.

New Conversation
Paragraph 21 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 21, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 21, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 21, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 21, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Not that being inside is much better. People keep peeping over their shoulders at him where he’s sitting at the back of the church with Mama. He has sunglasses on, but he can see them sneaking glances. Marveling at the Boy Who Survived (that’s what they’ve been calling him on the news).

New Conversation
Paragraph 22 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 22, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 22, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 22, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 22, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Mama squeezes his good arm. He’s still relearning how to use his other one, which is currently in a sling. The shot to the chest cracked a rib and punctured his right lung, but the bullet he took to the right shoulder messed up a bunch of nerves. After three surgeries, he finally regained feeling in his fingertips.

New Conversation
Paragraph 23 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 23, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 23, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 23, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 23, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

As the pastor leaves the pulpit and the choir stands, Justyce looks

New Conversation
Paragraph 24 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 24, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

around the packed interior of the church. He takes in all the dark suits and dresses, the tearstained faces and shaking shoulders, and the collective sorrow hits him so hard, the room blurs out of focus. The one thing he can see clearly is the face of Sarah-Jane Friedman. She’s watching him.

New Conversation
Paragraph 25 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 25, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 25, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 25, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 25, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

It triggers a series of flashbacks from his more heavily drugged days in the hospital: SJ standing over him, weeping, his left hand gripped in her right one, her left hand stroking his face (Mama was obviously not around); the sound of Dr. Rivers saying, “We’re so glad you made it, Justyce.” Mama crying and asking his forgiveness because she had to go back to work. Melo being escorted out because she wouldn’t stop wailing.

New Conversation
Paragraph 26 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 26, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 26, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 26, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Speaking of Melo, Jus can see her too. Honestly, if it weren’t for Mama, he’s sure she’d try to glue herself to his side. She organized the group of Atlanta Falcons football players who came to escort Jus home from the hospital in a luxury party bus.

New Conversation
Paragraph 27 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 27, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 27, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 27, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Of course it made the news.

New Conversation
Paragraph 28 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 28, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

As Mr. Rivers approaches the pulpit to deliver the eulogy—he asked Jus if he wanted to do it, but there was no way in hell—Jus sees Jared and the “bros.” They’re all sitting near the front with their parents, and he wonders if Jared and Mr. Christensen feel like the assholes they are. If it hadn’t been for that damn phone call, Manny and Jus would’ve been headed to Stone Mountain. They wouldn’t have been on the same road as Garrett Tison.

New Conversation
Paragraph 29 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 29, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 29, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 29, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 29, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Manny would still be here.

New Conversation
Paragraph 30 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 30, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jared turns around like he can feel Jus jabbing arrows into the back of his head. The moment they see each other (though Jared wouldn’t know because of Justyce’s sunglasses), fury wraps around Jus so tightly, he almost can’t breathe. Even from a distance, Jus can tell Jared’s eyes are haunted. Like the floor has opened up beneath him and there’s no bottom to his agony.

New Conversation
Paragraph 31 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 31, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 31, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 31, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 31, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus recognizes the expression because he’s feeling the same way. It makes him want to burn the world down.

New Conversation
Paragraph 32 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 32, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 32, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

New Conversation
Paragraph 33 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 33, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Once the service is over, Jus walks with Mama to the bathroom before they head to the burial site (he doesn’t want to go). As soon as she

New Conversation
Paragraph 34 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 34, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 34, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

steps in, who steps out but Sarah-Jane Friedman. His mouth falls open a little, and when she sees him, she freezes.

New Conversation
Paragraph 35 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 35, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 35, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus takes his sunglasses off. She’s in a navy pantsuit, no makeup, dark hair pulled back into a bun. Her eyes—which are red from crying —rove over his face, and he’s so relieved to see something other than pity burning in them, he almost reaches out to hug her with his good arm.

New Conversation
Paragraph 36 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 36, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 36, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 36, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

It’s quite the predicament: wanting to touch and hug and kiss a white girl after a white man shot him and killed his best friend?

New Conversation
Paragraph 37 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 37, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Hey,” he says.

New Conversation
Paragraph 38 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 38, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Her eyes fill with tears. “Hey.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 39 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 39, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 39, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“You okay?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 40 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 40, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Pretty sure that’s what I should be asking you, Jus.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 41 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 41, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

He looks away. Shrugs.

New Conversation
Paragraph 42 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 42, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 42, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Moments pass that feel like hours. Days. Years. Centuries.

New Conversation
Paragraph 43 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 43, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 43, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 43, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 43, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

She sighs. “So I know we haven’t talked much bu—”

New Conversation
Paragraph 44 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 44, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 44, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I miss you, S.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 45 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 45, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Her head snaps up.

New Conversation
Paragraph 46 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 46, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I mean it,” Jus says. And why shouldn’t he tell her? He’s already lost his other best friend.

New Conversation
Paragraph 47 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 47, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 47, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 47, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

SJ opens her mouth to speak—

New Conversation
Paragraph 48 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 48, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The ladies’ room door opens. “You ready, Just—?” Mama sees SJ. “Oh, I’m sorry. Didn’t realize you were speaking with someone.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 49 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 49, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 49, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 49, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 49, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 49, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Ma, this is Sarah-Jane,” Jus says, never taking his eyes off SJ.

New Conversation
Paragraph 50 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 50, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Mama: Lovely to meet you.

New Conversation
Paragraph 51 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 51, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

SJ: Same to you, Ms. McAllister.

New Conversation
Paragraph 52 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 52, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Mama turns to Justyce. “I’m gonna head on out to the car. You coming?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 53 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 53, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 53, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 53, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I’ll meet you there,” he says. “I want to walk SJ out.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 54 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 54, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 54, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“No, no. You don’t have to. My parents are actually waiting for me. I’ll see you at the grave site?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 55 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 55, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 55, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 55, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 55, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Oh. Yeah. Okay. Bye, S.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 56 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 56, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 56, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 56, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 56, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Bye, Jus.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 57 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 57, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

As SJ disappears around the corner, Mama’s expression shifts to a frown. “Sarah-Jane, huh? You know her from school or something?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 58 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 58, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 58, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 58, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“She’s my debate partner, Ma. I’ve mentioned her plenty of times.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 59 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 59, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 59, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Hmph. I saw how she was looking at you. More on that girl’s mind than debate—”

New Conversation
Paragraph 60 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 60, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 60, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 60, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Can we not start with this at my best friend’s funeral, please?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 61 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 61, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I’m not starting with anything, Justyce. Just sayin’ watch yourself with that one. That’s all.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 62 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 62, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 62, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 62, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

That one.

New Conversation
Paragraph 63 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 63, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“She’s a good friend, Ma.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 64 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 64, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“And you’d do well to keep it that way.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 65 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 65, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus wants to argue. He wants to tell Mama all the ways SJ made him believe he was big while everyone else wanted to keep him small. He wants to call Mama on her prejudice. Tell her, in his mind, she’s just as bad as the guy who shot him and Manny.

New Conversation
Paragraph 66 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 66, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 66, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 66, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 66, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

But he doesn’t get a chance to.

New Conversation
Paragraph 67 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 67, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The second he and Mama step out of the church, they get mobbed by reporters.

New Conversation
Paragraph 68 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 68, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Mr. McAllister, how’s it feel to be the Boy Who Survived?

New Conversation
Paragraph 69 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 69, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Justyce, do you think there will be justice?

New Conversation
Paragraph 70 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 70, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

What’s it like knowing it could’ve been YOU in that casket?

New Conversation
Paragraph 71 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 71, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

That last one sets Justyce off. “Do YOU have to be such an asshole, man?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 72 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 72, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 72, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Justyce, don’t say another word,” Mama says, then to the reporters: “My son has no comment. Now if you’ll excuse us…”

New Conversation
Paragraph 73 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 73, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 73, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

She uses an arm to sweep a smaller reporter out of the way, then grabs Justyce by his elbow to pull him through the gap. Mr. Taylor shouts and points in their direction, and suddenly he and Mama get flanked by what have to be bodyguards.

New Conversation
Paragraph 74 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 74, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 74, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Justyce winces as one of the huge guys—burly, blond, looks like his

New Conversation
Paragraph 75 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 75, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

name could be Lars—bumps his bad arm. The pain that shoots from his shoulder through his entire body like a bolt of lightning is nothing compared to what’s inside him.

New Conversation
Paragraph 76 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 76, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 76, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Tison Indictment Step Forward for Justice or Grand Jury Blunder?

New Conversation
Paragraph 77 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 77, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

BY: TOBIAS D’BITRU

New Conversation
Paragraph 78 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 78, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Staff Writer

New Conversation
Paragraph 79 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 79, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Yesterday afternoon, a Georgia grand jury returned a multiple-count indictment against former Atlanta police officer Garrett Tison in connection with a January shooting involving two teenaged boys. The indictment stands in glaring contrast to the Nevada and Florida cases involving the deaths of Shemar Carson and Tavarrius Jenkins, and two of the charges—aggravated assault and felony murder —have many members of the community in an uproar.

New Conversation
Paragraph 80 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 80, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 80, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“The man was defending himself from thugs,” said Tison’s neighbor April Henry. “I’ve known Garrett for twenty-five years. If he says those boys had a gun, they had a gun.” A fellow police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, claims the indictment is nothing more than a publicity stunt at Tison’s expense. “They’re out to make an example of him. Prosecutor pulled the race card, and the grand jury bought it hook, line, and sinker.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 81 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 81, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 81, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 81, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 81, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 81, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 81, Sentence 6 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

And many agree. At a solidarity rally held in Tison’s honor, picketers wore T-shirts that read “Race-Baiting Should Be a Crime” while holding signs featuring Tison’s face and the words “Protector not Poster Child.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 82 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 82, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 82, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

A trial date has yet to be announced.

New Conversation
Paragraph 83 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 83, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

CHAPTER 16

New Conversation
Paragraph 84 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 84, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Two days after being permanently set free from his sling, Justyce gets to drive his brand-new car. Ken Murray, owner of seven Honda dealerships across the city, is the father of one of Jus’s classmates, and Jus found a Civic with Condolences from the Murray Honda Family on the windshield the day he came home from the hospital.

New Conversation
Paragraph 85 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 85, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 85, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

At first, he wanted to give it back—the idea of driving around in a free car from some rich white dude made him sick to his stomach considering what had happened. But after staring at it for weeks and rereading the Neither of you young men deserved what happened letter from Mr. Murray, Jus decided to accept the gift.

New Conversation
Paragraph 86 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 86, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 86, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

It’s been a month and a half since the shooting, but going to Manny’s house now is no easier today than it would’ve been the day he learned Manny was gone. The Riverses invited Justyce to dinner tonight to “commemorate” Garrett Tison’s indictment, but Jus really isn’t looking forward to being alone with them. Especially not inside their house. The more he thinks about it—and he’s been thinking about it a lot lately—it wasn’t the house that felt like a second home to him. It was Manny.

New Conversation
Paragraph 87 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 87, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 87, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 87, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 87, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 87, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

As he pulls into the driveway, Jus instinctively heads toward door three of the four-car garage. He can remember all the times he and Manny waited for it to rise before pulling inside, and his stomach crawls up into his throat.

New Conversation
Paragraph 88 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 88, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 88, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Before he can throw his car in reverse and get outta there, door three does rise, and Mr. Rivers motions for Justyce to pull in. The spot is empty, of course—Range Rover’s long gone—but there’s no way Jus can fill it. He puts his car in park in the driveway and climbs out. “ ’Preciate it, Mr. Julian, but I can’t,” he says.

New Conversation
Paragraph 89 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 89, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 89, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 89, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 89, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Manny’s dad smiles sadly and looks over the space. “It’s just so empty, you know? Come on in.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 90 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 90, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 90, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 90, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

When Jus steps inside and the fragrance of chicken cacciatore assaults his senses, he’s one hundred percent sure he doesn’t wanna be here. He doesn’t wanna sit down at the antique oak table to eat from

New Conversation
Paragraph 91 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 91, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 91, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

the “special-occasion” dishes Dr. Rivers has taken from her china cabinet. He doesn’t wanna make small talk with his dead best friend’s parents as they eat his favorite meal and not their son’s.

New Conversation
Paragraph 92 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 92, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 92, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

All of this is way too much, and he wants to leave and never come back.

New Conversation
Paragraph 93 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 93, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

He steps into the dining room anyway.

New Conversation
Paragraph 94 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 94, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Thank you for coming, sweetheart,” Dr. Rivers says, pulling Jus into what has to be the most emotion-filled hug he’s ever experienced. He counts a full seventeen seconds before she lets go.

New Conversation
Paragraph 95 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 95, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 95, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Thanks for having me,” he replies.

New Conversation
Paragraph 96 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 96, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Go ahead and sit,” Mr. Julian says. “I’ll get you something to drink.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 97 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 97, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 97, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus does as instructed, and after a minute, Mr. Julian comes to the table with three beverages: a glass of red wine for Dr. Rivers, a glass of iced tea for Justyce, and a tumbler of what Jus assumes is Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel—that’s the stuff Manny used to sneak into his flask—for himself.

New Conversation
Paragraph 98 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 98, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Just seeing it makes Jus want to vomit.

New Conversation
Paragraph 99 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 99, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“So how you holdin’ up, Justyce?” Mr. Julian says once seated. “Back in school yet?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 100 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 100, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 100, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 100, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus shakes his head. “Not quite. I move into the dorm on Sunday and start classes Monday.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 101 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 101, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 101, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 101, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I see.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 102 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 102, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Dr. Rivers comes in holding an oval dish with two potholders. She sets it on the table, and the chicken breasts and legs smothered in mushrooms and red sauce stare up at Justyce. “You think you’re ready?” she says.

New Conversation
Paragraph 103 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 103, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 103, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 103, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Ready as I’ll ever be, I guess.” Jus shrugs. “I’m caught up, but it’s now or never if I want to graduate in May.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 104 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 104, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 104, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 104, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

She nods and heads back to the kitchen. Returns with a dish full of jasmine rice with three chunks of butter melting into it. “Pass me your plate.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 105 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 105, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 105, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 105, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus complies.

New Conversation
Paragraph 106 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 106, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“We’re really happy you came to join us tonight,” Mr. Julian says. “Means a lot to us.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 107 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 107, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 107, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Dr. Rivers hands Jus his plate, loaded up with food he has no appetite for. “We’re not expecting you to talk much,” she says. “Just nice to have your presence is all.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 108 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 108, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 108, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 108, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Thank you. Yours too.” A lie, but it seems the right thing to say.

New Conversation
Paragraph 109 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 109, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 109, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 109, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The three descend into silence as silverware clinks and scrapes against bone china and beverages slowly disappear from glasses. Justyce is thankful for the lack of conversation; Manny’s absence makes it almost impossible to breathe, let alone talk.

New Conversation
Paragraph 110 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 110, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 110, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Once they finish, Mr. Julian clears his throat. “So, Justyce, we invited you here tonight for a few reasons,” he begins.

New Conversation
Paragraph 111 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 111, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 111, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Justyce picks up his glass and gulps down the rest of his tea.

New Conversation
Paragraph 112 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 112, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“The first, of course, is to memorialize the indictment,” Mr. Julian goes on. “We won’t dwell on it, but to us—and surely to you as well—it is something to commemorate.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 113 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 113, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 113, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Dr. Rivers nods. “It’s not a conviction, of course. But it’s a start. Just a relief to know what happened is being treated as a crime.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 114 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 114, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 114, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 114, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 114, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus stares at the gilt edge around his plate. “Yeah,” he says. “That is a relief.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 115 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 115, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 115, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 115, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Moving on,” Dr. Rivers says. “The second reason: I’m not sure if you remember Emmanuel’s cousin—Quan Banks?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 116 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 116, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 116, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Justyce’s head jerks up.

New Conversation
Paragraph 117 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 117, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“He says you went to elementary school together. Is that correct?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 118 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 118, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 118, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“It is,” Jus says. “But I had no idea he and Manny were cousins until…” He pauses. “Until Quan got arrested.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 119 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 119, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 119, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 119, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

She nods. “Well, if you’re willing, Quan would like to see you. You’ve been added to his visitation list.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 120 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 120, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 120, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 120, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Oh. Okay…”

New Conversation
Paragraph 121 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 121, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 121, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Emmanuel’s death hit him pretty hard. You don’t have to visit, of course”—she and Mr. Julian do that married thing where they communicate with a glance—“but he says you’re the only person he wants to talk to.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 122 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 122, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 122, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I see.” Though he really doesn’t.

New Conversation
Paragraph 123 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 123, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 123, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“If you’re interested, I’ll give you the information before you leave.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 124 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 124, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus doesn’t know what to say. Quan wants to see him? “Okay. Sounds good.” Another lie.

New Conversation
Paragraph 125 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 125, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 125, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 125, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 125, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 125, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

For a minute, no one speaks. Jus can feel Mr. Julian’s gaze, but there’s no way he can look at him. He’s what Manny would’ve looked like if he’d gotten the chance to get older.

New Conversation
Paragraph 126 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 126, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 126, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 126, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“There’s one more thing.” Dr. Rivers’s voice wavers. “Julian?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 127 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 127, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 127, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 127, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Yeah, okay.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 128 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 128, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Mr. Julian gets up from the table and walks over to the china cabinet. Opens it and pulls out a black box. He sets it on the table in front of Justyce. “We intended to give this to Emmanuel for his eighteenth birthday,” he says. “I have no doubt he’d want you to have it under these circumstances, so we’d be honored if you’d receive it in his stead.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 129 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 129, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 129, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 129, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 129, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 129, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus stares at the box, afraid to move, let alone touch it.

New Conversation
Paragraph 130 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 130, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Dr. Rivers clears her throat, and he lifts his head. She smiles, though there are tears in her eyes. “Go on.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 131 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 131, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 131, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 131, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus takes the box off the table and lifts the hinged top. By some miracle, he manages not to drop the contents on the floor and run away screaming.

New Conversation
Paragraph 132 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 132, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 132, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

It’s a watch. A Heuer with a brown face and gold numbers, on a black leather band. Jus doesn’t know much about watches, but he’s about eighty-seven percent sure this one is vintage and worth more money than Mama’s ever had in her bank account at once. He carefully removes it and flips it over. The inside of the band is stamped with the letters EJR.

New Conversation
Paragraph 133 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 133, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 133, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 133, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 133, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 133, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“My grandfather bought that watch in the 1940s,” Mr. Julian says. “His name, like Manny’s, was Emmanuel Julian Rivers. It’s been passed to the eldest male for two generations now. We want you to have it.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 134 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 134, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 134, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 134, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 134, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus is dumbfounded. “I, uhh…I don’t know what to say.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 135 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 135, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 135, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“You don’t have to say anything,” Dr. Rivers says. “Just knowing it’s in your possession means a lot to us.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 136 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 136, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 136, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus looks back and forth between Dr. and Mr. Rivers, who are both smiling but obviously waiting for some kind of response from him.

New Conversation
Paragraph 137 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 137, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

His eyes drop to the watch. Which puts a big-ass lump in his throat.

New Conversation
Paragraph 138 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 138, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 138, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

There’s no talking past it, so he does the only other thing that makes sense.

New Conversation
Paragraph 139 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 139, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

He stretches out his wrist and puts it on.

New Conversation
Paragraph 140 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 140, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

CHAPTER 17

New Conversation
Paragraph 141 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 141, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The first thing Jus notices when he pulls into the visitor lot of the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center is how much the building reminds him of a high school. It makes his stomach twist a little. Holding kids deemed menaces to society in a place that would be completely normal if not for the twelve-foot barbed-wire-topped fences seems like someone’s bad idea of a joke. Like, Oh, look at this nice-ass school…HA! GOTCHA! LOCKDOWN, FOOL!

New Conversation
Paragraph 142 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 142, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 142, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 142, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 142, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 142, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 142, Sentence 6 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

After Justyce puts the car in park, he takes a minute to look around. Let it sink in that he’s really here. That he’s about to go inside a “juvie” and sit down with the guy who killed Castillo, the cop who profiled Jus and started him on this failure of a “social experiment” trying to be like Martin.

New Conversation
Paragraph 143 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 143, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 143, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 143, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

He almost can’t believe it.

New Conversation
Paragraph 144 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 144, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Once Jus started at Bras Prep, Quan and those other guys became nothing more than reminders of the life Jus wanted to escape. Quan never made fun of Jus the way the rest of them did, but still: hearing that Quan wanted to see him was a little suspect.

New Conversation
Paragraph 145 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 145, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 145, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

But then he couldn’t stop thinking about it. Suspicion finally gave way to curiosity, and here he is.

New Conversation
Paragraph 146 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 146, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 146, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The minute he steps inside the facility, the guard by the door gives him a once-over before pointing toward an area marked VISITORS. Jus is smacked with a sweat-inducing wave of discomfort. He leaves his ID and keys with the lady at check-in, and a second guard lifts his chin as Jus approaches the metal detector. “Damn, boy,” he says, taking in Justyce’s button-down, pressed khakis, and loafers. “You cleaner than some of the lawyers that come up in here.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 147 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 147, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 147, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 147, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 147, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 147, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Uhh…Thanks.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 148 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 148, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Who you here to see?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 149 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 149, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Quan Banks.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 150 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 150, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The guard nods. “Go on through,” he says. “Show those boys what

New Conversation
Paragraph 151 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 151, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 151, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 151, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

they could be like if they got they shit together, ya hear me? She’ll walk you down.” He gestures to the check-in lady now waiting for Justyce to step into the long hallway.

New Conversation
Paragraph 152 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 152, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 152, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 152, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus follows her past a bunch of white-walled rooms—classrooms, they look like—until they reach a large steel door with a tall rectangular window that Jus suspects is bulletproof. The room has maybe six or seven young guys in orange jumpsuits inside with their visitors. As the lady punches a code into the keypad on the door, Jus spots Quan waiting for him.

New Conversation
Paragraph 153 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 153, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 153, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 153, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The door opens. Voices spill out into the hallway. Quan lifts his head. He and Jus meet eyes. A smile spreads into Quan’s cheeks, and as it overtakes his entire face, Jus remembers the last time he saw it: the summer before fifth grade when Quan beat Jus at Monopoly for the first time. Seeing Quan smile like that makes Jus even more nervous about being here.

New Conversation
Paragraph 154 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 154, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 154, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 154, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 154, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 154, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 154, Sentence 6 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Brainiac!” Quan says, standing to greet Jus. “So glad you made it, homie!”

New Conversation
Paragraph 155 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 155, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 155, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 155, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Yeah.” Jus peeks over his shoulder at the now-shut exit door. “It’s been a while.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 156 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 156, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 156, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 156, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Have a seat, my nigga. Have a seat.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 157 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 157, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 157, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Quan sits back down, and Jus follows suit. Seeing the other kids in the jumpsuits talking to their visitors makes Jus anxious to leave. Especially since the majority of the guys in the room look like him.

New Conversation
Paragraph 158 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 158, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 158, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 158, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

It’s depressing.

New Conversation
Paragraph 159 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 159, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“So how you been, Justyce?” Quan asks.

New Conversation
Paragraph 160 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 160, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 160, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus scratches his head. “Truthfully? I’ve seen better days, man.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 161 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 161, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 161, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 161, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Real fucked up about Manny.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 162 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 162, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Yeah. It is fucked up.” Saying the words is like a weight lifting. “One minute, we’re ridin’ along, and the next…” Jus sighs and shakes his head.

New Conversation
Paragraph 163 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 163, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 163, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 163, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 163, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“What about you, homie? You recoverin’ all right and everything?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 164 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 164, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 164, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Well, my arm is workin’ again, if that’s what you mean.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 165 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 165, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Yo, when I saw that cop’s face on the news—” Quan stops talking. “Nah, never mind, never mind.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 166 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 166, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 166, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“What about him, man?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 167 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 167, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Quan looks Jus in the eye. Then he leans closer, beckoning Jus to follow suit. “You know that cop they say I popped?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 168 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 168, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 168, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 168, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

How could Justyce forget? “Yeah. I do, actually.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 169 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 169, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 169, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 169, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“That asshole who opened fire on you and Manny? He was dude’s partner.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 170 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 170, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 170, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus almost falls off the chair. “Castillo?” he says. “Tomás Castillo was Garrett Tison’s partner?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 171 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 171, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 171, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 171, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Yup.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 172 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 172, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“How do you know that?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 173 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 173, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Tison was there the night I…uhh…”

New Conversation
Paragraph 174 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 174, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“The night you shot Castillo.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 175 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 175, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Allegedly.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 176 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 176, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus sits back in his chair to let it all sink in.

New Conversation
Paragraph 177 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 177, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“You good, dawg?” Quan says.

New Conversation
Paragraph 178 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 178, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 178, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Huh?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 179 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 179, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“You lookin’ a little shook over there.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 180 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 180, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Should Jus tell him? Nothin’ to lose, right?

New Conversation
Paragraph 181 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 181, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 181, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus takes a quick peek around and leans forward. “Can I tell you something crazy?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 182 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 182, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 182, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I’m listenin’.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 183 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 183, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Well, like a week before you…before Castillo died, dude arrested my ass. My girl was drunk, and I was tryna get her home, but he thought I was carjacking her. Put me in cuffs and wouldn’t let me say a word.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 184 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 184, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 184, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 184, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“So the muthafucka got his just deserts.” Quan cracks his knuckles.

New Conversation
Paragraph 185 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 185, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 185, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Justyce takes in Quan’s tough-guy expression and orange jumpsuit as the power of his words, and seeming lack of remorse, settle into Jus’s bones.

New Conversation
Paragraph 186 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 186, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus leans forward again. “Tell me why you did it, dawg.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 187 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 187, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 187, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Quan’s features harden. “Why I did what?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 188 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 188, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 188, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Quan, I know you confessed. You don’t have to act innocent with

New Conversation
Paragraph 189 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 189, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 189, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

me.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 190 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 190, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I don’t know what you talkin’ about, man.” Quan crosses his arms.

New Conversation
Paragraph 191 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 191, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 191, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

All right, then. Different approach. “Okay, new question: Why would someone do what you’re accused of doing?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 192 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 192, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 192, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 192, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Quan shrugs. “If that’s what someone’s told to do, they do it.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 193 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 193, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 193, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Who would tell someone to do that, though?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 194 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 194, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Quan turns away and Jus can see he’s about to lose him again. But Jus really needs to know because now there’s a new question on the table: Who’s to say Garrett Tison’s quickness to pull the trigger wasn’t caused by seeing his partner killed by a black kid? It’s no excuse, of course. But Jus knows the effects of trauma are real: he watched his dad lash out at his mom for years.

New Conversation
Paragraph 195 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 195, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 195, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 195, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 195, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Wait, forget that ‘who would tell’ question. I just really need to understand, Quan. I got shot and Manny’s dead because Garrett Tison thought I had a gun. Now you’re tellin’ me he was there when you kill— I mean, when his partner got shot?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 196 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 196, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 196, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 196, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 196, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Quan’s eyes narrow. “Whatchu trying to say, man?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 197 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 197, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 197, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I’m not trying to say anything, Quan. Just put yourself in my shoes. All of this shit is foreign to me.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 198 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 198, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 198, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 198, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

For a minute, nobody says anything, and Jus is sure his coming here was a mistake. But then Quan starts talking. “Aiight, listen up: where I come from, resistance is existence, homie. Every day I woke up in my hood coulda been my last. You wanna survive? Get wit some niggas who won’t turn on you, and y’all do whatever it takes to stay at the top, you feel me? My dudes…they’re like family to me. They’ve got my back as long as I have theirs. Somebody tells you to make a move, you make a move. No questions asked.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 199 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 199, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 199, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 199, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 199, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 199, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 199, Sentence 6 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 199, Sentence 7 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 199, Sentence 8 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 199, Sentence 9 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 199, Sentence 10 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus shakes his head. “Not buyin’ it, dawg. Don’t forget I grew up right around the corner from you.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 200 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 200, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 200, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 200, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Last I checked, your way got you capped and Manny killed,” Quan says.

New Conversation
Paragraph 201 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 201, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus can’t really respond to that.

New Conversation
Paragraph 202 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 202, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I know you all about gettin’ ahead and everything, Justyce, but you gotta face reality at some point. These white people don’t got no respect for us, dawg. Especially the cops. All they ‘protect and serve’ is

New Conversation
Paragraph 203 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 203, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 203, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 203, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 203, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

their own interests. You just gon’ continue to bend ya knee after they proved that shit by killin’ ya best friend?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 204 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 204, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 204, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Again, Jus has nothing.

New Conversation
Paragraph 205 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 205, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Can’t even say I was surprised when I heard, man,” Quan continues. “You and Manny were good dudes, and y’all still got a raw-ass deal. That’s why I wanted to see you. Talk. I got a counselor here, but I can’t tell that white lady none of this shit. She won’t get it.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 206 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 206, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 206, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 206, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 206, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 206, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 206, Sentence 6 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus nods. “You know what, Quan? I feel you.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 207 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 207, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 207, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 207, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

And he really does.

New Conversation
Paragraph 208 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 208, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“It’s fucked up—there’s no escaping the BMC,” Quan says.

New Conversation
Paragraph 209 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 209, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“The BMC?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 210 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 210, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Yeah. Black Man’s Curse. World’s got diarrhea and dudes like us are the toilet.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 211 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 211, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 211, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 211, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Guess that’s one way to put it.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 212 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 212, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Let me tell you when I learned: my second time in juvie, I was fourteen. There was this seventeen-year-old rich white boy there, Shawn. Dude had got up in the middle of the night and stabbed his dad like eight times.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 213 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 213, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 213, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 213, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Damn!”

New Conversation
Paragraph 214 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 214, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Right? They tried to get him on an attempted murder charge, but homeboy’s lawyer got some doctor to come in and say dude was sleepwalking. And the shit worked! Judge dropped the charge down to simple assault. Guy got sixty days at a youth development campus, then got to go home.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 215 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 215, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 215, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 215, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 215, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 215, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“You serious?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 216 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 216, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Yup. Meanwhile, they locked my ass up for a year on a petty theft charge cuz it was my ‘second offense.’ Prosecutor actually referred to me as a ‘career criminal’ at the hearing.” Quan shakes his head. “I think that was prolly the moment I gave up. Why try to do right if people will always look at me and assume wrong?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 217 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 217, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 217, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 217, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 217, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 217, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 217, Sentence 6 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Justyce can’t respond to that. He knows Quan committed actual crimes, whereas his only error was reaching to turn the music down, but Jus has to admit he’s thought that same thing—what is the point in trying to do right?

New Conversation
Paragraph 218 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 218, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 218, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“So what do I do, then, man?” he asks, surprising even himself with the question. “What’s the alternative?” He swallows the next thought:

New Conversation
Paragraph 219 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 219, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 219, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 219, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Winding up in jail doesn’t seem like the way to go.

New Conversation
Paragraph 220 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 220, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Quan shrugs. “Well, as a wise man once told me, the solution is twofold: first, you gotta use the power you already got, man. People fear dudes like us. When they fear you, they don’t fuck with you, feel me?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 221 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 221, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 221, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 221, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 221, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Jus doesn’t feel Quan, but he nods anyway.

New Conversation
Paragraph 222 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 222, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Second, you need to get you a crew to roll with. There’s strength in numbers. Matter fact…You should give Martel a call,” Quan goes on. “He’s like a big brother to a lot of us. Taught us everything we know.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 223 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 223, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 223, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 223, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 223, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 223, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

This makes Justyce’s heart race. He knows exactly who Martel is and what he’s about (hello, Black Jihad?) . The last thing he wants is to get involved with some gang leader. “Nah, man, it’s cool. I’ve learned plenty from you.” He peeks over his shoulder at the exit again.

New Conversation
Paragraph 224 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 224, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 224, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 224, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 224, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 224, Sentence 5 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 224, Sentence 6 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 224, Sentence 7 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Quan grins. “I’ma give you Trey’s number. He’ll put you in touch with Martel.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 225 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 225, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 225, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 225, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“You really don’t have to do that, Quan. I promise you, I’m all right.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 226 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 226, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 226, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“It’s hard out there by yourself, man. Martel gets it.” Quan looks Jus right in the eyes, and a stone drops into Jus’s gut. “You’ll be welcomed if you want in,” he says.

New Conversation
Paragraph 227 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 227, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 227, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 227, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 227, Sentence 4 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“For real, dawg. I’m good. Besides, I don’t have anything to write with.”

New Conversation
Paragraph 228 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 228, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 228, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 228, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“I’m sure you’ll remember the number until you get back to your phone. You ready?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 229 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 229, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 229, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

As soon as Quan recites the last digit, a guard Jus failed to notice says, “Time’s up!” The whole way back to his car, some of Quan’s words run laps in Jus’s head: Resistance is existence….These white people don’t got no respect for us….There’s no escaping the Black Man’s Curse….It’s exactly the kind of thinking Jus tried to combat with the letters to Martin.

New Conversation
Paragraph 230 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 230, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 230, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

But asking What would Martin do? didn’t help, did it? That’s why he stopped writing them.

New Conversation
Paragraph 231 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 231, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 231, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

There’s one thing Quan said that Jus can’t dispute: doing things Jus’s way got him and his best friend shot. Yeah, Quan’s in jail, but at

New Conversation
Paragraph 232 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 232, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 232, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

least he’s alive.

New Conversation
Paragraph 233 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 233, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

That’s more than can be said for Manny.

New Conversation
Paragraph 234 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 234, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Before sticking the key into the ignition, Jus grabs his cell phone from the center console. Before he can change his mind, he punches Trey’s number in.

New Conversation
Paragraph 235 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 235, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 235, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

CHAPTER 18

New Conversation
Paragraph 236 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 236, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Turns out not using the number is harder than Jus anticipates, especially when he’s alone with nothing but memories of his homeboy. He’s hanging out after school in Doc’s classroom to avoid making the call a few days later when SJ busts through the door like she’s being chased by rabid dogs.

New Conversation
Paragraph 237 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 237, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 237, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

The sight of her punches the air right out of Jus’s lungs. They haven’t really talked since the funeral a couple of weeks ago, but seeing her so…SJ? Well, it centers him in a way he doesn’t expect.

New Conversation
Paragraph 238 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 238, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 238, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 238, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“You guys!”

New Conversation
Paragraph 239 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 239, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Yes, Sarah-Jane?” says Doc, the picture of calm.

New Conversation
Paragraph 240 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 240, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Do you have any idea what’s going on right now?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 241 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 241, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Can’t say we do,” Doc replies.

New Conversation
Paragraph 242 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 242, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

“Where’s your TV remote?”

New Conversation
Paragraph 243 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 243, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

Doc pulls the remote from his desk drawer and passes it to her. Once the TV is on and tuned to the right channel, Jus finds it hard to breathe for a different reason.

New Conversation
Paragraph 244 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 244, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 244, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.

There on the screen, big and bold and bright and blatant, is a picture from Jared’s Halloween-Political-Statement-Turned-Brush-with-Death. Of course everyone else—Blake the Klansman included—has been cropped out of the version making national news. It just shows Justyce McAllister as Thug Extraordinaire.

New Conversation
Paragraph 245 0
No paragraph-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 245, Sentence 1 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 245, Sentence 2 0
No sentence-level conversations. Start one.
New Conversation
Paragraph 245, Sentence 3 0
No sentence-level conversations.