Two Boys Walking

Two Boys Walking

A Story by manchilld99

History is rife with important figures who live parallel lives, albeit in vastly different times. Consider for example, Robert Johnson and Jimi Hendrix. And then there are these two...



A teenaged boy found himself alone in a strange new place.  The loneliness he felt was relieved by a chance meeting with another, younger youth. 

Meeting while walking along the road, the two young black boys soon found themselves walking abreast. Walking together soon led to conversation, and talking led to a budding friendship, based upon some unspoken but very real connection they shared.

 The younger boy who had been around much longer than the older newcomer began to think out loud:

 “I don’t know … I’m just walking along.  Seem like I ain’t getting nowhere, just keep walkin’ …but some peoples say that lotsa folks came after me.  A lot began to happen …  after I finally got back to Chicago,” he said, adjusting the brim of his fedora to shade his eyes against the hot southern sun.

 His new found companion shook his head slightly and started to speak, but hesitated.  Although some two to three years his junior, this kid seemed to really know things, kind of like he was grown.  The older boy was surprised to now feel he had recognized this 'stranger.'  He said, tentatively,

 “Oh, I don’t know.  I mean, I heard about you, and frankly, I never did expect we’d meet.  Naw. Nothing of the sort.  I was just walkin’ along like so many other times.  Besides, we had got past how I heard things was for you.  You see, we thought, well ...  We "I mean I " didn’t never think …”

 There was the muffled rumble of shuffled feet, and the two boys turned to see a procession of dark figures quietly pass them by on the road. The younger boy seemed puzzled, and so was disquieted by the throng. 

 ”What they doin’, man?”

 “Look like they jus’ walkin’”

 “Like that?  Look like a funeral, or somethin’ … And what they got on they head?  Look like the Devil’s henchmen.”

 ”Oh … those is called hoodies.  Everybody wear them.  I wear ... ” " then hesitating " “ ... wore  them all the time”

 “I don’t trust people in hoods.  Dangerous, if they won’t show they face”

 “I guess a lot of people feel that way, I guess,” sighed the older teen.

 “Hey what’s that you got plugged in yo’ ears?”

 “Earphones ... for my I-Pod.  I listen to my music through them.”

 “Lemme try them, man,” he replied, and was handed the earphones. He promptly inserted them into his ears as he had seen the other youth do.  And just as immediately he recoiled and snatched them out again. 

 “Dang!!! That’s too loud!  And what the hell is that anyway?  Sound like a lot o’ noise.  Sound like some o’ that geechie stuff my uncle and my Mississippi peoples be listenin’ to, but louder.  Jus’ a bunch o’ folk talkin’ and chantin’ and just actin’ a fool.  But that I-Pod ?  Yeah, I-Pod … now, it play nice, better’n any phonograph or radio I ever heard.  But man, you gotta get you some o’ that dap music they playin’ these days … some Drifters, Flamingos, or maybe some Moonglows stuff.  Now that’s what you need!”

 "Hey! Try some o' these," and in saying this the older produced a colorful glossy bag of candy, motioning for his new friend to hold out his hand.   This he did, and was rewarded by having a generous sampling of colorful hard-shell candy pellets shaken into his outstretched hand.

 "What are these? M&M's ?"

 "Naw.  Something better."

 The two boys reached a corner, a crossroads, really.  The hooded walkers had stopped there, apparently waiting for the older boy.  When he turned to take the right-hand road they moved to follow.

 Since the two  had only this day become acquainted, the younger boy now seemed leery.  He asked, ‘Ain’t you scared o’ them hooded folks followin’ you?  Who are they, anyway?”

 For the first time, the older youth reached out to touch the other.  He firmly gripped the shoulders of his new friend and said, “No, little brother.  They don’t scare me.  They seem just like you and me, only with them hoods on, no one sees their faces.  So, they kinda unknown.  But there’s a lot of ‘em.  And they just like you and me, just that people don’t know about ‘em.”

 Well, now this was a lot to think about.  No one but  a family member had ever called the younger boy ‘brother’ before, and he didn’t know quite what to make of it. And those hoods -- ‘hoodies’-- that would certainly take some getting used to.  But somehow he knew he would be seeing more of this new boy and the ‘hoodies’ that came in his wake.  As he was about to go his way, he turned to wave good-bye.  The older boy hollered out:

 ”Hey! What should I call you?”

 ”Emmett.  Just call me Bobo.  And you?”



 ”Tray -- von.”

 Trayvon … hmm … That was a new one.  Oh well; it already had been a very strange day.

© 2012 manchilld99

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Added on September 18, 2012
Last Updated on September 19, 2012



rochester, NY

I write poems and stories, and have broadcast a blues show on the radio since 1982. I am from Harlem, currently live in Rochester, NY, but have been around. more..

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