Jahari was my best friend in 9th grade. We were almost inseparable, with one exception. There was the little neighborhood gang that hung out at the park in our neighborhood. This wasn't a major gang...really just a group of guys from the neighborhood, thugs. I spent a lot of time with these guys too...Jahari rarely joined me when I went to kick it with them. I didn't see why not...to me, these guys were the shit. They were old enough to buy 40's and didn't think twice to get one for me at 15.
One time on the way to school I asked Jahari why he didn't kick it with the neighborhood guys more. His reply was something like "Look at them, their life revolves around the park and getting drunk...I don't want to be like that."
I shrugged it off...but now I understand.