Short Story: CJ's Intro
I remember when my parents used to teach us about the art of “stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.” It’s been a great life tool for me because my family always stays prepared when the times get rough. And believe me we’ve had that happen on more than several occasions. If you were looking from the outside in, you’d think that my life is like a movie. To me, it’s the latter. Not saying my life is really a movie, but I’ve been convinced for a long time that wild and crazy shit just follows me around like a dark cloud. I don’t know if being from Chicago is playing a part in this or if it’s really just a huge coincidence. I hate how I let my paranoia always get the best of me when life is going great. Sometimes in my head, I psyche myself into thinking that it’s just too good to be true, especially when a lot good news comes about.
I can never understand why I can’t let myself enjoy the fruits of my labor that I earned & deserve. One day soon I’m going to get over my paranoia. But I honestly can’t wait for this big move in August. I got accepted into Mobile State University, one of the top HBCU’s in the state of Alabama. The journey of me getting to college wasn’t an easy one. In fact, college was the last thing on my brain at the time; too much shit was going on, including the death of my 2 closest homies Dev & Weezy. My childhood best friend JD ended up going to jail after being accused of an attempted murder that he didn’t even commit. My grandmother’s suffering from multiple heath issues that almost ended her life, and there’s a lot of internal beef & falling out occurring in my circle. At the time, it was a lot to bear for a young Black teenager like myself. If it wasn’t for my best friend Aleisha, my big cousin KRIT, and my nigga Trell keeping my mind off of the bullshit when I needed it, I might’ve went off the deep end.
Just seeing the closest people in my life, that I loved, going through so much, knowing there wasn’t really anything that I could do to help was fucking with me bad. Somehow my Auntie Toya and Big Cousin Marcus put the bug in my ear to consider MSU because she was an alumnus & my cousin was currently enrolled there. I didn’t know much about the school but after a quick visit this summer, I was sold on the entire HBCU culture. Even though I didn’t fully understand the HBCU culture, the people that I met put me on game & showed me so much love that it almost felt like I was back in my neighborhood. A break from city life seemed to be the move for me. I mean summertime Chi was bussin’ per usual, however too much wild shit was going on in the city. It got to the point where some of us had to make sure that we survived the summer just to make sure we can get to college.
But here I am at the end of the road getting ready for a new journey & new experience. I’m determined to live the best life I can while away from home. There’s a special gift that I plan on harnessing while I’m away; it’s a gift that I discover back when I was 15, and it’s a gift that could possibly take me over & help me realize my wildest dreams. It really says a lot to me because me surviving summer just means there’s a bigger purpose for me. God has gotten me so far in life, and has guided out of hell. I will forever e grateful for everything he’s blessed me with. I have family & friends out here depending on me & I’m determined to make them proud.
This is the beginning of my new life. This journey I’m about to embark on is not for the faint of heart. You want to know what’s about to go down in the life of CJ? Stay tuned because this is only the beginning.