The Favorite Child

He felt the hot lead enter his chest. He couldn’t catch his breath—from shock and from the unsuspected bullets that entered his body. What had he done to deserve this fate? He was just trying to make it home—the lyrics of J. Cole flowing through his headphones.

He kept it moving, couldn’t wait to get home/Report card for his mother couldn’t wait to get shown/Straight A’s as usual, his mama would smile/Youngest child college bound knew his mama was proud.

These were the last bars that he heard before he felt the fire hit his chest. Like a cliché, his life flashed before his eyes as he hit the ground. There were so many things that he had done.  And so many things he has yet to do.

Cause he was headed out the hood/He promised his self one day he’ll get her out for good/That made him smile, the favorite child.

Raised by a single mother and living in poverty—he had dreams that would get him and his family out of that situation. And all was going good. 17-years-old, college bound with the excitement of finally being able to help his mama out.

But damn fate is foul/A drive-by sprayed stray bullets that laid him out on the pavement fading out.

But the bullets confused him. Because at that moment, he wasn’t in the hood. At that moment, he was in a gated community. A place where he thought he was safe. A place where his mama didn’t need to worry and stress about his safety. But they were wrong.

Where did the bullets come from? And why were they amid at him? He was just walking down the street, back to his family member’s house. He did nothing wrong. He did nothing dangerous. So he didn’t understand why he deserved this type of fate.

Now he bleeding thinking God, man, you couldn’t wait awhile?/My mama struggling, who gonna save her now, huh?/Now he fading out thinking God, you couldn’t wait awhile?/My mama need me who gon’ save her now nigga?

J. Cole’s lyrics whispered in his ears. And he thought about his mother as he faded out—how heartbroken she was going to be. How was she going to live without him? Who was going to help her now?

And that’s when he saw him, just before he faded out. A white man crouched behind a car with a gun in his hands. He kept mouthing the words:

“He looked suspicious.”

He’s fading out, the favorite child.

“He looked suspicious.”

He’s fading out, the favorite child.

“He looked suspicious.”

 He’s fading out, the favorite child.

“He looked suspicious.”

Fading out.


 In the memory of Trayvon Martin


*Lyrics from J. Cole “The Good Son Part 1”


  1. Salvatore Buttaci · March 20, 2012

    A fine tribute to a young boy who did not deserve to die.

    • janachantel · March 20, 2012

      Thank you!

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