“Slam!” the door to the police car was slammed shut and seconds letter it sped away out of sight. Inside was my babysitter, my cousin, my hero. It’s crazy to think that one day he was my babysitter, and the next he sat in a court room being sentenced to 16 years in prison. It’s still hard for me to except the fact that he’s not here, even 7 years later. About a year after he was arrested, I finally had enough confidence to ask my parents why he had been sent away; they said that he was pretty much in the wrong place at the wrong time. I had always looked up to him, and to hear that he had done something to the degree of having to be sent to jail broke my heart.
A few years later I got a letter in the mail addressed from Victor C. Brown Jr. When I read that he wrote, “Not one day goes by where I don’t think of all of you and when I can get the chance to see you again” and “In closing I would like to tell you that I love you and miss you dearly. Be well and take care!!” it made me feel better. I wrote back weeks later not sure of my exact words but I do remember telling him “I love you and miss you too” Ever since we have been keeping in contact through letter; I keep all of them.
Sometimes I wonder why he chose to be where he was that night when he got arrested. One day I asked him about it. What he told me, I can’t quite remember but I do remember that he said that he was going to change. I didn’t believe that he could at the time but, each letter I got after that he showed a bigger improvement on how he was; “We get tested twice a week on book work and we cut hair everyday of the work week. I don’t have a problem keeping up with the workload. Two chapters a week, two tests, and a bunch of childish men.” Also, “I could really care less bout them or what they say or do, but sometimes I get heated. When that happens I have to stay focused on the big picture. I am here for school and school alone.” It made me proud to know that he wasn’t letting others get to him.
My next question to him was what he planned on doing when he got out. He said that he was in barber school, and he planned on becoming a barber when he was released. It was a relief to know that he had a goal for when he got out. I have only visited him 2 or 3 times, but it seems as though an hour with him wasn’t enough. This reason, plus others that I have experienced, are why I believe that everyone can change if they really want to.
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