Chapter 8: Bloods and Crips

After a slew of ego-damaging interactions in my dating life, I almost hit full delirium. One night, I got the fantastic idea to look through old yearbooks and see if there was anyone worth re-connecting with. I was in my 8th grade yearbook when I came across Sam. I remember one day, he told me he liked me, but I was too shy to ever act upon it back then. I obsessed over him for the rest of the year until he switched schools, and I never saw him again.

I decided to do a quick search on Facebook to see if I could find him. I did, and he was completely different from what I remembered. He looked more hard, no smiles in any of his photos. He also more dressed down than I remembered, All his photos consisted of baggy jeans and shirts. Sometimes, a photo of him in a wife beater would appear, and most had his face covered in a snapback. I hit the add friend button, and waited a reply.

It was months before I heard from him. I almost forgot I requested it to begin with. He accepted my friend request, and immediately recognized me, and started a chat. We swapped numbers, and he called me that same night. It was nice hearing from someone on the phone. I was now in the era where texts were more common than phone calls. It was then I learned that he had just got out of jail a few days ago, and was living with his parents during his two year probation, until he could find a job. He was in jail for getting into an altercation downtown while under the influence of alcohol, carrying an unregistered firearm.

For some reason, it didn’t click in my mind that Sam was dangerous. I was intrigued by him, and I always had a ton of questions which he was always happy to answer. He was a blood, the red ones, as how I remembered it. They were always feuding with the Crips, he would mention, which is how he ended up in jail to begin with. Sam taught me everything I needed to know about the bloods in Colorado. He taught me the history, about the founder, Tookie, and even showed me how to hold the sign with my fingers. He requested I never wear blue around him, but assured me the real danger wasn’t with the Crips. It was with the North Side Mafia, a Mexican gang who stirred up more trouble than anything else.

I talked to him for weeks. I never got the chance to meet up with him; it was probably the best blessing in disguise I’ve ever gotten. He was under house arrest, and promised he would come see me, the moment his probation was over. I eventually grew tired of waiting, so I decided to move on. He was very understanding of this, and our conversations stopped.

One day, after several weeks of not talking to him, the thought finally clicked for me that he was the most dangerous situation I ever put myself in. I finally felt what I should have months prior. I was scared. I don’t know how I became this emotionless person, but I was so happy to have felt something, even if that terrified me.  I deleted him from my Facebook, blocked his number, and never heard from him again.

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