In Defense I Die
© Sharon Perkins July 13, 2013
I’ve given this a lot of thought lately, because the verdict is due to come in on George Zimmerman who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin allegedly in self-defense. I imagined myself a young “adult” being pursued relentlessly by an older man. I’ve taken some liberties and the story below is created using my imagination & a few undisputed facts. We will never know for sure what transpired that night…Keep in mind, it’s my story. I did not work in politics, prejudice, or hate. I did however, try to get into the mind of a frightened young man. Maybe I will profile Zimmerman next and tell it from his side (using my ingenuity of course & not just his version of events).
I’m no saint. I’ve been in a bit of trouble. Fitting in at high school is hard and I want to belong. I only want to be liked. My small group of disorderly misfits have accepted me. Finally I feel a smidgen okay with the universe. My mamma doesn’t like my friends, nor my behavior and she’s booted me out. “Maybe your father can knock some sense into you.” She tells me, and not for the first time. So I find myself today at the nice gated community. I’m out after dark, heading back from the store, leisurely walking in the neighborhood. I’ve not chosen an immediate path back to the townhouse. I’m talking to my friend on my cell, and enjoying the moonlit sky.
I notice some strange guy slowing down in his car, spying me with a suspicious growl on his face. “Some freak be watching me dawg,” I tell my homeboy. The dude suddenly jumps out of his vehicle.
I sense immediate danger. I run as fast as my young legs allow. I hear him screaming some nonsense as he chases me – nothing official; just mean & irrational rhetoric. At least that’s what I make out. I’ve managed to get myself turned around. It seems that the only course back to the casa is in the open. He’ll easily snag me if I head that way. I keep moving. It’s all I have between me and him.
I’m finally out of the immediate line of sight, I duck behind a bush. I can hear my heart racing, tha-dump, tha-dump, as I crouch there shaking. I’m hidden pretty well in the darkness, and planning my escape route. The townhouse, which way was that again? Is there some way to stay out of view and make it there unharmed? He’s still out there. Searching. Creeping. Trying… to… find… me. It feels like I’ve been here forever. Tha-dump, tha-dump.
I’m afraid to move and afraid to stay. Mamma warned me nothing good happened after dark.
One thing that I’ve learned is to stick up for myself – it’s the only way to keep from being bullied. It also keeps me on the Principle’s naughty list but worse things could happen than a few free days off school grounds. The guy has circled around the area. My adrenaline is pumping as he draws closer to where I’ve concealed myself. Without thinking it through, I pounce on my stalker as he passes me. Perhaps I should have stayed hidden but it’s too late now. I must shield myself from an indisputable threat.
I beat him as if my life depended on it, because I am fearful it does. He’s a lot bulkier than me and I’m trembling. Any minute I’m certain he will overpower me. “I love you mamma,” I say in my head, “I am sorry I caused you so much trouble. I’m just a confused kid looking for my place in this world.” Disbelief hits me when I hear the gunshot. The pain is unbearable. “Dad,” I begin a new thought but fail to complete it. I see a light and I hear a voice, “Come on home son, where you belong.”