So I spent the latter half of my high school career in Jacksonville, FL. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Jacksonville is in North Florida, which is absolutely, in no uncertain terms, the country. Pickup trucks and Confederate flags. I went to high school in a town called Fleming Island, affluent area, safe, nice houses, majority white. And it really was an island; across one bridge you had Orange Park which for simplification we’ll call the hood and across the other bridge you had Middleburg which was deep south country. Klan meetings type of country.
Now picture this. I had a core group of 4 friends. Myself, Terrell, Javon, and Dennis. It’s a cold Friday night in January and Terrell and I are in Javon’s car en route to Dennis’ house who lives on the OTHER side of Middleburg. Now we’re driving along this road in complete darkness, hardly any street lights, nothing but trees left and right, this is Middleburg, we out here now ain't we? Javon gets a call. It’s his parents. Boom, here’s something else to consider; Javon’s parents are fresh off the boat Jamaican, virtually as strict as they come. A phone call has never been a good thing.
- “Where are you?”
- Half way to Dennis'
- "Get your ass home in 20 minutes”
So he looks at us and says
-“I can’t finish this trip”
- Alright bet, just take us home.
- “Nah that’ll take too long, and if I pull up to my house with y’all in the car, she’s gonna take my car away”.
- Bro what..are you saying?
- “Here, lemme pull up to this gas station, y’all call Dennis’ mom, and she’ll come get you”.
He wasn’t joking. He dropped us off and peeled out. So it’s me and Terrell at this gas station, in the middle of the night, in Middleburg, waiting on Dennis’ mom. We tried to make it sound urgent.
Now standing outside of the gas station was this stereotypical redneck and the shop keeper, white woman, at least 80, and as soon as we stepped out of the car she stepped into the shop. At this point it's just this guy and he's grilling us with them country eyes, chewing that dip. Slightly unnerving but we didn’t pay him much mind. 5 minutes pass and he goes into his truck and makes a call. He’s on the other side of the lot but his windows are cracked; we can hear he’s hype, can’t make exactly out the words but he’s still looking at us from the truck.
The call ends and he gets steps out of his truck. Extra tryna mind our own business at this point. But we notice the shop keeper is staring at us from behind the counter, shifty. 5 minutes later a second pickup truck pulls into the gas station. They know each other. They start chopping it up, racial slurs carpet bombed through the whole conversation. Main dude goes back into his truck for another call and he’s really hype this time. Terrell and I are starting to panic. Do we run for it? What’s the FUCKING PLAN BRO? We glance over at the truck and the guy *points at us* and ends the call.
5 more minutes pass and the tension is crazy. A third pickup truck swerves into the station. He slams on the brakes and jumps out. He looks at the first two guys, the three of them look at the shop lady, and they all look us and then...Dennis’ mom pulls into the gas station.
Here's what’s crazy about this story: Javon didn't make it home in time and got his car taken anyway. Almost sacrificed his squad and took the loss REGARDLESS. HE DON'T EVEN REMEMBER THIS SHIT. But in the end I don't know for sure what was going on but I know for sure what was going on.