Keen and I were practically inseperable after that day. After I walked Keen home that night we immediately jumped on the phone. We talked….and talked…..and talked. Until we both fell asleep…still on the phone. Talking to Keen was easy. It didn’t take long before I felt comfortable telling her almost any and everything. I said ALMOST!

Me and Keen weren’t just comfortable talking to each other on the phone either. After that first conversation, me and Keen began being together before, during, and after school. We hadn’t defined what it was that we were doing yet, but whispers about what might be going on between us seemed to be a major topic at school, and around the way. That perception of us by others was all good to me. Keen was easily the baddest chick in the whole school, and everybody thought she was my girlfriend. Sounded good to me! But, the reality of our situation was likely one no one would’ve guessed. I was in the friend zone. Like, waaaay deep into the friend zone! Like, “middle of the Earth”, deep levels of friend-zoned. You know? The crazy part is that I had no idea how it happened! And I definitely didn’t have a clue how to get out of that muthafucka’ either!

After about a month into whatever it was that Keen and I had going, she violated me in the worst way possible……She began talking to me about a guy she had a crush on! That shit hurt too. I don’t know what Keen considered me to be to her, but it clearly had absolutely nothing at all to do with romance….in my humble opinion. This was worse than heartbreak. At least with a heartbreak there’s usually some sepearation or space put between yourself and the alleged “breaker”. This shit was different. It seemed like the more Keen talked about other dudes, the more time we spent together. One day I got fed up with the shit, as we sat in the back of music class chatting.

“What part of the game is this?”

Was what came running out of my mouth, as I not so subtly made my attempt to approach the issue that had been bothering me for weeks…..without coming off as a complete dickehead!

“What part of what game is what?”

Keen said, seeming completely unaware of what I was speaking of. That was one of Keen’s “pet peeves” that I couldn’t stand. She specialized in answering a question with a question. That shit always drove me absolutely insane!

“The part where you’re always telling me about how much you loooove you some Brian. What’s that about?”

Keen didn’t respond. Instead she put her head down into the book sitting in front of her. When she finally lifted her head after what felt like eternity, she had a huge smile on her face.

“You jealous?”

She asked, with a huge smile on her face. I had no idea what she found so funny in this moment! I was steaming mad that she would dare accuse me of being jealous of her having a crush on Brian’s loaf-of-bread head ass! (I really was jealous though)

“Jealous of him?” I scoffed, and waived my hand at the same time.

“You wish! I just get tired of hearing you talking about that weirdo all day!”

Boom! I was sure that I convinced her that I wasn’t jealous. That’s how my teenage mind was thinking at the time. I was much too immature to see that Brian had been part of Keen’s plan to get me to finally make a move on her or something. We had “been together” for almost a month, and we……..didn’t really feel like a couple or anything to either one of us. That was clear to me. But I still couldn’t see that Keen wanted to see care. That I gave a fuck.


Was all Keen said before she moved away from me, and to another seat on the other side of the room, next to Danny…..who was an even weirder dude than Brian, if you could believe that shit! Naturally, those two weirdos were best friends. I know Keen went over there and sat next to Danny just to make me angry, and that shit was working! I couldn’t stand neither one of those weird jokers. All the girls in our class used to call them Bert & Ernie from Sesame Street because Brian was tall and Danny was…..not so tall. I couldn’t stand those two dudes!

“Fuck Bert and Ernie and fuck the fuckin’ Diaz Brothers!”

I stood up and yelled at the top of my lungs. I got a bunch of laughs from all of the girls, and a mean look from Danny, which were great things. You know? Even Keen, who was sitting next to Danny, giggled. The downside to that shit was Mrs. Williams, our English teacher. If there was one thing she didn’t tolerate, it was this type of shit, and we all knew it! Mrs. Williams was one of those teachers who thought she was personally responsible for the behavior of the entire black race. Acting a goddamn fool in her class was bound to have consequences. I knew it too. I just didn’t expect those consequences to be enough to turn my whole life upside-down. And lead to me not seeing the love of my life again for 25-years!

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