An Open Letter To The Young Man Who Could’ve Killed Me
Dear young man,
I am writing this letter in hope you didn’t do what I thought you would do. After we met, you could’ve ended my life — you didn’t. You chose to ride away on your bike. You looked back at me frustrated. I could tell you were angry at yourself.
Was you looking to prove to yourself you could be a killer? Was it for somebody else? Was it to gain respect and climb your way up your group’s order?
Somehow, I feel you didn’t have a good upbringing and you were hoping to find somewhere to belong — I could be wrong. Your upbringing may have been beautiful; the point is, I feel you are either going to end up in prison or end up as another death.
How it happened was a shock. It was all my fault. I shouldn’t have said what I said as it only fueled your rage. My friend and I were walking home late that night and you demanded us to “fucking move.” We did and you passed us by.
I should’ve ignored your insults. And yet, I replied back “shut the fuck up.” I should’ve known better. You stopped and you asked me to repeat myself and stupidly, I did. You stepped off your bike and came towards me. You were ready to do it. I could see it.
My friend could only watch and wait. But, I didn’t want him to get involved. He knew that. I kept calm and we both knew that was the best thing to do. “Yo, where’re you from, bro?”
I told you Nottingham.
“Speaking like that can get you killed round here bruv!”
I looked into his eyes as he stood in front of me. I had my hands in my pockets. His hand was in his. I saw it. I saw the knife move. A young black man suffering through a is-this-the-moment-of-truth event.
By saying the following, I simply made that possible. While calmly staring back at him, I asked in a caring tone, “why are you so angry?” He flinched at this and struggled to understand what was happening.
“Because I am, I’m fucking angry.”
“But why? What caused you to be like this?”
There was a moment of pause; he made his decision. With a quick turn and grab of his bike, he rode off. However, it wasn’t without a warning:
“Be careful who you talk to like that bro.”
That night you could’ve ended my life. You chose to let me live. I will never forget that. Although, my main concern was you. It saddened me that such a young soul was stuck in this lifestyle.
I just hope you didn’t go ahead and end somebody else’s.
I just hope you get out and get ahead in life. To be young and involved in this is a tragedy.
Please, find joy.