Loyalty | Teen Ink


October 8, 2021
By Anonymous


The first time they met was the last year of middle school, 8th grade. James didn't have any friends but Nikko had plenty. They had everything in common, taste in music, love for cars, and they even found out they lived in the same neighborhood. Nikko basically saved James. Prior to having Nikko as a close friend he had been in a deep dark hole of depression . He even made more friends through him. They were the happiest of friends for what felt like forever, doing everything together. As months and months went by and the two became closer and closer, their friendship began to fade. It was as if they had become siblings that couldn't handle each other. James noticed Nikko was hanging out with new people a lot more lately. He didn't think much of it, as he knew Nikko was a good guy. Entering Junior year, James was a mess. All he had was Nikko, and it seemed as if Nikko didn't care for James anymore. He remembered the old days, such as freshman year when they once snuck behind the school and shared a bitter beer Nikko stole from his dad. As stupid as it was, he so wish he could go back to those days. 

It had gotten to the point where they hadn't talked in a week. James called Nikko and asked him if he wanted to hang out. His response was a yes, but an unconvincing yes. James could tell, and he told him another day would be fine, deep down knowing Nikko didn't enjoy spending time with him anymore. After school the next day, they met up outside of the cafeteria. Suddenly Nikko seemed excited to see James as if a great idea popped into his head. Nikko told James that he had a very exciting opportunity for him, and that they will talk about it tomorrow. The next day Nikko calls him and asks him if he can help him and his buddies out by bringing them to the train station on a saturday afternoon for 3 thousand dollars in cash. No questions asked. James thinks about it for a while. He knows that Nikko has the money; he always had expensive shoes and drove a Beamer. He trusted Nikko with all his heart even though he lied all the time to his parents and teachers. After not a lot of thought James agrees, feeling empty inside as he just wanted his friends back and had nothing to lose. Though he was still a little skeptical. 

 After school the next day, James drove over to the location to pick them up. There they are, Nikko and his friends. James felt a sudden rush of adrenaline shooting through his body as he thought about what he was doing. The alley they were in smelled like old spraypaint and rotten food. They walk up to the car to get in, and once they are in the car, Nikko hands James the cash before telling him to drive south, to one of the forest roads. It felt like an eternity, though only 20 minutes had gone by. Nikko wanted James to keep going. As they were driving on a gravel road, no car within miles. Nikko starts to worry. After about 10 more minutes, Nikko tells James to get out of the car. He steps out and sees one of Nikkos friends with a pistol in his hand.  The next thing he knew he was on the ground, blood everywhere. He saw his car drive away, then completely blacks out. The next thing he knew there was a nurse doing compressions on his chest with bright blue gloves. It takes a moment for him to register the loud sirens pulsing through his body as he's traveling 80 mph in a big van. 

“You were shot” Were the first words he heard in what felt like two hours but was actually two days. James is so lost. He can't even think. “Why the hell did my best friend just shoot me?” Is the only thought in his head for the next week. A police officer finally comes in and asks James if he remembered who shot him, he answers with an empty voice, “My best friend… Nikko Ker.”

After a couple weeks of laying in the hospital bedroom that almost felt too clean, James picks up the newspaper just like he has been for the whole week. This time his face is on the front page. ‘’Local teen survives shots to the head.” He read the article and found that Nikko had already been arrested. The story in the paper was that he had to kill somebody to prove himself worthy to join a local gang. So many thoughts were going through his head at this point, he couldn't even think. They never exchanged words again. 

The author's comments:

This is a piece I made in HS for a class called creative writing. 

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