South Side
by Maureen

Disclaimer: lyrics by Moby, Jamie by Disney, everyone else by Me memememe !! This is not a "scary Maureen songfic" either!!!! Surprise!

***

Jamie sat on the front steps of his house and waited for something to happen. It was a dull, hot summer day and he was bored. The tv was broken once again and he didn't want to play dolls with his 10yr old sister or sleep like Peter.

They had recently moved from Sainte-Foy, Canada to Cleveland, Ohio and to say that 14 yr old Jamie Waite was going through culture shock was a great understatement. His written English was sketchy at best, his spoken English was broken, and he often did not understand slang. At home they spoke French all the time and so did his friends, teachers, everyone. Now he could only speak to his parents and little sister.

Across the street he saw several of the neighborhood gangbangers working on an old pinto, rap music blaring. He wasn't a part of the gang and wasn't even supposed to go near them but everyone around was either a member of the gang or dating a member of the gang. You were brothers or you weren't, pure and simple, and no one wanted anything to do with someone who wasn't wearing the colors blue and white.

"Hey, Jaime!" one of the guys, Julio, called over. "You know cars?"

Hearing his name, well, the name the kids at school had given him, Jamie perked up and called back, "Yeah, why?" true, he knew bikes better, but cars weren't that much different.

See myself in the pouring home
See the light come over now
See myself in the pouring rain
I watch hope come over me

Checking to make sure his mother wasn't around, Jamie stood up and headed across the street.

"We can't get it to start and we're pretty sure it's the engine over here," Julio said, pointing towards the left side of the engine. Jamie leaned over and looked at it. After a minute or two he noticed a loose spark plug which he quickly fixed.

"Try it now," he instructed, please when the car began to purr.

"Gracias, amigo," Julio said, slapping him on the back. "You wanna come ride with us for a little while?"

"Oui," Jamie said, pleased to finally be a part of the group.

Here we are now, going to the east side
I pick up my friends and we start to ride
Ride all night, we ride all day
Some may come and some may stay

"Here, man, catch," someone called to Jamie, throwing him a gun.

"I don't want this!" Jamie said, trying to give it back.

"Look niño," the guy said draping his arm across Jamie's thin shoulders, "You wanna hang with us, you play like a big boy, comprende?"

"Oui," Jamie whispered. Despite orders from his mother to speak only english from now on, he couldn't help it.

"Good. Put that away then and let's go."

Hesitantly, Jamie copied the other guys and shoved the piece in the back of his pants before climbing into the backseat of the car. Because he was the smallest he was ordered to take the middle seat, or bitch.

Here we are in the pouring home
I watch the light man fall the comb
I watch a light move across the screen
I watch the light come over me

Soon afternoon turned into dark and they were no where near their neighborhood. Jamie had no clue where they were even and could barely understand what was being said around him since they were only speaking spanish.

"Julio?" he asked, hesitantly "I need to go home now."

"El niño quiera ir tu casa!" Julio exclaimed and the other guys in the car laughed loudly.

Jamie shurnk down in the seat, wondering why he had agreed to come against his mothers wishes.

Here we are now going to the west side
Weapons in hand as we go for a ride
Some may come and some may stay
Watching out for a sunny day where there's
Love and darkness and my sidearm
Hey, elan, elan

"Now," Julio commanded, pulling his gun out. They slowed down and began to cruise down the street until they saw the familiar colors of their targets.

On some silent cue, they aimed and as they passed the steet corner, fired. Jamie's eyes widened, having no idea why any of this was happening and what would happen to him. For his part he did not even take the gun he was required to carry out.

The shootout seemed to last an eternity and Jamie felt years of his life slip away every time he thought a bullet had hit the car or someone in it. He covered his head and ducked down, praying that if he lived he'd never try to be popular or a part of a group ever again.

Here we are now going to the north side
I look at my friends as they start to ride
Ride at night we ride all day
Looking out for a sunny day

After what seemed to be an eternity the wail of police sirens could be heard behind them. At first Julio tried to ignore it and then outrun them but eventually he pulled over and the guys jumped out of the car, pistols drawn. Jamie crouched in the back seat on the floor, hoping the cops would shoot everyone and let him go home, ending this nightmare.

He heard more shots fired and stayed hidden, figuring it would be safer. Several minutes later a policeman poked his head in the back of the car and whistled. "We have another one."

"Non, non!" Jamie cried insistantly, not thinking clearly enough to speak in english, "Je suis innocent!"

They pulled him out of the car and he obeyed, doing whatever they made him. He stood still as he was frisked and the gun taken from him. He didn't speak while they handcuffed him and read him the Miranda Rights.

Finally, at the station, they had to get a translater to interpret for him as he was babbling incoherantly in French. After ten minutes of questions, the interpreter shook her head saying "All he knows is that he didn't do anything but ride in the back. He's terrified."

"Ask him why he was riding with them."

"Pourquoi étiez-vous montant dans la voiture?"

"J'ai pensé qu'ils me voudraient davantage." Jamie whispered, ashamed. All he had wanted was some friends.

"He's only guilty of wanting to be liked," the officer summarized, "He's not a member. He doesn't even have a decent grasp on english or spanish."

The police called his mother to come get him and she did, screaming at him in french while apologizing to the officers for Jamie's behavior seemingly in the same breath.

Here we are now going to the south side
I pick up my friends and we hope we won't die
Ride at night, ride through heaven and hell
Come back and feel so well.

Two weeks later Jamie walked into Kingsport High School for his first day of school. He was living with his Aunt and Uncle and determined to stay away from all major cliques. In his mind the words 'trouble' and 'groups' were synonomous.