Lately, Jazmine Dubois hasn't been spending much time with me. I go to the hill and she's not there. I wait five minutes before walking to school but somehow she already left without me. I get to class and she's already there. It's not like I mind I mean she is quite annoying. And naïve. And a bit of a cry baby. But damn, it was getting to me. I mean, there must be a reason for it.

There was a reason for everything.

I would assume that I said something to hurt her feelings but I haven't seen her long enough to hurt her feelings.

I sighed sitting by the tree, Maybe the newspaper will get my mind off that stupid girl.


I know that voice. Play it cool.

I raised an eyebrow not looking away from the paper, "Yeah?"

"Hehe, I haven't seen you up here in awhile!"

I rolled my eyes, Maybe that's because you haven't been around.

"Oh, well…I'm here now. Where have you been?"

"Chillin man, you gonna introduce me Jazzy or what? He doesn't look up from that thing does he?" a slight Brooklyn and slight Jamaican accent was heard.

I looked up completely from my paper now, "Who are you?" Jazzy? What the fuck…

The dark skinned boy smiled a bit at me, "Name's Caesar man, you must be the famous Huey Freeman."

He paused to glance at Jazmine then back at me, "Jazzy talks about you all the time."

Jazmine blushed.

I was a bit surprised. I mean, I knew Jazmine liked me but I didn't think she talked about me that much…

"Ah. Well you just move here or somethin?"

Caesar laughed, "He is smart huh? Yeah man like a week ago."

Week ago? Is this nigga the reason I haven't seen Jazmine around then?

I eyed Jazmine clearly irritated, "I hope you don't go around bringing any niggas you want up here."

Jazmine blinked as did Caesar .

I stood while rolling the paper up then put it under my armpit. I was mad and I didn't really know why I was mad. Walking passed them I felt Jazmine's hand grab my arm.

"Huey wait…"

I stopped walking to look at her, "What?"

Jazmine let go and smiled, "Why don't you hang out with us? Michael is really smart too and talks about depressing things like you do."

Michael? What the hell.

I shook my head, "Maybe some other time."

I glanced back at Caesar and I didn't mean to but I gave him a slight glare, "Later dude."

Then I continued to walk down the hill.

What the hell is her problem? Bringing boys to our hilltop. Wait…I mean MY hilltop. Ugh. Maybe she just likes making friends with new people then getting rid of the old friend when someone new comes in.

I shook my head.

I don't need her, I thought as a glare arose on my face.

The next day Jazmine and Caesar showed up to walk with me and Riley to school. Riley was pretty happy to see another black kid in town.

"Yo man, what was Brooklyn like? I bet there was niggas everywhere robbing shit and like gangs in alley ways and shit."

I rolled my eyes.

Caesar laughed a bit, "Yes and no."

Jazmine smiled but didn't talk much.

Why is she quiet around him? With me she never shuts up.

"You in a gang nigga?"

Caesar laughed again, "Nah man."

Riley scoffed, "You gay den. How you be from Brooklyn and NOT be in a gang?"

Caesar raised an eyebrow at this, "Cause I like my average life expectancy versus the life expectancy of a gang member?"

I will admit I was slightly surprised by his answer.

"Yo nigga Ima live forever."

Caesar eyed Riley, "I seriously doubt that."

I smirked a bit looking at Caesar; maybe this guy isn't so bad after all…

School started to get a bit more interesting with Caesar around. He's been here a week but decided to start late. He said it was because he had to mentally prepare himself for the disdain he would have to endure.

The guy was cool. As soon as I took out the paper he asked me what I was reading. We then went into an hour long discussion. And nine times out of ten he was on the same level as me.

Maybe a little more optimistic than I was but still we got along great. I did notice, however, that the more me and Caesar hung out the less me and Jazmine did. Whenever I hung out with her it was with Caesar, but Caesar did hang out with her at times without me.

I won't lie.

It bothered me.

Afterschool me and Caesar went up to the hilltop. Jazmine didn't come with us. Something about, visiting a family member? When we got up there I sat under the tree and took out my newspaper.

Caesar stood by me leaning against the tree not saying much, "This oil spill thing is never gonna go away."


I expected some kind of response but nothing, so I looked over at Caesar.

"Yo man what's up?"

Caesar didn't look at me when he spoke but his words hit me hard.

"I'm worried about Jazzy man."

"What?...why are you worried about Jazmine?" at this point I had already folded the paper.

He looked at me. His concern was clear.

"I'm not suppose ta be going around tellin' her business but…"

I stood up a bit angry. Jazmine WAS my friend first. She always said I was her best friend. So what is she telling Caesar that she isn't telling me?

"Her granny's in the hospital. She's a mess dude."

"I'll see you guys later."

"Where are you goin?"

"I uh…I'm visiting a family member…Well, see you tomorrow!"

Why couldn't I put it together? The sudden detachment from her cheerful personality. The less and less time she spent hanging out.

I mean you'd think I of all people could figure out something was up. But then it dawned on me. Why did Jazmine tell Caesar and not me?

I didn't really know what to say so I just looked at him to continue and he did.

"It worries me more that she hasn't cried about it. At all."

Jazmine cry baby, didn't cry? Of all things to cry about THIS would be the most important.

I started walking away. I didn't wanna hear anymore unless it was from Jazmine.

Caesar raised his eyebrow, "Yo man where you goin?"

"To talk to Jazmine."

Caesar caught up with me, "Chill, she's still upset."

"So why hasn't she talked to me about it?" I snapped.

Caesar 's eyes fell, "Dude…no offense but you're not really the sensitive type."

I glared at him.

Caesar continued, "Don't lie nigga, you would have told her some shit like how death is inevitable and how her grandmother's lucky she made it as long as she did."

Ouch. But he was right. I would have said exactly that only with a bit more detail. Jazmine always came to me. I always told her the truth. But for the first time she didn't come to me. And when it mattered the most too. It kinda…I don't know, hurt. Then I got angry cause she went to Caesar about it. I calmed myself down only to feel a ridiculous amount of guilt. If I was less of a dick she would have came to me.

Caesar was looking at me funny by this point.

My facial expressions must have been going on and off…

"Whatever man. I'm going home."