That was Then, This is Now

March 8, 2008
By Justin Singletary, Boston, MA

The book That was Then, This Is Now is about to really good friends Bryon and Mark starting to go there separate ways. Bryon was a 16 year old hustler who lived in a hood. His mother was poor and she had adopted his best friend Mark. Mark was an illegitimate who was adopted by new parents that got in a drunken fight and killed each other. Mark was a thief, and he always got away with everything that he possibly could do. Teen kids in there element who thought they could rule the world, everything was theirs and that nothing could possibly go wrong. They did everything bad together smoke, drink, jump kids for their money, steal, skip school, take drugs and get in to gang brawls.

But now Bryon is gradually changing thinking about other people about his responsibility, his future. He’s becoming more serious about his relationships with girls. But Mark is still just living for the moment and clinging to the past. Bryon has more of a moral sense for right and wrong but Mark feels like he can just get away with everything. Bryon stops losing the thrill for being bad as he sees people around him get hurt because of the stupid things that he does, or what he used to do.

For example Charlie gets killed just because he decided to hustle two dangerous men for $25.50. Bryon feels remorse, guilt and shame while Mark just says that’s the way things are. Bryon starts accepting the responsibility of his actions, for his family, friends, school and most importantly his brother. Mark doesn’t understand how he is changing or why. Bryon is seeing friends die and people change, and how one event can change someone’s entire life.

An example of that is when M&M a kid who used to be innocent and trusting starts smoking grass and then taking a LSD that changed him for the rest of his life. He became gaunt, always suspicious, scared and never trusting. That deeply scarred Bryon and made him think in a different way. His brother and his girlfriend are fighting each other because Mark feels like he was losing Bryon and Cathy felt like Mark was holding him back.

Then Bryon found out that Mark was selling drugs he became sick, because he was selling the same drugs that almost destroyed M&M‘s life just for money. So he called the police as a revenge for Cathy and got Mark arrested and sent to jail. Then he treated Cathy coldly and never called her back as revenge for Mark. He truly felt numb and cold inside because the 2 most important people in his world were swept away in a heartbeat. The person who was his best friend had been replaced by a sinister being and the love he had for Cathy was completely blank. Everything gone.

In conclusion I think Bryon matured and faced the hard reality of life while Mark changed from a best friend to a dangerous man and Cathy changed from the love of his life in to nothing. Bryon’s life or what it had been was ripped to shred and left in the dust. Everything Bryon once felt he knew was gone. Bryon wished for the past where he felt like he knew everything, a time when he was cocky and overconfident and the world was his but, that was then and this is now.

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This article has 1 comment.

mikey123um said...
on Apr. 20 2014 at 5:50 pm
yaaaaaaay that was good af

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