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This Is Not Goodbye
“Willie C is dead.” Three words that keep repeating in my head as i ran down a very dark Wisconsin street. Blood dripping from my nose on to my brand new white v neck and blue jeans. I felt as if I was losing my sanity by the second sprinting down the street at 1 O’clock in the morning. My phone was vibrating like crazy and I was contemplating throwing it against the side of a truck in the ST. Vincent De Paul parking lot. I was running through the parking lot when i heard sirens blaring behind me; my first thought was,
“keep running Brandon screw this guy.”
But still have a little bit of my common sense so I stopped and turned around just then realizing i was bleeding and had a very tart taste in my mouth of blood and tears. The cop stepped out of his car gun in hand and said,
“get on the ground.”
I started bawling right away and fell to my knees as he inched closer. With every inch he walked his face grew with more and more concern. He was within a foot of me and could see the blood on my shirt and I could only imagine what this skin headed white cop was thinking. A black kid in Oshkosh with a bloody shirt crying his eyes out. He probably though i killed my little brother for the last piece of chicken or something. He got down and on one knee and said a concerned,
“What happened son.”
I tried to explain to him in a very frantic voice that my mommy had just called me crying while I was at my friend Jock’s crib and told me that my cousin had just been killed on his motorcycle and i had to get home right now.
“ Get in the car son.” He said in a concerned and weary voice
I don’t know if he noticed the blood on my shirt because he didn’t say anything about my bloody shirt and jeans. I climbed in the front seat and didn’t buckle up. I needed to get to my house and help my family as the man of the house. We drove down Jackson going the speed limit for some odd reason. As we rode down the street the cop was trying to make small talk saying things like,
“Wow son that stain is going to be tough to get out.”
I payed no attention to this guy first of all because i hate cops and was raised to think they are pigs; second i wasn’t going to listen to a guy calling me son that looked about a year older than me tops. The main reason was i was in shock and denial that my cousin that had just given me a ride on his motorcycle had just died on it.
We pulled up to my apartment building and my heart sank. I didn’t know how i was going to face this problem with my family; i knew i had to be strong and not cry because that wasn’t going to help my family or the situation at all. I slowly rose out of the car and he said,
“Be strong son.”
I knew this skinhead 18 year old cop didn’t give a s***** about me or my family or my situation. But I found I way to escape a slurred,
I made my way to the front door remembering,"
i forgot my keys in Jock’s house and that i totally could have just rode my bike from Jock’s as opposed to running.”
My mom let me in and she obviously just torn and was trying to hold it all in. I looked to the ground to see my 19 year old sister weeping on the ground in udder shock and disbelief. I didn’t understand, it wasn’t real.
“We just went to Fat Mama’s and had endless chicken. Six hours ago i put his monster sticker on Hid brand new jet black bike. He just took my family and I to 6 Flags and back to Cleveland. It wasn’t true; it wasn’t right. Why my cousin? Why not one of the rapist out there; why not one of the terrorists? It had to be my cousin; its always me and my family.”
I stormed into my room, and I was punching everything in sight. I was angrier than anything. Flailing around and going crazy, I was full of adrenalin and anger; not a good mix of things. I was breaking down and I hadn’t even found out exactly what had happened yet but that didn’t matter. All that mattered to me was retaliation. Retaliation on the person that did this. Retaliation to the person that did this to him for no reason at all. As I was freaking out i over heard my mom say,
“The driver that hit Willie was drunk.”
I ran into the master bedroom in search of my brothers Smith and Wesson 500.
“Willie Clayton Robinson isn’t going to be the only person to die tonight.”
I could find the gun and my mom was trying to calm me down but I was lost in my emotions. She knew exactly what i was looking for and what i wanted to do but she whispered something in my ear.
“ Brandon, I hate the man that did it too, but killing him or anyone else isn’t going to bring your cousin back and you can go off and do something stupid but it makes you look like just as much of an ass** as the man that drove drunk and Killed Will.”
I cried in her arms for 20 minutes and she told me to go to bed. i stayed up al night thinking about Will.
“My cousin was a good guy, who would have the balls to kill him. Does the man that did this know who he took from this earth? He was the superman of my family and now he’s gone and ill never get to hangout with him, play games with him, play football with him, go shopping and steal his new clothes with him knowing but not saying a word? Who do I call when my mom is drunk and i need someone to talk to? Who’s house do i go to when I feel like I’m getting picked on again? Should i just kill myself? He means so much to me and now he’s gone, what the hell am i going to do?
I went to sleep at 6 and woke up at 7. I was hopping it was all a terrible dream, but i went into the living room and looked at the local news to see a story of a motorcycle accident.
“ 30 year old Willie Robinson was killed on his motorcycle last night; Willie died at the scene before the helicopter could arrive.
While all of that was being said by an attractive women reporter they showed a picture his bike on the news. Right side up. The monster sticker that i put on the was reflecting from the glare of the sun shining on it. It set in. my cousin was gone and ill never be able to be with him again.
“This really sucks.”
The funeral was held a week later. That week was the hardest week i had ever been through. It was full of real tears, fake tears from people who could care less, people who just wanted money from him and people who just wanted him back. Me, myself i was still in denial. I was having this dream that everything was okay and that he just needed to get away from everything and everyone for a while but i wasn’t ready for what i was about to see. I walked into the funeral home and thought i left all my sadness out and was going to tough for my family. Wrong! Turns out it was the best kind of funeral, open casket.
As i walked into the room i could see in a distance a blue casket and right in front of it i saw five children; all of Will’s kids from oldest to youngest. Quintin, Alex, Ariana, Austin, and little Izzy being held by his mother Sarah. We had not seen Izzy or Sarah since Willie and her broke it off. I looked around and saw many faces that i had not seen in years. People that I knew couldn’t give two shits** about my cousin.
“it sucks that a funeral has to be a family reunion.”
I made my way to the front to see my cousin laying dead in a coffin. I lost it and just started bawling. People trying to comfort me but there was no way anyone could help me, i had seen something that would scar me for life. I dashed out of that room so fast and almost ran on to the highway. i was losing it and I didn’t know what i should do.
“If I run into this highway ill never have to feel this pain again.”
“Brandon, get back here.” It was my cousin Lamond Will’s oldest younger brother.
“Man, I know this is tough for you but its tough for everyone. My mother is in there and she has to bury her oldest son, imagine how she feels. We have to help consol the females in there because that’s what Willie would have wanted us to do. Think about this, my father died at age 29, my brother at 30 and I’m 26.”
He walked me back into the funeral home and I saw his mother sitting there alone, weeping a powerful weep. I had no idea what she was going through and didn’t really want any part of it. I looked up and saw his kids sitting on a couch; I couldn’t imagine what they were going through. I felt selfish and confused.
Out of the corner of my eyes i saw Sarah packing up Izzy so they could go and they were walking towards me.
“I don’t want to have another fake conversation with someone who i know could care less about him.”
She approached me and gave me the usual I’m sorry and this is going to be hard bullshit** that everyone had been trying to feed me for the last week. I ended the conversation quickly and she said,
“ Izzy its time go go.”
He said in such an innocent non-knowing way,
“Okay, but lets wake daddy up first.”
I left the funeral with more of a got rot like on Halloween as a kid. I said my goodbyes and now it was healing time. I go day by day and it hasn’t really gotten any easier. With all honesty it’s harder than anything I’ve ever been through ever. I have that dream where i think he’s just faking it and i wake up throwing up, but its all good. My mom told me that,
“With tragedy comes great change.”
This change hasn’t been too great but I I’m going to trust women who have lost her grandmother, sister, and cousin in less than a year. I just know that there’s got to be a higher power and that Fat Mama’s will not the last place we hangout.