50 years to Life

“Man, she is fine,” he said when Morrie first pointed out Mary Jane to him. They were walking up the steps to school, and she was hanging outside the door. She was the newcomer, trying to fit in with the tough girls, laughing nervously as she lit a cigarette.

He strode quickly up the steps by twos and pushed his way into the crowd of girls, moving to face Mary Jane. He turned his head askance, hiding the fist-sized bruise his old man left the night before.

“Yo, we gonna meet up later, right?”, he said.

Mary Jane, caught completely off guard, but breath-taken with the sudden attention, stammered a positive response. Her heart seemed to skip a beat. Then, for just one second, her expression turned quizzical.

“Hey”, she said, lowering her voice, “what happened to your eye?”

“You shut up about that,” he said, his voice suddenly threatening.

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