Basketball hoop with torn net
Photo by Chris Knight on Unsplash

Hey bud
I still remember
When we first met
You were a chubby kid
I was light on my feet
I watched you guys play a game of marbles
Underneath a mulberry tree
You told me your name was Duy
And I made a dirty joke about it
I remember one kid was pushy toward you
And you were taken aback from it
But for whatever reason
I felt like I had your back
Soon after that
We became best friends
I remember you told me you loved basketball
You said you’re a big fan of the Lakers
You even begged your parents
To get you them Magic Johnson shoes
That’s cool, man!
I’m glad you got what you wanted
I remember I did a sleepover at your house
We used to shoot hoops in your daddy’s driveway
We ate boiled crabs
We watched rented movies together
We rode our bikes until dark
It was fun!
I felt we were the real Goonies
Going out on our own adventure
We grew up fast
We went to junior high together
I watched you taking Tae Kwon Do lessons
I remember you told me about your first crush
You told me about your ambition of going to UCLA
I envied you, man
Because I didn’t have a plan for my own future
So I joined a gang instead
I remember the last time I saw you with Dung, Bao and Nghia
You guys looked sad and disappointed
I’m sorry to you and our best buddies
When I drew a line between you guys and me
And without a word or looking back
I walked away with my new homies
Almost 32 years later
I’m still stuck in a prison cell thinking of y’all
Wondering how life’s been for y’all
After all these years

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

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Tue Kha

Tue Kha is a writer incarcerated in California. He is working on a novel titled "Kormic."