Drive By - a short story about a meeting that changes two lives.

Essay by hibanks24 December 2002

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Drive By

John was an outsider at his new highschool, his family having moved from an urban setting to the rural town of Menifee. He was a junior in highschool, a loner who had a hard time making friends. He was intelligent, quiet and extremely shy. His new school was constituted of mainly Hispanic students who made up half of the student body. The rest of the students were Black and White with roughly the same amount of each. John was Hispanic, his father was dark skinned Mexican, his mother was light-skinned; she was half French and half Mexican. These racial groups kept mainly to themselves on their lunch breaks at school and social gatherings. The Latin girls thought of John as being conceited because he would not speak to them unless they spoke to him first. His contact with these girls was painfully awkward; but it was his shyness that hampered his social graces.

The black students, especially the girls were friendly with John, they knew he was shy, but he was a novelty and they were persistent at getting John to open up. John warmed up to these Black girls; he reciprocated their social contact by habitual smiling and being receptive. This really irked some of the Latin girls, who took it as a racial affront, that John was much more open with the black girls than with them. John played no favorites; it was just that many of the Black girls were more gregarious and willing to approach him.

He was a public oddity, hanging out with no one in particular, just walking around campus with his best friend in tow, a portable radio, the size of a large text book, listening to soul and rock music. A month after moving to his new town he got...