Growing up on the South Side of Chicago has been a rough time for me. For example, my best friend got shot last year. He died as he told me goodbye.  I felt like I didn’t have anything anymore since he was gone.

The violence in Chicago affected my life through an incident at the corner store.  I went in the store to buy some Sweeties and came back out to see what my best friend wanted. He told me some hot chips. So, I got my candy and his chips.  Then, he started eating and I did the same.  

We started walking in the alley and we split ways.  I went right.  He went left.  I turned around to see if he was good, but I saw an all black BMW come to the side.  I screamed his name and he turned around and started running.

They shot 3 bullets and they all hit his back. My best friend hit the ground and couldn’t get back up.  I called anybody I could to say that he got shot and was dying.  He was crying that he wanted his mom, but she didn’t come in time.  He told me to make sure I take care of her and to tell her that he love her.  I told him I’ll make sure of it. Before he died, he told me to always keep my head up and never look down.  Then, the worst thing happened.  He told me goodbye, and died.

I felt like I didn’t have anything or anybody anymore.  I felt like nobody could replace my best friend.  He was important to me and I always thought that we would die at the same time.  My best friend died at a young age, but I just can’t believe he died right in front of me.  I know that he is in a good place right now, and I thank God for blessing me to stay strong.  

Take care, best friend, and goodbye.

–Shemar Wright