Da Dilemma: Forgiveness


Kevin and Jermaine grew up together and were close friends all the way up to high school. Their Jr. Year in high school both boys began to hang with a bad crowd of people and even though they remained in school, both were involved in fights, minor drug selling and other hood activities. One day as they were walking through the cut, they saw a group of guys who lived a couple of blocks over that they had problems with before. They both knew that an altercation was about to take place, but neither boys were cowards so they kept walking right into the path of trouble.

 When they got close enough the boys said some things, and Jermaine and Kevin said some
things. As the argument got more and more heated Jermaine decided that he wasn’t about to continue argue with these fools. He told Kevin they should leave, they started to walk away and as they did they heard one of the guys yell that he should shoot them for talking smack. Jermaine began to get nervous, because he knew these guys did carry guns. He and Kevin began to walk a little faster and as they neared the next street he heard someone yell and when he and Kevin turned around he saw the guy with the gun. They were frozen in place, neither could move. They realized that the bullet was headed directly towards Kevin. Right at the moment that the bullet would have struck him Kevin reached out and pulled Jermaine in front of him. Jermaine was shot in the
chest.

 Jermaine was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and almost lost his life. Kevin had the nerve to come and visit him at the hospital, but Jermaine informed the nurse that he did not want Kevin there. Kevin tried to explain that it had been a nervous reflex that caused him to do what he did, but even with his apology and explanation Jermaine refused to listen.

 Five years later Jermaine still has some breathing problems due to him being shot. He is back on his feet though and living a normal life. He has not spoken to Kevin since a month after the shooting and decided that he would never speak to him again;
after all, what kind of friend pushes you in the path of a bullet. He had learned through the grapevine that Kevin had since moved to Atlanta and that he was doing pretty well for himself. Jermaine’s sister lived in Atlanta and she would often mention Kevin to him during their phone conversations, but Jermaine would quickly remind her that he wanted nothing to do with Kevin nor did he want to hold any conversation about him.

His sister was usually very understanding, but the last time he spoke with her she got upset with Jermaine because she said that he
needed to learn to forgive and forget. Jermaine was in no way ready to forgive Kevin and he would never be able to forget what his friend had done to him.

 Jermaine’s parents had been so distraught over the shooting that his mother had a mild stroke and
his father became very overprotective of Jermaine’s younger siblings. With how the shooting changed his life and the life of his family Jermaine didn’t even contemplate forgiving Kevin.

 After talking with his younger brother Jermaine found out that his sister had been pushing him to forgive Kevin because she and Kevin had been dating for almost a year and that they were planning to get married. This made Jermaine so angry that he immediately called his sister and gave her a piece of his mind. How could she do something so foolish as to marry the man who tried to kill her brother? His sister admitted that she was indeed engaged to Kevin and that she wished they could
get along.

 Jermaine made the decision then to also add his sister to the list of people he would never forgive.

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6 thoughts on “Da Dilemma: Forgiveness”

  1. Wow, thats deep in the streets. He can carry that anger so long that it effects the way he look at life and people. Is that a true story? Wow

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  2. I would say that both (likely—for lack of mind-reading skills, I cannot say for sure) acted understandably and in such a way that others should think twice about throwing the first stone:

    o Many people would have done the same thing as Kevin in the heat of the moment, and his claim about a reflex is quite plausible. (Indeed, if the scenario is at all physically possible, even a moment of thought before acting would have been one moment too much—bullets are very fast…)

    o If Jermaine validly believed that Kevin’s actions where deliberate, his refusal of contact, even his distancing himself from his sister, is very, very understandable. (There is no guarantee that he would understand the previous item. Further, he may have some information that we do not have.) Even when not, there is some room for understanding, because the extreme stress of the situation, the damage done, whatnot, could have left many a reasonable person with an unreasonable ressentment. (Yes, pragmatically he would likely be better of forgiving, irrespective of the actual guilt, but that it is easy to say from the distance and with the benefit of a greater age—actually doing so, as a young man and from within the situation it self, is a different matter.)

    On the other hand, the sister gives me some trouble: Considering the situation, starting a relationship with Kevin was odd at best. Now, I do not rule out that there are “innocent” ways in which this relationship could have arisen, but if it took the traditional road of formal dating, it borders on the absurd: Accepting (let alone asking for) even a first date would show a severe lack of consideration and ability to think ahead.

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  3. Supposing this is real, what he did is perfectly understandable, because his friend acted on impulse. While he might be sorry on a conscious level, his unconscious level pretty much said ‘fuck my friend, i want to live’.
    As for his sister, she is an asshole (to not use slut). What she did was betray him as well, because she did not inform him of the relationship, despite the fact that she saw the effect his act had on her family. If anything, her act is like throwing her family under a bus, goes hand in hand with her new boyfriend’s act.
    I’m not black (you call it african-american over there), and i don’t live in the US, but what my parents did instill in me is this, ‘you do not wrong your close family, because that is all you have’.

    PS: Jermaine should let go of his hatred though, that stress will kill him some day and it’s not worth after 5yrs still hating him, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he should get in touch with either him or his sister, but that he should protect himself from emotional distress (no. 1 killer in men is stress btw).

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  4. Thank you to all new readers for reading and commenting.

    This is not based on any true story that I know of, it came strictly from my imagination.

    …my two cents
    Being that I was once a person who held on to grudges and didn’t easily forgive others, I can truly understand how Jermaine could hold on to the anger towards his ex friend and I can even understand how he wouldn’t accept the relationship his sister now had with the friend. Forgiveness is not always easy, but it always necessary.

    Walking around holding grudges and refusing to forgive others lodges stress and anger within and believe it or not it will show up, whether it be in your actions or in your health. Far too many people allow stress from being angry to make them sick. I can speak personally on this one and say been there done that and had to let it go.

    However I would like to add that the sister should have steered clear of this relationship. She should have considered her brother before she decided to get involved with the person her brother felt could have caused him to lose his life.

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  5. Black Girl:

    I could never forgive someone who put my life and the lives of others in danger, Can’t Do It! A lot of young sistas and brothas are six feet below because of some crap their so-called best friend got them caught up in. Know who you’re dealing with, because if you have bad judge of character, you might not be around too long. Judging the character and mindset of others is a good thing. Too many in our race fall for the “Don’t Judge” nonsense, and they end up with egg on their face after the fact. If your life matters to you, you better judge and be a damn’ good judge at that.

    Tyrone

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  6. Great story!! I could understand why Jermaine felt the way he did. But I do think that he should have forgiven Kevin (for himself, so that he would have been able to move on!)

    I don’t agree with Kevin’s decision to date Jermaine’s sister, or her decision to date Kevin…however you can’t help what people do…

    I could see how he would want to add her to his “list” but people should understand that you can forgive someone and move on with the rest of your life w/out hating them! Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean that you have to forget what they did, or even be friends with them.

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