Amir left the bodega a few minutes before he heard Little Boy stole an old red Mitsubishi. The new criminal on the block drove around Hawthorne Avenue and Clinton Place while neighbors looked out their windows in amazement.
“Yo, this boy really stole a car!” a bystander laughed.
Little Boy was no one, just a little boy who dropped out of Hawthorne Elementary and stole a car as a gift for himself. Not old enough to drive on his own but does so anyways, going in circles and circles as everyone watch.
“Should we call the police?” Amir asked Malik, his co-worker. Malik laughed. Amir thought it sounded shaky, but when he heard from others that Little Boy wasn’t a normal child, he understood why someone like Malik would seem nervous. Little Boy knew himself. He broke car windows, money, sold drugs and stole cars on a mission.
“That boy’s gonna end up dead one day,” Malik murmured before sipping his coffee.
Amir didn’t want to defend Little Boy. No good would come out arguing about how black boys were seen as monsters in the African-American community. Everyone would disagree and say Little Boy had his chances. He had a school to change his life in and yes, his mother does her best working fourteen to sixteen hours a day to put food in his mouth even though she came home only when Little Boy slept. In the end, no one would know why Little Boy stole the Principal’s car.
Finally, Little Boy stopped passing Clinton Place. Amir almost wanted to imagine Little Boy lying on the streets to make it easier to accept the cops coming. All he could only think about, though, was how dazed Malik looked when he said Little Boy would die one day.