TITLE: Brothas Torn
GENRE: YA African-American Mystery
"On the count of second-degree murder, we the jury find the defendant... guilty as charged."
There it was. The verdict that would determine my dad's future. He was going to prison.
My stomach felt like a dead weight had been dropped into it. I closed my eyes, wishing this was all a mistake. Wishing that at any moment the jury foreperson would yell, "Psych! We really found the defendant not guilty."
But, of course, she never did.
Dad turned around to look at me sitting behind his seat. His dark brown face looked concerned. Funny, there he was wearing an orange jumpsuit, with a cop nearby ready to handcuff him, and he was concerned about me. It was his life that was practically over now. Although it felt like mine would be too.
Dad turned back around to face the front. The judge, an old black man, was looking at him. "James Ahmir Taylor, the court has found you guilty of the crime. Your sentencing will be two weeks from today. Bailiff, take him away." He rapped his gavel once to adjourn the trial.
I jumped to my feet, swallowing. I had told myself I wasn't going to cry no matter what happened, but I could feel my eyes stinging. How embarrassing. Sixteen-year-old boys weren't supposed to cry.
Dad stood too and spun around to face me again. I leaned forward and threw my arms around his neck.