IT DIDN'T LOOK GOOD
It didn't look good for "PC" (as his friends liked to call him.)
He had once been the toughest fourteen year old on the block. Then an outsider came to live on the hardscrabble streets that "PC" had called home.
At first "PC" HATED this new kid...couldn't even stand to speak his name. John Charles. But "PC" could tell that this guy was a leader. The way he DID things...things that NOBODY else could do. After awhile he warmed up to the new guy. It wasn't long before "PC" and Johnny were as thick as thieves. He introduced Johnny to the other members of his gang and Johnny was readily accepted but it was more than that. Johnny actually became the leader and "PC" really didn't mind.
The whole crew got into all kinds of mischief. There was the incident at the wedding and the near riot at the funeral that had them all laughing until they nearly wet their collective pants. (Not that a certain amount of moisture is uncommon among boys of that age, if you get my drift.)
For three years they roamed the streets...dirty urchins that most adults would not take seriously. Oh there were a FEW that tried. Father Kevin (a Franciscan Friar) from the local Catholic Church and Pastor Joseph from the church of Christ up the street would come and talk to him, but overall he was considered to be a troublemaker especially by the local law enforcement officials who thought he was a nuisance.
But Johnny stood up for himself. He said what he thought was right. Inside Johnny's heart, "PC" could see a burning flame. Just as an example, one day the gang was making fun of a chubby seven year old kid. Johnny was incensed. "PC" thought that Johnny was going to lose it, but Johnny just went over to where the gang members were beating up on the kid and took him in his arms.
A few days later...John Charles was killed by an empty city bus driven by a man in the uniform of the local police department on the hardscrabble streets that "PC" had called home.
And it didn't look good for "PC".
He wept until there were no more tears.
But he remembered John Charles every day. He strove to be like him.
In doing so, he regained his leadership of the gang.
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