Dear 17-year-old Tarik,
Stop screaming at Mom for a second and walk out of the room.
I know you feel like you’re getting good enough at football to maybe earn a free ride to college, and that by moving the family to a new town, Mom would be putting that at risk.
“It’s not fair! This sucks!!!! How could you do this to me?!?!?!”
I hear you, man. I get it.
But do me a favor….
Bring it down a notch. Take a deep breath or two.
Head back to your room and give me a few minutes of your time. Because I have something I need to share with you right now.
It’s about your future, and what comes next.
I know it’s been rough to this point — with Mom trying to raise three boys all by herself, and the jumping back and forth between six different elementary schools in North Carolina before you even turned 10. And now this new move? It’s like: Things couldn’t possibly get any worse!
Well, that’s actually what I want to talk to you about, Tarik. You’re going to need to really hunker down from this point on. Because the next 10 years are about to be even more challenging than the previous ones. And it won’t even be close.
I mean, sure, the football side of things … that will be pretty great.
But everything else.…
Look, nothing I can write in this letter could possibly prepare you for everything that is about to happen. I don’t even know where to start, to be honest with you. There’s just so much. Looking back on it all, it almost doesn’t seem real.
There will be a big bag of crack cocaine.
There’ll be a gun … right there in your hand, ready to shoot, to help you get revenge.
There will be death. In the family. Unimaginable loss.
And that’s only for starters.
It's going to be a lot. And you know what? I wouldn’t fault you if you want to stop reading this letter right here. Not one bit.
But at the same time, I know how you like to be prepared for everything, and how you don’t like being surprised. So I mainly just wanted to write this so you can be better prepared for three specific phone calls that are going to change your life forever.
Ninety seconds total of phone time. If that.
That’s all it will take to turn your entire life upside down. One call each from the three most important people in your life: Your mom, your little brother, Dante, and your twin brother, Tyrell.