I Sent My Best Friend To Jail And Doomed Him To A Life Of Addiction

But I’m still a nice guy, right?

Joe Bee


When I was 15, I was a good kid. I did the same stupid shit expected from people that age, but it was never with malice in my heart. I never got in fights, didn’t vandalize property, and tried to keep my actions as Jesus-focused as possible.

It wasn’t that I was a devout Christian, but I went to a fundamentalist Christian school and feared that if I didn’t pepper Jesus into conversation, he’d doom me to hell.

My friend Ross didn’t feel that way. He wasn’t a bad kid either, but all the parents in school would tell you otherwise. I knew him well because he was my best friend at the time and I knew that he had a good heart.

Ross was the kind of kid who was too smart for his own good. At a young age, he was cursed with awareness, which drove him to rebel against the institutions he saw as trying to quell his spirit. Whether it be teachers, parents, or the church, Ross went out of his way to express his disdain for their authority.

Ross had the capacity to be a good student, but he refused to do their work as he found it pedestrian and a waste of his time. Ross never gave Jesus a second thought as he viewed organized religion as a prison cell.

It didn’t help that both of Ross’s parents were devout Christians, and they often saw his behavior as a direct result of Satan’s influence. They commanded him to throw away his rap CDs, but instead of taking them out to the trash like a good boy, Ross smashed them with a baseball bat in front of his mother and me.

I thought it was an odd move as it still accomplished his parents’ desired result, but I didn’t realize the defiance behind it. Ross took the command as a direct attack and refused to comply the way they wanted him to. He knew they’d get their way but did not want to give them the satisfaction of doing it their way.

One fateful night, Ross, his brother Scottie, a friend named Thomas, and I stealthily pushed my Suburban out of Ross’s driveway and started it up down the street to take a late-night joyride.

We drove around for a while, listening to some CDs Ross had stashed away from his parents and genuinely…