Rachel Jeantel’s Short Blue Dream

The yellows and greens and browns and blues still ooze, but Rachel Jeantel and Trayvon Martin are getting closer to the edge of that Samford subdivision.

Even though they’re walking side by side, they’re texting each other.

And dying laughing.

Rachel is asking Trayvon, “But I’m saying how come it’s so hard for black boys to love black girls but so easy for y’all to lean up on us when y’all need love and everything else?”

Trayvon looks like he’s thinking when a creepy ass cracker approaches. His mouth won’t stop moving. “They always killing somebody vibe,” Rachel says.

Right before Rachel’s vibe was killed by the creepy ass cracker, she was wondering about an essay she has to turn in for 12th grade English tomorrow. Rachel thinks Ms. Shivers means well but she wishes she would commit to teaching and learning with her instead of trying to saving her from her community. Ms. Shivers wants Rachel to write an essay in one of those short blue notebooks about the consequences of reasonable love in The Bluest Eye. Rachel knows what she wants to write but wonders if it’s unreasonable to start a short blue essay about the nation’s lack of love for black children with a dream.

“Wait,” Trayvon tells her. “What the fuck is he doing now? Why he steady watching us like that?”

“Uh, because that was creepy ass crackers do,” Rachel tells him.  ”Why you acting so brand new?”

Rachel watches Trayvon’s eyes. She’s waiting on him to blink. She’s waiting on him to blink.

She’s waiting on him to blink.

“You a creepy ass cracker and you getting on my nerves,” she tells him. “How come loving us is so hard?”

“Why you talking about love?” Trayvon asks her. “I don’t want them to love me. I just want them to leave us alone.”

“Stop lying,” she says. “You want them to love you.”

When the creepy ass cracker gets closer and reaches in his pocket, Trayvon throws his phone in the bridge of his creepy cracker nose puts him in a sleeper hold.

Rachel is dying laughing.

The creepy ass cracker manages to elbow Trayvon in the sternum. Rachel walks up to him and  scratches the skin off his cheeks. She kicks him over and over again in the ribs while Trayvon hold him. A Kel Tec PF9 handgun falls to the sidewalk and Rachel says again, “You see us walking with nothing but a drank, minding our own business and you step to us knowing you got a gun on you? That’s why you bleeding now. Next time, you gon’ love us? You gon’ learn to see?”

Trayvon picks up his phone and takes a picture of the creepy ass cracker balled up on the sidewalk.

Next to his Kel Tec PF9 handgun.

With blood and grit and that creepy-ass cracker’s sweat beneath both of their fingernails, Rachel and Trayvon manage to take the bullets out the Kel Tec PF9 handgun and throw it in some sticker bushes.

They walk closer to the edge of the Samford subdivision. All the eyes of creepy ass crackers are peering out of their windows. “They always looking,” Rachel says, “but they can’t see us. You think they all got guns? White folks are the worst see-ers ever.”

Trayvon is dying laughing.

“What you laughing at?”

“What you just said,” Trayvon says. “They so sure we ain’t shit. But look how they look, and how they be acting. Over some kids walking home!? It’s just so funny to me. The worst see-ers ever!”

“Yeah,” Rachel says. “Creepy.”

Rachel remembers a quote from this Lucille Clifton poem she learned in Ms. Shivers class the final quarter of last year. She tells herself she’s going to start her essay for Ms. Shivers with this quote: “Come celebrate with me and Trayvon that everyday something has tried to kill us and failed.

She types the sentence in her phone. She texts it to Trayvon.

“I don’t know,” Trayvon finally says.

“You don’t know what?”

“What you said earlier,” he tells her. “I don’t know why it’s so hard for black boys to love black girls but so easy for us to lean up on y’all for love and everything else. I guess it’s hard for us to love each other, if that matters.”

“It’s hard for us to love us, too, though” she says. “Knowing we pretty much can’t count on y’all makes it harder too. Y’all just do shit to us we wouldn’t do to y’all. But we working.”

“Yeah,” Trayvon tells Rachel. “It’s bad, but we working. We working, right? Right?”

Rachel feels Trayvon Martin looking at her. She’s feel him blinking.

They keep on walking home where Rachel hopes they will both be held, felt, and celebrated for unreasonably loving each other enough to fight.


Rachel Jeantel is ready to work on her essay.

Inside, she is dying. Laughing.


About Kiese

Kiese Laymon is a fiction writer and essayist who writes frequently on pop culture, hip hop and politics. He is currently teaches English, Africana Studies and Creative Writing at Vassar College.
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7 Responses to Rachel Jeantel’s Short Blue Dream

  1. Alison says:

    Wow – after the first paragraph I couldn’t stop reading. It was so sweet to see the story continue, as it should have had a chance to in real life. Thanks for giving us that glimpse.

  2. madelyn says:

    Beautiful. I loved your imagery and how you used dialect. Thank you. I wish it could be…

    - a white girl [who is trying (very hard) to be a better see-er]

  3. Vanessa says:

    Beautiful work, as always.

  4. Charle says:


    I really, really missed your writing. Welcome back.

  5. ben says:

    I like this.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Pingback: CFC Talks Love with Author Kiese Laymon | The Crunk Feminist Collective

  7. AfroMelb says:

    Why do they look through us? Your writing has struck something

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