To answer the first question of your last letter, yes, I have been getting your letters. All of them. I haven’t been in a place in my head where I could write you back. You knew I would answer you eventually, didn’t you?
I’m very proud of you for staying in school. You keep up with you education and writing and all of that and really make something of yourself, okay? I know you will. God already made something of you, you just keep you hand in His and stay on the right path. I guess here I go again sounding like a big brother. I know you never like when I speak like that to you. Look Sunny, I don’t really know how to write you no letter. There are so many things I wanna say and maybe I will get to say them all one day and maybe I won’t. I know how you have always felt about me. I have always felt that way about you too. I know a smart girl like you understands why we could never make something of what we felt. Here you were a young good girl doing well in school and then there was me five years older and always on the wrong side of the law and caring too much about you to even think ‘bout messin’ you up. The best I could do, Sunny, was to be the big brother you never had. Especially in a place like The Village.
Man, I miss home. The Village. The Jungle. The streets. But I gotta put that behind me now. You gotta put that behind you too, Sunny. The Village will always be a part of your life because it’s a part of you. But you can’t live like your whole life is what you left. You gotta remember and love the life you had and keep moving on. You spend your life missing someplace you left you will never leave and see the world. You gotta keep moving. Keep seeing. Sure, Baby, you go back and visit. Even keep up the house your daddy left you if you want to, but the world is too big for you to stop right there. You gotta take The Village out into the whole world. You hear me?
Baby, I’m not getting out of here. I don’t want you comin’ down here trying to visit me or nothin’ like that. You just send me postcards with those fancy poems. And keep sending me those stories. That’s what you can do for me, okay?
I’m adjusting to all of this. Of course being inside ain’t brand new to me. The adjustment comes in making my mind know that I’m gon stay right here. I couldn’t let Jermaine do no time for something he didn’t do. You and me and everybody who know Jermaine know he didn’t shoot that boy. MarcusRufus maybe, but not Jermaine. He just had too mucha good thing going for his life for me to watch that happen. I put word out that I was in the car with them and that I did it. The gun they found three blocks away was one of mine. Hell, almost all the guns across The Village and The Jungle was one of mine. They been after me for a real long time so that wasn’t no hard sell. Especially to some crooked, lazy cops. If they was gon get somebody for killing that kid, it wasn’t gon be Jermaine. I keep praying that MarcusRufus nim don’t waste their lives. Jermaine is doing real good in college now and playing real good too. I’m proud of him. Like I am proud of you.
I’m tired, Sunny. I’ve been running for a long time. Not just from the law with all the dirt I’ve done. But from myself. I still think about Tweet. I think about Tweet so much that little girl take up most of my headspace. Ryan was watching Tweet until Rico got back. I came by and he left the stuff on the table. The rest is what everybody else know. They killed Breanda for killing Ryan. That’s on my soul too. They didn’t kill Brenda, I killed Brenda. If I hadn’t started her on that stuff maybe she woulda never picked it up in the first place. My head is filled with what I shoulda done different.
I deserve to be in here, Baby. Not for shootin’ no kid, but maybe Tweet wouldn’t be dead if it wasn’t for me. Not just Tweet, but I think about how many pregnant mothers and jobless fathers I sold stuff to and how many other babies out there are dead or messed up because of me. In here maybe I might make a difference for good for somebody. I shol wasn’t doing much of it out there. Who knows, I might write me a book or something like that telling young brothas to stay outta this place.
Keep doing what you’re doing and remember that I will always love you.
Melvin Davis Dupree (Country)