Who Is Anthony Stephens?

The Life and Death of a College Grad


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Excerpt from Anthony Stephens’ Mood Journal

May 29 2004 (continued)

An hour later I was about a mile away, sitting at a bus stop waiting for a metro to take me somewhere, anywhere where I wouldn’t be close to my mom’s house or Carol’s house or any of that shit.

It was a Sunday though, and I didn’t know if the buses ran on Sundays. I was about to get up and start walking again when a police car pulled up, its lights spinning. I thought about running, but I didn’t. Just sat there when the cop stepped out of the car and swaggered over.

“You Tony Stephens,” he asked me. His sunglasses reflected the sun behind my head so it looked like he had mirrors for eyes. Big, glinting mirrors.

I nodded.

“Come with me,” he said and I stood up, waiting for the handcuffs. They never came, he just told me to get in the car, in the passenger side.

The cop didn’t say a word during the short drive back to my mother’s house, and neither did I. When we got there, my mom stood outside with another cop whose hat was in his hands. It seemed like he was trying to calm her down. When she saw me she ran up and I flinched because I thought she was going to punch me in the mouth or something, but she hugged me instead, whispering “I’m sorry I’m sorry,” over and over again like it was a chant, like she was trying to conjure some spirit of forgiveness into my soul.

Long story short, it turned out that Carol had admitted her lie immediately when her mom got home, when she realized how bad things were about to get.

I don’t know what she thought would have happened otherwise. Josh and Jean were right there in the pool when everything went down, so it’s not like it would’ve just been my word against hers. I can’t blame her though. I didn’t think about any of that at the time either. I thought for sure I was going to jail.

Carol’s mom, out of embarrassment or pride or whatever, never actually apologized to me or my mother for the whole debacle. I never saw her again actually.

Carol I saw on the bus to school the next day. She never apologized either, just avoided my glare and sat alone at the front from that day forward. When news broke about what she’d tried to do, though, she was shunned by everybody, even the people who didn’t particularly like. Guess that’s just how high school is.

Eventually I stopped seeing her on the bus. Heard her mom started bringing her to school, and then I heard she dropped out completely. Never really found out for sure why, but rumor had it she got pregnant.

I don’t blame my mother for assuming what she assumed that day. She had no way of knowing otherwise. I was the only male in her life at that point, and with all the stories nowadays, you never know.


Interview with Wayne “Classic” Price: Part 9

11 July 2011

– I mean, kinda both, know what I’m sayin’?

– Bruh, it’s like this. Earl had this heat in him when he talked to me ‘bout Tony. You could tell the brotha hated that nigga on some deep shit, know what I’m sayin’?

– I’m sayin’, Earl was heated bout Tony, you get me? Could see it in his face when he told me all this shit. Like he was tryna hide it from me but it wasn’t workin’, like he thought he’d just up and snap on a nigga if he let that shit out too much.

– But when he talked ‘bout that fire, bruh—shit wasn’t like that. He’d talk ‘bout the fire and that hostility’d disappear.

– Nigga’d be mad as hell for like an hour talkin’ ‘bout Tony, lookin’ like he ‘bout to cap the nigga right outside the hall. Then he’d get on ‘bout settin’ that fire, and his eyes would be lit, like he was high or something.

– Nigga could tell you everything too, son. I’m talkin’, the smell a the gas hittin’ his nose, fillin’ up his chest while he fillin’ up the house, pourin’ that shit all over them tagged-up[1] walls and that wrinkly old body, soakin’ some old, piss-smellin’ couch in the middle a the living room.

– Said they used ‘bout six tanks a gas, had ta hit up six different gas stations so nobody’d ask no questions. Keep the muhfuckin’ poh-leece guessin’, know what I’m sayin’? But it weren’t even that, bruh. Way this nigga told me ‘bout doin’ all that shit, weren’t nothin’ compared to how he talked ‘bout them matches, bruh.

– Way Earl talked ‘bout them matches, you’d think it was a stack a blunts or somethin’. Told me how he lit ‘em and held ‘em until his fingers was damn near cookin’, then he dropped the whole book and walked out the spot. By then, guess where Tony muhfuckin Stephens at?

– Damn right, outside. Bitch ass nigga. Sound ‘bout right, don’t it? Muhfucka booked it out the crib soon as he smelt the gas.

– Like I said, nigga made Earl do most a that shit by his self, son. That muhfucka Tony just watched. The house went up soon as they came out too, and by time Earl got to the car, the roof a the house was already fallin’ and the poh-leece was on they way. Earl and Tony heard ‘em wailin’ and hopped in Tony’s truck and bounced, Earl drivin’ ‘cause Tony started bitchin’ out. Tried to change his mind in the middle a the shit, know what I’m sayin’? Earl said he was all cryin’ in the back. And Earl just starin’ at the house in the rearview mirror, watchin’ that shit burn.

– I don’t know ‘bout ‘enjoy’, son. I ain’t goin’ say the nigga ‘enjoyed’ that shit.

– Tony fucked Earl up, bruh. Earl wasn’t cool with that shit. All I’m sayin’ is, the house, man. There was somethin’ ‘bout burnin’ that house down that got in Earl’s head, bruh. Changed him. Brought out a side a my cuz I ain’t never seen before.

[1] Tagged-up: graffiti covered


Excerpt from Anthony Stephens’ Mood Journal

June 7 2004

Morning: 6 out of 10

Afternoon: 5 out of10

Evening: 6 out of 10

Okay, after giving it some thought and talking about it some more, I understand why Dr. Silver made me write about the whole Carol Incident.

It’s been almost seven years since that weekend and everything on the surface of the incident blew over within a week, but I still remember the entire ordeal vividly.

That day with my mom, the way she judged me automatically then took it back and acted like she never did it to begin with, thinking about all of that brought on this epiphany.

It made me realize that, when it comes down to it, “family” is just a word. So is “love” and “forever.” They’re all just words.

You write them down, hand them to somebody else, they read them, implant them in their memory cells, and react accordingly until that cell either dies and the words are forgotten or they’re written down again and implanted into another cell.

Either way, they don’t last or stay the same. Because in the end that’s all anything is: a memory. An idea.

Trust, even the assumed trust between parent and child, is subjective. Just like everything else in this world.


WCTV Eyewitness News Excerpt


Old Bainbridge Fire Update
Aired May 16, 2008 – 23:01   ET
TERESA BLACK, WCTV LOCAL NEWS ANCHOR: Update in Monday’s abandoned house-fire story. Earlier today, authorities arrested a suspect in the arson-murders, twenty-four year old Earl Bishop, a local Florida State graduate. Bishop is being held in county lockup without bail, accused of setting fire to the home in which two bodies were found Monday night.
Early Tuesday morning, local officials released details of the autopsy reports for the two recovered bodies, giving detectives reason to believe the deceased–who have not been identified–were deceased prior to the fire that destroyed the Old Bainbridge home. Bishop is the sole suspect in what’s believed to be a clear case of arson.
If you have any additional information about the events on Old Bainbridge Monday night, to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at (877) 555-TIPS. 

Click For Parts 57-62

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Written by patrickandersonjr

May 14, 2012 at 9:00 am

One Response

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  1. Patrick, you need to clean up the grammar in the second paragraph of the “Eyewitness News” story. There is a word missing, or something. Otherwise, the story is holding my interest.

    James Hamilton

    July 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm

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