deshaun andre jackson aka shaun. twenty five years old, born january 17th 1992 to keandra and jerome jackson in lafayette, louisiana. he is the older brother to three sisters and one brother. currently employed at tulane as a lab technician. an infj, chaotic good aquarius born in the year of the monkey, he's a hufflepuff with a melancholic temperament, owner of two bearded dragons, morghul and kilgharrah.
the jackson 7
there’s nothing special about the jackson family nor are there any skeletons in the closet of the family members worth while dragging out for the world to see. they’re a family that outgrew the two bedroom home in lafayette when keandra was pregnant with the third, uprooting the growing family to a more suited home in new orleans, a rent to own situation complete with a small section of land in front of the home where the kids were able to play and be seen by their parents. keandra worked in a hotel in the centre of the city while jerome worked the third shift at a manufacturing company, neither parent wanting to rely on sitters or any of the older kids to watch their siblings when it could be helped. their jobs allowed for jerome to be home during the days and keandra to be home during the evenings.
while there wasn’t a lot of time where the entire family was all together, both parents worked hard to make sure that the family remained together, they were stronger together then they were if things started to fracture. money was tight, the jackson family learned how to make a dollar stretch, utilized hand-me-downs, kept their eyes open for sales handmade sure that splurges happened only when it was suitable. holidays and birthdays were special occasions celebrated the way that they were suppose to be, a grand celebration of love and excitement.
those are the memories of a young boy who was protected from the realities of the world by two loving parents wanting the best for their children. but nothing good lasts for ever, eventually children grow up and move on to the harsher realities of life.
wanna be startin' somethin'
its easier to count the ways that he’s different then it is to count the ways that he’s the same, but isn’t that always the case. maybe not. it might have been luck, it might have been the careful planning of his parents but there was a decent mix of other children in his school that looked like him though not nearly enough so that that difference faded into the background. while it might have been the most obvious difference that wasn’t the only one, he was smart, smarter then most in his class, but not quite to the point where it would shower him special attention. it seemed he had almost all the boxes checked when it came to differences, appearance, brains, he even sounded different. he’d always had a bit of a stutter growing up, one of those things people don’t think about until someone else makes a big deal about it. it wasn’t until he attended school that he realized it was not normal.
he was a good kid, but the educational system doesn’t always work the way that it should, isn’t always designed to help children the way that it should. labels are pushed upon children easier then they should be, he wasn’t lucky enough to escape such things. being intelligent meant that he tended to grasp concepts quicker then others in the classroom, it left him to his own devices while waiting for the rest of the kids to catch up. he was accused of not being able to focus, of being a distraction but no claims by teachers ever amounted to anything but boredom. extra work was handed out which made him happier in the classroom not so much outside of it.
he had friends, but not the sort that would do him any good when bullies appeared. he had problems with different kids growing up, all those differences of his were easy marks for those who didn’t understand, weren’t progressive or simply felt inadequate. he tried to ignore it, he didn’t want to get in trouble and they were just words. but words hurt and cut deep, they tend to stick with a person no matter how much they try to prevent that.
it was difficult, they were things he couldn’t change, not easily. he tried to hide his intelligence, to keep the kids from noticing but that only brought him attention from his teachers who contact his parents who in turn set him down to talk about the problem. the stutter was easier to overcome, though it took time and practice and a brief visit with a language therapist. he’d mostly gotten rid of it, though at times it appears when he gets excited and his thoughts come faster then he can form them into words. it makes socializing a bit of a challenge for him, it was turned into a large insecurity for him, one that he’s always a bit conscious on when he meets new people for the first time, always wondering if people are going to point it out or laugh.
there were a few instances going through school, more so when his siblings started their education where it was harder for him to just ignore what was being said, or that he thought he shouldn’t ignore things that were being said. he started standing up for himself a bit when he realized that if he couldn’t stand up for himself he couldn’t protect his siblings the way that he was suppose to. he tried for it to be mostly with his words but there are some people that just make a person so angry that a physical reaction is the only way to satisfy. sometimes he wasn’t even the one to take that first reaction but despite his rather passive nature, one more reserved then explosive a detention for giving one guy a bloody nose got him an aggressive or anger label, if anything that one is a stretch.
he was fifteen when his world changed forever, it was an evening he isn’t likely to forget. he’d sene the flashing lights peaking through behind blinds before, the red and blue interchanging so often that they appeared to be purple at times. but this time those lights were close, much too close for his liking. then there was the pounding on the door, a rush of voices, he could pick out his parents amongst those he didn’t recognize but he knew they belonged to the police. it was the second time he’d woken up that night, the first when his father came home earlier then expected, he'd just been told that the summer heat had caused the power to have a shortage at the plant and he’d been sent home early. it didn’t make any sense that there were cops now in their home but he knew if it had woken him up it wouldn’t be long before the same happened with his brother and sisters. he got down stairs first, able to keep his siblings back behind him while they watched what was going on.
they were in their own home but his parents were still being cautious, following the orders that the officers were giving to avoid any sort of misunderstandings. his mother, his siblings and himself stood and watched as the officers handcuffed jerome and walked him out the front door placing him into the back of a patrol car. two officers remained behind, they required statements from their suspects wife and children. they weren’t told what the charge was, something about being unable to comment on an ongoing investigation, just that he was a person of interest in a case.
it wasn’t until the arraignment, two days later, that the jackson family learned that the patriarch was being charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one charge of second degree murder. his father’s lawyer was a public defender, there was no way that they could hire a proper attorney not with their income bracket. after being told their father was being held without bail the attorney informed the family that after a long interrogation jerome had confessed to the crimes he was accused of but had changed his mind to plead innocent at the arraignment. a trail date would be set and they would have to wait for a jury to decide the outcome.
he was sixteen when the trial finally came, it lasted a week between the prosecutor presenting the case and the public defender arguing the innocence of his client. he went to the courthouse as often as he could during that week, they all did to show support for their father. it took a predominately white jury less then two hours to come back with a guilty on all accounts verdict despite the argument of the public defender, that jerome was simply a suspect of convenience. he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he matched the description of the offender; dark clothing, tall, and black. the jury sentenced an innocent man to jail, because of the charges he was sentenced to serving fifteen years before the possibility of parole.
to make my father proud
there was a short period of time after his father’s conviction where he was angry, he thought that he had a right to be angry. it was unfair. and he didn’t like the things they said about his father, about his family, about him. he started to get in trouble again at school, some things he’d been able to ignore he couldn’t any more. it wasn’t a teacher taking him aside and showing him some compassion that had pulled him out of his self pity. it was the image of coming home later one night after work and finding his mother seated at the kitchen table, head in her hands, bills scattered on the table in front of her. he could hear her softly crying. that image int he dim lighting of the kitchen was burned into his mind, he couldn’t shake it and it made him realize that he had to step up.
he was the oldest and therefore the responsibility of man of the house fell on his shoulders. he was the one that they were going to look to now to make sure that everything was alright, his mother couldn’t do it all on her own, she’d already started a second job shortly after his father was arrested, she couldn’t do anymore. but he could, he could pick up a second job, maybe a third and he did. he stocked shelves at a supermarket in the hours that came after school, he worked at a gas station on the weekends, and waited tables during the hours of school.
it wasn’t a tough decision for him to make as he thought, though he didn’t tell his mother or his siblings that he had essentially quit school so that he could help and make sure that home was still going to be there for them. he did not want to come home and find a final notice stuck to their front door. it was the call from his school to inform his mother that he was absent too many days that he wasn’t eligible for graduation. it was the biggest fight between the two of them that he could recall but it didn’t change his mind, he was doing this because she needed help, his siblings needed things. it was not the first time she’d told him that he was too smart for this, that he needed to go to college but he didn’t budge. he remained working the three jobs well until he was twenty.
while he didn’t go back to school his compromised and promised to get his GED, his mother wouldn’t let up on the subject. one of his mother’s friends offered him a proposition, a job that would allow him to cut out at least two of the three he currently had. it was at the hospital and wasn’t an offer he could turn down. he remained as a part time waiter, the tips were too good for him to give up, and started working as a hospital porter. it wasn’t bad, it beat stocking shelves and the gas station but was not enough to make him quit waiting tables, he liked that interaction with people even if some of them made his blood boil with the backward thinking.
he wasn’t expecting anything to come from working in the hospital, he had no reason too, but this time there was someone who’s eye he’d caught. on his breaks he could always be seen reading, mostly they were books with heavy subject matters, despite not finishing school traditionally he didn’t stop wanting to learn, other times he had a comic book. the approach to be a tech, it wasn’t difficult to see that while he didn’t mind the job of a porter it wasn’t exactly stimulating enough for him, he was bored and it wasn’t hidden all that well. he was hesitant, he didn't have the money for that, he wouldn't take away from what he was doing to help at home just so that he could get a fancier job. but with a couple different conversations he was informed that the hospital would pay for the training since he was already an employee looking to move up. it was hard to turn down that offer. being a tech, that was different, he actually grew to love the job, he’s not sure what it is about it but it just feels like he’s doing something he’s actually good at, its not mundane and it was finally the job that got him to relinquish the hold he had on waiting tables. he’s happily been employed there for a few years, its a perfect fit that more or less allows him to keep his head down and not have to worry too much about the things he tends to have always worried about.