Lost in all the horrible politics surrounding his death is the story of a boy. Before he became yet another flash point in America’s painful and never-ending racial drama, Trayvon Martin was just a normal teenager. Here, at last, is the story of what was lost on that February night.

  1. He wanted something sweet, he wanted to get out of the apartment for a while. He slid open the glass door of the patio and slipped out into the steamy Florida twilight, an ordinary thing on an ordinary night.

    Trayvon Martin was three weeks past seventeen that day, which was the day a stranger named George Zimmerman shot him through the heart. He was growing so fast, he'd stretched out like a rubber band, 158 pounds on a five-eleven frame, so long and thin everyone teased him: Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.

    He was wearing the hoodie he always wore, lost in his music like he always was. People teased him about that, too. Next door to his uncle Stephen's house, a modest ranch house where he often spent the night, lived an old lady who called him Mouse.

    Don't you ever talk? Say something.

    Trayvon would just grin.

    He strolled down the narrow cement path between two buildings. Trayvon didn't live there, he was just visiting, so it was all fairly new to him. Double glass doors...

The complete text of “Trayvon” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on

Originally published in Esquire, December 2012

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