Coming of Age
That Was Then, This Is Now is the story of Bryon Douglas’s coming of age during his adolescence. When the story starts, Bryon is concerned only about himself and Mark. Early in the story, however, he meets Cathy, M&M’s sister, and falls in love with her. As they begin dating more, Bryon notes, “I had quit thinking only about myself.” And when M&M runs away and Bryon comforts a crying Cathy, he realizes that “it was the first time I’d ever felt bad for anyone except Mark.” Bryon also makes the transition from feeling that he can do whatever he wants to and get away with it to somebody who makes sacrifices and who understands that his actions have consequences. For example, in the beginning of the story, Bryon notes that he really needed a job, but that nobody would hire him. Charlie gives him a tip, saying that he should really look inside himself and he would see “the reason why you haven’t gotten a job before now.” Later, after Charlie is dead and Bryon is starting to change his views, he realizes what Charlie was talking about and asks himself, “Who’s going to hire a mouthy kid who acts like he already knows it all?” Bryon sucks up his pride and gets a “haircut, clean clothes, and a really big change in attitude.” Unfortunately, Bryon is aware of his transformation, and also is aware that “I was changing and [Mark] wasn’t.”
(The entire section is 1361 words.)
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