What is the relationship between Mark and Bryon in That Was Then, This is Now?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Mark and Byron Douglass are brothers, but they are not biological brothers because they are foster brothers with Mark living in Byron’s house.  Their relationship is put to the test when Byron’s mother is in the hospital and Bryon turns Mark in for selling drugs.

At the beginning of the story, Mark and Byron are partners in crime.  They hang out at the pool hall and mess around, getting into fights.  The bar owner Charlie warns them that they are going to get hurt.

“You guys are going to get in real bad trouble one of these days.  Some guy’s going to get hacked off when he finds out what you’re doin’, and you’re gonna get a pool stick jammed down your throats. (p. 2)

Unfortunately, it is the bar owner who dies while trying to protect Byron and Mark.  Byron begins to decide to turn his life around when his mother goes into the hospital, but Bryon and Mark grow farther apart.  Mark begins selling drugs, and Byron finds out.

“When he was questioned, he admitted selling drugs” (p. 88).

Byron separates himself from Mark at this point.  He turns him into the police, and Mark cannot understand why he would betray him.  Byron sees the selling the drugs as a betrayal, especially since their friend M&M ends up in the hospital.


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