<BEGIN RANT> Sorry, but Troy and Jayden are NOT throwing themselves "pity parties"! For pity's sake, they are in shock. Grow a heart people! This is not adolescent angst... it is the real thing. These guys cannot go and have a sniffle and a sulk, go home to Mummy and Daddy and be given some hot milk and everything will be fine in the morning. These guys' lives have REALLY been torn apart - to the point where they cannot be put back together in any simple way, nor will the process be short term. Fatuous comments about "pity parties" just let us know that you have missed the point. <END RANT>
Having got that off my chest, I need to comment on the powerful writing which we have here. Very intense and very shocking subject matter laid out without embellishment: right in our faces. Just like the chapter with the beating. I pressed the Like button, but it took some doing. You are a brave and honest author, Ron, I salute you.
Precisely! Just about all the characters in the story have been adversely affected by this tragedy: Troy, in the most obvious way, along with his parents; the perpetrators, who have lost their freedom over a stupendously idiotic bit of chest beating machismo, along with their parasitic mother who has lost her "support structure"; Jayden, who is now homeless as a result of doing the right thing - truly no good deed goes unpunished; the ripples go ever onward even down to the shallow boyfriend, who has lost all self respect as well as the respect of his classmates.
Please, please, Ronyx, don't "do a George R R Martin" and just kill everyone off to chase other plotlines!