As I have grown up, I have seen a lot of things. Some I have forgotten, others have been burned into my memory. I live in a community that is big on gang violence. I was born and raised by both BDs and GDs. I took on the life of the BDs from the time I could even say GDK. However, there was always this part of me that wanted out. But how do you tell the people who has raised you that you want no part of them anymore.
It wasn’t until I turned 15 that I realized that this life that I was living wasn’t just affecting me; it was affect those I held close to me that had nothing to do with this life of destruction. As I watch those around me disappear from either a bullet or fear of the life I lived I started to rethink everything I had ever known. As the year went on, I questioned everything and one around me, and they all questioned my loyalty. The same people I called my brothers, sisters, uncle, ect. questioned if I was meant for their team still.
So they tested me. I didn’t know anything about the test until it was too late. I had a brother, Amon, that knew the life of the BDs but never was one. Some say he was too scared; I say he knew he was worth so much more then what we were during with our daily lives. I loved Amon with all my heart and would kill anyone who even looked at him the wrong way. Even though he was my big brother, I was the one who was doing the protecting. Sometimes I just couldn’t protect him. The night of my 16th birthday my guys threw me a Super Sweet 16.
It was turning out to be an awesome night. Then things went for the worst. I was inside the house with my friends when I saw Amon and his baby mama, Ashley, outside so I decided to join them. We were outside for about 30 minutes and then Ashley got cold so her and I decided to go inside. I asked Amon to come inside but he didn’t want to. Ashley and I hadn’t even made it to the door yet but we heard gun shots. Ashley and I hit the deck to be safe. It all happened so fast. Once the shots were done I called for my brother, but he didn’t answer.
My guys came running out to see what happened. When I finally sat up, I saw what broke my heart in a million pieces. I ran to my brother, and as I laid my hands on him than became covered in his blood. He was barely breathing. I held him in my arms close to me telling him to hold and not to leave me. It wasn’t a minute later that he took his last breath and my brother was gone. This was my test. They tested my loyalty to them by taking away someone who I basically lived for. 16 shots on my sixteenth birthday determined who I would continue to live for.
Amon was 19 when he died. He left behind a baby boy who will never know how it feels to have his father at his football games, or his high school graduation. They murdered my brother to lose my completely. I started to live me and my nephew. I started to live for the life my big brother wanted me to live. I will never forget the sounds of the shots, my brother struggling to breathe, or the screams of terror the came out Ashley’s and my mouth from that night. This will be that one thing that has been burned into my memory.