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I gazed up and down the street. It was the dirty, smelly sameness I had been down a million times. The warm evening Sun slowly retired behind the block of houses. I thought about my Mother, and my sister, and the dinner they cooked in the kitchen. They would be worrying about me. I had to get home.
I hurried down a block thinking as I went about all the bullies that would be lingering ahead on this street. They would be waiting. Waiting for me. Waiting for life to end. I don't know. Probably waiting to get tired enough to forget the world and go to bed. For someone like me they were a terror.
Then I came upon them. I had thought there were 3 of them, but then as I closed the distance between us there were more staring at me. Then they looked between themselves and spoke in some hidden language only the truly messed up remembered and understood.
One pushed another, and then started running toward me. He had a serious look on his face like he wanted to hurry up and get something over with.
I didn't have to see that look for more then a split second to understand it meant trouble, so I started running also. But in the opposite direction. I knew the streets well and knew I could do a circle around this area and get to my house. I just needed to out run him and not let him catch up.
Once I started running he really started sprinting toward me. He was running as if life itself depended on it. As if he didn't catch up he would be in serious trouble. I looked back and saw that he was catching up fast, spittle coming out of the side of his mouth. And he appeared to now have something in his hand.
I ducked under something and jumped over a small fence, almost falling when completed the jump. After a few more steps I looked back and saw he cleared the fence no problem. And was almost on top of me. He was strangely quiet as he ran, appearing to not breath at all.
Then I came around another turn and saw a group of older bullies down the street. These were the really tough gansta's that controlled our area. One of them was my Cousin who immediately recognized me. He yelled at us and that
"Hey, you ok?", my cousin yelled at me.
"Ya, I'm alright" I replied, completely out of breath.
"What did that boy want? Do you know him?" my cousin started giving that look to his friends.
"No, I don't know him. They chase me sometimes." I started to think maybe I was getting into more trouble then I needed.
"Man, you need to get a piece. That will give you respect"
I knew what my Mom and sister thought of guns. And that it would be a really bad idea to have something like that. Especially around here in this neighborhood.
"Ok, I'll start looking for one" it was the only thing I could think of saying.
By the time I got home I was tired. Tired of being scared. Of having to run. I was starting to feel jealous of my cousin and his friends. Who weren't afraid.