Hard Life

The ghetto lifestyle is no fun, no walk in the park, & it is nothing to be proud to live in.

Yet, even though it is believed that many live that lifestyle by choice, what about those that are forced to live it?

And thats when it hit me.

A couple years ago, I spent a 4th of July week over with my uncle & his old girlfriend. I thought we’d be at a nice house in a nice neighborhood away from the ghetto. Well, its okay to dream right?

Same place, just a different location.

She had a son who was a bit younger than me, but taller & pretty chilled & laid back.

As I hung out with him, he was always ancy to go outside like every second. Little did I know, he was the type to always be outside & had a small group of bros that he’d always hang with. A small pack I should say.

The first one I met was a slim boy who was about my height & a bit younger but a liar at heart. I could easily tell when he was lying about something. He was like a sly & decisive one.

The next one I met was a bit tall but more husky, hot headed, & impulsive. Often quick to lash out if something wrong was said. He was one of those that you don’t want to get on bad terms with.

The last one I met was shorter than all of us but he was older than all of us by a little bit & had the most mouth. He was also the one that gave the word on things & would call the shots.

I considered him the “alpha” of the pack.

We would all wander the neighborhood & chill at the house throughout the week. The things they were into had me thrilled, & afraid at the same time. It felt like I was living a typical days in the ghetto, only this time I was outside more than I ever was.

All including her son were the pack. But only one was the alpha that had a compelling story.

On 4th of July night, we all got a ride over to the riverfront where the fireworks would go off. It was pretty packed as a lot of people from all over town was present.

It was all good until we all winded up splitting up. After the fireworks went off, I ended up only finding the “alpha” of the pack. We tried looking for the rest but to no avail. He tried calling people he knew for a ride back to the house, but none came through.

It was passed 10:00 at night, we could not find the others, & we had no ride to return to the house. My house wasn’t too far from the riverfront so I could’ve headed home, but my stuff was back at the house & I didn’t trust it being there without me.

However, it wasn’t that far of a walking distance back to the house, but my brain was telling me its too far & too long. And with it being so dark out, it was even more of a bad idea. But he of course, had done it multiple times before so he said he was set to do it again.

We met up with a couple other people he knew who were also walking back to the neighborhood, so I felt a little bit safer.

They started walking a bit faster & were further ahead of us. I was constantly looking back & around me being cautious for any dangers since it was late at night. He noticed it, & kept telling me to relax & said he wouldn’t let anything happen to me.

As we were walking back to the house, he began to confide in me. But it was like I felt he had a lot of things bottled inside that needed to be let loose. Mysteriously, I was the one that made it happen without saying a word.

He told me that he knew from the moment he met me that I wasn’t like them, that I was a smart & quiet one who stays out of the way. He knew I could never be a part of their lifestyle.

To a surprise, he was once that way too.

He started going on about how he didn’t trust anyone. Hardly his own family & even the others. But for some reason, despite only knowing me & meeting me for a day, he felt he could trust me. It was like a relief to him that I was separate from the people he’s been around for so long.

Come to realize we were once alike in the past without even knowing each other. He started going on about his childhood as we walked. It was quite an unpleasant one. He told me when he was a little kid in school, he was that quiet boy who was often nervous & was picked on by others but was a smart kid.  He looked pretty raggedy back then he said, wearing raggedy, wrinkles & dirty clothes.

I began to wonder, why would his family allow him to look like that?

Then he continued on about that. He came from a bad & poor background. Barely knew his father, mother struggled to keep things in order. Being that little kid & seeing his mother in tears from time to time, it would break him apart because he had no power to fix anything.

When he grew up, things grew a bit worser for as him & his mother ended up being evicted from their home.

With no where to go & nobody to turn to, he was forced to sleep outside numerous times. Every time he’d go out, he’d forget he’d have no home to return to. Hardly anyone lent him or his mother a helping hand. He’d have to wear the same clothes for days, couldn’t even take baths or showers for days.

To add further pain to his wound, he was once robbed at gunpoint. The robber took whatever he had on him & told him to run & not look back. Unbeknown to the robber, along with the things he had taken from him, he also took his soul. That was where he lost himself. The feeling of being put against his will tore him apart. The robber could’ve ended his life in a second, maybe it would’ve been the easier way to leave the hell he was in.

He told me after that, he received a gun from his uncle & that it was the happiest moment in his life. He’d never leave without it. He’d feel weak if he didn’t have it with him at all times & said had he have a gun with him before the robber tried to rob him, he’d be more ready to defend himself.

The streets took him in when nobody else would. He found himself skipping school, befriending street goons, robbing people for their money, & just trying to make a living in this desolated world around him. He was shot at multiple times as he shot back multiple times at people.

But one thing he said he never did, was kill someone.

I would’ve thought him being dropped into that lifestyle & being the alpha of the pack that he actually committed murders. That took me by surprise.

He said the gun had only been used for defense & survival. He could never have the heart to end someone’s life. Anytime he ever thought about, it would remind him of when he was robbed & could’ve been killed. It made him merciful, which I was very happy inside to hear.

He even said that the others weren’t all that “savage”. They were more so just followers who just wanted to live that typical ghetto lifestyle which was why he could not have full trust in them.

Poor guy. He never wanted to live this life. It all had punched him in the face & knocked him down to where he was forced to pick himself up by utilizing the streets. It wasn’t his fault, he had no control over his surroundings at a young age & it ripped him apart to have to face all that suffering.

His story has always been something I hold dearly. Its crazy because I only knew him for a short time, but he had trust in me to tell his life story. I always thought my kind would choose to fall into this pitiful life, but I was wrong. It isn’t always. Some are forced to face it by means of surviving in this corrupted world.

It didn’t mean much at the time, until I one day sat & thought about the harsh realities of today’s life. It becomes so hard to trust someone for as you’ll never know their inner thoughts & true intentions until their actions reveal it.

He knew I had goodness in my heart & soul, & he was happy to acknowledge that by telling of when he was once a good at heart before the taint.

Even though I have not seen him ever since, he is one of the people I actually hope & pray for a good change in his life.

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