Content warning: This story contains references to sexual assault.
The streets are always live during the day. People are in every corner trynna get what they can beggin for money or hittin on girls. My family lives in Inglewood, California where everything goes down-from fights to robberies to shootings. All sorts of things happen here. My brother and I were told as little kids to always be alert and never walk alone at night no matter what I have always followed this rule until one night when I was coming home from the restaurant, I was working a late shift at Gary's Diner and went home around 1am. I said goodbye to my co-workers and left the building. It was quiet like no one existed as soon as I stepped outside of that door. I went to the bus stop and waited for the 1:30am bus to arrive. I kept looking around praying that no one was following me as i'm trynna go home. Sometimes I wonder while I wait for the bus what it will be like to just get away from the lifestyle I live everyday and just be free from taking care of everyone. I just want to leave home and never come back, but I can't cuz my Mama needs me. I just wish she had enough strength in her to leave Papa. In a perfect world Mama, Casey, and I are living on an island and we are free to do as we please. I become a painter and use my passion to capture such beautiful memories. Finally, the bus comes and I climb up the steps looking at the driver in the eye. He seemed strange staring at me like something was waiting for me. We sat ways apart from each other as the cloud of tension continued to get thicker. I always sat in the back of the bus because I feel safer knowing he's father away. He made me cringe each time he looked at me through his dirty mirror in front of his face with a grin so overly sinister. He knew something I didn't. I hopped off the bus and began to walk home thinking about the next painting I will do, maybe some flowers or a sunset. It was 2am and as I walked three blocks to my house I began to get very anxious. It was quiet. Too quiet. I kept my hand in my pocket caressing the hot pink pepper spray, hoping I won't have to use it. I prayed toGod himself to keep me safe while I'm almost there. I arrived at the second block and it was still quiet. I could feel the eerie tension outside like someone was watching me from a distance waiting to make their next move. I began to get more anxious and my gut started to twist and turn. I walked faster and faster until I started to run. Someone was following me and I felt it. It was 2:30am and a man came out of the shadows as if he was coming after his prey in the wild. He started to draw closer to me I ran in the other direction and then another one popped up and another. All three were surrounding me like wolves. These were the guys that always hung around the block at night, but didn't think it be till now. I tried to fight with all my strength but it was no use. They all grabbed me and I kept kicking and screaming hoping that God would send someone to help me. I felt their evil stares in my soul as they caressed all over me. I thought to myself this is the end. I froze with nothing left in me to do.My soul left my body and I watched myself in agonizing pain fearful for my life. It was 3am and I was laying on the ground wondering why this happened to me. I was in shock feeling cold, not myself and more than ever terrified. They all left and I got up and walked home. I had an emptiness to me that was like a never ending black hole. They had taken something away from me in so many ways I couldn't fathom the idea as to why. I thought to myself it was my fault. I let this happen so I'm now paying for the consequences. It was 3:15am and I finally made it back home to my mother knocked out from getting too high off of heroin. The smell of marijuana scattered the room all over. I wanted to wake Mama and tell her what had just happened to me, but I hesitated. I just couldn't tell her what happened. I couldn't let anyone know not even my brother. I went to my room and cried myself to sleep until I felt nothing. There was no dreaming or painting after that day.