My cousin got shot over a scooter and that really affected a lot of people, like people on his street, my family and friends. Now, outside of school, I feel really unsafe. Where I live is very peaceful, and it’s quiet, but I feel unsafe.


That doesn’t make it ok
I know someone who was shot 13 times. He was a middle school student and was selling drugs, but that doesn’t make it ok. He was trying to change. He never hurt anyone and everyone wanted to help him.


I think about what would be different all the time
I think about my brother. By now he would have been grown out the house, and would have had some kids. I wonder what he would have been doing, if he would have lived to the expectations that he set for himself. I think about what would be different all the time… and I think about why I missed him so much. When I was younger I used to always be crying, because I never knew him. I wonder if things would have been the same even if he was still alive.


We don’t talk too much about his death, more his life. We always talk about what reminds us of him, or what he would have said if he was here, or things like that. For the most part, we don’t talk about violence because it makes us more sad. We try not to even watch the news, because we watch the news and then we’re crying because there’s something that happened, death or something of that nature and we’re just like… that saga continues.


This isn’t the way my life is supposed to be
This isn’t the way my life is supposed to be. I’ve seen the man who killed my brother once and how that made me feel had a big impact on me. That was three weeks ago, and I still haven’t felt the same. What could I have said to him? What should I have done? It was just in passing. He was in a car and I couldn’t have said anything, but still it kept replaying in my mind.


It’s hard to say certain things without crying
It’s hard to say certain things without crying. Sometimes somebody says something that bothers me because I lost my brother. There are lots of times when things come up and I won’t share. I won’t say anything, because I usually will leave the conversation bothered that somebody said something ignorant, or something that I don’t completely agree with. So I’ll just step aside.