Shackles

Jefferson Memorial Street. Silent, only the weeping of bums being heard. Those who dare to step foot on the street have a high chance of getting mugged. The streets haven’t been paved in 10 years, bits flying up. My apartment sits over the street. I’ve witnessed three murders by the age of 13. Lord knows how many robberies I’ve witnessed. I know that the people say I will never be better than the others that are crippled here; I will. The government puts the men in jail and the women are taught that all they are good for is babies. 

I crouched by the smudged window everyday. We didn’t have any chair that I could sit on. The pain in my heart was as heavy as the bus driver that avoided the end of our street. The air was smelly, like a smog coming straight from the depths of hell. It was the souls burning on the street below. Mother was never even home, when she was, I didn’t want to be around her. I know the world is a sick place, but my mind is even sicker. I have dreams of being on TV changing the world, I must be sick. 

Sometimes when I hear the gunshots outside, I pretended that they are fireworks. I would peel my eyes open and realize it was just another one of my people dying. Sick. Twisting and turning. I couldn’t stand this, shackled to the lower life. The kids born into richness cared not about reaching the top that their ancestors reached for them. Nothing in this world is strong enough to stop me. I was meant to be a queen. 

By time I was 16, my soul had been poured into everything I did. I was gonna die with gold and jewels around my neck. Stereotypes aren’t enough to bring the true thriver down. Everyone who crossed my path seemed to doubt me. Is it racist? Is it confusion? No, it is envy. I didn’t know why they hated me. I really didn’t care. It was time somebody made a difference.

 

Richmond, VA

I am from Richmond and attend Manchester Middle School CBG. I don't write the happiest stories. I've spent my decade (give a few years) of life writing what I see and feel through the eyes of fictional characters.