We lived in a declining neighborhood. Not because couldn’t afford to move. My Uncle B owned the property we lived in. And, he and my grandma lived on the same street. The arrangement was convenient for my parents. However, in the early 90’s, gang culture was at its ripest.
One summer evening, all of the neighborhood kids were out late playing hide and seek. I stood at the tree counting. Just as I began my search through the darkness, the sound of screeching tires stopped me in my tracks.
Pop, pop, pop! Gunshots rang out from two cars—racing side-by-side—in a synchronized motion up the street. The flash from the barrels lit up the night sky. All the kids scattered. Some, even ran into our house.
My sister poked her head through the front door and yelled for me to get down, but I didn’t budge.
I didn’t run, duck, or hide. Something I had only seen on television and in movies was happening right in front of me.
I stood mesmerized as bullets flew back and forth.
Mom screamed for me to get inside. I turned back to look. But, by that time, the cars were long gone. After surviving a drive-by shooting, I thought for sure my mother would’ve killed me. That night began a vital conversation about self-conduct in our “new” environment.
The next day, my siblings and I went outside to play. Ebony and Lamar scoured the ground for remnants of the night before. They didn’t have to look far. Around where I stood, were bullet fragments and shells.
Live. Bless. Prosper.