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The Code, not mistakes
I was a mistake. My mother's mistake. She wasn't careful, and she got landed with me. She named me Karma, it seemed to fit the situation. So here I am, seventeen years later, Karma Barlett, orphan.
Not that I mind being on my own, it's great. No one bossing me around, no one screaming what a miserable waste of flesh, bone, and blood I am.
My mother died when I was seven, but by then I knew enough about getting along on my own in the world. I've never needed anyone. Never will.
I live by a code. My code is what has kept me alive for the past thirtteen years. A code made by my brother, and passed on to me.
Mark's code went a little something like this.
If you have a choice to fight or turn away, you turn away. Don't make enemies on purpose.
If you see someone that needs help, you help, no question asked. But don't give your last name.
If your in a fight and your pride, and life, are at stake, you fight. Fight like the hounds of hell are at your heels ready to eat you if you fail.
In a fight, you always play fair. If your opponent doesn't have a weapon you don't use a weapon.
If a fight turns life or death, dont take the first punch. You do, you land your dumb butt in jail. You don't, anything you do is counted as self defense.
I live by my brother's code, it is the only thing I have. So I'm sneaky, and a little reckless. I've been to Juvie before, lots before. But I'm not stupid, the mistakes never result in more than an over nighter.
I made a few mistakes on my way here, but not many. Sure, I joined the wrong crowd in my third year on my own. I got out of it without a scratch. But I picked up some bad habits. I smoke, can't seem to stop, and I love adrenaline.
So here I am, leaning against a brick wall at eleven at night, smoking, and just begging for a fight.
"Hey, baby. You waitin' for someone?"
I turn, a man about twenty seven, tall, dark, but not my type. So I turn back around and finish my cigarette, acting like he's not there.
A hand comes down on my shoulder and I react automatically. I throw down my cigarette stub and turn, being recklace again, I throw the first punch. I hit him square in the nose, feel the bone break and smile.
He's mad now, his friends are laughing behind him, he wants me dead, I can see it on his face. He throws the second punch, but I duck just out of reach and smile again. My games are begining to annoy him.
I'm bored, half drunk, and recklace, so I make a mistake. I provoke him.
He's real mad now, and pulls out a gun. So I think, the code says to not throw the first punch, too late, so now I start gettin' smart.
I lower my hands, straighten my leather jacket, and turn to walk away. I suprised him, so I'm good. I'm no longer a threat, so I'm good. I walk away, and don't look back. Tonight I goofed.
I made a mistake. But I made it out still in tact. But I'm on a road to no where real fast. I need to get smart. So I turn. I head to the one place I never would go before. I don't wanna lose my edge, so I'm going.
Look's to me, like I'm going to meet my father. I frown, and as I fade into the shadows, I hear my brother's last words again.
My mistakes, so many, are mine. Don't make them. Go to dad, he can teach you all you need to know to survive alone. Do what he says, but trust no one. Don't make mistakes, Karma. Mistakes are what get you killed when your like you and me. Promise me, no mistakes.