Catch Me If You Can

January 31, 2008
By elizabeth arana, Los Angeles, CA

3rd Grade
“Are you ready for this? “asked Jesse
“Yeah, of course”
The truth was I wasn’t. This is the first time I`ve ever participated in an actual race. I’m pretty fast though, #1 at my school. But seeing all the other racers were boys scares me a little. The other one girl sprang her ankle while warming up.
Jesse is my bestest friend. He`s the one who signed me up without even asking.
“Are you ready?”
I can`t wait for when I win .Last year this guy won and he got a $50 Toys “R” Us gift card.
“Congratulations Melanie”
Yes I won.
“Here`s a $5 off Barnes and Novels card for when you purchase more than $25 worth of books” the announcer explained.
Thanks a lot .If only they knew that my family can`t afford to spend that much money on useless things like that…..I really thought this year my little brothers were gonna get a good Christmas gift. I guessed not everything goes according to plan.

5th Grade
¨C`mon lets ditch school again and go to the arcade or something ¨Jesse insisted
¨And if the po`pos find us?”
“We`ll run, you are the fastest runner I know, c`mon we`ve done this a million of times what are the chances of us getting caught this time?”
“Alright fine. Lets go”
”Oh no Melanie run!!!”
But I can`t, I twisted my ankle yesterday. It’s too late. Luck isn`t a guarantee and it isn`t always by your side.
6th Grade
“I know, I`m sorry But it happens sometimes, Just remember his in a better place now, ok, I love you, bye”

Who would of thought. It’s been a 24 hours since Jesse died and I still can`t believe it. Jesse, the one who stuck by my side through the thick and thin, the only one that made me laugh when at the worst times came, the one who showed me the true meaning of friendship.
Just two nights ago we were talking about the old times. How I just forgot of my dream, of being the world’s fastest runner, and let the bad influence and violence around me control my life. Just two nights ago we were talking about how it would be a dream, a goal to get out of here. How getting the chance to start all over is to die for.
Today we were supposed to go to the movies. Throw popcorn at people, start, laughing like two crack heads when the most interesting and intended scene is happening and probably end up getting kick out like always. But instead I`m sitting here in front of his body studying the two bullet holes in his chest weeping nonstop. Thinking to myself you don`t know what you got `til it’s gone.
8th Grade
“Welcome graduates and parents of the class 2007, at this moment we`ll like to announce the sports scholarships.…………and the 4-year sport scholarship goes to……Melanie Cortez!!!”
Dear Jesse,

It’s been 2 years since you’ve been gone but it seems like just yesterday I got the phone call. Anyways, guess what, I just receive my acceptance letter into some school way over there where the rich people live. Pretty amazing huh? Who would of thought a girl like me from over here will ever end up even breathing the same air with some high class kid. I know it`ll be hard making friends that have nothing in common with you, but it never hurts to try. They say they got a pretty good track team. I`m planning on joining and you know continue following my dream like we had promised each other. I really miss you Jess. Your the only reason why I haven`t given up. Hey, you wanna hear my slogan? It goes to all the violence, everyone and everything that’s ever kept us from getting closer to our dreams. Here it is: “Catch me if you can!”

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