March 21, 2017
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I pulled up to the gas station a block away from my house. Normally, I would wait until the morning to pump my gas but I was running on fumes. It was common knowledge not to be out after dark in my neighborhood. Today though, I stayed after school to finish a group project that is due on Friday. I knew I should not have stayed this late. My school is on the opposite side of the city. My father thought all the schools near us were “ghetto” and “where proper grammar goes to die”, so he lied about our address and sent my brother and I to Blakesville Heights. I know he is trying to do what he thinks is best for us and our education but the commute is absolute hell. It’s an hour and a half both ways, hence why I’m getting home so late tonight.
I got out of my car to pump my gas. There was only one other car at the station, parked three pumps down from me. I paid the machine and began to pump my gas into my 1982 Cadillac Cimarron. While the gas was pumping, my mind starts to wonder. I wonder what it would be like to live on the nicer side of town, where I wouldn’t have to worry about what happens after dark. A place where my little brother, Damon, is not always under the watchful eye of the police officers they have patrolling our neighborhood and where my little sister, Andrea, is constantly harassed by gang bangers. What would it be like to live in a place where my family could actually feel protected?
The pump handle pops signaling that the tank is full. I remove the nozzle, placing it back on the pump. I get back in the car and immediately turn heat on full blast. As I’m rubbing my hands together for warmth, I look up into the gas station. The man behind the counter, Oscar, lives in the house next to us with his wife Gina and their two daughters, Mallorie and Emma. I didn’t recognize the other man across the counter. He had a black hoodie on with the hood pulled all the way over his face making it so that I could not see his face. They seemed to be having a heated discussion. On a normal day, I would have thought nothing of it but this guy seemed a little on edge. They continued to go at each other for a few more minutes before I decided to pull away. I put the car in gear and pulled away from the pump. That’s when I heard an unmistakable sound come from the gas station. Gunshots.
I slammed on my break and ducked down as not to be seen by the shooter. I squeezed my eyes shut. The front door to the gas station slammed shut and the shooters footsteps faded into the night. I stayed frozen in my seat. I couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. Oscar had been shot.
I slowly rose up from my seat and took a few deep breaths. I surveyed the area around my car. Everything seemed exactly as it had been when I arrived at the gas station. I couldn’t muster up the strength to look into the station. I pulled the car up to front of the small building and parked right next to the front door. I dug through my backpack to find my phone. With shaking hands, I dialed 911.
“911, What’s your emergency?” A lady with a high voice answered.
“I am at the gas station at the end of Cromswell Road. There has been a shooting.” I said with a shaky voice.
“We are sending out officers now. Can you describe the shooter?” She asked.
“He was wearing a large hoodie covering his face. He looked to be about 6feet even.” I told her.
“Sir, I need you to stay calm and remain where you are. Officers are on the way.” The women said.
“Thank you, please hurry.” I hung up the phone.
I couldn’t just leave Oscar there on the floor to bleed out. I had to go help him. After I mustered up the courage to get out of the car, I made my way to the front of the store.  I slowly opened the door and peered inside. I moved further into the store, stopping only when I heard a soft splashing sound. The floor around the counter was covered in blood. I braced myself for the worst and looked over the counter. There, I saw Oscar’s body, drenched in his own blood, laying lifeless on the floor. I felt paralyzed. My breathing stopped. I didn’t realize I was on the floor until I felt the blood soaking into my pants. I reached up to Oscar’s body to check for a pulse. I felt nothing. I hunched over and started sobbing. Oscar was dead.
After what felt like hours, I noticed something shiny laying on the floor across from Oscar. I crawled over to investigate. It was the gun. This is what was used to murder a father, a friend, a community member. I was speechless. How could some one do something so awful? Why were people so horrible to one another? What has our world come to?
I never heard the police sirens narrowing closer to the gas station. I never heard the door being ripped open and armed officers rush into the store. I never heard them yelling at me to drop the weapon. All I remember hearing is another gunshot, then falling to the floor.

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