The Truth is in the Jumpsuit

December 20, 2011
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As the wicked fall wind whipped Juan Jimenez’s face, he pulled his hood over his cold head. They didn’t call it the Windy City for nothing. A blanket of clouds covered the sky like a velvet sheet. They seemed to be stressed out, much like Juan. He had eyes like marbles, and a very skinny build. Covering his head was a messy, black pile of hair. He was quite unhygienic. With thirty pounds of books from school weighing him down, he knew getting home to see his mother wouldn’t be an easy task. Yet he knew that he could only leave the crime ridden streets of his home neighborhood if he could succeed in school. He was one of the few in the area who realized that. So he knew he was carrying the books for a good reason. When he looked up to watch where he was walking, he noticed a small, thin Latino boy sprinting towards him on the cracked sidewalk. As the boy ran, it looked as though his legs were only a blur. When Juan finally came close enough to see who it was, he realized it was Rodrigo, who was practically his twin. They had been friends since they were less than five years old. Rodrigo finally ran up to Juan and exclaimed, “Juan! Juan! Your momma’s dead, man! Your momma’s dead!”

“Funny joke, hombre. Now, why don’t you walk home with me?” Juan asked.

“Juan, I’m not joking, man. “When I walked by your apartment, I saw a couple o’ cop cars with their lights blinking and whirling.” Rodrigo said.
“Stop joking, bro. Please… you’re starting to scare me.” Juan pleaded. He was actually beginning to believe Rodrigo.

“Well man, there’s a reason to be scared. Come with me.”

Now, with night veiling the neighborhood like a dark cape, Juan and Rodrigo ran to Juan’s home, where the crime scene was. When they finally arrived, Juan noticed his mother lying on the ground with two small bullet holes, one in her ear, and one in her cheek. She was surrounded by a pool of blood, which only grew with time. Police cars and ambulances lit up the scene with eerie red and blue lights.

“MAMA! MAMA, CAN YOU HEAR ME? MAMA-” Juan was stopped.

“Sir, you are not allowed any closer. Stay here and go no further,” a policeman remarked.

“That’s my mom, man. That’s my mom!” Juan was annoyed.

He tried to get to his mother by going in a different way, but he was only pushed back by another police man. He had cold, blue eyes, not unlike ice. His short, golden hair was matted and untidy. His hands were the size of basketballs.
Juan knew it was useless to try and break through the line of policemen. Unlike many of the other boys in his neighborhood, he was a good boy. He knew when not to do certain things. So, he watched as the ambulance at the scene took his mother away forever. The policemen went to their cars and cautiously drove away. Juan knelt down and began to sob endlessly. He didn’t know if the sobbing would ever end, for it had been waiting to come out for a long time, and now, he couldn’t hold it in any longer. When his father, Fernando (he only knew his father’s name because of an old factory jumpsuit his mother had), left him as a young boy, he was distraught, but at least he could possibly find his dad. But his mother, she was gone forever. Rodrigo then came up to him. “You know, you could stay at my place for the night. My mom doesn’t mind, and my dad’s not around, so it’ll be perfect. We could watch basketball, or football, whatever you want,” Rodrigo told Juan.

“Nah, man, es bueno (it’s okay). I can survive for a night on my own. But thanks for the offer,” Juan smiled at Rodrigo through a stream of tears. So Rodrigo strolled away, and Juan found a good, comfortable spot so he could sleep through the night. A bench would be the perfect place. He lived in a terrible neighborhood, yet he couldn’t move away, so he was forced to take the risk of dying tonight. But he was exhausted from grieving, and at this point, it seemed like life had no meaning. So who cared if he died anyway?

As Juan slept, he was freezing and restless. He woke up three or four times during the night because of his nightmares. He could see his mother, begging for the killer not to shoot. He could see the maroon-colored blood, the wounds, everything. The last time he woke up, he decided just to stay awake, because he knew sleeping would be impossible.

The morning finally came, and Juan decided to skip school. Although he wanted to succeed, there was no point if there was no one to share his success with. Juan stood up, stretched, and went to the bathroom near a dead bush. He couldn’t go back to his home, because he could not pay the bills. Even if he could, the police were still investigating anyway. So he wandered the streets of Chicago for a day or two, wondering what to do with his life. That was when Mr. Estrada decided Juan’s fate.

Mr. Estrada, a tough, but respected man, had dark, mesmerizing eyes. Although people often argued about his true eye color, they could agree on one thing: they were powerful. With wrinkles a deep as the Grand Canyon, Mr. Estrada had a very commanding aura about him. No one ever ignored him.

“Hey, Juan, come here,” Mr. Estrada demanded from across the street.

“Hola, Mr. Estrada,” said Juan.

“Sorry about your mom, chico. I know you loved her very much, and I feel for you. Benita was a good woman. And, I saw the man who killed her.”

“Y-, you did?” Juan inquired.

“Yes, I did. I have seen him before, and I saw him killing your mother, but I didn’t have the courage to save your mother. I’m sorry.” Mr. Estrada apologized. “I got a gun and some ammo for you to use. You will find this man and you WILL kill him, you hear?”

“Um, y- yes, okay.” Juan hesitantly said.

“The man who killed Benita lives about three blocks west of here. You can find ‘em in the run down, white house on the left side of 13th street.” Mr. Estrada told Juan.

Mr. Estrada then handed him the handgun and the ammo, and Juan was on his way. Juan was extremely confused. Why was he supposed to go and find the man who killed his mother? He could never do it. He was too small and bony to overcome a grown man. But, after thinking about his issue, he knew his life could never be complete and successful, so this revenge could serve as his own version of success.

Today was bright and sunny. The wind was still much like a whip, yet it was not nearly as awful as the day before. The velvet clouds had moved away, leaving an uninterrupted sea of blue across the sky. Juan walked across the streets of his neighborhood, still feeling scared and alone. But his courage was beginning to overcome that fear. As Juan walked by the streets, he counted. “9th, 10th, 11th,12th,13th! That’s it!” He exclaimed to himself.

Strolling by the houses, he looked for the “run down, white” house that Mr. Estrada had talked about. It was on the left side of the street. The paint had begun to chip off of the walls, and half of all the windows were smashed to smithereens. The stairs leading to the front door of the house were cracked in more than 100 places. This place should have been condemned a LONG time ago. Creeping up the porch, Juan loaded his gun silently, as though he were a ninja about to strike. He opened the front door quietly, and walked in the house. What an idiot. Who left his front door open in a neighborhood like this?

He crept along the walls, and watched for any movement. Inside the house, there was absolutely no noise. Not a single sound, except for a small clicking sound upstairs. Juan went up the house’s creaky, damaged staircase to the room where the sound was happening.

He heard a shot.

Juan turned around to find that he was being shot at by his mother’s killer. A burly man, about six feet tall, fired his gun at a rapid pace, his hands surrounding the gun. Juan shot at the killer, leaving a small wound in the bottom of his calf muscle. The killer then stumbled. He tripped on a small nightstand table and fell. He then got back up and yelled, “You will die!”

All of a sudden, Juan’s courage took over in a fiery rage, equivalent to that of an angry bull. He took his gun, aimed it perfectly, and shot the murderer between the eyes.
The killer then stumbled once more, yet this time, when he fell, he didn’t get back up. He then walked up to the man, and saw that the man was struggling in a helpless way. After about 30 seconds of this, he died. The sunglasses he wore were very large. They were most likely designed to cover up most of his face. When Juan pulled off the sunglasses, he noticed a striking resemblance between the killer and himself. Juan then ripped off the tattered, ugly jacket the man had been wearing. This revealed a pale blue jumpsuit, one that a factory worker would wear. It had patches at all of the joints, and was ripped by the chest. Juan stared at the nametag that was sewn sloppily onto the jumpsuit. It said “Fernando Jimenez”.

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