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The Woman Across The Street This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The Woman Across the Street

by E. B., Wayland, MA



Wait, stop, hold everything! Think with me for a second. You're sitting on a bench in Jamaica Plain (the "bad" part of town, well at least where I come from people consider it bad. You know, rundown, graffiti and stuff). A park has just been redone to help re-establish the neighborhood. You know, clean it up. All new stuff. It's a really cool park.

Your dad's a photographer and he's been hired by the developer to photograph it. He already did most of his work a couple of weeks ago, but this is a special day, the opening of the park. There is food, music and lots of people. Mayor Flynn is stopping by to give his blessing to the new establishment. Anyway, your dad said he'd bring you and you could bring a friends and it would be lots of fun. So now you're sitting on a bench on the outside of the park talking calmly with your friend. You're drinking a pi"a colada. (Well, it's not really a pi"a colada, it's sort of like a slush with pi"a colada flavoring.)

All of a sudden you hear a loud gunshot. A middle-aged woman has just been shot. At first you don't really notice it until your friend says, "Look over there, something happened." You see people standing around a person lying on the ground (whom you can't see). You finally figure out that someone has been shot. Now, for you this isn't everyday life. You couldn't be sitting on a bench in a park in your town and see someone get shot less than 30 yards away. It just wouldn't happen. You never really think about the bubble you're living in. But you are. What's going to happen when you grow up, move to New York and find yourself getting mugged? I mean at least you're educated, and know about the world around you. But when you were eleven and just entering middle school you didn't really realize the intensity of it. People are getting shot every day on the streets of Boston while you're worrying about what to wear.

It is unfortunately very real. You can't really understand what it's like unless you move there. I mean schools have drugs and stuff. Yours doesn't. Your high school does, but you don't go there. However, your high school is nothing in comparison to some of the other schools in the city. You're thinking about this and you realize just how lucky you are. But what about all the other kids who aren't as lucky as you. It just doesn't seem fair that they have to live in a violent environment and you don't. It just doesn't seem right. I mean what you saw that day was awful, but to some people it's everyday life. It made you think a lot, which is why you're writing this paper right now. Well, actually, I am, and I hope that this has made you think just a little more about what's going on around you.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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