Getting Lost is Just Another Way of Saying 'Going Exploring’

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I tremble in fear, my heart skipping several beats, as I walk alongside the curb of 58th Street in west Chicago. My mouth begins to dry up like sawdust, and the hot summer sun bakes my skin as I sweat continuously. “Where are we?” I think to myself as multiple heads turn to look in our direction, staring at us in an odd mysterious way. I scan down my clothes regretting why I ever decided to wear that red expensive polo shirt today. It is clear that I am a target and so is my family. I bite my lip nervously as I realize suddenly that my family and I are lost in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago.
Now, we were supposed to be visiting University of Chicago that Saturday morning for my brother’s admissions. For that reason, we decided for him to be the navigator and take us there. It sounded fairly simple as we walked to the CTA bus stop and boarded on bus #55 praying we would get there safely. As we reached the outskirts of downtown, I looked around the obsolete bus noticing how the appearances of the passengers had changed. Across me, sat a seventeen year old mom yelling at her two young children, and behind me sat another young obese mother hitting her child. I cringed at the sights and sounds wondering where we were and if I was safe.
We sat on the bus for about 30 minutes until my brother cued us that the next stop was ours. My family and I stood up holding on to the poles as the bus screeched to a sudden stop; we walked down the stairs of the bus and realized we were standing in a deserted area. The once paved street was cracked and dusty, and the trees hung low as if they were depressed. Because of the deafening silence, I could loudly hear my sneakers slap against the roughness of the ground as I walked. My hands clenched into a ball as I began cracking my fingers nervously. There wasn’t a car or human in sight, but we put our heads down and walked in the direction my brother pointed towards.
And that is how I am here on 58th Street, and a police car has just stopped us in the middle of the perilous road making me realize I could die or I could be saved. Rolling her windows down, the police officer looks our family up and down and interrogates us. My dad answers nervously in short answers as the police officer slowly begins to realize that we are tourists trying to reach University of Chicago. My mom, who has become completely scared and half insane, nervously asks the police officer if we could get in her car and she could take us to where we wanted to go. Hesitantly, the police officer says yes, and my whole family crams into the back of the police car. No room to put our legs on the ground, we almost sit on top of each other because no one wants to sit in the front, including my dad which surprises me because I never seen my dad scared until this point of my life.
As the police officer drives us to the campus area of the university, she tells us that 26 people have been murdered there on that street this weekend and that we are very lucky. My stomach twists in a large knot as I realize suddenly that God has saved our lives. Reaching the campus, my family and I get out of the cramped car, and we say thanks to the police woman and hug her goodbye. As she drives away, I look back and feel a strong light glow in my face. I grasp the idea that my life was just in danger and that my prayers to God have saved my family and me. I now see a light of power helping me witness the real truth behind reality.





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