It's Time for You to Change

February 18, 2011
By , Los Angeles, CA
January 21, 2011
Dear Junior,

Remember that day when we were coming home from Brenda’s quinceñera practice? It was around 10:15 pm and we were waiting for our Tia Sandra. When she finally arrived she told us that she wasn't going to be able to take us all the way home just to the Metro Station. Tia Sandra usually takes us all the way home, but this time was different.
There we were; me, you, Roachi, and Danny. We were all on the Metro escalator goofing around, waiting in line to get our tickets. Finally, when the Metro arrived, we climbed into the last cart. Usually, you and I would get off at Vermont and Beverly, but for some reason you decided that we should get off where Roachi lives by 7th street..

When we got out, the streets were cold and empty. The lights were as dim as an antique light bulb that you haven’t changed in months. We took a couple of steps, we didn't even walk a whole block, when you saw some clear windows that you wanted to tag. You rapidly took out your silver dripper and climbed on the little space the window has between the window and the wall you managed to get up, you balanced and you started catching a spot. The rest of us stood as watch-outs to make sure the cops didn’t see you, but we messed up. It was to late. They had spotted you. I saw a gigantic pale faced man when he got out of his car I was able to see his dark long boots and his blue uniform. His head brighter than the moon and his badged flickered in the reflection.

That’s when he shouted, “Hey you, come here!” I started walking slowly towards them too,

but Roachi whispered, “No, come back ... let’s go.”

I insisted, “Why? We can’t just leave him by himself with the cops!”

He ignored me and pulled me away quickly like nothing had ever happened, as if you were never with us. I felt kind of bad because we just left you there by yourself with the cops instead of being there and helping you out. As we crossed the street, I kept looking back to see what they where doing to you. I was so devastated.

I kept thinking to myself, “I should of warned him, told him we saw the cops when there was time.”

I couldn't believe what was happening I could feel my heart pounding, (Boom, boom, boom.) While we were walking up the streets we called my Tio Ramiro to tell him what had happened. He told us that he would come as quickly as he could.

By the time my uncle came toward us, we saw the cop car pulling away. They had you handcuffed inside and they took you to the police station by Union in front of KFC. My Tio Ramiro went to the police station to bail you out.

Junior you get me, you understand me, you are 4 years older than me and I look up to you. at first I tried to cover for you by lying to mom and dad, but it didn’t work. I didn’t want you to think of me as a snitch. I love you, Junior I didn’t want to see you in trouble. Little by little, the months passed and it was time for your first court date. When you came home you were acting like if nothing had happened you just came home all chill. It seems like you still aren’t taking your life seriously. Does it concern you at all? To this day you still tag. Yea, sometimes it’s good to not let people bring you down, but it’s also important to care.

I just hope you can realize that what you are doing is wrong before something worse happens to you. I think about what might happen to you when you’re out there in the night. You could get beat up and hurt really bad. You know we don’t have insurance to cover something like that, something that can be prevented if you just started caring. What if they put you in jail? Have you ever thought about how that would affect me or our parents?

You’re not a minor anymore. You need to start taking responsibility for your actions and your life. Why is it worth putting your nickname on the streets? You might say it’s for respect, but do you even respect yourself? You’ve lost respect from your own family. You’ve lost your home and I feel like you and I are losing our close relationship. Our family treated you so well, we did everything for you. I just want you to come home, stop tagging and gain respect back from your family, by doing something productive with your life. Put your awesome graffiti skills for good, get a mural painting job or something. In other words, get a life make a living out of yourself. I want to be able to to look up to you again - my older brother.

Love,

Ruth <3





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