Total Ignorance

February 18, 2011
By , los angeles, CA
It all happened when I started middle school. It was my first day at Thomas Starr Middle School. I didn’t know anyone so I decided to sit by myself in the back. The teacher told me to move closer in front and sit next to a kid named Fernando. Fernando’s hair was as dark as the night and he somehow managed to look fit even though he was lazy. He was cool at first, but later on he became meaner and he gave everyone more attitude. Everyone gave him respect and as I watched him, I wanted that respect for myself too.

Slowly, I started acting like him, dressing like him, and before I knew it, he and I decided to start a crew. We were the biggest crew in the school. We had the respect but soon they were more crews coming up. We kept it peaceful among the other crews, but soon there were problems. The main head for one of the the crews asked us if we could help his crew go to a rumble with their rival crew, we agreed to do it. That was the spark that lit the fire. Soon after, we had problems with two crews and the crew we backed up during the rumble were on the verge of having problems with us too.


Seventh grade came at last. It was the beginning of a new year and I wasn't looking for any trouble unfortunately I couldn’t accomplish that promise to stay out of trouble.. Despite the fact that I tried my past came back to haunt me. Fernando asked me if I wanted to rule the school once again I denied him even though a part of me really wanted to. Soon, he and his so-called “homies” (who later on back-stabbed him), started talking trash and pressured me to the point where I couldn't take it anymore I decided to join his crew. That same day, I got jumped twice by two different crews we ended up having problems.

Little by little, Fernando and his little hooligans were making my life hell. However, there was a positive outcome from this people wouldn’t tease me or mess with me because of the fear of Fernando and his crew that's why I didn't leave my ways of being a trouble-maker. Soon, Fernando had me like a little puppy he would boss me around,

“You have to stop doing this!”said Ms. Gonzales, the dean to the school., told me

“I know,” I mumbled.

Ms. Gonzales was a short person to be exact she was 5’1”. she had a humorous attitude but yet took everything seriously. She was one of the teachers I trusted the most in my two years at King. She had a deep voice for a women her size, a terrifying voice but yet kind of funny in a way. Although I wasn’t from anywhere I would still dress like a gangster, act like one. I was exactly like my older brother Julio.

It was finally the weekend after a long week at school. Julio had plans to go to a party already. My brother was white he had hazel eyes and was bald. I used to call him baldy he had those O.G. goatee's and he looked really banged out yet he wasn’t from anywhere.

It was about 7 in the night and my brother was getting ready to go.

“Where are you going at this time?” my mom asked me.

My brother responded respectfully, “To a party mom.”





He said, "Don’t worry i’m not going to drink. It’s my turn to be the designated driver.


“Oh okay, mijo, take care and have fun.”

My mom had skin the color of creamy coffe. She had a honey-colored birth mark next to her left eye ball. She had dyed red hair. My mom was always in a good mood but she would get mad for no reason or at least I thought it was for no reason.

“Mom, don't worry about him, he’ll be fine,”I said to my mom .




“I hope so, mijo, because I wouldn't forgive myself if anything happened to him,” she said with starry eyes.

I woke up at about 3:30 in the morning, I saw my brothers bed lonely. he said he would be back before one.

Rrrrriiiiinnnnnggggg!!!

“Hello,” my mom whispered. A brief moment of silence swept the room.

All of sudden, I heard my mom sceam, “How???”




“Okay I'll be there in a hour. Just do anything you can to help him, please!!!” she hung up.

“What’s wrong, Mom?!” I asked her with a face as if a ghost had just touched my back.

“Julio just got shot in the head,” she said with sobbing eyes.

The next morning my mom came home with my brother. He had his head swollen and wrapped with bloody bandages. He told us what had happen he said that he was going to the store to buy more beer with his friend and when he came out there was three gang bangers. They were in the gas station and my brother noticed they were staring at them.

“Ay homie!! Where you from!!!!” they yelled.

“I don't bang!!”as my brother said it in a joking around voice.

One of the gangsters took the wrong way and he pulled out a 9mm. He opened fire and my brother reacted quicker than a rabbit being chased by a coyote. As he turned to run one of the bullets grazed his head. He fell to the floor because of the force of the bullet. At the same time the gang member kept shooting until he empty the whole clip. My brother’s friend continued running. However, he was hit twice in the back and just when he was going to fall he turned around and a bullet got his chin it penetrated him and came out of the back of his head. He died on the scene at the age of 22.


The next week of school were very hard because of the fact that my brother was hurt and I couldn't concentrate. As a result, I realized I was in the same path my brother was in. I dressed like him I acted like him and I did what he did. I needed to stop because I was going to end up like him or worse... dead. I started doing better. I started making my own decision and even the deans noticed I was doing better. She once told me that the office is so lonely now that am not getting in trouble a lot


In conclusion, started doing better in school. I got good grades and I was in the football team. This whole thing that happened to my brother had its positive and negative consequences. The way my brother dressed that day was the reason he got shot. In L.A. people are very quick to judge, my brother wasn't a gang member yet they still shot him. Like the famous saying, “ Never judge a book by its cover.” Some people are not what they seem; if they are bald and they dress baggy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re gangsters or from somewhere. However, since gang members will continue to be ignorant, why don’t we just stop dressing like them and just dress normal? I know you don’t want to be judged, but would you rather be shot? Think about it.





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