Two weeks after the incident Max was walking home from school and decided to go to a convenient store. He likes going there because that specific store carries his favorite refreshment called “Punch-Out.” The store clerk is a friend of Max. He is an older man the age of 59 that is medium built and only wears plaid button-down shirts. The clerk’s name is Bernard Li, and he loves to wear gold jewelry. Bernard wears a gold ring, a gold necklace, and a huge watch. He even had a gold tooth. Max assumed Bernard lived in a gold house because of his affection towards the mineral. Bernard smiles as Max goes in the store and says, “How are you my friend?” in a loud voice as if he was yelling. Max replied, “Nothing much B, you still have any Punch-Out?” the old man looked at him and said, “Sorry buddy we are all out.” Max nodded his head and replied, “Alright B, I’ll come back another day.” He walked out of the store and started walking home.
He went through a diverse route this time because he didn’t want to be seen by PSM members. He entered a different neighborhood that he never saw before. Max was walking by an alley and saw four thugs dressed in red and black clothing tagging on the wall. Max froze as he pondered staring at them a vision popped out of his head and thought he was going to get jumped again. In his mind, he thought they were the members of PSM gang that attacked him two weeks ago, but they were another group of hoodlums. One of them ran up to Max and told him, “Yo, ya didn’t see S*** alright.” Max replied, “I didn’t see nothing okay, I don’t care what you guys are doing” in an irritated voice. Max was tired of being bullied by lawbreakers. The gangster said, “Good because we represent County Side Families M**********r.” Max knew there was a lot of gang activity in his district, but this was one gang he never heard of. Max replied, “Good to know I’ll be on my way now.” The four gang members ran off jumping over the fence onto the other side of the alley. He walked towards alley and saw the graffiti over the PSM tagging. It read, “CSF” in big red capital letters. Max didn’t think much of it.
He enters his home, and it reeks like body odor as if he went inside a cheese factory. Max saw his mother crying on her knees by the kitchen. He told her, “Mom, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” in an anxious voice. Fernanda said, “Nothing, son just go to your room everything is fine.” Max can see a bruise of his mother’s cheekbone and one on her neck. He said, “Mom, who did this to you?” in an angry voice as if he was going to explode. She sobbed with sadness and told Max, “I was mugged and beaten by a group of gang members wearing red clothing.” Max recalled seeing four boys vandalizing the wall in the alley. Max’s tears came out of his eyes and said, “Mom, I’m sorry this had to happen to you! Did you call the F****n police?” She replied, “No son, I don’t want to make things worse for us, they don’t help us at all.” He bawled with with rage and hugged his mom tight. They stole $310.00, a gold necklace, and purse. She got that necklace when she was 15 years old. That money was for rent, utilities, and groceries now it was gone. Max’s father saw Fernanda on the floor weeping and turned his head away sitting in his recliner chair watching television as if he didn’t care.
The next morning, Max got up and got ready for school. He was in a bad mood. In his mind, all he thinks about is retaliation. He was upset that the gang members robbed his mom. Max leaves his house. He walks into Bernard’s store and goes straight to the hardware aisle and didn’t notice the store clerk. He spots a pocket knife the size of a pencil. Max grabs the cutting tool. He sees the clerk, but this time it’s not Bernard it was a young man that might have been the age of 23. Max goes back to examining the knife and checks on the clerk again. As soon as the clerk turns around facing the gas pumps, Max quickly stuffs the blade into his jeans. He walks out, and the clerk says, “Have a good day.” Max ignores him.
Max enters school and goes to class. He hates school because he has no support from nobody. One time when Max was in 4th grade, he asked his dad for help on his math homework. Michael knew math pretty well because he always measured boards when he was in construction. Max went up to his father and ask for help. He got Max’s homework and glanced at the paper. The old man laughed like a corkscrew with his mouth wide open and had the stench of dog S**t. This is because it was multiplication and Michael was a genius in that subject. Max can recall seeing black stains on his teeth. He told Max, “Wow, you can’t do your time’s table kid? What are you stupid Maxi-pad?” Max was only nine years old and had trouble with mathematics. Micheal crumbled his paper and said, “Get out of my face, and ask your mom, I don’t know” and drank a sip of his beer. Max never forgot that moment.
During school, Max was hanging out on the benches. He has a few friends that hang out with him. One of his friend’s name is Anthony Gomez. He likes to smoke cannabis, and wear his headphones around his neck. They call him AG-Smalls because he loves to write music lyrics. Anthony had a lot of connections throughout West Highland because he had cousins that were affiliated with drugs and firearms. He has another friend named Demetrius Johnson, he is a ballplayer, smokes marijuana, and always shows off when it comes to the ladies at school. They all have one thing in common which is they come from West Highland District. They’ve all have been touch by criminal activity. A while ago, Demetrius was playing basketball with some people at the park, and like usual he was cocky. He was dunking and scoring over his opponents. When the game ended, one the of his opponents got infuriated because a teenager defeated him. So, he went into his duffle bag and pulled out a 9mm revolver. The man pointed the gun at Demetrius and demand that he give him his money and his Retro Jordan’s sneakers. Demetrius blacked out for a moment and gave him his wallet and his shoes. In the end, the robber ran away with $12.00 in ones, and a pair of pre-owned shoes.
Anthony also had a terrifying experience. He was walking down Baker Street which is three blocks away from Park Avenue. As he was walking on the sidewalk, he passed by a group of individuals that were up to no good. They pushed him and said, “Move punk B***h” they laughed and continued walking. Anthony wanted to wrestle them down, but he was outnumbered. Then, an SUV stopped at a stop sign that was 20 yards away from individuals. The SUV flashed its headlights and sped towards them. Then the thugs ran in the direction of Anthony. The front passenger came out of the window with a MAC 10 sub-machine gun that had a suppressor. Another one in the back seat came out with a Glock 17 pistol. A drive-by was happening. The car started shooting towards the group. Anthony yelled, “F**K!” and ran for his life down the street and jump over a chain link fence onto somebody’s property and hid behind the house. He heard gunshots fire as if he was in a war at Vietnam. The SUV burned rubber and drove off. Anthony was crying with terror and waited for 15 minutes. Anthony was trembling and walked towards the street where the drive-by happened. He saw three bodies on the floor full of blood and gun wounds. He walked away from the tragedy because he didn’t want to be apart of the predicament case. Anthony found out a week later that a kid had been murdered due to the drive-by. The child was only six years old.
After school, all of Max’s friends went their separate ways. Max’s still didn’t forget about robbery his mother encountered. He walked down the same route, but he went through a different alley to see if he can catch one of the CSF members off-guard. He took out his knife and unfolded it. Max slipped it into his back pocket. He had the blade ready in case he sees one of them. As he is walking through the alley and he spots two of them standing by the graffiti they tagged. A member had a long pony-tail with an oversized red shirt, black Dickies shorts, and black Nikes. The other one had a large white shirt with baggy blue jeans and red Nikes. Max knew what these gang members were up too. The location was a spot where drug activity was happening. The pony-tail gang member told Max, “Whatcha want boy?” Max was sweating profusely and said, “Nothing, man.” The gang member said, “Get the F**k out of here then B***h!” yelling at him. Max hesitated and reached behind his back pocket. Then the tough gangster said, “What you going do blood?” lifting his baggy shirt up exposing a firearm. Max paused and walked a few steps back. The criminal took out the weapon and pointed it at Max. He said, “Don’t be trying to F**K with us little boy or you going get blasted on.” Max’s heart dropped and he ran home as fast as he can. The crook laughed and took out a cigarette. Max had the intention to stab the gunman, but he was scared that he was going to get shot. He needed a better plan to get his revenge, so he went to Anthony’s house to see if he can do him a favor.
© 2019 Daniel Sanchez