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I hear another shot, living like this isn’t what I want. I’ve never really had a stable home, never enough having 5 siblings, and being the oldest I always feel like I’m the person who’s supposed to take care of them. Always forced to live on the streets where its cold there’s gang violence and I’m always putting my younger siblings safe first. Dads associated with gangs he barley is home he never pays attention to us kids any more last time I saw him he was followed by the police into our apartment all you heard is “come out or we are forcing our way in” and you hear “bang” it was another shot and the impact of the shot was so intensive it shook the whole room.
I woke up and grabbed my siblings and we hid under the blankets. trying my hardest to hold my tears back I sit there in the darkness and hold my siblings and promise them everything is okay.
My mum shes never home shes always out trying to do what she can to earn money, but dad takes it. He takes It to buy drugs. He’s never once provided for our family. I don’t want anything to do with him, he puts no effort into us and he puts us in this position. I’m only 12 I shouldn’t have to raise 5 kids by myself I’ve learned to provide for myself I deliver newspapers around the streets only $4 an hour but its better than the feeling of no food in your stomach that you feel sick.
My mum does come home more than my dad she always has dark black and blue bruises on her, tears falling down her face I ask her if she’s okay but all she tells me is “yeah I’m fine”. When she is out she sends mail trying to stay in contact with us it always has some sort of money I appreciate it. But I want my mum to act like my mum, not a lady who puts her body on display for money.
Tonight was different I was sleeping trying to ignore the yelling outside. I then hear a “bang” and then I hear kids crying I run into my siblings’ room and check and one of my siblings the youngest Jerome is missing. I freak out I grab my screaming siblings and sit there and hold them and I promise them everything is okay with tears dripping down my face. Then I hear “bang” its another shot my siblings screaming louder and louder but I’m trying to calm them down. My nana comes up the stairs, but she barely made it up her dragging and pulling herself up she can barely stand up. I spot blood dripping down her stomach. She said “I’ve been shot” I sit there, and I grab my siblings and make sure they’re safe and go over to ma and ask her if she’s okay. she said she’s not tearing falling down her face I watch her face slowly becomes whiter and whiter her eyes slowly shutting.
She’s not okay at all I ask her if she knows where Jerome is, she says “no way what’s happened” but as she finishes, she can’t finish her sentence she falls to the ground. I check if she’s breathing and she turns to me struggling and says, “you got to do this by yourself get the kids and leave” and as she finishes, she drops. her head bangs on the ground and she’s gone. She’s not breathing anymore I check her pulse repeatedly, but she has none she is pale. I feel tears dripping down my face onto her. I think to myself I got to be strong for the kids and push through.. I grab the kids telling them to stop crying but all I hear is screaming. I hear footsteps so I grab the kids and a blanket and jump out of the small window we have. One by one I hear the footsteps getting louder and louder people shouting I grab two of the kids left and I hid, I shut the window acting like there’s no one there. It’s dark the cold wind against my body, my siblings crying and hearing yelling and gunshots. I think to myself how I keep myself safe.
From school, I have a few friends’ houses just two streets away and I decide to make my way there, but I don’t know how safe. I’m thinking of the safe places I can walk that’s safer for the kids. I then remember this tunnel we used to go under to go to each other houses. I wipe the tears from my face and wrap my younger sister Bethany up. She’s crying. My younger siblings have been quiet now and there not saying anything. Suddenly the screams stop Bethany stops. everything is quiet I turn to my siblings and tell them “we have to be safe and stick together. It’s going to be hard but we have to work together and not give up when It gets hard, it’s not always going to be safe and we are going to have problems and we will hear and feel things we have never felt before
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