We were in the sixth grade and we walked
home from school together. We were big enough
to. It was safe then. I think it was safe then.
We had keys penned to our chests and we
could fix our own sandwiches. We were
big kids. Because little kids couldn't do
what we did. We were only half a block
away from our block and a boy who walked
home with us... I don't want to say his name.
Is his name important? His name is not important
now. But he pulled out a gun. And pointed
it at us. And we were big kids but not that
big. I remember I knew that we were not
that big yet. To point a gun at friends and yell
"hands up" like they did in the movies. She didn't
hold her hands up. I don't want to say her name. Her
name is not important. I did. I held my hands up.
I froze. I was obedient. I was afraid. I thought I was
going to die. She never held her hands up and I was
mad at her for that. And I thought she was brave.
She was the brave one. Not me.
He was mad at us. Or he was mad at himself. Or
at his own life. But he held a gun in his small hands.
His hands shook. And we did not die. She grabbed
my arm and said "let's go." And so we went. Slowly.
And I was still afraid I was going to die. And I thought
how easy and sad it could be to just disappear.