Photo: some rights reserved wolfpeterson
by D’Shawn Hackney
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in We’Ced Youth Magazine Issue #2
I was born June 23rd, 1995. My mom said I was a sweet baby. My mom and dad were happy I was in the real world, my grandmother was happy she had her first grandson so like most grandmothers she tried to give me everything. She told me that she would always hold me when I would cry. She said that I was happy when she would hold me.
When I was four, we moved to East Palo Alto. We were living in apartments, the projects. I thought it would be a good place to meet new friends, but no, I didn’t meet new friends. The kids around the projects there would always be mean to me and call me names. My mom told me they used to hand cuff me on poles and I remember one day this boy tried to take my red tricycle from me. I said no and I picked up the bike and threw it at him. I have to admit it felt good to stand up for myself.
[pullquote_right] I thought my mom was going to stay but she didn’t. I remember running down the street to try to find my mom but my grandmother comforted me, saying it would be ok. Shortly after she got me my first gaming system, a Nintendo 64. [/pullquote_right]
Months went by and the other kids weren’t messing with me anymore, but my parents were the ones fighting. It wasn’t so bad, they didn’t yell that much but one night, when I was six, they got into a huge fight. They were screaming so loud it woke me up. I went downstairs and I saw my dad hit my mom. He packed his bags and went on his way. I haven’t seen him since.
Afterwards, I moved in with my grandfather and grandmother. I thought my mom was going to stay but she didn’t. I remember running down the street to try to find my mom but my grandmother comforted me, saying it would be ok. Shortly after she got me my first gaming system, a Nintendo 64. I was so excited, it was the best thing I ever had! My grandmother was also a really good cook so she would always be cooking and I would be her little helper. To relax, my grandmother and grandfather would always smoke or drink.
When I was eight, she taught me how to ride a bike with no training wheels. When she would clean, I would help her out. She would always smile and say I was her little helper. Months went by and that’s when my mom came back for me. She was happy to see me but I wasn’t. I thought to myself, ‘why do you come now? It’s been months!’ But no matter what, she was still my mom and my grandmother didn’t like me talking back to her. I kissed my grandmother and hit the road with my mom.