This week, my dad came home. I missed him so much because he was gone for two years. That’s a long time to be without someone you love.
I am so happy that I finally got to hug him and touch him! He was just as excited as I was. He hugged me and lifted me in the air. I felt like a little girl again.
As happy as I am that my dad is home, I am also very worried. There is a lot of gang violence in Chicago, and he knows and hangs around people who are involved in that lifestyle. I am afraid that he might decide to visit friends in our old neighborhood, and he might get shot in the process.
At the same time, my dad is just as worried about me. I try to stay on the positive side of things and not get involved with negativity, but it is hard.
On July 25, I was walking on 57th and Halsted. I had on a shirt with a picture of my friend Endia Martin on it. A teenage boy got out of the car and stared at me. He yelled, “Bitch, what do your shirt say? F– Endia! If I had my gun, I would killed you!” He ran back to his car, and I took off running the other way. Later, I saw the car circling the block.
When my dad found out about this, he told me that I could not wear my shirt again. On one hand, I feel happy that he is here trying to look out for me again, but I still want to honor my friend. Actually, I am going to design another shirt to commemorate Endia and our friendship.
I guess we just have to live day by day and see what happens next.