A roadblock

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Taira is a misguided teen, struggling with her life at home, and life beyond high school. Things at home aren’t going right. She isn’t as well off as everyone else around her. She has something going for herself but a night out with friends could compromise everything. Her friends are the only thing she has that makes her feel like everyone else. She will have a decision to make and the wrong one could be ruinous.




A Roadblock


S.A Hullum


“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once” -Paulo Coelho.

I want this so bad I can taste it.  I’m a senior and I want OUT!

“Taira come to the front of the class and read your paper out loud please” Mr. Lexington said.

Oh shit, did I even write that? I looked through my unorganized book bag and found a blank piece of paper with only my name written on it. I stumbled up to the front of the class room as thirty pairs of eyes starred through me. Damn, I mean I wasn’t scared to talk in front of the class it’s just that the paper I had only had my name on it. I stood for twenty seconds looking at the clock and thinking of something quick to say.

“Taira….. Any day now…” Mr. Lexington said impatiently.

Okay, okay I got it. I held my paper up as if I was reading from it, “What does it mean to be successful? Does it mean having nice cars or big houses, having anything and everything you’ve ever wanted? Or does it mean having money by doing the thing that you love everyday and taking care of the people that helped you get there, making sure nobody has to go through whatever you went through. I think it means both, being successful is everybody’s dream. If it isn’t, you must have everything you want right now. I don’t so becoming a successful person is my only option. I’ve always wanted the best of everything and the fact that I can’t go out and just get it is irritating. It’s bad to be envious but damn how can you not when everyone how’s everything you want and they didn’t have to lift a finger. I want to work to get there but how do I do that? Graduating and going to college is the first step. Being successful comes at a price. Who’s going to remember what you wore or what you had in high school, at that twenty year reunion everybody’s going to be looking at what you have now….”.

“Taira!” Mr. Lexington loudly interrupted. “Is there anything written on your paper?” “No…”  Taira replied slowly.

“Have a seat Taira.”

The bell rung, finally it’s time to go home. Mr. Lexington is my speech teacher, and  man I hate him. He really is out to get me, I’m sure he doesn’t want to see me graduate. I walked to my car,

“Can I get a ride Taira?” this girl name Kendra asked.

 I replied softly “No, sorry I have to hurry home, I gotcha next time though” I lied.

 I wasn’t allowed to drive people home if they lived far from where I lived since I did not have my license. But driving home is the only way I’ll get there. Mom’s busy working all day everyday and my dad…. well let’s not get into that he doesn’t even live in the same household as me.

 I live with my mom two brothers and three sisters. Yes the house is crowded and yes unfortunately I’m the oldest. I have to clean, look after them and set a good example. I hate doing everything it’s irritating and a lot of work. I feel like a mother and I might as well be. But I’m not going to sit around and mope. I have an  idea of what I want to do, and that is to get out of here, graduate, and have a life of my own. Ugh why does it have to be so difficult, why can’t we all just be born successful? I laughed at the thought in my head. I was finally home.

“How was your day Taira?” My mom shouted as she saw me walk through the side door in the kitchen.

“It was fine mom.  I’m just ready to graduate.”

 My mom replied “I don’t want you to grow up too fast baby”.

Too late I thought. I was so mature for my age you would think I was married with 3 children.

I remember when I was younger and I had a dream that one day I was going to become a doctor. I was about ten years old and the thought was intriguing. When I went to school the next day after I had that dream and told my teacher what I wanted to be she laughed and told me that I meant that I wanted to be a nurse. A nurse? I knew the difference between the two. I couldn’t believe that she belittled me. I’ve seen a lot of black nurse but not very many black doctors. She must not have known  that I could differentiate the two.  I should have drawn a Venn-diagram to show her. I decided to let it go. But even at age ten, someone tried to crush my dreams. But everyday has been dedicated to her, to show her that I will become a doctor not “a nurse.”

It’s dinner time, but there isn’t anything to eat. My mom works all day and she pays the bills. Sometimes she’s able to get food, and sometimes she doesn’t. This is one of those “no food, search for some clam chowder and corn kind of days” a “If you’re lucky you might find 3 cans of spam  kind of day” after about thirty minutes of searching I found some rice and beans. Fixed dinner for me and the kids then called it a night. I hate living like this. I have to get out I have to do something for myself. It doesn’t have to be like this. I laid in my bed feeling sorry for myself, crying and sulking then eventually fell asleep on an unsatisfied stomach.

It’s Friday!!!! Yaaaay! Finally the day I’ve been waiting for, I hate going to school and today was going to fun. My friends and I were supposed to be going out tonight, and I just managed to scrape up enough money to go out somewhere. “Taira you never go out anymore” said my friend Dalia. “I know I just never really go anywhere anymore” I replied back to her. But that wasn’t the case I always wanted to go out I just never had the money or time to go. I was either watching the kids or I was just dead broke. There was no way around that.

The school day finally ended I was so excited. ‘I’ve been waiting for this all day!” I said excitedly as I got into the car with my friends. Dalia was in the driver’s seat and Kendra was in the passenger’s seat. I was in the back along with this boy from our school named Kevin. Kevin was so cute, but he was trouble. He tried to talk to me a few months ago when school started, but I wasn’t having that. I already knew what kind of guy he was and what he wanted. I don’t need anyone trying to ruin my life. But Kevin was Dalia and Kendra’s friend and they were always together. “Where are we going?” Kendra asked Dalia. She did not say anything for a couple of minutes but then she finally replied “Out.” I looked at Kevin, he was on his phone as usual.

We drove around the whole day. Nobody could decide on what to do. No movies, no going out to eat, what did these girls want to do? There’s only so much to do in Memphis Tennessee. Dalia pulled into a familiar mini store and parked. By this time it was dark. Around 8 o’clock at night. Kendra whispered in Dalia’s ear, then they both looked back at me and said “We need some money.” I pulled out my wallet and they start laughing. They got out the car and popped the trunk. Why did they laugh and what did they mean by that? They came back in the car with two handguns and 3 masks. I looked over at Kevin. He was outing on a mask of his own. They were black. Dalia handed me one. I looked around the car and outside of the car. Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I pick the worst kind of the friends? Did they really think they could get away with whatever they were “thinking” about doing? I said “Dalia what are we doing here?” as if I didn’t I already know. They wanted to rob this store, which was a dumb idea because this store was widely known for getting robbed, so police surveillance were always around the store. They were also known to keep a lot of money their safes. Dalia said” Shut the fuck up and put the damn mask on Taira damn!” My heart was beating way to fast. I felt like it was going to burst out of chest. I knew if we did this we get caught. I could forget about everything I’ve ever wanted to do in life because no one wants to hire someone with a criminal record. I’m 17 years old, 18 in a few months I don’t think I would be tried as a child. The only person I was thinking about while I was sitting there was my mom. I hated disappointing her. It broke my heart to think that this would break hers. I starred at the mask and said “I’m not putting it on”. Dalia, Kendra and Kevin looked at me. “I knew she wouldn’t up for this, she’s a lame” Kevin said. I’m lame because I don’t want to get into any trouble over some dumb stuff?  “FINE! Just stay in the car.” Kendra yelled. Kevin pulled out a handgun and the three of them went into the store. The store was loaded with all kinds of surveillance cameras. I didn’t want to be an accessory to the crime so I opened the door and began to walk home.

My phone’s dead and I’m about 20 miles from home. I start walking. I wonder if the made it out, or if they got the money. They are so stupid, did they really think they would get away with this. I walked home, by the time I got there it was 12 o’clock in the morning. The kids were asleep. Mom wasn’t home. Ugh why isn’t she here. I wanted someone to talk to. Should I call the police or keep my mouth shut? I was never the type to snitch but man this was ridiculous. I never thought they would be like that. They had money, what did they need more of it for? That’s too much risk. Kendra and Dalia have all to lose Kevin has nothing to lose. Kevin has been in and out of juvie almost his whole life and he hasn’t learned yet.

I went to sleep with a million and one things going on in my mind. What’s wrong with me? Maybe I should have gone with them. We did need a few extra dollars, it would really help mom out right now. But at what cost, What if they get caught. They lose the money and they lose their life. I had a hard time sleeping because I just couldn’t get these thoughts out of my head.

The next day I slept until 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon. That walk was excruciating. Never again man never again! My mom was finally home when I woke up. I tell her everything even though sometimes we don’t have the best relationship she’s the only one that takes care of me and  the only one that’s going to love me no matter what. I still didn’t think I should tell her what happened last night. But she knew something was up. She stared at me as I walked towards the kitchen,

“Taira how was your night?” 

I replied “It was good”.

She continued to stare at me but proceeded to talk about how her night at work went. As she was talking all these thought began to flood my mind, I busted out crying.

 “What’s wrong Taira, what happened?”

 I told her everything. She picked up her cell phone and dialed 911, I told her not to, I didn’t want my friends to get in trouble. But she called them anyway and told them everything I told her. I shouldn’t have told her that. Damn. Although I was relieved I was concerned about my friends even though they really didn’t have a care in the world for me.

Later on that day I was sitting on the chair in the living room, flipping through channels. The news was on. Dalia, Kendra and Kevin were on the news and all three of them were arrested and charged with armed robbery and 2nd degree murder. Oh my god! What did they do? My mom walked in the living room and told me to come with her.

 “Where are we going?” I asked her.

 “To the police station” she replied.

As we got in the car I looked out the window, as tears rolled down my face. My mom didn’t speak to me the whole time we were in the car. The police station was on was only 5-10 minutes away, but to me it felt like hours. It was taking so long to get there. When we finally got there I got out the car and turned to my mom, she said “just tell the truth and you will be okay”. We walked in and my mom talked to this lady at the front desk. A man walked up to us and introduced his self as Officer John Hardy. He then escorted me to a room where he said he would get my statement. We talked for about 3 hours. He told me that since I walked away, but I knew that they were going to rob the bank I could be charged with being an accessory to the crime. But the prosecutor said that she wouldn’t charge me with that if I testified against my friends. I was hesitant at first but I agreed. If I wouldn’t have testified all four of us would have been going to jail.


The trial was in three months.

 This was not the definition of due process. This trial wasn’t speedy. I continued to do my school work and stay on top of things, but it was hard because that trial was all I could think about. I wanted it to be over. It was hard to stay focused but my grades stayed consistent. Everybody somehow found out what happened and thought I was snitch.  So nobody really talked to me, but I didn’t mind it. It was cool. If I would’ve went on in there with them I would have been charged with murder. That hit me hard for a second, because although nobody liked me I’d rather be un-liked then to be in jail.

The trial was finally here and I was scared. I just wanted this all to be over. I cannot talk about a lot of details about the trial mainly because I can’t remember. But I can say that it was very scary. The prosecutor asked me all kinds of questions. Like did I know what they were about to do? Was I thinking about joining them? Did I know that they were going to kill the store clerk? Was it premeditated or intentional? I answered all her questions honestly. I didn’t know that they were going to kill the clerk and they never actually told me that they were going into the store to rob it. It was over. They pleaded not guilty but all three were found guilty and were all tried as adults. They were sentenced to 25 years to life with the possibility of parole. I felt so relieved when the trail was over. I was not going to let anything get in my way anymore. They have to wait 25 years to get their life started. I am so glad that I didn’t walk in that store with them that day.

Its graduation day and you could probably guess who’s here and who isn’t. As I sat in my chair next to 500 other graduates I could see my high school years flashing back in my mind. The graduation ceremony was outside and it was beautiful. I finally made it. The first part of my life is finished. I can’t go back now all I can do is move forward.

My mom surprised with me graduation party with enough cake to feed my whole neighborhood. There were lots of people they were all lining up to have their picture taken with me. I felt so loved. I looked around, family and some people from school were there. My mom came up to me and told me to have a seat. As I sat down, she remained standing. She then asked everyone to take their seats. The party was in a very pretty banquet room in the Hilton hotel. Everyone in the room sat down and my mom began to speak….

 “Taira I am so proud of you and I am so glad that you have been staying on track and that you have been an example to all your brothers and sisters. We haven’t had the best life but it hasn’t been the hardest. I will always love you and you have always been my rock, I could not imagine life without you.”

“Mom you have been my rock; I tell you everything, and I think that you are the best mom in the world, I don’t care if our life isn’t perfect because I know you try your best to keep me and my brothers and sisters out of trouble I appreciate you and always will, thank you.” Taira said.

 “Do you think you’re going to be okay going to college so far away?” Taira’s mom asked as she wiped the tears from her eyes.

 “Yes mom I’ll be fine. I’m your child I’m tough, I know what’s right, and what’s wrong. I know what to do and what not to do.” Taira replied while she smiled at her mother.

 “Okay, ugh I’m going to miss you so much.” Taira’s mother said smiling.

 “I couldn’t have done this without you mom”

“I love you Taira.”

“I love you too mom.”

I walked to her and gave her a huge hug.

All you have to think about is the consequences. I know that this isn’t the only roadblock life has in store for me. I won’t say I’m prepared but I’m up for the challenge.












Submitted: December 07, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Shonay15. All rights reserved.

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wow...amazing. I loved it.

Sun, December 7th, 2014 8:11pm

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