On Wednesday of May 21, 2007 around 12:30 P.M, I decided to skip school and go home. It had been the worst day for me. I just wanted to skip and go home to rest for a little while because at 3 P.M, I had to go to a youth program called, “PNM.” I walked out of school, and headed home as if school was over for me.
My friend Sergio and I walked by Foss Park, and we saw another one of my friends, Rafael. I stopped and talked with him about girls and other random things. As we spoke, a stranger called my friend and asked him about Marijuana. He wanted to know if my friend had some. So when Rafael was speaking, a guy with a red hoody passed by and pretended that my friend said something to him. But Rafael didn’t really say something to him. Rafael and I were talking to a girl, and the kid came back with a group of his friends.
Sergio was very nervous. He was sweating and he looked like a little kid without his Mom, afraid of the darkness of his closet. The kid shouted dissing us and saying, “F*** you, Rafael you only say s*** when you are with your friends.” The kid kept screaming and saying, “Let’s bang on these kids” I told the kid that it would be fair if they fight one-on-one. So my friend got ready.
While my friend took off his backpack, another kid punched his face. That’s when I jumped in front of the kid and told him it wasn’t his fight. So the kid just backed off. I told Rafael to leave in a low voice. My friend shook his head as a sign of yes. We walked and then the kid blocked us. I said, “I don’t want to hurt anybody, grow up and keep walking.”
Then they hit my friend from the side, leaving him almost on the ground. I saw everybody rush into him, like little kids rushing into for candy when you break a piñata . I stepped forward and told my friend to stand up. I wanted to leave.
When my friend got up, we were surrounded by the groups. I didn’t really want to fight, but I guess I didn’t really have much of a choice.
This kid ran up to me, so my body reacted. I punched the kid on the face with all my strength. I saw the kid fall onto the ground and start crying. I looked around and another kid was coming straight ahead. My friend stood in front of me and swung at him, hitting the kid several times.
I was in shock. I felt everybody around me was passing slowly.
The instinct of my body moved my head, and that’s when my eye saw the kid putting his hand into his pocket reaching a kitchen knife. I clearly saw the knife, I turned my whole body and the kid just stretched his right arm. My body just moved backward as quick as I could. The knife barely reached my ribs. I felt like a boxer when they get hit and knocked out.
I could hear my own thoughts and everything around me was quiet. Even though there was noise, it felt so quiet.
Then everything just popped up fast. The noise was driving my mind crazy and I felt my blood passing on my skin. It was hot and I felt it like it was a river. I could hear the current. I could feel my heart beat faster than it was supposed to, but I didn’t really want to look down on the blood.
But I knew I was losing a lot of blood, and I would black out in seconds. I was out of breath so I had to take deep breaths.
I found an ambulance on Broadway leaving Kentucky Fried Chicken. I ran toward it and slammed at it. The driver looked at me frightened. He rolled down the window and said, “What happened?”
“I got hurt,” I said with my mind full of anger and crazy thoughts.
So they pulled me in the back. The ambulance driver was very nervous, shaking. He dropped a box.
I felt tired. My eyes felt heavy and I just wanted to close them. But I knew that if I closed them, I wouldn’t probably open them again. I kept my arm pushing hard on my wound. My arm was tired. It reminded me of El Salvador when I came back from working and I couldn’t lift my arm.
I was lying down in the ambulance car and I thought I was in my bed. As I was lying down, I was losing consciousness of the real world. I could hear the police officer’s voice but I couldn’t understand well what he was saying. The pain and loss of breath was driving my head crazy.
When we got to Somerville Hospital, they took me straight into a room. I was so embarrassed because a lady took all my clothes off.
When I saw my clothes as they were taking them off, I saw that all my brand new clothes were completely covered in blood, even my shoes. I realized I had lost a lot of blood and I was getting weaker.
They put in stitches, and then they asked me my Mom’s name and phone number. I didn’t really want my Mom to come to see me, so I gave them my brother’s number, but soon my Mom arrived.
While my Mom was in the waiting room, they took me out to a hall because they needed the room. They left me alone. I was in the hallway when the pain got really worse. I was running out of breath and I was really scared, trying to breathe. I panicked. I only thought one thing, and I said to myself, now I know how a fish feels when it is taken out of the water. It opens its mouth and it’s jumping, trying to get back to the water. I was doing the same but my body was heavy and my eyes just wanted to be closed. I didn’t see anyone around and. I felt more scared than I ever have before.
I am a person who doesn’t care a lot about God, I don’t pray. I’m not a believer. But in times like this, I pray to God to help me. All my thoughts were about my family, especially my Mama Savina. I was praying to God for strength to stay alive and for a second chance.
Soon, an ambulance driver drove me to Mass. General Hospital. When we got to Mass. General Hospital, they took me straight to the Emergency Room. I saw a lot of doctors and nurses running to the room. For a second, I thought I was in a movie, but then a nice Asian nurse told me that they had to make a wound and stick a tube inside to take the blood and air that was causing the loss of breath, because blood and air had gotten inside the lungs and were creating bubbles or flooding my lungs.
She said, “Don’t worry, everything is going to be okay. And soon you’re going to be out of this.”
As they were cutting me, a nurse asked me can you feel the anesthesia taking out most of the pain. And I looked at her and said, you didn’t inject any anesthesia.
She stood up surprise and looked, and said, “I’m so sorry!” She injected me. I felt something very sharp poking me.
Now at this point, I was running out of breath and I passed away. I fell deep asleep. My Mom said I didn’t scream and my body didn’t move when the needle poked my body. So she cried in silence and thought that I had passed away.
She said she ran to the chapel and prayed to God, with all her heart to protect me, and not to let me die.
She met a strange lady who asked her what was happening and my Mom, crying, said my son just passed away. The lady told her, “Your son is strong and he’s fighting for his life. He was just tired.”
My Mom went back to the room and asked the nurse, and the nurse said, I have never seen some one take the surgery like this. I fell asleep.
My Mom smiled with tears and thanked God.
The next day I awoke and saw my uncle, but I went back to sleep.
I spent a whole day sleeping, and around 12 P.M on Wednesday, I opened my eyes and saw my Mom smile with such happiness. My sister was asleep on a chair on my right side. They brought me food. And I was talking to my Mom. She was so happy that she didn’t ask questions about the accident.
I was so happy to be alive. I went to the bathroom and I got on my knees and thanked God for letting me live. I was embarrassed for my Mom to see me do that.
When I got out of the bathroom, I went straight to my Mom and hugged her. With tears in her eyes, she hugged me back and said that she loved me. And I said to myself, I’m going to make a better life this time for me and my Mom.
This experience showed me that I was lost in my path and that I had picked the wrong one in life. It showed me what a gangster life is all about. Even though there was a time when I liked gangs, I definitely know I’m not going to join one. And for those who are blind and don’t see, and think that being a gangbanger is cool, you are wrong.
Gangs change you. They poison your mind. You say you fight so people will respect you, but people will see you frightened, like a criminal.
Instead of that, you can make something of your life helping yourself and those who need your help.