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Courtesy of Rosanne Wickman
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A picture of the posters on the University Walkway.
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Visit the City Market to explore local vendors.
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Life, pain, determination


This pain I have runs deep. 

There have been times since the murder that I’ve sat in class and looked around at my peers and thought, “You have no idea what I’ve been through.”

It’s mentally, physically and emotionally tearing me apart. It’s like every day there is something that makes me want to quit, especially when those pains hit hard.

Thursday, Oct. 16 at about 9:30 p.m., I heard somebody banging on my door. At first, I thought I was dreaming. Then, I realized that my dream was really reality. 

I instantly became scared because being scared for my life is normal for a person like me. Not that my life is full of crime and drama, but it does surround me everyday. As a mother, life goes on, and I have to protect my child, so I make myself snap out of it real quick. 

I always call on God to protect us.

I go to my door, but there is nobody there. So, l look out the window, which overlooks the parking lot, and see my neighbor kind of running to his car. He must have noticed me looking out the window and decided to come back up to my door. 

As I hear him coming back up the steps, I also hear him crying. So now, not only am I scared, but I’m also confused why is he crying and what he wants with me. Like how can I help this man? I guess he could sense I was at my door because, at this point, he was standing there crying, saying, “He gone. Man, open the door. He gone.”

Much to my dismay, I didn’t know who he was, but my heart instantly dropped. My soul began to hurt, and it still hurts to this day. Although it wasn’t the man I thought I had loved, it was his brother, my brother, and the pain still resides in my broken heart. 

You know, death is never easy to accept. This one for me is no different. And going to the scene might have made it worse. 

I never really wanted to go. The day before his murder, a boy I went to high school with was killed a block over, and later that day, two other people were found dead in a house a few blocks away. The entire neighborhood is infested with drugs, crime and violence. 

Arriving to the block where the actual murders happened made you feel the essence of the devil. On one end of the block stands abandoned houses, and the other end reeked of fear. 

In the middle of the block where the murders occurred, you could see fresh blood from where a body once laid. 

I don’t know what was worse: seeing the smeared hand and footprints from the victim trying to escape or seeing my loved one on the ground trying to wipe up the blood from where the victim took its last breath. Inside the house laid two other victims, brain matter splattered next to their lifeless bodies.

At this point in my life, I have come to the realization that life will never be the same for me. You see, you may see the news and hear about our city’s crime rate and how it’s at a high. But for me, not only am I constantly reminded of what life is like, but I live it daily. No, I’m not glorifying the struggles of black girls like me, and no, I don’t want a pity party because you couldn’t walk a mile in my shoes if I gave you the instructions and still hold your head as high as I do. 

I just thought I’d let you know what the day-to-day is like for me.

R.I.P. to the victims: Larry Barnes, LaRona Jones, Brandy Jones.

[email protected]

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