Student Gallery

Displaying 1-10 of 18 results.

Quanice by David
Posted by Angela Boston on February 01, 2018 at 1:01pm

Raining, like usual in Portland. This jacket is soaking and I’m breathing hard as hell because running from the cops isn’t as easy as people make it seem. Especially on 82nd where its uphill and way too busy, even for a foot race. I hit the corner on my left and up on to some dudes driveway. With the small window of time I have before they get around corner I ditched my airsoft gun in the flower bed to the right of me. It was filled with purple and yellow tulips. I hear footsteps hauling around the street sign onto Hancock St. and off 82nd. I see big ass gun barrels pointed at my 160 lbs. everything with nervously sweating fingers slicking up the trigger, so i stop and hit my knees. Now police dogs ordering me to get on the ground in dog and the dog in the house of this driveway behind me is barking too. My mind can barely comprehend the situation I’m in because how brisk everything started. i know I robbed a man earlier today, I know I’ve been scraping things together for myself since I ran away, I know I’ve been through more than I portray in my demeanor, but only because I’m purely and proudly strong. I couldn't fathom letting anyone see me week. I’ll be damned if I give anyone the satisfaction of seeing me vulnerable. Should I start running again? I have no clean exit I could hit, besides ol boy looks like he just as if not more frightened than I am and I’m the one with multiple guns pointed at my face. Must means he knows what I know.

 

I know that my black intimidates. My black is superior. My black is brighter than the hate. Hate that stems from a fear of not understanding something you know nothing about. Sometime I have taken advantage of that, sometime I have abused that power. Whether it be my choice or not. There is no easy way out of this dilemma of mine, it comes down to the hard or the harder decision. Do I break for it or do I take my fate as it is presenting itself to me, becoming another ‘new slave’ statistic inside the cold bars even though I have a brain filled with diamonds, a heart of gold and a personality that could slap a grin on the grim reaper. As I’m putting my hands down to go to my stomach and take my fate as it presented itself, I’m hit with a different statistic that is no stranger to my community either 3 bullets hit my body. One in my forehead, one in my rib cage and one in my torso.

 

My mind has never raced this fast. I’ve never seen things the way I see them now, simply because it will be my last time seeing anything. My book is at its last page and I feel like I have a lot more writing to do. It’s like when I used to have reuses as a child, it was only 20 mins of   releasing all my frustrations and worries (even though I really had no care in the world), I felt like it would never end. All good things must come to an end and all bad thing will stay and wither themselves in their own self-hatred. I can feel my name being written in blood red on the February 9th page of all my loved ones books of life. I see all my memories playing out in the blood spilling down the driveway in front of me. That must be from the bullet in my head; letting go of everything I’ve learned throughout my 17 years living among the masses. Every lesson, every person, and experience I’ve had. I just want my mama to know I love-

 

 

The guns was still smoking as I look past the barrel and see the kid lying in front of me bleeding out. One of my fellow officers standing at the bottom of the driveway and another in the backyard and I could hear him running through grass to check if I’m okay. Then they see him lying there. I tell them he lunged at me while reaching in the small of his back, so I fired my weapon for the sake of myself and them. “ I don't know what he would have did if I would have let him finish his movement” is what I told the judge as everybody from Quanice’s family and friends to the jury while they stare at me like I killed one of their loved ones. We've been looking for this kid for about a week because we suspected him as a suspect multiple robberies earlier this week. He had even been warned not to walk around with this airsoft gun like it was a real one. Especially because it has no color tip which makes it almost impossible to know that it is a airsoft gun from far away. Other officers got to the scene and I explain the situation. I'm sweating and my mind is racing because killing someone isn't as easy as people make it sound in songs and it’s definitely not like the movies. He might not have had the right guidance or maybe he had no guidance at all but It's not my job to find criminals in their call for help, in their need for a second chance but more to protect the one that can find there way without being in my way.

 

As sad as it may be I would have done it again because I was trained in the academy to do what I did. I told the judge the same thing, but People think this is what I wanted, that’s not true. I’m not in the force to take lives. I want to protect but I’m not a babysitter and I can’t be one in the circumstances of my job. If I could change the way things ended with the kid I would but… I’m just doing my job.

 

 

As a friend of Quanice Hayes and a logical thinking person who can put myself into other people's shoes, I understand both sides. One side maybe more than the other because of my personal relationship but I understand. Everybody goes through different things, things that sculpt their demeanor, things that make them think the way they do which reflects on to how they react to obstacles. This officer knew he was dealing with a troubled teenager who didn't have a secure home from previous run ins with Quanice. They were not strangers according to the officer. In the same since Quanice knew what he was doing was wrong but I have more insight on his life from a personal standpoint. If you had went days without eating, if you see people you loved struggling to keep the roof over your head just to have it taken from them and if you had to brush your teeth with your fingers and toothpaste, what would you do? So this is an example of ignorance at its finest, from both parties. Hell of an example, huh? It brings things to light that we wouldn’t be able to see without it happening in our faces. I hope we can all look into the light to brighten our future together as a country, as the human race period.

Finding my Self-Confidence by Kat
Posted by Angela Boston on January 29, 2018 at 3:08pm

When I was younger, I struggled a lot with my self-confidence. I worried about people's opinions and I wanted acceptance from others. When I was about seven years old, my dad began commenting on my weight. I wasn't fat at all, in fact I was really tall for my age and I was athletic, but his comments made me believe I really was fat. As the years went on, the comments became more harsh and rude. He began calling me fat in front of other people, and embarrassing me in front of friends and family members. He would say things like "you shouldn't wear clothes like that" or "you should skip this meal" or "suck in your fat". His comments really hurt me and they affected me greatly.

 

When I started middle school, I started to gain a little weight. As most kids who go through puberty, I put on a few pounds due to hormones and stress. The kids in school started to notice that and the comments began. I was called fat and chubby all the time. I started getting bullied by my peers, even the teachers made comments that made me feel uncomfortable. I would come home and sit in my deathly quiet room and I hear the echoes of their comments in my head, over and over again. As if someone was just constantly shoving them into my brain. I could hear all the girls giggling with their whiny little laughs and saying "no wonder she doesn’t have any friends!" I could see the side glares and the eye rolls and all the pointing. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt! The bullying gave me a lot of hate for school, even though I was a really smart kid and I loved learning. I was even in the honors society. I began skipping school and my grades were dropping quickly. Soon enough, I dropped out of middle school. In my two years of middle school, I was probably only in class for half of the time. I wasn’t telling anyone about my problem because the kids who bullied me were popular and smart, and all the teachers loved them. And I knew they would be in shock if I told them who was causing me issues. My mom was tired of hearing me cry into my pillow every day after school and she went to talk to the principal. Of course, they were shocked to hear that such wonderful kids were picking on someone like me. To my surprise, the school didn’t do ANYTHING about my bullying problem. They just said that they will look out for the problem and they will try to make sure it didn’t happen again, but of course, it still kept happening. That’s where I really started losing hope.

 

Soon enough, high school had begun. I made the choice to come to KPA because my attendance was really bad and my grades weren't great either. I didn't really have any friends at this point, so I was kind of a loner and I was pretty quiet when it came to class time. I met some people throughout the year, but I wasn’t like them at all, I felt like an orange among a group of apples. The summer after ninth grade was pretty bad for me, I began starving myself. I was tired of looking at myself and hating everything I saw. I was tired of seeing skinny and perfect celebrities who looked beautiful and happy. I knew that starving myself was a bad idea, but I did it anyways because I knew it would make me skinnier. I lost about 70 pounds in the course of 3-4 months. My collar bones were sticking out about 2 inches from my body, my ribs were all visible and  my stomach began to concave on itself, it looked like I had a valley in my body!. My family really started to worry about me, my grandma would make my family a meal when we would come over and I would sit by myself on the couch while everyone ate, but I didn’t care because I was doing what I thought would be better. September came along and everyone noticed my weight loss. I heard comments like "you look so good now!" which honestly made me feel like sh** about myself knowing they used to think I was ugly, but I certainly got a lot of attention from people.

 

Even though I was already pretty skinny at that point, I continued starving myself. I began to look very pale and sick. Every time I got new clothes, I would have to get new clothes a couple weeks later because the new clothes were already too big on me. At that point of my life, my dad was no longer a part of my family and my parents divorced. It helped me emotionally because my dad was verbally and physically abusive to my family and I, and it felt like a load had been taken off my family's shoulders.

 

One day, after school, I was standing by myself waiting for the school bus, I noticed a small group of people talking about 6 feet away from me. They kind of kept looking over at me and then eventually one of them said "Hey! Come Join us!" I felt hesitant at first, but I decided to walk over to them. As I approached the group, I was greeted with a few Hi's and Hey's. I felt welcomed, and I hadn’t felt that way in a long time when it came to students and peers. I was asked for my name so I introduced myself and told them a little bit about why I was at KPA and what high school I went to before. I learned most of their names, and this one guy introduced himself, his name was Davis. He looked really friendly and I wanted to know a little more about him. As our conversations went on, the bus showed up and we had to end our chat and get on the bus. I got onto the bus and found a seat in the back, and there was someone who wanted to sit by me, it was Davis! We talked the whole ride home about literally anything we could think of. We happened to have a lot in common! He asked for my number and my snapchat and that was the end of our conversation, his bus stop was up next. We talked quite a bit that day and we ended up becoming really good friends.

 

Davis and I made sure to support each other. We like to just in on each other and making sure the other person was having always having a good day, and if they weren't, we always tried to make it better. This really helped me. I actually believed that someone cared about me. In my sophomore year, Davis and I started dating and honestly, it was probably the best decision I made. He told me that when I starve myself, it really hurts him. Hearing him say that greatly affected me, and I stopped starving myself.  He tells me I'm beautiful every day and he loves me for who I am. My mom also talks to me at times and asks me how I am doing physically and emotionally, and it really helps me.  Knowing she supports me and cares about me really means a lot.

 

 I now have confidence in myself, and I believe in myself and my future. This challenge that I faced, only made me stronger as a person. I like myself the way I am, and I wouldn’t change anything about myself. Davis makes sure I eat every day, and that I am healthy, and his support helped me take better care of myself. Support from others is very important to me. And I believe it can help lots of people out there. If I know someone who has difficulty with themselves or they don’t have confidence, I try and make sure to tell them that I care, and that it shouldn’t matter what people think about you. No matter what they say, you are an amazing and beautiful person and there are people out there who love you and care about you for who you are. If there is anyone who tells you anything different, screw them, because at the end of the day, their comments and opinions don’t mean sh**!

The Carnival by Jasmine
Posted by Angela Boston on January 29, 2018 at 2:52pm

I have only one happy memory before I became independent, before I went to a shelter, after I left my mother's home… I am 16 now. This memory was when I was 13.

 

"You about to come or what?" Esmeralda said, my cousin, while I packed my clothes.

"Of course, I'm coming." I told her as we both walked out into the living room, it’s small but it makes you feels just at home with the comfy leather couch and a beautiful red and creamy carpet and photos on the walls. We walked from the living room out the front door and we got into my aunt’s blue ford expedition in front of the apartment.

‘You guys ready? Do you have your belts on?” My Aunt Cari tells us this before we leave she has always done this. My four cousins and I all had gotten into the car, my oldest cousin Esmeralda sat in the front with her mom, the youngest Odette sat in the middle seat in her car seat, my cousin Paco who is the same age as I sat on the right by the window, then my cousin Jeydi the middle child  sat in the far back. My Uncle was at work so we have no choice but do what we have to go do without him. Anyway, we started driving the plan was to go to Walmart get what we need and try not to be out too late so my aunt could get home and cook for my uncle, in most cases things do not go the way you've planned it. Yes, we did make it to Walmart and we did  get what we need with plenty of time but as we were driving home the sun was setting and from a distance we started seeing some bright lights towards the Federal way mall as we got closer and closer what finally came to view was a Ferris wheel. All our faces glowed with excitement and we just had to ask all at once to my aunt, “Can we please go!” Eventually she said yes of course, as we pulled up it turned out to be a big parking lot and half of it was for the rides and stands. To me it was so beautiful, I was amazed I had never even been to anything even close to a fair or carnival and now I was standing 5 feet away. 

 

At last we were all walking towards this fair like place, the ticket stand was on the right with only a woman in it with red tickets in her hands and as we got closer we could smell popcorn with a pinch of sweet mixed in the air, we turned to see where it was coming from and on the left to the ticket stand was all the food. They had elephant ears, popcorn, corndogs, kettle corn and even cotton candy all lined up. Besides the food we finally got our tickets and we stepped inside the area to the right there were all the mini game stands but towards the end there was a small house maze for kids as well. In the center of everything was a big slide blue in the center then green and red on the sides. Towards the left and back of the whole area was the real fun, rides where people were in the air up, down, side to side and even upside down.

 

  Our first thought was to go on the Ferris wheel and that is exactly what we did, Paco and Esmeralda and Me of course. The Ferris wheel was big but not as big as the one in the Puyallup fair, it was mostly red and the seats were shaped like hot air balloons in a way and they would move back and forth if you moved at all. The Ferris wheel took us all the way to the top then it stopped. The view was really amazing it wasn’t much because it was the view of the center of federal way where the mall was, the mall was straight ahead and the transit was to the left but still amazing with the air blowing lightly on this summer evening. We went around 2 more times before it was time for us to get off.

 

  Now we just needed to see what to do next, we went to the ride next to the Ferris wheel and that one was crazy to me. I cannot recall the name of it but we would sit straight forward and as we stared straight ahead this ride took us counter clockwise and clockwise up and down, it felt as if my heart went down to my stomach it was the first time I had felt the adrenaline pumping and it was fantastic. After a few more spins in the air we were done, we had gone on a couple more rides that went up and about but the last ride we got on was the one I remembered the most. My cousins and I were in line and the person who would normally take our ticket didn’t so lucky for us of course. We got in and the ride started going it was 2 egg shaped things that we get into and they start rotating in a way that we end up upside as if we were inside a yoyo. As we got to the top where we were upside down my cousin Paco would start yelling “Again! Again!” So that is what happened the guy kept taking us up and about repeatedly. It had gotten to the point where I felt we had been upside down more times than straight down but it was fun.

 

  Finally, it was dark out we had gone on as many rides as we could before we had to leave. Once it was time to go we met my aunt at the entrance she was with my youngest cousin Odette and Jeydi they both had some glow in the dark swords that they had been selling at the stands. Everyone with smiles on our faces walked straight to the car. Paco asked his mom “Can we go get some pizza? I’m hungry.” She said, “Fine but we need to get enough for your dad as well.” We had picked some pepperoni and Hawaiian pizzas from little Caesars and drove straight home after that. We all sat together as we ate, I enjoyed this moment while it lasted because it was one of the last moments we would have for a while because as this night ends a new day will start and when that new day begins I will start on a new path on my own living in a shelter until I am able to leave so I will appreciate this day always.

I don't know by Skyler
Posted by Angela Boston on January 29, 2018 at 2:50pm

In June of 2016 I was attending Kentwood high school. About three weeks before the school ended I got suspended for the rest of the year. My dad said that if I wasn't going to try hard in school then I would have to get a job and pay rent. If I refused to do either, then I would need to find somewhere else to live. That night, instead of packing my bag and walking right out the front door, I decided to go through my window because I knew my mom would try to stop me and that would just escalate the situation. I packed a small black backpack I grabbed clothes, a hair brush, some deodorant, perfume, and an extra pair of shoes. I had also grabbed a small little black leather purse that had about 50 dollars in it and my earbuds, Zune charger and my Zune, in case you don’t know, a Zune is a Microsoft music player that is no longer created.

 

At first I attempted to take my screen out of the window but I was not strong enough. I got frustrated and sat down for a little, after about ten minutes I had an idea.  I took a blade out of my pencil sharpener and cut the screen so that I could get out. I threw my bag into the bush outside of my window then I got onto the seal and as I got both legs out I fell into the bush, the branches breaking underneath me and scratching my body. My hoody got stuck, but I got out of that sticky situation.  Then I closed the window so that my cousin who I share a room with didn’t freeze while sleeping and I just left, not knowing exactly where I was going to go.

 

Besides the occasional breezes it was surprisingly really warm outside, as I grabbed my bag to put it on, the zipper began to unzip because all the clothes were just jammed inside. As I closed the zipper, I could hear the sound of frogs croaking and crickets chirping, two sounds I had never heard together.  Suddenly, I notice the light of my bedroom flick on so I began to run up the hill away from my house.  Adrenaline was rushing through my body, giving me the strength to run faster then I normally do. Finally I got to the end of my mobile home park and I began to slow down, the adrenaline no longer in my system. Breathing heavy, I tried to catch my breath and calm myself. As I'm standing there taking a small break I knew where I could go, my friend Nic always said if I ever needed a place to stay for a few days I could go to him. My body was aching, but I kept pushing through the darkness of the night taking one step at a time.

 

I was walking for what seemed like forever, taking my school bus route to Covington Washington. As I got to the final street lights a the way became pitch black, I didn’t bring my phone with me because my parents have a tracker on it, therefore I didn’t have a flashlight. As I kept walking, the route became darker within each couple steps. Big trees surrounded both sides of the windy road that had no street lights, my heart began to race as I thought of everything that could be out there that I would not be able to see. As I was walking I heard footsteps behind me and rustling around me, but there was no one there and no breeze in the air at all. My hands were shaking from terror as I remembered all the scary movies I had seen over the years.

 

As I got more and more frightened I found one single flashing red traffic light and sat close to it on the cold rough ground, still hearing noises I began to cry. I pulled my Zune out to check the time but then realized the date was wrong and so was the time. I whipped my tears and got up, I turned up the brightness and used it as a light to guide my way through the dark still scared of being killed or taken. My body trembles and I cry some more, I could feel my heart pounding fast and my whole body shivering. The darker the night got, the colder it became. There was no clouds in the sky and the moon was very small and dim not giving off much light. I kept walking until I got to where the big cream mansion was, just a few blocks from the school. Even though I was freezing and crying, this gave me hope and I kept going.

 

As I kept walking a big SUV passes by, blinding me with its headlights, I thought nothing of it and kept walking to my destination. Suddenly that same SUV was heading back my way and stops next to me, the people inside rolled down their window. It was a girl and her brother, the women asked me if I was okay, I replied with a yes and then she asked how old I was then I responded with my age. As I kept explaining to them what I was doing and why. they offered me a ride, I decided to trust these strangers and hopped in the back seat. The two continued asking me questions and I kept answering with all honesty. They dropped me off at the school, I changed from my basketball shorts into some jeans to try and keep warm.

 

As the sun began to rise I started walking down to Nic's house. My stomach began to ache as it growled at me out of hunger. When I finally got to his house, I was relieved that he was home. Nic let me inside and let me shower as he made me something warm to eat, the shower and the meal felt amazing. The scent of food filled the room, the warmth from the house made me feel fuzzy inside. He let me sleep in his bed and I was so happy to lay down on something that wasn’t hard and cold, as I lay there I realized how much I missed my room, my family, my bed, warm food and blankets and so much more. When Nic's parents got back I had asked them to take me home and so they did. At first I was scared to go back… to face my parents, I walked inside crying and apologizing, my father took me into his arms and the first thing I felt was comfort then safety like nothing could hurt me anymore. I was… home.

 

Since that experience, I haven't once thought of leaving again. I don’t exactly know what, I would do without my family being here for me. The only thing that I can say, is even when your family makes you mad or bugs you a lot shrug it off. Tell them you love them, show them appreciation because they actually do a lot for you. Don’t give up your family for the world because I can guarantee that you will miss them and it'll be your biggest regret.

 

 

 

 

 

My Grandma's Crazy by Jessica
Posted by Angela Boston on January 29, 2018 at 2:49pm

 

When people think of grandma they think of a loving warm house with plenty to eat and a sense of security. My grandma is different, she looks like a normal elderly woman, grey hair, wrinkly skin, and that nose-filling "grandma" smell, but her mind is odd with what she believes in. When I think of grandma, I think of aliens, bigfoot, conspiracy theories, and biggest of all, the strong belief my grandma has for those things. My grandmother has traits of a normal loving grandma, and will come home from taking pictures on her daily walk and make you hot soup which you love and shows you pictures she had taken. Only they aren't landscape pictures or what you would normally expect, its glares in a picture she had taken of the Sun with the sky as a background and she says, "See that there?", *pointing at a glare in the picture from the Sun* "That's an alien." Now see as a child with all the wonderful make-believe filling your mind you think wow that's cool! Except, it was just kind of spoiling my young mind to believe that fiction is the truth. She would even go for a stroll in the woods or a thicket to take pictures and say as thick-skulled as she is that a tree branch in a photo is big foot. I mean she didn't even believe in going to the dentist either because she thought that the dentist would put some device in her mouth like a GPS or a recorder to record the information she spoke so the government could track her every move, not to mention she was terrified of people putting their hands in her mouth. I was told by my dad when I was young that she had gambled away her money from the time she could to this very day, eventually she was homeless and putting her own children on the street due to her addiction. With that in mind she would live off the government getting food stamps, healthcare, and whatever else she needed, but she didn't like using the government's approved facilities for her healthcare needs or even food to a certain extent. This is my grandmother who is also deathly ill right now.

 

Due to her insane beliefs, she won't take medicine from the doctors because she believes she is smarter than the doctor and maybe the medication will make her worse because "it's not the right diagnosis". At the hospital, they have shown my family and I that because she won't take her meds she doesn't have long to live. Her skin is now yellow and you can almost smell the death coming from her. I'm not too sad about it though considering she was a horrible dysfunctional mother to my family because of her looney self, and she hasn't really done anything with me besides try to convince me these things she believes are real. It's just kind of sad her beliefs in these things have dug her such a deep hole in the ground about 6-foot deep. *pause* Aliens, bigfoot, and conspiracy theories symbolize my grandma because it has literally defined almost all of her and all of her life decisions which has put her literally soon to be to her grave. It's not like I don't care about her, it's just my view of my grandma differs from your view of "my grandma", and I think that is just alright.

Plessy vs. Ferguson by Carla
Posted by Angela Boston on January 29, 2018 at 1:43pm

Racism as we know it today is on the verge of combustion, soon to be an imploding mass of a possible world war III. We do not stand up for what we believe in, but rather sit down with our mouths sealed shut. There is no explanation for a distancing youth in our outbreak through racism, other than the mere fact that we sometimes allow things to happen.

Take for instance, the Plessy vs. Ferguson case. A truly eventful and history changing event which caused a turmoil within the Supreme Court. From this case, the infamous "separate but equal" movement emerged. This was perhaps the most ignorant "movement" ever to be established. Stemmed from a half black and white man fairly purchasing a first class ticket on a Jim Crow car, took his seat, and was soon prodded at for being half African American. His refusal was what began a revolution, thus breaking a law in its wake.


It was a warm day in Louisiana, June 7th, 1892. There was a serene atmosphere enveloping just about every corner of the streets. Homer Plessy, a free man of color mixed with white and black blood, walks along the road with his belongings following suit. It appears nothing can tarnish this plausibly relaxing day. The man proudly walks up to a booth, purchasing a highly expensive first class ticket. No one questions the man, in fact; in the process of purchasing the first class ticket there is nothing but respect. In the attributions of looks, Homer looks the least amount of black possible. Therefore, situations like these became more likely than not as he himself classifies himself as white. The Committee of Citizens had previously asked Plessy to violate Louisiana's Separate Car law, so this step had been the easiest of them all.

 

However, once he boards the train and finds himself seated upon a vacant white only seat, he takes no notice to the eyes that follow him eerily. The train ticket conductor appears besides him, overlooking his ticket. "Why good sir, do you happen to be a colored fellow?" Such an odd question indeed, but the words of a privileged and uncomfortable white man spring into the once quiet train. Homer overlooks the crowd of bright hazel, blue, green, judgmental eyes. "Why yes, I am. But I am also 7/8 white. The 'blacks only section' isn't for me." he answers, and immediately as suspicions are confirmed does a hushed whisper of blasphemy roam the crowd.

 

You could almost feel the heat of the situation grow progressively irritable. A group of white men hover above the man, the conductor growing increasingly impatient. Homer is defenseless, but refuses to rise. "Off that seat this instant, you colored folks aren't 'spose to be in our section" urges a grumpy old man. "I classify as white, you cannot deem me unfit for a seat." Plessy retorts, standing his ground, or rather sitting. Up to now it had been all words, but once the law is mentioned and Plessy is threatened to be arrested, the man insists. "Oh please do." Thus, beginning the revolt against the Jim Crow law. 

Blinding Sunsets by Kate and Katie
Posted by Angela Boston on January 29, 2018 at 1:42pm

 A young couple is laying on top of the roof of the young woman's dad's truck at the edge of the road facing out to the field as the sun sets. Aileen looks through the woods to the river blissfully, her jeans ripped at the knees and covered in many colors of dried paint. She wears a black shirt covered in splattered paint that fits her hourglass figure nicely. Solaris, a tall, thin, tan young man is wearing boot cut jeans and a loose plain black shirt with a pair cowboy boots. His straight black hair is pulled back in a ponytail with a straw hat atop his head.

 

"What’s it look like out there tonight?" her pale blue-gray eyes unfocused as she looks toward the young man, not being able to see the sun fade into the water.  Solaris pulls Aileen close as the wind starts to blow, and he looks out at the sunset with his dark almond colored eyes "It’s brighter than last weekend. The sun is a darker orange and the sky is a dark blue-purple fading into a pink-orange. The sun looks like its fading into the horizon.".  "Is the water bright and colorful or dark and mysterious?".  She smiles, wrapping both up in a handmade unmatched quilt. "It’s both mysterious and bight the colors of the sunset and shifting on the water and the water closer to us is dark blue almost black" Solaris sighs softly while smelling the cold crisp autumn winds. They sat together, quietly, as the sun faded below the horizon and twilight began to fall across the rippling water.

 

"Do you think I'll ever be able to see the sunset?" Aileen whispers blissfully, her wavy dark auburn hair flowing out of her loose braid as the wind blows.  Leaves were rustling around them. Solaris smiles as he folds the quilt up and hands her a soft jacket. The nearby river ripples quietly in the background. "Ya can do anything your heart desires and with the way technology is advancing ya'll be able to see not only the sunset but all your paintings and the world around ya too. I won’t give up on ya either.".

 

As she slides off the truck, Aileen stumbles slightly as her bare feet hit the wet ground "Wait where are you taking me?" she wonders as he takes her hand and begin leading her away from vehicle. Solaris smirks and kisses her check as he stops close to the water's edge. “Step forward slightly.” he directs her. As she steps forward, the cold-water brushes over her feet. Aileen shrieks, and jumps closer to Solaris as her toes are soaked in the icy cold water. "What was that?!?" she asks in surprise. She laughs slightly and looks in his direction with her eyes wide open and a soft smile upon her lips.

 

He chuckles lightly "That'll be a river". The smell of the woodland breeze washes over them, leaving their noses cold and their cheeks flushed. The cold water washes over her feet again and she stumbles backwards, falling into the leaves "Why is the river so cold?". Solaris smiles while helping her up and brushing the dirt off her "It's only warm during the day when the sun is blaring down on your back." he tells her as he starts leading her back over to the truck.

 

She smiles and follows him "Do you think you can help me paint it again?" she asks. "Of course, but we otta to be gett'n ya home before your pa gets mad." he responds, smiling as he helps her into the truck. He buckles her up and gives her a soft kiss on the lips before closing her door. Solaris gets into the driver's side, turns on the truck, and carefully backs it up before turning around and driving away from the now midnight blue sky on the winding dirt road.

 

"Do you think he'll let you stay later than last time, right?" she wonders aloud. "It is already later but do ya really want me there?" he says teasingly. "Course I'll stay with ya as long as your pa says its ok.". She smiles, lays back, and closes her eyes while yawning softly "He's gonna say yes.". Solaris pulls the quilt onto her and keeps driving "Ya should sleep. I'll wake ya when we get to your house and I'll carry ya inside too.". He pulls off his hat and places it next to him. Then he holds Aileen's left hand with his right hand while holding the steering wheel with his left. She nods and slowly falls asleep wrapped up in the quilt.

 

As the night grows darker, and they [get closer] to home, out of nowhere another car rounds the corner of the dirt road. There isn't enough time to stop the collision, especially with the other driver not paying attention and speeding as well. Solaris quickly puts his arm out against Aileen to keep her from getting extremely hurt. He tries to slow the truck by slamming in the brake pedal and swerving so that the driver’s door is closer to the oncoming car in order to keep the impact as far away from Aileen as possible. The impact is so intense that he's slammed into the dash with excruciating painful force. The sounds of metal on metal, glass shattering, and screams all drown out each other with their own separate pitch. Aileen’s ears ring from the impact of the whiplash and her head hitting the door of the car. As she looks around, disoriented, she hears her dad's voice as everything turns dark.

 

Aileen wakes up suddenly.  She feels the heat of the sun on the back of her neck.  Carefully she lifts up her neck and opens one eye at a time. All that is visible is blackness.  Disoriented, she stretches out her hands to feel around her.  Her soft pillows are strewn amongst the bedsheets.  She breathes in heavily, the vivid memory of her dream still fresh in her mind.  As she swings her legs out of bed, she hears a familiar voice calling to her. “Morn’ darlin’”.   

Lesson Learned
Posted by Angela Boston on January 29, 2018 at 11:48am

In September of 2006 my dad brother and I had planned on going to the skate park by our house. My dad said, "both of you go get your things ready to leave in 5 minutes" I was so happy that I could finally leave the house to go and play, because I pretty much just left the house to go to school, the store, and my grandpas, etc. I was so tired of being at the house all the time so whenever I was able to leave I was kind or hyper. Right after my dad had said that, I ran straight to the garage opened the door, I had struggled to pick up my bike, I carried it up the three steps back in the house and then walked to the front door, after I set my bike down in the drive way I hopped onto my bike and put my helmet on, while my dad and brother got their skate boards from under their beds. They walked out of the house one after the other and put their boards down, “stay on the sidewalk until we get there” my dad said. My brother had quickly put on his helmet, because our mom always wanted us to wear them. My brother and I had followed my dad to the skate park that was a couple blocks away from our house. When we were on the sidewalk there was leaves all over they were red, orange and yellow the colors had mixed nicely together, and a couple minutes later we had arrived at the skate park, the boys had started to skate. A couple years later I had learned how to, and I still skate a lot. I didn’t know how to skate back then, so I just rode my bike around and the path that went around the park.

After a while of riding around in a big oval around the park I had gotten bored, so I had started watching them skate, they had slowly moved to the other side of the park, I was too lazy and a bit out of breath to ride to the other side, as a result of that I couldn’t see them very well and I didn’t have glasses so they were kind of blurry, so I had started rolling forward on my bike to get a better view of them but apparently, the front wheel had gotten to close to the edge of the drop off, the tire had started to fall off of the edge it felt like every ting was in slow motion, I was getting closer to the cement that was right beneath me. I had quickly closed my eyes right before I had landed. I fallen right on my face, my chin had split open from the impact and there was a lot of blood, it was all over my face, clothes and the ground, I had very slowly picked myself up from the ground with my weak arms. I had reached up to my chin to see how bad it was when I had felt that part of it was hanging from my face I had started crying I yelled “dad, Miah come here!” they both ran over to me and left their boards where they were just skating, my dad had told my brother to give me his shirt, so I could use it to help soak up some of the blood and to put a bit of pressure on the wound to slow down the bleeding, the shirt was yellow but slowly my blood had turned it to a reddish orange color. My dad calmly told my brother “Quickly ride home and get your mother, while I stay here with Thor.” My brother hopped on to my bike and rode home to go and get my mom. Not even ten minutes later she came screeching into the parking lot in her little 94’ champagne colored Honda Accord, she quickly flew out and left the car running with the driver’s door open, she ran over to me and my dad.

My mom had asked what happened, but my dad said that we would talk about it in the car. So, she picked me up and helped me into the backseat on the passenger’s side with my brother was sitting on the driver’s side, while my dad went to get the boards that they had ditched on the other side of the skate park, then he put them in the small trunk. Mom had driven us straight to the Emergency Room they ended up not talking about it in the car like they were going to, my dad helped me out of the car and took me in to the building while my mom went to park the car with my brother. After I was checked in, I was called into one of the small back rooms. The nurse had asked what happed, so my dad had explained then the nurse had started to clean out my chin, it was painful. she put a numbing solution on it so that it wouldn’t hurt when the she started to sew my chin back together. There ended up with twelve blue stiches, I was told that I should come back in a couple weeks to get them taken out.

When we got back in to the car my mom had told me that I should have paid attention to my surroundings better. If I had payed attention, I would not have needed stiches and I wouldn’t have a jagged scar on my chin. I had learned a very important lesson that day, I had learned that I should always pay attention all the time. And an example of me not paying attention to my surrounds, during the summer of 2017 I had been running from the front door to my dad’s motorcycle, so we could go to the store. I had jumped of the porch I didn’t think about where I was going to land and landed on my left ankle wrong, there was a big snap and next thing I knew I was on the ground crying yet again. My dad helped me up, then went inside to tell my mom. She had wanted me to stay home and she also said that I should have payed attention but I’m very stubborn, so I still went to the store on the motorcycle. I could barely walk on my ankle, it was really swollen. But as soon as I had gotten home, my mom wanted to drive me to the hospital because of how swollen it was, but of course I had refused, so she made me put my foot in a bucket of ice and water to take the swelling down the ice bumping against my ankle hurt almost as bad as when I fell. But if I had payed attention those days none of that would have happened. 

My Journey to DACA by Arizbeth
Posted by Angela Boston on January 29, 2018 at 11:17am

  For the 18 years 2 months and 20 days that I've been alive I've spent 15 years 9 months and 27 days in the United States of America, the land of the free and were freedom rings. To be honest with you and myself I’ve had moments where I've felt on wanting to go home, no not my house. But home. A house and a home are two very different but similar things. Home is a place of security and love. A house is where a family lives to create memories and shares laughs and worries. It's easy for me to say that I'm home when everything is going right here where I am and where I stand but realistically for a girl like me it hasn’t always been that way. I thought that I’d finally feel like   I truly belong, and I’d blend in here when DACA came out on July 15th, 2012. For those who don’t know, DACA allows young undocumented people to live without fear of deportation, it allows those who came here illegally as children to apply for a visa that allows them to work while saves them from deportation, the visa is renewable every 2 years. For me the whole process took about 11 months.

 4 years after that DACA came out, on November 2016. I applied for my DACA and it was a weird exhausting experience to say the least. An undocumented youth is eligible to apply at the age 16 but I applied at age 17. I applied ‘late’ because I wasn't planning on working anytime soon to focus on my education fully. Not to mention that the application fee is $560. But my parents and I started getting worried due to the elections at the time and how our now current president said he planned to take the program away completely. So naturally the fear entered, and negative thoughts ruled my mind. Thinking how I wouldn’t have the same opportunities that my brothers currently have, how I'd never get a good steady job, and how my collage and education plans went down the drain. The day I filled out the extensive paper work I kept getting more and more nervous with every paper that kept getting filled out, maybe because it was all my personal information being put on paper. How I got here. With who. What time. And why. It was as if I kept leaving a little part of me on these pieces of paper. Or maybe it was the fear of the papers getting rejected and having those dreams that went along with my paper work got rejected as well.

              I forgot about the whole thing for three months after I sent in my application, until I received my first out of 4 letters. " We've received your application. On 02/16/17 at 11:45 you have your appointment for your fingerprint scanning." Wow. I read those words and I immediately started to cry, having the news that my application was safe and looked over and in the steps of getting approved was such a great feeling. I felt as if doors were opening for me. Not so long

 February 16th came around and I am one of those people that gets so nervous that I start shaking as if it were freezing outside. I couldn’t feel my arms and legs. The night before I was up reading that if I missed this appointment with Homeland Security it was first, against the law. And second it was extremely hard to get another appointment scheduled so I did what every teenager does. I stayed up till 2 in the morning. As I was in the car I kept thinking of the things that could go wrong and how I could not be late to this thing! Probably that’s why we left an hour early from the house when the place was 25 minutes away.

Moving along 7 months, yes 7 nerve-racking long months. I got my third letter and for a small second   I thought that this was it, this was letter of acceptance telling me I had gotten that safe card. But that feeling went away when I opened the letter. that wasn’t the case for me. It was a letter telling me I was missing information and I didn’t provide enough evidence that I was here and present and here on June 15th. At that moment I really couldn’t explain how I felt. There were so many emotions and words going through my head that I just wanted to go in my room and be alone. It was as if someone took my heart a ripped it out. All I could think were negative thoughts after negative thoughts, and so much fear came in my body that I was shaking uncontrollably that I just wanted to leave the whole DACA dream  behind… it’s hard to try to explain this whole heart-breaking process really. At first, I just thought that maybe this entire application portion was insanely harder because of the whole trump administration. It’s extremely hard not to hate that man and his ideas. It’s sad and hurtful to see that we aren't recognized as humans most of the time because we lack citizenship or don’t look the same as others. And maybe that was the reason why I’m taking everything to heart. but it made sense to me at the time to hate a man that was making everything so difficult for me. It was easy to point fingers.

A few weeks passed, and we were in early September. When I said that I wanted to leave that whole dream behind I was being completely honest. i wanted to forget this. I wanted to not worry, especially since I was turning 18 in a few days and I was having family come in from California to come to my party. I was in my room laying on my bed when I heard my mom calling my name. I got up with literally no effort and seemed to someway somehow drag myself to the kitchen. I saw my mom standing there and realized that the light of the kitchen was hurting my eyes and my head was pounding. How long have I been in my room? “ que vas hacer ariz?” ( what are you going to do, ariz?) she asked me with a worried look. “De que?’ ( of what?) I said so effortlessly. “ Con lo que te madaron ariz, nesecitas ver eso ariz.” ( with what they sent you ariz, you need to look into that ariz) My dad said. When did he get there? Has he been here? I thought to myself. “ ya se pa” ( I know dad). “You can take evidence of the church you go to or school record ariz.” My sister in law said, and again. Where did she come from? Are people just appearing? “thanks.” I said. “why aren’t you taking this seriously ariz?” my sister in law said. I mean look it’s not that I’m not taking it seriously but in my brothers got there’s in less than 6 months so why is mine up to 7 months and I basically got a no? “ im for real not in the mood to do this guys.” I said as I turned around to go back to my room. “ ven. “ ( come) my dad said. In all honesty I didn’t want to continue that conversation because I felt that knot in my throat. “mmm?” was all I said. “ just go back to your school and ask for the attendance that day ariz” my sister in law said with hope. “I did, the first time around Sara. I was on a filed trip. I sent the paper saying the same thing.” I said with a strong tone. “you’re not worried then” she replied. Oh, hell no she did not, “Excuse you? Not worried? Oh, I’m sorry. Maybe I should look more worried so then I can worry my parents Sara. I’ve been worried ever since I sent those damn papers in. I just put my entire information out there. Don’t come at me with that bs.” Okay I understand I didn’t have to be so rude but come on, who is she to tell me that? Maybe if she looked in my head for like 5 minutes she’ll realize it.

The day before my party I was so incredibly busy that the last thing on my mind was to fix my daca situation. It was around 12 in the afternoon when my dad asked to talk to me and my cousin Victor. “ Me puedes hacer un favor?” (Can you do me a favor?) My dad asked while looking at my cousin. “Que paso tio?” ( What’s up uncle?) he replied. “Puedes llevar a Ariz a la escuela a ver de sus papeles?” ( can you take Ariz to the school to see what she needs for her papers?) and I immediately felt my stomach drop. “  No empieces pa.” ( don’t start with this dad.) I said. “No te precupes tio, yo la llevo” ( don’t worry uncle, ill take her) he said happily.  I looked at him and raised my eyebrow and said “ you don’t have to take me cousin.” He looked at me a smiled and said, “ you need this”. In all honesty, I did need it. I needed it bad.

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

Blood isn't Thicker than Water by Jah'nai
Posted by Angela Boston on January 29, 2018 at 11:14am

Me and my cousin were best friends, more like sisters,. In my mind I never thought she would leave me for dead, but one day all that had changed. Its was one of those sunny days in Kent.  One of those freshman days when you’re in class and it looks super sunny outside, and everybody links up at lunch to skip and get active. Lunch hit, Valerie was already standing in front of the lunch room waiting for me to come out my class. We dabbed each other up

then Valeria looked at me and asked if I was going with her. “I got the car, you know it’s good.” I said, “yeah imam go.” the bell rings that lunch is over and everybody ran outside dabbing each other up. Valerie pulled up in the back of the lunch room and zhanaya was in the car with her. now zhanaya was Valerie’s best friend. We were all close, spent almost every day, every weekend doing dumb stuff.  Wild stuff I should say.  We drove down the hill to wash the car first before we got something to eat

We stopped at the gas station. to get gas. zhanay hopped out the car when Valerie went inside for gas. Zhanaya got on the trunk of the car taking videos, using filters, posing trying to look to cute on the snap of course. Valerie came back out and got in the car.   While zhanaya was still on top of the car, she angrily yelled so Valerie heard her, “0PP; Valerie don’t skirt off because I’m going to fall off the car!!!!!” Valerie skirts off right when we get to the street; my heart was racing as I watched zhanaya fall off the car in the middle of the road with cars are going by. As I turned around I saw her rolling in the street from the back seat of the car. At this point, my heart dropped because I wasn’t sure if zhanaya would lose her life or not. Valerie kept driving.  When we stopped at a red light? we saw four police cars going the direction we just came from. I could tell that Valerie was anxious, and she drove the wrong way into the drive through of El Rinconsito. Mind you, there were cars in the drive thru. As Valerie saw that she was going in the wrong way she started yelling and cursing out loud, While trying to get out of the drive thru she backed into the restaurant I tried to reach for the door but as I was reaching for the door Valerie locked it. I start tugging on the handle trying to open the doorso I could get out. All I could think was, “One, how is she going to get out the drive way? Two, am I going to die? Three, how much trouble am I in?”  All these thoughts were running through my head, Valerie was driving 160 mph into another red light. There were so many cars in front of us I thought she would crash into one of them. Instead she swerved into the Kent station brick wall. I didn’t have a seat belt on in the back seat, so when she crashed I flew into the front and hit my head on the dash board. I woke up on the ground. I woke up in rush to see if my cousin was ok, but she wasn’t anywhere in sight, nowhere to be found. The only person I saw was zhanaya.

 At that moment, I felt betrayed and confused an angry. We no longer had contact after we scrabbled (fought) right when I thought my freshmen year was going to go well with me and my cousin it turned out to be bad blood. This is when I knew blood wasn’t thicker than water. After this situation, I changed as a person. Like not letting people in so easy and stopped getting close with people. after that year after all that I quit skipping school, got a job and started saving my money. I started putting my focus on school instead of trying to have surface  friends  I put my mind to something that I want to do in life.