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It seems like I've never really been able to escape the bad things. Growing up, I've been surrounded by tragedy, have had a much harder life than some. And although I've tried, staying out of trouble has been a struggle, too. Living where I live, it's a lot harder than you might think.
When I was nine years old, my aunt Savannah was in a car that got shot up while it was driving by. She died, and her two daughters moved in with my mom, her boyfriend, and me. This was a hard time for all of us. My mom had just lost her sister; my cousins, their mother. Coping with Savannah's loss brought my mom and cousins together, but also pushed me out. All of a sudden, I wasn't getting as much attention from my mom.
As I got older, things didn't get much easier. I got in real trouble for the first time as a freshman. A couple friends and I got into a fight with some other kids. The police were called, and I ended up getting placed in a group home in Redding for over a year.
While I was at the group home, things went from bad to worse. I got a phone call one day saying that my best friend, Skeet, had died. He had been shot. When I heard the news, I was heartbroken. Still at the group home, I had to cope with his loss all on my own. Skeet's death changed me, and it was something I never really recovered from.
After I got back from the group home, things started to look up a bit. I met Kaprice Wilson, a guidance counselor at school. She had a program to get truant kids back on track and to graduate. Eager to make my mom proud, I signed up as soon as I could, and Kaprice really watched out for me
...But that didn't last long. A couple months after meeting Kaprice, I got into the worst trouble yet... All of it was a mistake. Just a horrible, dangerous, stupid, life-changing mistake. I swear I'm not a bad kid, that I didn't do this intentionally to hurt anyone. But it was a mistake that I had made, and now I was going to have to face the consequences.
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