Life is never what you think it will be.
At times I feel the only person to blame is me.
Hurt, pain. Please stop yelling my name.
Expectations haunt us.
We get hurt. We explore, take risks and love.
I look up to the sky, to the man above.
I just want somebody to help me Love me, Set me free.
Let me be. Just Let me be me.
-Amy Noelle Smith
Amy sat in her room with one earbud in, doodling in her journal and listening to some old school R&B music she had learned about from her Grandmother a few months back. She really missed her, she seemed to be the only one that ever cared about her. It was clear by now that her mother didn’t and she hadn’t a clue of who her father was. The melodic tunes blasting in her ear caused her to daydream and lose focus on her writing. Her journal was a sacred to her and off limits to everyone else. It symbolized the part of her day that allowed her to open up and keep it real with herself in regards to how she felt about the rest of the world. Amy was often trying her best to hide from the world but also was great at keeping up appearances. Her often rough exterior masked the vulnerability the was hidden inside with deep seated emotions but granted her the respect of the world around her. Amy had to grow up protecting herself and major responsibilities at the young age of 16 (almost 17). She never had the luxury of just being a child like most of the kids that lived near her. She soon developed a “Fake it until you make it” attitude which was now ingrained into her mind. She was a survivalist in her own right.
After her granny died, her mother didn’t have anyone to keep her in line and she lost custody of Amy and of her damn mind. Amy was bounced around from foster home to foster home. Faced with abuse, poverty, and often sexual exploitation. All in all, Amy had to grow up and be the adult way before her expected time. Although Alicia, Amy’s mother, was no longer a woman of the night per say, she was now a raging alcoholic who often came home with different men just to be able to pay the rent. It was all that she knew. One minute Alicia was loving and concerned about the example she was setting, the next the vodka had set in her system and she was telling Amy she was never going to be shit and to find a man of her own, maybe then she’d have a chance at making it. Although she hated to admit it, Amy was more like her mother than she would voluntarily admit to anyone. Now that Amy and Alicia were back living together under one roof things were surely awkward and the only way Amy could clear her mind was through music and her writing. The next song on her playlist was coming on when her mother walked into her room.
“Hey! that lil girl done came knocking on my gatdamn door again looking for you. Both of you lil bitches need to find yall some business.” Her words were slurred. It was about three in the afternoon. A Wednesday. “I need to find me some business?” Amy thought to herself. “Uh what’s her name? Mia? Monique? Michelle?” she blared. “Melanie” Amy responded with annoyance. Her mother rolled her eyes and stumbled away. “Ugh. I really don’t feel like leaving the house but aight chick, just for a little while” Amy said to her friend Melanie at her front door as she stopped the back of the door with her foot. Melanie had come by Amy’s after school to see if she wanted to hang and walk up to the park, maybe even steal some snacks from the store too. There was boy from around the way that was at the park more than usual since he and Melanie had last bumped into each other a few weeks ago. So she was anxious to see if he was there and wanted her bestie by her side. Melanie was the scary type but had a lot of heart. Amy could always depend on her to lie for her if anyone was wondering her whereabouts. “Hurry up and put your shoes on” Melanie squealed. Amy gave an aggravated look but obliged. She was always down for an adventure. “Ok. Be right back” she said. She closed the door behind her, not wanting Melanie to be able to peak inside. It was true, ever since Amy had moved into that neighborhood, Melanie had been her best friend but she was still often embarrassed about how they were living. They had a decent place, as far as four walls was concerned but the darkness that frequently dwelled inside was what broke her spirit the most. The relationship or lack thereof with her mom caused all the drama and sadness that surrounded her. Amy put on her shoes, grabbed her jacket, put her favorite box cutter in her inside pocket and headed for the door. Amy walked out of her house without so much as a single word to her mom. Just as quickly as she was locking the front door, Alicia was there in the threshold to open it for one of her male friends who had just pulled up. Amy looked back with disappointment in her eyes and kept walking so Melanie wouldn’t notice and ask any questions.
“So what got you so geeked about going to the park nowadays anyway?” Amy asked her friend. “Well... there’s this guy that has been noticing me and I wanna be around for him to notice me some more if you know what I mean” Melanie said in a flirtatious voice. All Amy could do was laugh. “Does he go to our school? Do I know him?” Amy asked. “Nah, he goes to a different school in the city, I think. I would have pointed him out to you by now if he did” Melanie reassured. Amy was the kind of girl that liked to push things to the limit and try her luck despite the odds. She did well in school but often was easily distracted by things that could get her in trouble. “You don’t even have to look at me like that” Melanie shot back, while chuckling. The girls laughed and joked the rest of the way to their destination. Amy knew she didn’t want to go home any time soon so she might as well enjoy her time out. The park looked like a nightclub from afar. People were gathered around in large groups. The sounds got increasingly louder as they got closer. A few other kids from school and the neighborhood were also there. Some were playing basketball, jumping rope and even running around chasing each other in the distance. “Hey y'all!” some of the girls yelled out, waving out to Amy and Melanie to come join them on a park bench. They walked over and sat beside them to chat and catch up on the gossip. Melanie scanned the lot for the boy she was crushing on with eagerness. The two of them were setting their sights on what all was happening around them. Amy learned to always check her surroundings, a forced habit she was happy she now possessed. Amy started singing a song she could hear playing from a nearby car. She saw a chick she had beef with from school and decided to approach her to see if she still had something smart to say about her. “I’ll be right back, I see something I need to address.”
She got up, grazing her right hand over the frame of the box cutter she had tucked away. It was at that moment when Amy heard a loud voice call out her name from across the court. “Amy!” a young man called out. Amy turned around searching for the sound of her own name. She squinted and then finally realized who it was. It was Zack, the cute but quiet boy she knew from school. Amy had seen him around the halls and they had the same lunch period. He was cute and had potential to say the least. She smiled, curious to know what so damn important that he had to get her attention like that. Amy stepped back a few paces to see what he wanted. He could see she was waiting so he ran over to talk to her. “Hey what’s up?” Amy said to him with her cool demeanor. He was undeniably intrigued by her. “I saw you with those other girls and just wanted to say hey and to tell you you look very nice” he said. Zack was shocked at how calm he was. “Look I gotta go, but take this. It’s my last bag but I want you to have it.” Zack handed his crush his last bag of weed. He was in the park selling out quickly but saved a little just for her. He hoped that she would be at the park when he got there. Amy looked surprised at his gesture. “For me?” she asked with a puzzled yet pleasant look on her face. He smiled. “What do I owe you?” Amy looked him right in the eye. He stared back at her pretty brown eyes and his heart started pounding at her question. “This one one me” he reassured her. “Wow, Thanks a lot Zack” she said and kissed him on the cheek. A wave of heat rushed through his body. He couldn’t believe it. Zack walked back to his homeboys slowly, soaking in what had just happened.
Amy decided the girl she was going to confront wasn’t as important now that she had been blessed with a little gift. “GIRL!!!... and you talked about me the whole way here!? I saw you while I was over there giving the eye to Jon Jon. I think he may be friends with the boy you were just kissing” Melanie remarked. “Listen. His name is Zack. I kissed him on the cheek because he gave me this...for free might I add” Amy said with a smirk. “Oh wow” is all Melaine could muster up to say back. “Mmm hmmm.” Amy was no chainsmoker but the weed came in handy. She always seemed to need an escape from the real world and life inside the Smith Household. It was getting dark. Melanie complained she had to go home. More than likely she was going to meet a boy behind a building or something to do something nasty. Amy broke down her weed, giving Melanie enough for a blunt. The two parted ways. When Amy got back in front of her house she could see two shadows in the window but could not make out exactly what they were doing. Next thing she knew one was striking the other and Amy panicked that her mother was in some type of danger once again. It was difficult for her to pull her key out of her pocket with the speed she desired. Once she got it her mother was standing over her lover yelling and screaming all sorts of obscenities. “Mom!” Amy yelled out. She was confused about what had happened and what she should do next. “Amy just go to your room while I settle this” she demanded. The man reached for his pocket, and Amy in one swoop pulled out her blade and cut the man’s hand in her mother’s defense. Blood was everywhere. “Amy!!!” Alicia screamed. Amy stood there with a crazy look in her eyes but regretted nothing. She and her mother rarely got along but she felt she was the only one that could be the adult between the two of them. Amy stepped over the man as he cried out. She walked to her room in hopes of smoking her weed in peace, slamming the door behind her. She put her head phones on to drown out the world, cut the lights off and sat on the closet floor. She hated to be pushed out of character. She had to figure out how to change her world. From all this hate she wanted Love. Real love, the kind that couldn't be destroyed. She was an amicable person , she just had a rough past.