The first time I understood that I may not have the same life as the people I grew up with was in the 7th grade. My parents bought a house in a suburb in a completely different neighborhood. Safer. Better schools. Etc. I remember shortly after, I learned the girl who lived across the street in the old neighborhood was pregnant. We were the same age. As I was planning on reinventing myself in a new area, she was planning baby names. I thought , This is why my parents moved.
We’re in this new place with manicured lawns and majority two parent households. The people seemed different than the folks I grew up with. I can’t explain how but somehow different. The principal was a tall, mean lady. No one liked her. My first month there, I suspended for fighting a new boy in my class. The principal berated us as animals; coming to disrupt her perfect school. That is until my mom arrive and ripped her a new one for calling me an animal.
Maybe three months later, one of the students set the principal car on fire.
Couldn’t explain how but they were different.
The girl who lived across from me ended up having multiple issues and lost her children. The guy who set the car on fire did a few more crimes and went to prison.
The only thing I knew was I was not like either. Regardless of my zip code, my fate was going to be my own.