You Have a Story Behind Your Smile. Bianca Lopez Tells Her Story.
By Bianca Lopez
You don’t understand till you walk in my shoes. All you see is a happy young girl who hides her problems with a huge smile on her face. But darkness is behind that wonderful smile. She’s someone who sees the world as a fairytale but knows in reality it’s just a broken glass!
Whenever I hang out with friends, at some point they begin to talk about their brothers. They talk about how those brothers take them places, buy them the things brothers buy their sisters. Their talk make me feel empty and embarrassed because if they ask me, “Hey Bianca, What does your brother do?” Or “Do you have a brother?” what can I say? That I have a brother, but he is in prison? That I haven’t seen him in six years, and no he hasn’t taken me places or bought me things. But I don’t say that because I sometimes feel that others judge me for having a brother I prison. So I don’t say anything much about him.
I want the sister and brother bonding and brotherly advice. I want to have a brother I can run to when I have boy problems or other situations that I can’t tell anyone else about. I’ve always dreamt that my brother would be by my side, standing on those bleachers as I walk that Class of 2015 stage. But the thing is, that will not happen because I won’t be seeing him for another 23 years.
What hurts most Is that every time I see my little sister, Daisy, I picture his face, and I always fear that she will become just like him and follow his mistakes, step by step. She mistreats my parents and even her own sisters. I feel that she doesn’t want to be part of our family and would rather spend time with her friends, listen to them instead of her family. She leaves the house without even telling us where she is heading. Those are the little things that my brother started doing—listening to what his stupid friends wanted him to do.
I watch my mom sitting there, her tears pouring, and I think: What did she do to deserve this? Why do her kids always end up chasing the wrong path?
I don’t blame my brother for his mistakes, but I’m disappointed in him for not even being here. I see his friends roaming around our neighborhood like they have no cares in the world. They are killing and threatening and manipulating people, and meanwhile my brother is in prison for 29 years for being a witness of an attempted murder. It seems so unfair. One of his friends was accused of kidnapping and robbery and they only gave him 12 years. My brother never pulled a trigger against anyone—there’s proof of that. But the detective didn’t like my brother and decided not to show that evidence. The first lawyer made Jordan sign some paperwork saying he was guilty. Who would do something like that to a family?
Jordan’s friends don’t care what we go through. They never come to us or offer money to help him. All they know how to do is to bring violence and mistrust to our family.
I come from a place where jealousy and betrayal exists, where if anything happens, the cops are involved. I come from a place where I’m scared even to walk outside because you never know what will happen between Corning and Hervey Streets. My brother’s friends don’t care who they hurt—all they care about is getting what they want.
So I have something to tell you. Don’t ever tell me that I know nothing about the gang life, the prison system or not having a brother because trust me, you won’t understand my life until you walk in my shoes.
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