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This piece is dedicated to the children who have lost their lives to school.

It’s not even worth it. I’m not gonna walk down the 10th grade hall. She’s gonna find me if I do. I hate that feeling when we lock eyes. I hate that she and her friends sense my fear, like a ferocious pit bull out for a kill. Being here is hard. Sometimes, I wish she weren’t here. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t here. I’ve tried to not be here last year, and 6 months ago and just 2 weeks ago. Momma says my skin ain’t thick enough, but time after time, the knife says otherwise, because unfortunately, I’m still here.

I’m

still

here

Here we go again with these bad ass girls. They’re one in the same. They wanna fight. They wanna challenge authority. They wanna be “bad bitches.” Don’t give me that ADHD-special ed.- mental health bullshit either. If my history class was about slingin’ on the corner or where to buy the best Malaysian hair, they’d be all ears. They know how to steal from the corner store. They know how to open up their legs. Thinkin’ they know everything. Too bad they don’t know they ain’t gonna amount to not a thing. Give them what they want. If they don’t care, I don’t care.

I

don’t

care

I don’t care about nothin’ else but him. My momma don’t want me. My daddy don’t want me. He’s all I got and I’ll be damned if I let this little hot-in-the-pants freshman take him away from me. I hate that feeling when they lock eyes. I hate the way he lights up every time she walks by him. When he approaches her, it sets my soul ablaze in the worst way. Take, take, take. That’s all everyone does around here. My grandfather took my virginity. My foster father took taking my dignity a step farther that one day when he…One day. I’m gonna take from this world as much or even more than it has taken from me!

It’s not even worth it but the knife says otherwise I’m gonna take from this world it sets my soul ablaze in the worst way.

Let’s all take the time to talk to our children and other children we know. Let’s also take the time to read up on and acknowledge the effects of bullying, abuse, low self-esteem and mental illness on our youth.

What you see isn’t always what you get.

Rest in peace Amy Francis-Joyner.

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