Welcome to New York
By Lissa


Here it comes. Keep your head down. Contact! Wow, look at the ball go! Now, I'll bet the boys won't pick me last again just because I'm the only girl, and just moved here from Tennessee.
Uh oh! There it goes all right. I know, I know, I hit it - I get it. We played that way back home.
Now where was that hole in the fence? That ball couldn't have gotten too far, I hope. There's the hole. At least I don't have to get into Mr. Hudson's garden like I used to. He'd get so mad 'cause I'd tear up his tomato plants.
Oh man! Now I've ripped my jeans. My Mom's gonna ground me for sure. Stupid chain link. I wish all the fences here were like at home. Wood. Or at least barbed wire so I could spread it apart farther than this.
There, finally. Hey, there's the ball right on the sidewalk just like I hoped. Cool, now the game can ... HEY!
That hurts! Put me down you bully. What's that he's got? A gun?! Where's Mommy? I want my Mommy!
More people with guns? I knew I wanted to stay home. Wait a second. These other guys have badges. Mom always said police were on your side. They'll make him put me down.
I'm so scared. I wanna go home. Home home. Nothing like this ever happened in Tennessee.
I can't see what they're doing. I can see across the street, but not where the men are. I'm so scared.
What was that? I wish I could've covered my ears, that was so loud.
OW! I don't know which hurt worse, him squeezing me so hard or him dropping me on the ground. Wait. Whose blood is that? Mine? Did I...? No, I don't hurt anywhere else. Oh'm'gosh they shot him.
The policemen sure are interested if I'm OK. I guess I'm OK, just my stomach where the man squeezed me hurts.
The older one reminds me of Mr. Daniel at home. He was always so nice. Detective Briscoe? Never heard that last name before.
Mom says I'm too big to pick up anymore. I'm almost 10 after all. But this guy doesn't seem to mind. A plaid tie? That's funny. He says the bad man won't hurt me anymore. I hope he's right.
An ambulance? I don't want to go in an ambulance. Both of these guys keep saying I'm OK. If that's true, then why the ambulance?
I don't want a Kleenex. I want my Mommy!
There's Mommy! Oh mommy! I have to tell you everything. But the tears won't let me. Make the man that looks like Mr. Daniel tell you.
All the kids are staring through the fence. They all see me crying. I don't care. I'm still scared. I hurt. And if any of them try to make fun of me tomorrow, I'll beat 'em up.
I don't wanna go in the ambulance Mommy. I don't wanna. The detective with the plaid tie sat me on the stretcher and keeps talking to me about going. I know he's trying to make me feel better. And I guess it's working. All that crying was about to make me vomit anyway.
They promised to come see me in the hospital in a few hours. They said something about bringing a nice lady lawyer and wanting me to tell her what happened when I feel better.
I think I could do that. After all, they gave me one heck of a "Welcome to New York".

end


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