Teenage Widow

by Rosa, age 20

I had my first boyfriend when I was 15.
By coincidence, or by fate, I met Isma that night.
He had long eye lashes and a beautiful look in his eyes.
He would come to my house, we would go out to eat,
Like any normal teenage couple.
One afternoon he arrived at my house
And was acting strange.
I hugged him and felt something on his hips.
I lifted his shirt and saw two pistols.
I was ignorant and in love.
He confessed that he was a ‘bandoso’,
They steal cars, control drug trafficking and sales,
Don’t like the gangs.
I didn’t want anything to happen to me.
He told me that he would take care of me,
That he wasn’t scared of anyone
And that with him, all doors would open for me.
He used to take me to fancy clubs.
One night we went and a man tried to touch me.
Isma took out a 22 caliber and let a bullet escape into the air.
He took me home, shaking,
I was already getting used to the violence.
One night, we put on romantic music and he held me.
I told him I loved him, I dedicated songs to him, I sang.
He said that he wanted to stay and see the sunrise with me,
It’s like he could sense what was going to happen.
He got down on his knees,
I just want to look at my pretty girl,
You’re so beautiful, with such an innocent look.
I hope you never change.
I told him to go home.
He left at two in the morning.
They killed him at 6:40.
His brother shot him twice in the back.
I fell into a depression. I felt that I had sent him to his death.
I knew I had lost him forever.
Sometimes I think about Isma.
I know that he loved me just as I loved him.

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Later, I Returned to the Streets
If They Could Speak