Under the city lights

when highschool opposites are partnered together in 11th grade bio they thought they couldnt get any different. Julia Dean is the shy, friendly, smart student that stays clear from trouble but can she help when she falls for her bad boy partner Gabriel Chavarria. Gabriel is a gangbanger for the Latin Kings. When he gets closer to Julia he realizes maybe he doesnt have it so bad. maybe there not so different.


1. the lion & the zebra



A year ago I would have called this place a dump and now I call it home. This use to be temporary and now permanent. My father left just last year, who would have known with out him our world would fall right under our feet. The move to Atlantic City ,NJ landed us at a motel on black horse pike . The room grew to smell of my knock off perfume to cheap liquor and smoke from my mother. The carpet and walls happen to have piss stains and the haunting smell of vodka from one of my moms drunken nights. To many to count on my hands and toes. My mother wasn’t always this bad but moving here she started following the drunks like a dream follows a nightmare.

My mom comes from the bathroom in her work uniform. Carmella Johnson is a cashier at the Dollar Tree. “ Julia move” my mom says harshly pushing me to the side. The bright orange, pinks, and purples come together in the perfect sunset. Hints of gray dances across my view and the smoke burns my nose. I look at my mother who’s makeup is smudge under her eyes making her look tired and wan. There’s specks of red that snakes around her copper eyes . I can tell she had a run in with the bottle last night. My mom takes her last drag and looks at me with her warren out face and says “ I need your car”. My car? “wait why do you need my car”? I ask moving my strawberry blonde waves to one side. My car is a beaten up neon dodge.

“Darren took mine” she says then adds flatly “ I didn’t have the money to pay him”. Darren is my mother’s supplier and her fuck buddy. I really don’t like that my mother hangs with him. But you wont catch me voicing my opinion about him. Last time I did that the skin on my back was painted black and blue for a week.

“ I can drive you” I state but unsure if I really want to at least I know I’m getting my car in one piece.

“ No” my mom says starting her second cigarette. I stay quite as I hand her my keys. I feel like if I stay quite sometimes its better. What I have to say doesn’t matter to her, but I still love her.

After my mom leaves I start to walk to the city. The walk is long but it helps me clear my mind. Is it sad to say I feel safer with a stranger then with my mother. I definitely don’t feel safe around Darren. I cut through an alley where I see a group of guys . I stare at my feet avoiding eye contact. I watch my feet as it walks upon the broken up cement. I look up for a half second and I am met with hard black eyes. I am quick to look away as the first time ever I start to feel the fear filling into my every pour.









The fear came off her like light radiates off the sun. Angle is eyeing her like he’s the courageous lion and she his the wounded zebra. Angle starts to move in on the zebra and her pace quickens. A sinister smile dances across his dark skin, she is responding to his game and that’s exactly what he wants. that’s a dangerous game to play, a game I know so well. I’ll be honest I’ve been the lion before more then once. I’m not going to stand here and say I enjoyed it. Let alone I don’t like seeing it in play. Her denim blue eyes met my hazel eyes for a split second. Angle pushes up his shirt revealing the glock he had hidden. Beautiful blue eyes flicker with panic. I cant sit and watch as my friend Andres starts in with his cat calls.

“ Hey chica, are you a real blonde” Andres slurs as he reaches to touch her hair. She slaps his hand away and I can tell she shocked herself by the stunned look on her beautiful white face. I can tell Andres is buzzed.

“ Angle , Andres lay off” I say roughly grabbing Angles arm. They both look at me as if I have three heads.

“ what you say homie” Angle growls at me, angry lines forming on his brown skin. I lean coolly against the fence.” You heard me ………. Homie” sarcasm dripping off of every word. I can tell the girl relax a little as her body stance relaxes. But her breath hitches when Angle pushes me. I laugh and roll my eyes as I come face to face with him. “ something’s funny Mex” he spits at me. I smirk and shove him hard getting in his face well aware he can shot me. “ Listen, stop with the bull shit and leave her alone, I know her so back up” I say through clenched teeth. Truth is I do know her from school , even though I don’t know her name she make me feel something that I wish I didn’t. Andres backs off and she makes her escape and runs. I watch as her vanilla cherry waves disappeared right arounf the corner of the alley.

“ Let me see your gun” I say to Andres. He hands it to me with a questioning look. I run my latin stained skin over the cold silver. “ Thanks I never had real sliver” I smirk and stuff the gun in my waistband. “ come on Gabriel I bought that gun” Andres whines a bit. “ bought the gun my ass, you fucking stole it compa” then I add “ you never shot this beauty anyways”. Truth is I proudly wouldn’t have either. I never carried anything heavier then a knife. I throw the gun in the near dumpster well aware Andres is watching my every move. I hear Andres cruse under his breath and he jogs to the dumpster trying to fish it out. “ why would you do that”? he asks. “ Because your gonna get your ass killed if you keep hanging around this hijo de puta” I say harshly an point to Angle who is eyeing me like im his next meal. the street lights go on at the same time as Angle draws out his pocket knife. Right off the bat I know this is war.


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