I never really thought about how life could be so horrible…things were never so good for my family and I. We had to do bad things like sell drugs and rob stores just to obtain money. We stole from people who needed the money too, because where I come from the only rich folks that were around were white people. We stole from people just like us…who planned on saving that money for their kids to have a better life than their parents whom had no education. I never really knew what it felt like to be fortunate, never in my life. I’m 15-years-old and I don’t really have a name, because I don’t really know who I am or if what my poor parents named me fits who I am. They named me Hope, not because they liked how it sounded slipping off their tongues, but because they hoped that I was going to be their little hope, their sunshine in the darkness, but unfortunately, I’m not; and I’m so sorry to my mom and dad for that. Growing up, I was never happy, but my mom would always try her best to make sure I was. She tried and tried without success, so she eventually gave up, but that’s okay she gave up. Moms do get tired sometimes and it’s not her fault that her little hope is a train wreck of a human being. I’ve been in and out of court so many times and dropped back to my little tent of a house after getting arrested for stealing liquor to resell at a higher price, just so I can get some food on the table for my family, not that nasty kind of food either. The times they put me on probation the P.O. (Parole Officer) always insisted that I take a drug and alcohol test, which was completely useless because I’m not interested in doing drugs at all. I’ve never tried any kind. Growing up like me, it’s a gift not having the urge to do drugs and drink poison, but that doesn’t mean I won’t sell them to make that extra cash. I started selling dope when I was 14 and not the weed kind. The white, rocky, sometimes powdery substance — yes just a year ago, boohoo. I started selling coke for this really scary rich white man, only because he told me he’d get me deported along with my family, if I didn’t. This white man was very intimidating, but he was nice enough to give me 50% of the profit from the coke, because he knew I lived on the streets. I think the worst part about selling drugs and alcohol was being on a corner selling them. A corner across the street from my mom. I watched her get picked up by strange men at a certain time of the night, but these strange men would always bring her back to the same spot and sometimes she would be badly bruised and hurt. My mom…she’s tough. Despite being in so much pain, she’d laugh it off and wave her cash at me from across the street. While I was selling drugs and alcohol, she was selling something much more expensive, divine, real, and too precious…her body. I didn’t agree with it at all, but I couldn’t say anything or else my dad’s drunk self would get very mad at me and try to kill me like all the other times. My Pops loved me at one point, but right when things started getting harder, he faded away faster. Drowning himself in liquor and letting his lungs be invaded with methamphetamine a.k.a. crystal meth. Sometimes he wouldn’t sleep for days on and he would start talking to someone that wasn’t there; he called him death. Though it was scary to watch this, I got used to it and stopped caring. I’d even give him liquor. I stole to shut him up sometimes. The thing about me is…as I grew up I started feeling this numbness that eventually grew. I can’t feel pain, no regret, and no sadness or grief. I’d still tell my mom and dad I loved them every day, though only because I was hoping they’d say it back sometimes, just to see if it could make me feel anything at all, that maybe they could fix how broken I am with a simple ‘I love you too,’ but no. Not once did I ever hear it again, because I took their love for granted. How could a prostitute who probably has no idea who my real father is ever love me anyways? How can a junkie, who'd rather talk to his beloved death rather than his whatever the fuck I am to him, ever love me anyways? When I realized everything I’ve ever done for my parents was completely useless to me, I started not going home. I started completely hating myself for everything. I’m a genius, I know I am, but I messed up my future by trying too hard for my parents, trying too hard to get them out of their unsuccessfulness, that I became unsuccessful myself. Who I am is definitely not hope. Don’t do things for people who don’t care about you, it’s only going to get you nowhere.