Luis Avalos, 15, is a freshman at Foshay Junior High School in South-Central. This essay was an autobiographical assignment in Austin Bah's English class.
I always thought that living in Los Angeles was going to be safe. When I first came here, I pictured Los Angeles as the city of friendship and peace.
I still remember that day in El Salvador when my family and I decided to migrate to Los Angeles in search of a better standard of living and in search of a peaceful place to live in. People were being murdered for no reason, people lost their homes, money, and sometimes they lost members of their family.
I adapted with the way of life in Los Angeles.
I learned that Los Angeles was not the city of peace that I had imagined. There was too much violence, drug-dealing and killing going on. Every time I came out, I had to be careful from the violence in the streets. I always told myself that if anybody ever approached me with a weapon and tried to hurt me, I would try to be a hero by fighting back.
I guess that playing a hero part is just an illusion of mine.
I realized that when it comes to somebody you love, you could never put their life in danger by playing Mr. Hero.
One day, my girlfriend, Jackie, and I were walking to her house when suddenly two guys came out of nowhere and stopped us. One guy pulled out a gun and asked my girlfriend and me to give him the jacket (she was wearing) and (my) backpack. Since the jacket was mine, I told Jackie to give it to him. I gave him the backpack.
Whatever happened to the hero I said I would be?
I did not play the hero because I could not put the life of the person I love in danger. Jackie is worth a million times more than anything in the world. Never put the life of your loved ones or friends in danger by trying to be a hero.
I really give special thanks to the Lord for protecting us.