So...once reality sunk in everything was different. The world just didn't feel or look the same anymore. There are times in my life now when I am driving down the road on a beautiful sunny day- taking in the sights around me, and I get that childhood feeling again for a moment- that feeling of wonder and amazement- the feeling of peace. What I wouldn't give to have that feeling every day of my life. But I can't now, I know too much- I have seen too much. There's no turning back.

It is still amazing though, how sights, sounds, smells or tastes can take you right back to a different point in time. For a moment you can almost feel like you're living it all over again. For example, every time I eat mint chocolate chip ice cream (which happens to be my favorite) I am taken right back to a night in fourth grade, another significant moment that seemed to steal a part of my innocence...

I was staying overnight with a good friend. The night was normal for the most part; we played, jumped on the bed and entertained each other. When it became dark my friend's mom decided to take us to Thrifty's, a drugstore in Fresno. She needed to get a few things, and we got to get some ice cream! I remember we sat in the back of their Pontiac Grand AM, all the while pretending that her mother was a limo driver, and we of course were rich and famous! When we got to the store I decided on two scoops of mint chocolate chip on a sugar cone, we piled back in to the car and headed back to their apartment. Upon pulling in the dark, deserted parking lot of the complex- I guess you could say the unexpected happened.

Two men with guns ran up to either side of the car. "Get the fuck out of the car!" they shouted at her mother. We all sat silent, and still as if we could not comprehend what was happening. "Get the fuck out!" they shouted again. It was after the second demand that I believe the man on the passenger side of the car where I was, noticed the two of us in the back seat. To this day I believe that this shocked him, his expression changed when he caught my eye- there was almost a sense of guilt. He pushed up the front seat of the car to allow me to exit the two door sedan.

 My heart was thumping and my body was numb. I can't even honestly say that I was scared- it was really as if my body was reacting to the situation- but my mind wasn't able to grasp what was happening. When I stepped out of the car the man almost stepped on my foot. I waited for my friend to exit the car and we began to run. The night air was warm on my face as I ran, but I couldn't stop the cold chill that was covering my body. My heartbeat thumped in my ears and throat. We were running- with no planned destination, not saying a word. Just running. Eventually we ended up at the front door of her apartment. What probably took minutes seemed like an eternity. It wasn't until we stopped running that we realized that her mother wasn't with us. We looked at each other- stunned. Then we began to laugh hysterically. I still don't understand why would be laughing, but we did.

After a few moments we heard her mother yelling for us. We ran towards her voice, it was then that the tears started. To this day, every time I eat my favorite ice cream I'm taken back to this night. The night that I realized that there is no escaping the world. I wasn't home- I was with a 'normal' family-so I thought I was safe-I was wrong.