It was not one of those nights of slight breezes and cups of hot chocolate between family. Instead, it was a dark and eerie night. It was not one of those nights of sharing tales in the yard. No, it was a night full of intrigue.
On November 7, 2010, at 9:13, I witnessed a real-life 3D version of a PlayStation war game. Action. Danger. Fear. Cars spinning out, screeching loudly. Then, shocked neighbors running in slow motion -- as if it was their last chance in the game. Not a minute later, bullets hailed down. The Dominican sky lit up like fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Hearts raced with the rhythm of the shots.
“Oh great power of God, don’t forsake us,” my mother cried out. I was only 13, with two pigtails, biting my nails down to the cuticles. Even though my heart wanted to escape from my body, I tried not to let it show.
The chaotic scene was unfolding at a mansion surrounded by bulletproof walls and barbed wired. It was only two houses away from mine. It was owned by a mysterious man known only as Isidro. He always tried to hide his face. No wonder. He was the biggest drug trafficker in Bani, my hometown. A rival had come to fight Isidro over money.
It lasted 30 minutes until the police stopped them. When my family and I tried to stand up, our legs didn't work.
A month later, we moved to the United States. Six weeks after that, there was another big shooting in my hometown. It has become a habit. I owe it to my town to make something of myself here so that one day I can rescue those that have had to remain in the game. I plan on bringing those pleasant and peaceful nights back to my family and friends.