April 26, 2018
Short Story: Tales of the Eastside (Rough Draft)
Have you ever been stuck in unfamiliar territory? Well I have. My name is Nathan and I have been a west sider all my life. I live in Detroit Michigan. Although I have inhabited the west side and breathed its air for nearly 18 years, I haven’t even discovered nearly half of the west side of Detroit or any of the east side. I’m very unfamiliar with Detroit. I couldn’t imagine having to find my way around the eastside. I’ve heard many stories about the eastside. Most of my family lives on the eastside. Even my mom is from the eastside but my parents don’t allow me to go to the eastside because they believe its dangerous and ghetto. My father is a die-hard west sider. He has lived on the westside for 64 years. Sometimes he makes jokes about the eastside like about how they talk. I never believed a single thing he said about the eastside. I thought the east side of Detroit was exactly like the west side. Well I was very wrong. This is how it all started. About 2 weeks ago on the weekend I visited my friend Makayla at her house. Makayla is 16 years old. She is very unaware of her surroundings but always tries to be optimistic and have fun. She also loves to explore which is what you’ll find out later. She lives on the eastside in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood. When I came over we sat with her siblings Kavon and Amiyah. Amiyah is 12 years old. She has similar attributes to Makayla and has a child's mentality. Kavon is 11 years old. He likes to play basketball and is often very playful. We just sat and watched Netflix for a while. They introduced me to the show 13 reasons why. I actually enjoyed watching it and am looking forward to the next season. But, after this day I can give you 13 reasons why I wouldn’t go back to the eastside. Later her mom took us to Walmart. It turns out the Walmarts are even different on the Eastside. There were 3 fights that almost broke out in the parking lot. I thought I was going to have to get out of the car and start banging with somebody. At about 3 o’clock we made our way back home. It was quite boring when we arrived back at her house but the temperature was somewhat mild for the first time in forever. Makayla suggested that we go to a park that was about a mile down. Kavon and Amiyah agreed. I was slightly leery about the decision because I have no sense of direction on the eastside and I don’t know what kind of people live in the area. I agreed anyway though because I had nothing else to do. We all stepped down the steps from the porch and headed towards the park. “I’m gonna grab my ball from Grandma’s house and I’ll meet yall there” said Kavon. He then hopped on his Mongoose BMX bike and peeled off. There I was left with Makayla and Amiyah, 2 defenseless, unaware girls on the eastside. They were very comfortable walking to the park mainly because they lived on the eastside all their life. I didn’t feel the same. “Do you think I should dye my hair?” asked Amiyah as if she didn’t already have her puffs dyed orange. “Do what you want but I’m not dyeing it” said Makayla. They just walked and talked normally like to average teenage girls even though we were surrounded by a land of unknown entities. Halfway through the journey we stopped by Makayla’s old school called Guyton elementary. It was closed down. It looked to have been a very nice DPS school before it was abandoned. It had 3 floors. It resembled an English style mansion in a way. The gates were covered with uncut bushes and ivy so there was no way you could get to the entrances. All the windows in the top floor of the building were all broken, but not the bottom 2 floors. The school looked to be almost haunted, but I liked it for some odd reason. While stopping to look at the building, it started to sprinkle and a continuous breeze sifted through our spring attire. “Maybe we should head back because it’s about to get cold” I said. “No, we’re not too far from the park it’s just a couple streets down” said Makayla. Amiyah agreed. It took only 10 minutes to get to the Park. We saw Kavon riding on the wet grass. Makayla decided to show me around the park of where her and her dad fished and where they used to have family picnics. Amiyah and Kavon went around chasing the nearby geese and played in the rain ponds. “RAAAAAAAAHHHHHH” “KAWWW KAWWW” yelled Kavon while flapping his arms and chasing the geese. I went over to the edge of the park where there was a river walk. I was right by the river. I could see Canada. The waves were crashing against the park rails. I didn’t want to come too close. I had a feeling I was going to get swept away by a monstrous wave. As I stared at the waves I noticed the sky quickly getting darker. “What time is it?” I asked. Makayla checked her phone. “Almost 8.” “We need to get back now!!!” I exclaimed. Everyone followed my directives and headed back in the direction of where we came. Makayla noticed a side street lined with houses with intriguing designs. She pleaded that we go down that street to see the houses and said that the map on her phone showed that the street would take us straight home. We all took a 10-minute walk down the street…. Well 3 of us did because Kavon had a bike. At the end of the road we all saw a dead end. When I tell you, we were pissed at Makayla, I mean we could’ve pissed at her. “How do we get back to your house?” I asked. Makayla whipped out her iPhone to check the directions but it turns out her phone was dead. Her phone was the only device that any of the 4 of us brought. There we were, stuck on the eastside with no directions. “I gotta pee” said Kavon. “Shut up boy you better hold it” said Amiyah. We wandered for what it seemed like hours back to the house. I looked back behind us a few times and it seemed like someone was following us. I’d see him when I looked back, but then he’d disappear. I look back for the 15th time and there he was walking 20 feet behind us on a mountain bike. “Aye. Aye boy come here. Come shop” the man said. The only thing that was going through my mind was “what the deuce”. “Keep walking and don’t look behind.” I told everyone. I kept an eye out to see if we were covering any distance to get away from the guy. About 2 streets later Makayla is holding her legs saying “I have to pee” and so is Amiyah. I say “go pee behind a tree or something. These people don’t care.” They decline. It gets colder and starts raining harder. By the time Makayla, Amiyah, Kavon or I actually know where they are going it’s pitch black outside. WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!! CHING CHING CHING. Loose dogs with clinging collars is all I hear. They don’t hear it though. “Let’s walk faster. Ion feel right out here.” Nobody walks faster. I found that ironic because just a minute ago everyone had to pee. I heard tiny footsteps from behind us. I look back behind us. I stay looking back but don’t see anything. “What are you looking at?” asked Kavon. Then we hear a crazy man yell from his second-floor window, “There go that dog, yall better get to runninnnnnnnn” Suddenly we see this black swole figure on steroids walk out from behind a car with it’s tongue out and it’s head cocked. Without any words being said, we all took off running until we were out of breath. As soon as we stopped running there were about 30 gunshots fired for no reason. We start running again. By the time we stop running for the second time we re only 2 streets away from Makayla, Amiyah and Kavon’s house. Before we cross the street, I hold my arms out in front of everyone. I heard several roaring engines. 2 seconds later, 8 guys on ATVs blaze by doing poppa wheelies IN THE RAIN down Jefferson street. They splashed water from riding by on Kavon but that’s what he deserved for riding his bike in the street. Finally, after a long walk and horrible encounters, we finally make it back inside of the house. We are all soaking wet and are half frozen. We were very lucky that we made it back because on the next morning everything thing that was rained on was frozen with ice. And this is my story of journeying through the uncharted territories of the East side and my unforgettable experiences with doing so.