Hoping

March 23,2010
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera( )

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

I was with the boys at an amusement park when Mitch got a phone call. He walked away from us for privacy. The other guys and I continued to talk about how my son picked up on their slang. He now says "yes sir" with a southern drawl. I smiled. When Mitch returned, he whispered in Vince's ear. I knew there was a problem. I asked, "What's wrong?" "Nothing T," they said. Then one said, "When we get back to Boston, it's on." And another said, "T, if you weren't saved, you could be our driver." It was nearly five o'clock. It was time to leave the amusement park. As we walked back to the van, one of the gang's younger boys – one without much street credibility – said to me, "I ain't letting no one tell me when and how I buss [shoot] my strap [gun]." "You don't have to buss it at all," I said. He didn't respond. On the way back to Boston I tried to talk them out of what they were planning. "The streets are hot," I told them. Yet I didn't want them to think I was sweating [nagging] them. So I turned on the CD player. We listened to music. And I hoped they were rethinking their plan.