Its 5:30 am. I awaken to my iphone alarm and a knocking on the door, and my fathers voice; "Juwan let's Go." Routinely, I roll out of my bed, eyes half shut I try to find clothes to put on. I lock my room then weave through a scattering of Barbies, and action figures that my cousins left in the hallway the day before. Making my way down stairs I yell, "I'm ready" to my father; and I leave to approach the car. Its dark and the birds are chirping as I walk into the wet dewey grass to enter the passenger seat of my, father's car. Immediately when my head hits the car's head rest, I am dead sleep. I wake back up to my fathers voice saying "Juwan" and the sight of the Hazelwood Dialysis Center. As my father walks towards the doors he unwraps his badges and looks down at his swollen purple arm where needles are routinely injected in and out.
As I see him off, I roll all the windows down and turn the radio to full blast and rush home because I have a long day ahead of me. Arriving to my house, the sun peaks over the horizon; and I quickly run in my house and go to the bathroom before everyone is awake. I struggle to find an acceptable outfit because people will easily judge you on how a person dresses and carries themselves. Swiftly I avoid the toys and my annoying little cousins. my uncle I rush off to school in my father's car. When my body becomes comfortable with the tight conditions of my father's car and my book bag is in between my feet, I am once again pulled into a deep sleep. My body is used to the dips and grooves of my high school roads, so I wake up and see once again the gateway to my future. My class mates greet me as they walk to school from the parking lot where one can find their brand new cars. I'm late once again, but every day I walk into my school doors knowing I am not just doing this for me. My family is considered in every decision I make. They make so many sacrifices for me to live the life that I do I would hate to let them down. I know what happens inside my school walls will dictate my future and where I will start my life as a man. The school day is long and tiring but the benefit of my friends makes the day so much better.
The end of the school day is here. I'm excited because I get to do what I love, my true passion. Whether it is soccer or basketball my life feels incomplete if I am not putting a ball into a net. I step onto the hard floor or the soft turf and hear my sneakers squeak on the sharp turns, or feel the ball connect perfectly with my foot to make them feel like one. Those images are my opinion of paradise. Practice is over, and my Dad is waiting we get into the car; and I roll down the window to feel the air. Soon once again I am asleep in the car, only to be awoken by the lady behind the black box saying "Welcome to McDonald can I take your order?". Dinner was finished before I walk into the house. I am bombarded by my little cousins who say my name every time they speak to me. I go into my room and drown out the cartoons, my older relatives talking, and my younger cousin yelling with loud music. Homework begins, and if I am lucky I am going to bed before 12:30 a.m.
The day is over and I have no complaints. Many people would say its sad that I live such a non traditional St.Paul's life. But even though I didn't choose this life, I embrace it. Im just going to make whatever sacrifices I need to make as my hard work gets me closer to the finish line.