The time is now 3:48 AM.
September 3rd, 2012.
This is not a joke. This is not a ruse. This is not "based on a true story".
This is all truth, in it's rawest form.
I have 13 secrets. Thirteen events that none other than myself know about. Not my family, not my friends, not even those dearest to me. I have protected these secrets with my life. Along with those 13 secrets, I have kept 13 promises. Promises I will never break. To the day I die.
My thirteenth promise has been kept, and has now been put into action.
The time was roughly 4:30 PM, sometime in June.
It was another day. El Paso's air was dry, and a bottle of water didn't last long. Walking about a mile to the 7-11 was a usual occurrence. But it wasn't a safe walk. During the time I'd lived there, I had made a decent amount of enemies. Not school bullies, not other teens that teased me. My enemies were often dangerous criminals. Why? Because I've been friends with a lot of criminals. And sometimes, friends get mad at you.
But these kinds of friends stay mad at you.
What I did doesn't matter. An explanation of how it happened is unnecessary. I write this to explain the outcome.
Just another day. Walking to 7-11. My friend Jayden couldn't come with me that day, for a reason I don't remember. So I walked with a child I had met two days before. Jacob Davidson was his name. I had barely known him, and to this day still don't know much about him. He was a solitary soul, he'd rather be sitting in his room alone than taking long walks through deserted streets in an attempt to get a cool refreshment something he obviously needed. He was sweating almost as much as I was by the time we got halfway to the gas station. We didn't need a thermometer to know that the temperature was far over 100 degrees. We slouched as we dragged our feet over the steaming sidewalk. He was about five feet in front of me, eager to get there first. I had a perfect view of him, and everything in front of him. I missed the SUV that had just rolled down it's window.
One pop is all I heard. There was a split second of loud silence. Almost instantaneously, red appeared through his shirt, followed by a splatter that coated the wall next to the sidewalk, along with my face and shirt. He collapsed immediately. Not even a twitch.
I hadn't fully analyzed what had occurred. It took a moment for me to stop walking. And then I stood there, stunned, for what seemed like hours. I just stared at him. Blood dripped from my face. And then I realized what had happened, and I came back to my senses. Don't just stand here, I thought. Run. That was the most reasonable action to come to my mind. But run to where? I was in the middle of the sidewalk, and running would just make me a bigger target. So I looked up.
In the SUV was a man. I remember two things about his face that I haven't been able to forget. Three tattooed tears under his right eye. And then his eyes. Eyes that drilled me. We held the stare for an eternity.
I don't know how I felt. I couldn't move, but I didn't want to. For a moment, I wasn't scared. I wasn't angry. I wasn't calm. I was ready.
Ready to die, right there.
He saw me. There was nowhere to run, and he could kill me at any moment. All I had to do was wait.
And then his head turned, and someone in the back of the vehicle was talking to him. He turned back to me, looked at me with the same hard look as before, and got out of the SUV. He had no shirt, but he had something tattooed over his chest.
He was holding no weapon, just a bag that he had taken from the vehicle. Three other men got out as well, and almost immediately began running. He continued to stare, until one of the others yelled for him. He was gone in seconds.
I was left with Jacob, whose blood had already poured downhill and covered my shoes. The feeling of being alive was soon replaced with another feeling. I had gotten someone killed. I don't know how I did it, I don't know who I messed with, but I had gotten someone killed.
And then I heard a bloody cough. Jacob's eyes were closed. He wasn't breathing. But the cough said enough. I called for an ambulance, and he was in the hospital in no time.
He survived with a serious injury. The bullet missed his heart by millimeters, and he survived. He remained in the hospital for two months. A week after his release, he paid to get my shirt cleaned, and then never talked about the event. I stayed away from him, at least to protect him. Until one day he came up to me.
He knew the man that shot him. He said he knew me, as well.
And he wanted me to keep a promise.
"If I die, tell them who killed me."
He knew it was only a matter of time until they came back to get him. Once everyone found out he was alive, and back on the street, he'd be a dead man.
He survived until the day I left El Paso for Hawaii. He survived for the last year, and he's made sure to make that obvious to me. I've been his only friend for years, and he's got no one else to talk to.
Yesterday, he told me he was in the hospital for a chest pain.
1:50 AM, September 3rd, 2012, Jacob Davidson died from a heart rupture. The rupture was caused by the previous bullet wound tearing open spontaneously, as well as a tear in his lung. He choked to death on his own blood.
He was killed by "El Diablo".
The time is now 4:55 AM.
September 3rd, 2012.
I now have 12 secrets. Twelve events that none other than myself know about. Not my family, not my friends, not even those dearest to me. I have protected these secrets with my life. Along with those 12 secrets, I have kept 12 promises. Promises I will never break. To the day I die.
In doing so, I have seen 3 people die.
They will not be the last.