Hawa Bealue

Kids Come Knocking at the Door

Kids come knocking at the door every second, asking for my little brother to come out for them to play. All I do is sit in the house twenty-four hours a day. Not because I don’t want to hang out or play with my friends too just like my little brother, but I am trying to act like a “grown up”. Besides, there isn’t a friend of mine that lives in my neighborhood or nearby, the closest lives ten miles away. And also, most of my friends are high school friends; we don’t hang out in each other’s neighborhoods.

I just love it when the cute little boy says, “Could you come and play with me please?” in his soft and low voice. My brother doesn’t mind that they are not age mates, that doesn’t stop him from coming out to play with our neighbor next door. He immediately grabs his bike and heads on out to have some fun. They ride their bikes around the apartment complex and play sports together, like: soccer, basketball, and football.

I used to hate American football. I hated it because I couldn’t understand how they play it, the rules in the game, and even how they score. But my little brother taught me all that I didn’t know. Looking in his face and listening to him as he explained the little he knew about the game astonished me. I asked how and where he learned about it. He told me, “Here, in this apartment complex.” I said, “Here?!” “Yes, here,” he replied. Again, I asked, “How?” “Kids here taught me,” he explained: “I knew nothing about football just like you, but I learn about it here from my friends and we even play together. I want to play football one day”. “Wow! So you know all that about football, something you have never watched people play while we were in Africa. Now you learned it so fast in two weeks? Okay,” I said. He said, “Oh wait, that’s not all I have learned from here. Can’t you notice a change in me?” “What change?” I asked. “Listen to me speaking. I’m speaking English that people can understand! Isn’t that amazing Hawa?” “Yes, it sure is,” I said, “and you are very smart too.” He smiled and said thanks.

I don’t have a friend in my neighborhood. Most of the teenagers in my apartment complex don’t really get along. We don’t even talk to each other. People that are the same nationality are friends, but there is no one from my country that lives in my apartment complex. Nevertheless, kids do. Kids hang out with friends from different countries. Sometimes they don’t understand each other very well, but they still play together. They have so many friends whether or not they are from the same country. In fact, the main reason why I like it here is because of the kids. They even made me their friend. Sometimes my other friend tells me that it’s weird, but I don’t care. Once they feel free and happy around me like I do as well, then I don’t see any reason why that should be a problem.

I usually hang out with my friends from the same high school at the mall. We go to movies. And we go to the park on the weekend. We play sports like; basketball and volleyball together. Sometimes, while playing, if one person makes a mistake and causes the opposing team to score, we all start yelling at each other. That’s when we all start fighting. Whenever this happens, it reminds me of the kids in my apartment complex. Things like this don’t happen at all when these kids are playing together. And it makes me want to learn from them. Sometimes, I wish my friends were like the kids in my apartment complex. The kids usually correct each other instead of making annoying statements that cause a fight. But we teenagers don’t. We say silly things to each other, and those statements cause a big fight. It happens almost all of the time between my friends and me, especially while playing sports together.

I wish our parents and teenagers could be like these kids. I wish our parents could talk to each other and act like neighbors. Even if they can’t understand each other, there are things that they can talk about to make things better for the kids. I have never lived in a neighborhood like this before. Where I used to live; our parents always talked to each other. They could tell each other about things. For instance, if an adult or a parent saw me doing something bad somewhere outside of my neighborhood, they would tell my mom, and my mom would talk to me about it. But here, everybody minds their own business. They call it “not invading someone’s privacy.”

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