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  • Writer's pictureAshonte´ S. Lyles

When the Street Lights Come on

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

“Come on guys, we can play one more game, we have probably an hour before the streetlights come on,” said Kenyatta.

Niko was new to the United States and looked puzzled by Kenyatta’s reference to the street lights. “Ok, but what do the lights have to do with anything?” she asked, with a heavy accent.

“Oh yeah, that’s right, you never heard that before, huh?” Robert asked, halfway reminding himself that Niko was from a rural area of Belize.

Suddenly loud screeching was followed by the smell of burning rubber and the crash of twisted metal.

“Aye, man! Aye, that’s my damn car! What you doin'?” Screamed a man from the parking lot in front of the playground where the three children were about to set up for the last game of Freeze Tag.

“Whoa! What’s going on?” Niko yelled while holding her face with both hands.

All three kids ran to the cinderblock wall to see what was happening.

A man had crashed into a parked car while the owner was washing it, the impact causing the owner to fall to the ground. As the kids looked on, the owner was able to stand to his feet, “What the hell just happened?” he yelled.

The man who crashed into the parked vehicle started to get out of his car, and Kenyatta thought, Ah!, maybe he’s going to apologize and wait for the police.

“Look!” said Robert, pointing at the man from the wrecked car.

The man was running toward the other car owner with jumper cables in his hands, he was trying to attack him. But he tripped over a bucket of soapy water the other man had been using to wash his car. Standing over the man who had crashed into his freshly washed and waxed car, he looked down and thought, I know you.

“Yo! What the fuck! Man, I know you, you that dude who calls himself being in love with my wife! Yeah, that’s you, mother fuck! You been stalking her, you punk bitch!” exclaimed the man, and he grabbed the jumper cables and lunged at the man on the ground.

Blood-curdling screams rose from the parking lot. “My ear, my ear, you pulled off my damn ear,” yelled the man who had crashed his car. He held the spot where his right ear had been, blood gushing between his fingers.

Niko said, “Ay dios mío!”

The disembodied voice of Kenyatta’s mother came from the other side of the playground, “KENYATTA! KEN-YAT-TA! You know you supposed to be in the house when—”

In almost perfect harmony, all three kids turned and said, “When the streetlights come on!”

~ END ~

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Feb 02, 2023


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