Warning: This story is for mature readers only. This is the story of a teenage boy who grew up around the Hmong gang culture in the 2000s. He shares his experience from a night that he will never forget.

BY ANONYMOUS

When I was still a teenager, the group of friends that I hung out with were terrible people. I remember back in those days after high school ended, my friends and I would always drink, smoke weed, and then terrorize the street. They were troublemakers and were constantly starting drama everywhere we went. Once, they randomly jumped two guys at the park for the heck of it. Other people saw them as menaces to society, but I regarded them as my family, my older brothers. They taught me the code of the street, filled my life with crime, and taught me how to survive the concrete jungle. We were close, and I thought nothing could ever separate my brothers and me.

I don’t remember the year exactly, but it was in the late 2000s. It was summertime, and my big homie, Eric, had asked me if I wanted to go camping with them. Eric was the oldest in the group, and everyone had mad respect for him. He was a bit of a joker but also had a short temper. Eric was the type that liked to clown on people but couldn’t handle it when others clowned him. But for the most part, he was a friendly and easy-to-talk person. People who didn’t know him would’ve thought Eric was a nice guy, but the rest of us knew he was very dangerous. He had informed me that they planned to camp on the weekend and asked if I knew of any girls who wanted to hang out. I told Eric I’d ask around, but it wasn’t guaranteed. After that conversation, Eric told me to be ready by 8 am the next day.

Around 8:30 am the following day, Eric pulled up in my driveway in his truck with two other friends, Joe and John. The first thing he asked was, “Got any girls?” to which I replied, “No.” Eric then started ranting about how much he had prepped for this trip. How much money he had spent already, and all he wanted from us was to bring some girls. After his rant, he slapped the back of my head and told me to get into the backseat. We drove to a corner store nearby, and he purchased some beer before we headed off.

Some of my other friends were already there when we arrived at the campground. As soon as we got out of the truck, they handed us a beer and a shot and told us to catch up. For the next couple of hours, we all hung out and downed what felt like an endless supply of beer until we spotted a car that belonged to my friend Tommy, heading towards our campsite.

When Tommy parked his car and got out, we noticed that he had brought three girls. One was a Hmong girl named May, and the other two, Lisa and Brittney, were white. Of course, everyone, including myself, was checking them out because they were hot. Lisa was a busty girl, around five feet tall. Brittney was also around the same height with a pretty face and a big butt. May, on the other hand, was the shortest of the three girls. She was very good-looking and had huge breasts to compliment her face. Everyone seemed glad they showed up because their presence created a whole new atmosphere at the campsite.

Like when we arrived, everyone rushed in to offer the girls alcohol. At first, they refused but eventually gave in after a few minutes. During this time, Tommy mentioned that they couldn’t stay for long and needed to leave before dark. However, Eric and the others had so much fun with the girls being there that they didn’t want them to go.

About two hours later, the girls were intoxicated and didn’t realize that Tommy had left without them. Eric had instructed Tommy to leave without the girls. He had told Tommy that he and the other guys would give the girls a ride back later. With Tommy out of the way, Eric and the others proceeded forward with their plan.

When the girls finally sobered up, they noticed that Tommy wasn’t around and asked us where he was. Eric and the other guys told them that Tommy had a family emergency and had to return home. The girls asked if he was coming back to pick them up, and Eric told them he wasn’t sure. After hearing this, the girls asked if someone else could take them back. Eric told them that no one was planning on leaving and that they should call someone to pick them up. Aside from Eric’s temperament, he was also a very cunning individual. It seems he always plans to be one step ahead in every situation, good or bad. For example, Eric knew there was no cellphone signal, and the girls couldn’t make any calls. He used this to his advantage and was part of his plan.

Thirty minutes passed, and the girls were now desperate. I could see on their face that they didn’t want to be here anymore and wanted to leave. They asked Eric again, and he replied, “If I drive you back, what do I get in return?” May replied, “What do you mean get in return? You better take us, or I’ll call the cops and say you kidnapped us.” Eric replied, “Who kidnapped you? You came here of your free will. If you want to go home badly, go ahead and walk home.” We were about 40 minutes away from the nearest town, and it was pitch black all around us. He knew the girls wouldn’t make it far even if they chose that option. The girls started talking among themselves for a bit before arguing lightly. Finally, one of the girls, Lisa, was willing to do what Eric wanted, but the other two didn’t.

Eventually, all three agreed to walk down the road together in the hope of encountering someone who was willing to take them back along the way. Before they took off, Eric started shouting, “Watch out for bears and mountain lions!” After that, we all watched the girls disappear into the darkness.

After they left, Eric and some guys started making bets about the situation. Eric was willing to bet for someone to down a few cans of beer if the girls returned. Another friend went against Eric’s bet. The girls became the talk topic for the next thirty minutes or so.

After about an hour had passed, Eric suddenly shouted, “Look who’s back!” From the darkness, the three girls re-emerged. They seemed to have been arguing, and Lisa was upset with the other two. She abandoned them and quickly walked to where we were. She approached Eric and asked, “If I do what you want, do you promise to give me a ride back?” Eric looked at her with a big grin and asked, “What about your friends?” Lisa replied, “I don’t care what happens to them. I’m doing this for myself.” The other two girls were still standing near the edge of the campsite, talking among themselves. Eric looked at Lisa and said, “I have a lot of friends here; you should go and convince your friends too.” After hearing this, Lisa headed over to where her two friends were.

After a few minutes, the three returned, and May asked, “Do you guys have condoms?” Joe pulled out a box of condoms and showed May. She then demanded that only the people she picked be allowed to have sex with her and that we must keep this a secret. She was afraid of her boyfriend finding out. Eric and the guys quickly agreed, and Joe went around and handed everyone a condom. When he got to me, I told him I wasn’t feeling it and didn’t want one. He asked me if I was sure about this, and I reconfirmed with him. Though I wanted to, deep down in my heart, I knew this was wrong. I knew the girls were only willing because they had become desperate, forced into a difficult situation, and this was their only way out. I watched my friends go in and out of those tents, coming out with smiles on their faces. After a while, it almost seemed like Brittney’s and Lisa’s moans were getting louder and louder as if they were enjoying themselves. After hearing their moans, I’ll admit, I was tempted to ask Joe for a condom but felt embarrassed after having refused earlier. As this continued, I noticed that May wasn’t around, so I asked Joe where she was. Joe told me he had seen Eric and May walking to his truck earlier.

Earlier, after the girls left, Eric had called “dibs” on May because, according to him, she had a bad attitude, and he wanted to teach her a lesson. He also mentioned that no one could touch her except him when they returned.

Lisa was the first to emerge from one of the tents when everyone was finished. She shyly asked for water and went into the other tent to check on Brittney. They both came out of the tent and sat on the chairs we had set up around the campfire. Brittney asked where May was, and one of the friends informed her that she was in the backseat of Eric’s truck.

Everyone gathered around the campfire, which was a bit of an awkward situation. There was barely any talking, and it seemed as if everyone was lost in time, staring at the fire. This embarrassing silence finally broke when May returned from Eric’s truck. When Lisa saw her, she pointed and clapped, saying, “Look who’s back. See, was it so bad? We could have just done this earlier, and we would have been home already.” May looked at them with what seemed like a joyful face and asked if they were ready to leave because Eric was waiting in the truck to take them home. The girls got up, and to my surprise, they hugged everyone. I was confused about why they would do that, especially after what had just happened. Then, they got into Eric’s truck, and we watched the truck’s taillight vanish into the night.

Eric returned to the campsite at around 1 am the following day. Most of the guys were already asleep, and I was also getting ready for bed. On his return, the first thing Eric did was brag about how he got everyone laid tonight. I knew I should have kept my mouth shut, but I didn’t and responded jokingly, “Everyone except me. It seems to me like it was rape.” I saw the devil emerge from Eric’s face when those words came out of my mouth. He grabbed a beer can from the table nearby and threw it right at me, hitting the side of my face. I quickly tried to mend the situation by letting him know I was only kidding, but it was too late. He dashed toward me and punched me in the face. I fell to the ground, and seconds later, his kicks pounded my body.

Confused out of my mind, I did my best to try to get up and was only barely able to do so due to John holding Eric back briefly. He had gotten ahold of Eric’s arm and was pulling him back while trying to de-escalate the situation. Finally, Eric got in John’s face and told him to let go, or he was going to shoot him. John released Eric, and Eric pulled out a handgun from his waist. He pointed the gun at me and asked if I wanted to die tonight. I told him that I was sorry. I didn’t intend to offend him and was seriously only joking around. A few friends heard the commotion and came to see what was happening. After a moment passed, they were able to convince Eric to put the gun away. They separated Eric and me for the rest of the night.

After that incident, I lay in my tent, my eyes closed, thinking of what had happened. I envisioned all these different scenarios that could have occurred in my head. I eventually came to my senses and realized that I could have died tonight. I concluded that this wasn’t the life I wanted to live, and these people, especially Eric, probably weren’t my brothers.

I didn’t speak to Eric after this incident. I stopped talking to him altogether. Two weeks later, I got a phone call from Tommy, asking if I wanted to go to a house party. He mentioned that May and the other two girls were going to be there and were down to have sex. Hearing this made me regret saying no two weeks ago. If I had known that they might have been willing, maybe I would have joined Eric and the others, and the whole situation would have never happened. I asked Tommy if Eric would be there, and he replied, “Yeah, May and Eric got a thing going on now, I think.” I kindly refused and told him I was busy. Little did I know, this was the start of my separation from these people I once considered my brothers.

As time passed, I grew distant from my friends. They stopped reaching out, and we eventually grew apart. Then, about two years afterward, I heard from my parents that Eric had been murdered in a drive-by shooting. After hearing the news, for some reason, I felt a sense of relief. He was like my older brother, and I looked up to him. Knowing that he was no longer in this world should have made me feel some type of way; instead, I was happy about his passing. Perhaps it was because he traumatized me that night and, due to my pettiness, I felt like he deserved it. But I do admit that I am pleased that he is no longer here with us. Am I wrong to feel this way?


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