You never know what you’re up against when you ply these streets, he tells me. One night, I picked up two men in Chinatown. I didn’t want to, but they begged and pleaded. Said they had to get home. I knew something was wrong when one guy kept on sidling up towards his door, at an angle out of my line of sight. Two blocks away from their stop, they tried to stab me. I ran out of the car and they chased me around and around. I got stabbed in the gut and in the thigh. People just stood there watching. One of them chickened out and said they should run. I drove myself to the hospital. I saw a light that night; wanted to follow it, but a voice told me to leave. Said I didn’t belong there. Yet.

Another time, I picked up a family—a young man, a kid, a mom. It was at Megamall. I thought I was safe. The “older brother” rode shotgun; mom and kid in the back. Halfway through, the mom held a knife at my throat. Don’t move, she said. Nothing personal, just business, the young man said. The kid, around 10 or 11, started frisking my pockets. She took my wallet and phone. As they slid out of the cab, I caught her eye. What’s going to happen to you, hija? I asked silently.

I still get chills when I remember how she stared back.©


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