The waiting room is like any other medical lobby. Rows of unremarkable chairs sorted into neat rows, some awkwardly facing each other with the receptionist’s window serving as the gatekeeper. She hands patients clipboards with paperwork that must be completed before the doctor will see them.
The gang war that raged in the streets of Long Beach over two decades ago reads like something out of a Hollywood movie script. Cambodian and Latino gangs, entrenched in a turf war as bloody as it was brazen, forcing residents to seek refuge indoors when the sun set to avoid the flurry of bullets seeking revenge.
As he laid in a flower bed with a police helicopter still circling overhead, Matthew was convinced that he had evaded the law. He’d led police officers on a high-speed pursuit in a stolen Toyota Camry that he eventually ditched. As he stared up at the sky, the certainty of freedom was tangible, until a neighbor spotted him. The only sure thing now was that he was headed back to prison.