It reminds me of Uncle Carlos’s neighborhood yet it’s different. For one, there’s no gate around it, so they’re not keeping anyone out or in, but obviously people feel safe.

Intentions always look better on paper than in reality. The reality is, I may not make it to the courthouse in the morning.

“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared, Starr,” [Lisa] says. “It means you go on even though you’re scared. And you’re doing that.”

One of Ms. Monroe’s colleagues swears me in, and I promise on the Bible to tell the truth. I silently promise it to Khalil too.

But all those people outside are praying for me. My parents are watching me. Khalil needs me.