June 16, 1971 a child was conceived in a communist regime. Born on a chilly fall night on the dinner table in Hanoi, Brian Chi Minh came into a very cold world. His father was Ho Chi Minh, dictator of North Vietnam. The Vietnam War was occurring at this time. Brian Chi Minh was abandoned by his parents during the early stages of his life. As a young child Brian became very violent. He fought a lot of people, which led to the cause of his dentures at a very young age. He was a confused 8 year old child mad at the world. After he had run away from the foster homes and orphanages he became a poor homeless child left to rot in the streets of Vietnam.
Left with nothing and nothing to lose Brian joined a violent crime gang in Hanoi called the Viet kids. The Viet kids were notorious in the streets. They were known for moving drugs and doing whatever it took to keep narcotics flowing in from the west. Brian was young but fearless. The Hanoi Boys took advantage of his age and gave him the title of being a messenger. He would deliver drugs in secret compartments and bring the cash back to the gang. This earned him a good spot in the gang with protection, shelter, and money to flaunt. Brian didn’t know what a family was or what the definition of love was, but when Brian had met the gang he thought that this was the love that he had always been looking for.
Brian eventually grew up and became a shot caller. At a young age of 18 Brian Chi Minh was running the whole gang along with a couple of the most dangerous criminals in Vietnam. He had a whole army working under him on every block and he collected taxes from every major business in Vietnam. Children in the streets would see him and look up to him as a role model. He was drinking a beer when he overlooked at his success and thought, fuck my parents. Look how well off I am without them.
His drug enterprise was huge and expanding. But just as his gang was expanding so was his drug habit for cocaine. One of the rules of the Hanoi Boys was to never become a junkie. The gang started to see one of their leaders going down hill on a road to becoming a junkie. The gang had a meeting without Brian and the leaders discussed amongst themselves. The second in command Hung Low said, “Let’s kill him!” they all agreed. Brian’s name was green lighted and he was marked a dead man Word got to Brian and he had to make a hard decision. I should run to America where I can start my new life and business. Since my drug habit has gotten out of control I know the gang is plotting something against me. I’ll grab the one way ticket tomorrow....
Brian then left the next morning leaving everything he had in Vietnam except a couple pairs of clothes, and a wad of cash. He decided starting over in the U.S would be a good idea and he caught a flight to LAX. He landed in the small town of Cerritos where he blended right in. He had no connections to drugs to make money so he took up a job working at Pho Tasty on the weekends and working as a gardener on the weekdays. Although he worked out he had a big appetite. He stuffed himself with pho everyday after work and in addition he was a smoker/drinker. He was built but he had a gut.
Brian Chi Minh found a hook up from his maid partner Ian Reyes. He was a Filipino immigrant with connections to large amounts of cocaine. What Brian didn’t know was that Ian was an undercover narcotics detective who had been targeting Brian ever since he had moved to the States. Brian decided to pick up some meth to start his business in Cerritos. The pick up was supposed to happen at Friendship Park and everything seemed to be normal. It looked like a regular drug deal. “You got the product?” asked Brian. Ian simply replied, “Yeah it’s in the car.” While walking to the car the warlike talkie went off and Brian knew it was a setup. “You son of a bitch!” Brian pulled out a pistol as he saw undercovers at the park disguised as regular citizens. He fired off and hit Ian in the heart. He felt there was no turning back so he decided he would die blasting. He went behind the car and snorted his last gram of cocaine to get his adrenaline rush. With no turning back he took a deep breath and came out the side of the car dumping his clips on the undercovers. He killed 3 officers but Brian was shot 12 times and fell to the ground. Lying down his life flashed before his eyes. Next to him was Ian lying dead as well. Brian passed away with his eyes wide open, reflecting back at the fucked up world he had lived in.
© Paul Um
Bio: Paul Um resides in Cerritos and is a senior attending Cerritos High School.
He is an artist, but his spare time he enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Writing brings out the best in him.