He heard more shots, but stopped feeling them. A chill crept up his legs.
Davien watched the sedan disappear down the street. He saw the boy he had bought the Twinkies for and other children spilling out of a nearby apartment building.
He was having trouble breathing. He felt sleepy.
He tried to raise his eyelids to see if the shooter was returning. He knew gangsters don't like to leave witnesses.
Davien was raised not to snitch.
He grew up south of the Foothill Freeway and Monrovia's quaint downtown, in a frayed, unincorporated area neighbors call No Man's Land.
The oldest of six children, he learned as a small boy not to feel safe anywhere. He played under the towering pines and sweet gum trees of Pamela Park, where gangbangers stashed guns in bathrooms and addicts left crack pipes in sandboxes.
He witnessed his first drive-by when he was 4 years old. He came to recognize the sound, "like a loud drum, a thunderclap."
He grew leery of sedans with tinted windows, "drive-by cars," and gangsters who sprinted past his house and across "the wash," a drainage canal, with police in pursuit.
For Davien's safety, a relative had walked him to school — until he, too, was shot and his body dumped in the wash.
Davien had one goal in mind: to make it to his 21st birthday.
Drug dealers, bookies and hustlers called to him from the streets: "Hey, Day Day! You just like your dad."
The comparison made him cringe. Davien's father, Steven Graham, or Steve-O, was a Crip who pleaded guilty to cocaine possession weeks after Davien was born. Steve-O would spend several years in prison.
Afterward, on days Steve-O got high or drank too much, he would put on his sunglasses and take Davien out to the yard for lessons in manhood, often bringing a shotgun.
Davien's mother, Sharri McGhee, also struggled with drugs.
Even so, when times were good, Davien felt as though he belonged to a normal family. His mother would check them into an Embassy Suites hotel so they could swim in the pool. It felt like Disneyland.
Then he woke up one morning and all his videos and the TV and VCR were gone, and he saw his dad walking home because he had sold the car, too.
By the time he started school, Davien had learned not to depend on adults for protection. He saw kids whisked away from their parents by the state, or sent to juvenile hall. He promised his younger brothers he would take care of them.
One day he found his pregnant mother lying on the back patio, convulsing. At the hospital, she delivered a premature baby girl with drugs in her system.