|First appearance||For my little brother|
|Last appearance||For my little brother|
|Created by||Enoch Leung|
|Parent(s)||Ricky's mother; Ricky's father|
|Sibling(s)||Analyn (older sister); Joel (younger brother)|
Ricky is a character in For my little brother. He is befriended by Garrett, the protagonist in the story, and is his closest non-familial friend. In the novel, he is arrested after attempting to rob a grocery store in a desperate attempt to find food for his siblings.
At the age of four, Ricky's mother gave birth to a stillborn daughter, and came close to dying in the process. While she was able to recover, his father was shaken badly by the incident, and began to view children as a burden. His father began drinking, smoking, and abusing his family members. Both Analyn and Ricky dropped out of school in order to find work.
On Joel's fourth birthday, his mother attempted to flee the house, along with her three surviving children. His father, angered by the decision, lashed out with a bolo: "My mother was about to set foot out the door when my father grabbed a bolo knife and raised it up in the air, ready to strike. My sister quickly got in front of mother to protect her, I quickly got in front of my sister." Ricky took the first blow of the machete, which cut across his left cheek, leaving a scar that "began at his ear, stretching across his face before stopping just short of the mouth." After a narrow escape from being killed by his father, he and his family are eventually able to get away.
Ricky, his mother, and his siblings were forced to live on the streets, fending for themselves. His mother later dies, leaving the three all alone. Ricky, desperate to feed his siblings, began to take bigger risks in order to find their basic amenities, often being confronted by people older and bigger than him as a result. Eventually, he attempts to rob a grocery store, but is unsuccessful and is arrested as a result.
Relationship with Garrett
Ricky's first encounter with Garrett does not start out smoothly; as Ricky was already devastated by his loss, he preferred being left alone, and became cross when Garrett persists. However, Garrett remains patient as he shares his story, enabling Ricky to open up and to share his own background. Garrett and Ricky quickly become close friends, and this closeness enables Ricky to be exposed to Christianity, enables Garrett to focus on something other than his little brother, and enables the two to heal and bond together despite their situation.
- Leung, Enoch. For my little brother. "His attitude towards children, especially his own, changed forever. He saw the burden in taking care of them, the way they costed him time and money." Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Leung, Enoch. For my little brother. "This continued for several more years. When my brother was three, my father's drinking and smoking worsened, and he began to shove and hit us. He hit my mother, he hit my sister, he hit me. On more than one occasion he would try to hit my brother, blaming him for the whole ordeal, saying that he was the reason we were beginning to go hungry." Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Leung, Enoch. For my little brother. "He complained about how we were all a burden on him and that we were all staying at home instead of trying to find food for the family to eat, despite the fact that me and my sister had all dropped out of our studies to find work." Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Leung, Enoch. For my little brother. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Leung, Enoch. For my little brother. "Yesterday I tried to rob a grocery store, looking for food to feed my little brother, but I got caught and ran away. I hid in an old building, hoping to spend the night there until the police forgot about me, but someone in the building spotted me and led the cops there. I tried to escape by jumping out the window, but one of the officers grabbed my pants and dragged me back inside. I fought them, wriggling out of their grasp, at one point trying to tackle one of them to get out. One of them took out their baton and hit me in the back. The pain was unbearable, so great to the point that it immobilized me. I was completely helpless when they dragged me out and brought me here." Retrieved 8 July 2017.
- Leung, Enoch. For my little brother. "The figure beside me grabbed my shirt and shook me violently. [Ricky's] eyes were beet red, anger having driven all the tears away. 'I asked you to shut up and leave me alone! I've been through enough already, and now I'm here to rot in this place for who-knows-how-long! Why don't you just leave me to myself?'" Retrieved 8 July 2017.
- Leung, Enoch. For my little brother. "[Ricky's] arm was still around me. I shuffled closer to him and tightened my own grip. It felt nice, feeling the warmth of another human being next to me; it felt warmer knowing that he was my friend. A fairly new friend, but a close friend nonetheless. A true friend, unlike Dodger or Marcos." Retrieved 8 July 2017.