In Case…

In case you wanted to know a little more about me, here is an essay I wrote in HS:

Life is like a movie montage. I lay back and watch the clips of my past play on the back of my eyelids like a film. Some memories are a blur, and some are vivid. All are significant. All have shaped me into who I am today,

I’m three. This isn’t my first memory, but this is where my movie truly begins. I don’t see the police charge into my grandmother’s kitchen; but I can see my mom with tears cascading from her eyes. I cry too as she speaks words I don’t understand. Now I’m in bed. Dad is leaning over me, saying his goodbyes. I’m numb. When he leaves, I pee the bed. I still don’t feel a thing.

I’m in first grade. My dad is in jail and my mom has a new boyfriend. I hate him. I walk past him as I get off the bus. He yells my name, but I keep walking. I walk into my fifth grade classroom. My curly hair is in knots, sticking up above my head, and apparently I smell. At least that’s what my teacher tells my mom during our parent teacher conference. Mom cries, what can she do to help me? She doesn’t know what to do with dad in jail. Is it affecting me? It hurts to see her cry like that. I want to comfort her, but I don’t know how. I look at my teacher who looks at me expectantly, like “what do you have to say for yourself?” I look back; back to fourth grade when mom gets a call from my dad’s fiancée. He was arrested again, and deported to Jamaica. His last chance to see his only daughter and he failed her once again. I look down to the table, at my project. It looks terrible, and I’ll probably get a seventy on it; but I don’t care. Who needs school anyway?

It’s my first day of middle school, and I’m nervous. I walk into my English class, and my teacher is kind. Maybe school won’t be so bad after all. We’re on poetry week, and I’ve found my calling. As I express my thoughts with a pen on lined paper, it feels right. I start off by writing poetry, but as we work through short stories I realize I’m good at those too. That’s when I knew I wanted to be an author.

When seventh grade comes, I give up again. My hair is hidden under a bandana. I wear one every day because my hair has become un-tamable, and school became unbearable. I wanted to leave. We do. I’m in a new school, and my step-dad is not going to let my grades slip again. I’ll hate him for years. Soon I’ll be thanking him for pushing me.

As my memories flash on the screen, I read my dad’s old letters. I cry and I cry. Through the tears I see, that in a way he was like me. He could write poems that spoke from the heart and gripped your soul. I wanted my work to be that powerful. I take them to school with me and read them in the comfort of the library. I feel calm. It feels like I’m at home as I sit, surrounded by books. I wish to feel like this for the rest of my life. At first I think that I want to open my own library; but then I realize that’s not right. No, I want to open my own bookstore.

With my curls pulled back into a pony-tail, I waltz into the Village Book Market and ask for a job. The owner can’t afford to pay for a real employee, but I agree to help out any way. I sit down at her computer and she teaches me how to catalog books, and the technical terms for describing their condition. It’s not a real job, but I know this is the first step I must take before I reach the second landing.

I open my eyes. The movie is not over, the rest is still being written

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