This is the first draft of my Personal Essay for my Writing Composition class, I really wanted to get some opinions on it, so, here you go.



I hear my mother calling my name.  She sounds so far away, further than the living room or kitchen, which, in this small apartment really is not all that far away.  I get up and walk around the apartment, but I don't see her anywhere.

"Mommy?" I call out. My small three year old voice doesn't carry very well, and in my mind, I know that if she is in the apartment, she can't hear me.

I can't find my Mommy anywhere but I know she's near by because I can hear her, so I'm not afraid like most would think I should be.  I walk into the living room and turn on the TV and watch cartoons.


"Do you want to paint the box we're sending to your Mom?" My grandmother asked me as we filled a care package for my mom. I put in some pictures I had drawn in school and some that I had painted at home.

"Yes!" I said excitedly.

As I continued sorting through photos from my second grade class my grandmother walked into the kitchen and grabbed some old newspapers and took them outside. After a few minutes she came back in and asked if I was done filling the box. I answered yes and watched my grandmother tape it up.  She carried the box outside and then came and got another box out from under the kitchen and carried that outside as well. 

I followed my grandmother out the door and around to the side of the small cottage type apartment.  On the ground under all the trees my grandmother had laid out tons of newspaper and set the box on top of them in the center. She set the box down in front of me. In side of it were ten or eleven different spray cans.

"Go ahead and pick a color" She told me.

I kneeled down and started pulling each can of spray paint out of the box one by one. Pink and green and white and gold and silver all passed my hands without a second thought.  Light blue and dark blue got pushed to the side and there it was, like the perfect pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Jet black.

"This one! This one!" I yelled at my grandmother as I jumped up and down.  I knew this is the color I wanted. Deep inky black the color of the night sky down in San Diego. 

"Are you sure you want that one?" My grandmother asked, then I thought it was because she didn't like the color black, now I know it's because she was hoping to get me to pick a cheerier color. "What about light blue, like the sky?"

"Black is like the sky Grandma!" I told her. I wanted this one, the color of my Mommy's hair in the shade. The color of my hair in the shade. The color in the poem Black is Beautiful that Mommy would read to me over the phone from where ever she was. "This one's perfect Grandma. It's perfect!"

"Well, ok." My grandmother conceded as she showed me how to use the spray paint.
I sprayed the color over the five walls of the box and then we went inside for a snack while we waited for it to dry so that I could spray the bottom. We'd come back out a few hours after I had painted the bottom and we would add a second coat.


"...It's in my bathroom, on the counter."

I walked down the hallway into my mother's bathroom annoyed because of how lazy my mother is. Why didn't she just get it herself? I thought as I walked into her bedroom. Why do I have to clean my room if she doesn't clean hers? I turned to the right to head into my mother's bathroom and on the counter I saw a large white block with lines on in.

As I walked closer to the bathroom I saw that the white block was actually a large brick of cannabis wrapped in what seemed to be saran wrap.  The lines were wrinkles in the plastic, the white that I thought I saw was just the light reflecting off of the plastic. I grabbed the make up my mom had sent me in the bathroom for and turned around and began walking out.  As a second thought I turned and reach out my hand, grabbing a fistful of weed and stuffing it in my pocket.  I walk out of the bathroom and hand my mom her make up and then walk into my room and shove the weed into my backpack.


"You're Aunt Jan and I have been talking and we wanted to let you know that if you wanted to, you could stay here with us forever. We'd adopt you, but you'd still call us Aunt Jan and Uncle Kofi, and you'd still be our our niece, but we'd take care of you the way we do your cousins.  You don't have to tell us anything now, just think about it, and when you make up your mind, let us know."


"...Jasmine Nichole Campbell"

I walked across the stage and hear hooting and hollering and yells and screams coming from the stands.  I look up and see my mother screaming and clapping her hands with a smile so big that it looks as if it could jump off of her face at any moment.  I walk back to the seats and wait for the rest of the seniors to get their diplomas.  We stand and flip our tassels.  I look up and watch tons of royal blue graduation caps flying through the air as I hugged my four best friends.

We walked out to the quad and I searched for my mom.  I finally found her amidst the other students and parents and families and friends.  There she was. Clean, sober, and happy.  Thinking back to that day, I realized that no matter how much fun I had with those four girls, my 'sisters', I realized all my mom and I had been through, and realize that to the best of her ability, she was the one who always made sure I was taken care of.  No matter where she was, or who I was living with at the time, she still took care of me. Even now, as an adult, with a child of my own, if I am having a hard time she's always there, even hundreds of miles away.  When I'm sad, or sick, or broke, there she is, doing everything in her power to take care of me.

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