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Have you ever wondered what it's like to be the new girl and have almost everybody hating you because the way you look and the way you dress? There's always a couple of people who stand out in a crowd. You feel me? Then there's always that one person who just feel like they're better then everybody. Fighting, yelling, arguing, screaming, throwing big fits, and being disrespectful is what sent me to South Carolina and Saluda Opportunity Academy. I had many obstacles I could have chosen. But instead I chose to take the hard way. People say life is easy when your living around peace. If they say that, then why make life so hard? Listen to how I accomplished the meaning to change, but understood and interpreted the real meaning to who I am, and why it's better to change.
“Hello, Mrs. Dozier?”
“Yes, may I ask who's speaking.”
“This is officer James speaking. We need for you to come down to the police station immediately. We have your daughter Tenequla under arrest.”
“Under arrest for what?” she screamed.
“Assault. I'll explain everything when you get down here.”
“I'll be down there in just a minute.”
“I didn't assault anyone liar. She spit on me and I gave her a taste of her own spit. I gave her what she deserved.” I yelled to the officer.
“QUIET.” He yelled back.
I was a bad person at the time. I beat up people for no apparent reason. The mystery to me moving down South lies behind this story. I was afraid to tell anyone the old me, but now I could care less what others think of me. To me I wasn't a good person. Once I got into the 10th grade I began hanging around the wrong people and doing the wrong things. Things I never thought I'd do. I became addicted to the street life, so my attention lived in the streets.
When my mother reached the police station, she was very angry with me. I could here her before she reached into the station on the phone telling somebody what happened to me. With great acuity my mother figured out the problem. I figured she knew me best and that she would understand me. I was wrong. Nothing I said mattered to her anymore. That's when I became a bigger problem. You couldn't tell me to do anything because I would do the opposite or I would just give you h*ll. I was desperate to become the devil I knew inside me I was getting ready to become.
“Mrs. Dozier, how are you this afternoon?” Officer James asked.
“I'm not doing so good. I didn't come here to chit-chat with you. Where is my daughter and why is she in here?”
“Well I'm sorry. We completed her paper work. She's 16 years old, so were handling this case as an adult charge.
“An adult charge? You've got to be kidding me.” My mother screamed. Everyone stopped and looked at her. She didn't care though. She was upset.
“Yes, an adult charge. She will be finger printed and processed over night. She will be in the bookings by tomorrow morning. Her court date will be tomorrow night.”
“I'm not understanding you Sir. I'm listening, but I'm not hearing you. She's only 16 years old.”
“I understand, but she and another young lady beat day lights out of another young lady.
After James told my mother what really went down. She had no words to speak to me. She got up out her seat and grabbed my belongings. She didn't even say goodbye to me. She rushed to the exit. I knew I hurt her more then anything I've ever put her through, but I still couldn't feel no sympathy of her beliefs. She couldn't get through to me because my head was so far gone in the streets.
“Tt you scared?” I asked.
“No, they not going to do anything. I've been through this process plenty of times.” she smiled and then laughed like being behind bars was what she was used to doing. So were was my feelings at? That's right, I didn't feel a thing. My heart was to strong to break down now.
“Oh word? I feel you.” I repeated twice as my words echoed the cell.
I had no second thoughts. Despite all my set backs I was going to preserve what I wanted. The next day I went to court and the judge told me “If I ever see you back in my court room, you'll be doing some hard time. I'm sick of seeing you.”
I was thinking in my head his bold-headed, big nose, stank breath, rotten teeth, and all types of things. So where is the love at? I looked at any and everyone, like everybody was a threat to me except my friends and family. Now the hatred began.
I used to cut school to go hang out and smoke. I won't deny or lie, I used to do it all. I would party when I wanted to. I would come home when I felt like it, disrespect any and everybody except my mother. I wouldn't argue with her back, I would just walk out the house. I was afraid of her deep down inside. Fighting? I was used to it. It was what I did, who I was, what I became, a fighter. I joined a group called “True Bosses Only” (TBO). Once I became apart of TBO I was a whole new person. You wouldn't believe it was me. All the rumors were lies because everything I did was out in the open because I had that attitude where I didn't care. How you spread a rumor and doesn't know the truth? Anything anybody said about me and I know it wasn't true, then we had a problem.
About two weeks later I came home from school and everything was packed. I'm thinking “No, this is the wrong house.” My mother approached me, cleared her throat and said “Were moving to South Carolina.”
“But, but, but, why? I screamed.
“because I don't know what to do with you. I don't want to wake up one night or morning to a phone call and hear you've been shot, killed, raped, or you just going to spend the rest of your life in jail. I won't do it.”
“Ma? Please, I promise I will change.” Repeating with desperate tears in my eyes.
“You always promise. Every time I tun around, it's either you out their fighting, you drunk, or you locked up. Now my words is final and I don't want to hear anything about it . Get whatever it is that you need. Most of your things are packed. Were leaving in a half hour.”
“Leaving? Who? Not me ! I'm not going.”
“Yes you are. Don't talk back to me. Now you heard what I said.”
“Were leaving in a half hour?”
Those words lingered through my head over and over. What about my life? What about how I feel? What about me? I couldn't say goodbye to my friends or family. We just up and left, we disappeared into the wind and no one even knew I was gone. I was hurting. I was upset, angry, disappointed, rude, mean, and sassy, how could she move us to the middle of nowhere? I know I had plenty of family in the South, but I'm not a country girl, I'm a city girl. I didn't want to be around them. I wanted to be around my friends. This is not my home I kept thinking. I want to go back home.
My first day Down South was boring and hot. The sun felt like a volcano erupting. My cousins Terrence and them took me to lakes, parties, cookouts, etc. I had a good time, but it wasn't like being around my friends, or partying with them. I still wanted to go home. Summer was almost over. It was about two weeks left. I wasn't looking forward to starting school because I didn't know none of those people. I always knew the older folks from the parties. They were cool. So how would the kids look at me? I knew my attitude was rough. I was going to school with that attitude like I didn't care, because I didn't. I went to school with a positive mind. I was willing to give them a chance, but it wasn't nothing like I was hoping it to be. The boys were really cool. They made boring days feel like we were outside playing in middle school. Some of the girls were cool. Most of them hated me because I was pretty and how I dressed. I never looked at any of them like that. They pushed my buttons until I couldn't take it anymore. I started flipping out on everybody, even the teachers. They expelled me and sent me to Alternative School. Times were hard for me down here.
“Tenequla, why are you behaving this way? I taught you better than this.” My mother asked me.
“ because you dragged me down here in the middle of nowhere. I hate it down here. I hate the school, the kids, and this boring town. It's nothing to do. You didn't even give me a chance to say goodbye to anybody.” I HATE IT DOWN HERE.” I yelled and walked away.
So many thoughts were running through my head. I got expelled from school that very same day. I was fed up this town. I missed my old life. I punched the wall and started screaming.
“You disappointed me, you really broke my heart.” she said in a soft tone.
The word broke echoed over and over in my head. A tear drop fell from her eyes. I had never seen my mother cry before. Well I have, but not because I hurt her. The only thing I could do was walk up and down the roads. My heart felt like it had been torn in two pieces. Who was I? I never realized I had become this horrible person. This wasn't me, so who was it? Right then and there I realized that I have a long way to go.
At that point in life, I felt a sharp pain. The drip drop of the stain drove me insane. I had second thoughts. I took a leap into the unknown and wished I died at the center of loneliness. I can't seek what life may behold, but to my surprise it beheld. If my anger was a color it would be bright red. As fire burns, as a statue crumble. It would be just like the bitter foul water of the Euphrates River. My sleep had been awful as my family ceases from their tosses and turns. I try to get up, but refusal to stumble. I learned to forget the darkness plucking your veins like violin strings. Listen to life true notes and forgetting yourself with the bullet left buried in your skull. Build your funeral pyre and let hope burn all memory of the pasts broken pieces. Sometimes I do find I'm drifting through this life without effect. But, I hang around because I know there's this greater person waiting to be found.
A wise man once spoke “Character plus education is the key to a true education.” Those were Dr. Martin Luther King words. Thanks to Mrs. Myers, Ms Shealy, and Mr. Patterson. I can now say that I've changed. I have more to work on, but I became a better and mature person. I send apologies to my mother because I never realized that she was protecting me. I know that everything she did was because she loved me. So yeah, “Good things fall apart so better things can come together.”