Before AmeriCorps, part 2

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He screamed through the phone. So loud, my friends could hear because they were sitting right next to me. “GET A JOB!” The voice is my boyfriend, Morris, the one who made me happy. The one who dropped out of college and has nothing to do all day but smoke weed and a dead end part time job at a plant nursery. We dated for 10 months. I get a call a few days later, “I have good news and I have bad news: The bad news is that I’m breaking up with you and the good news is that we can still be friends.”

Why would I want to be friends with a guy who cheated on me?

It was the second time in life I had been friend zoned, the second time I had been cheated on, and the sixth time I had been rejected. My voice is smooth. I say “ok” and hang up. I have too much pride to give any answer, but a simple answer. I successfully pulled another one of my famous silent cries- cries so silent no one would ever notice you were crying if they weren’t looking at you. It took me years to master this art. Afterwards, to soothe his guilty conscience, he sends me a text telling me how awesome I am.

Why did you cheat on me if I’m so awesome?

Being called awesome right after a guy cheats on me and dumps me after putting me in the friend zone is something I’ve grown used to. Because of this, I’ve grown a hatred for the word “awesome”.

I lost my boyfriend and my friends continued to bully me. It was final exam week and I was seated in my desk in my algebra class taking the final exam that would determine my fate. If I failed, I would be a college drop out like my ex. If I passed, I would transfer schools and live a successful life. The papers were passed out and I dove in to answer the first question. The WTF expression was all over my face. “That’s ok. Maybe the next question will be better.” Nope. I actually flopped over on my desk and did another one of my famous silent cries right in the middle of class thinking that I’m going to get kicked out of college and become a prostitute because isn’t that what they teach you in school? If you don’t graduate, you’re nothing.

The exam was over and the teacher passed out little folded sheets of paper. If you passed, it would read “Congratulations, you passed!” in big bold letters. Everyone around me cheered and jumped and screamed, others were silent. I took a second to open mine, but I had a good idea what my fate would be.

Mine read “Congratulations, you passed! failed!”

Passed was scratched out and failed was written next to it in pen.

I was given the chance to appeal it and the only way to do that was to write a one page essay describing why I should get a second chance and drive 3 hours from my house near Atlanta to Tifton, GA to speak with the school board in person and read them my paper. Writing has always been my strong point so the paper was a piece of cake. It was saving up enough money to make the 3 hour drive that was hard. Despite our money situation, my parents saved up enough money and made the 3 hour drive to Tifton in a desperate attempt to save my life. My mom and I waited in the office to get a chance to speak with the school board. She said a prayer over me and we held hands. Before making the drive, the person I talked to over the phone sounded 200% positive that my appeal would get approved because, outside of those two classes, my grades were great, but, within 10 minutes of arriving to Tifton, the receptionist walked into the office where we sat waiting and told us that my appeal was denied. We saved up gas money and drove 3 hours for less than 1 minute of conversation of what could have been told to us over the phone. I never even got the chance to speak with the school board or read my paper.

My fate was decided. I was kicked out of college and banned from attending all colleges within the state of Georgia (excluding technical colleges and private colleges) for 3 years.

And, in a sick way, I was happy because I knew this meant I was free to donate one year of my life to serving in AmeriCorps NCCC.

And no more math!

I immediately balled the paper up that I held in my hands and we made the 3 hour drive back home.


2 thoughts on “Before AmeriCorps, part 2

  1. You are incredibly strong. I’m so sorry that I never got to spend more time in AmeriCorps getting to know you, but I’m grateful for the chances that I’m getting now. You absolutely amaze me. Thank you for sharing all of that with us.

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