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The Memoir of Makeem White

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This is the memoir of me, Makeem. It was a over a year ago in the city of Pittsburgh. I had just got into a high school for science and technology which is in Oakland. It was a big gray building. And that's where everything begins.

I was a ninth grader that year, walking through those long, somewhat narrow halls. At first, I seemed very lonely. But then I began to make some friends. On the initial day of ninth grade, I befriended a guy named Will. Boy, he was a huge slacker. However, he was a pretty cool guy.

On the day of my inaugural English class, I introduced myself and I brought out into the open that I had Autism. The class did not see that coming. In fact, one of my classmates asked what Autism was. It was hard to explain. Another person asked me, “You have autism? But you look so normal.” I got that response a lot.

Then, on the ninth grade nation trip to Camp Guyasuta, there was a girl named Essence, who, in fact, on that day, got my name correct on the first try (that is quite a rarity). She was as beautiful as the sunset, as smart as Steve Urkel, and, best of all, she was a very fun and caring person to be around. Essence really made my day. She said to me, “Hey, Makeem. Are you having a good time?” That really surprised me, since no one would be able to get my first name correct on the first try.

Soon after that trip, I started to make more and more friends. Meanwhile, my mind was on Essence, the girl I had just met through the beginning of the school year. She was everything I had wanted in a girl: good looks, intelligent, sweet, and cheerful in a good way.

When I had my first conversation with her, I asked her, “When's your birthday?” She said, “January 12th.” I wasn't too pleased with that. Back in my days at Lincoln, I was one of the youngest graduating students there. I was the third to youngest male in my class, and, on top of that, I was the seventh to youngest student in the same class. Essence then asked me the same question, and I responded with a disappointing “March 3rd.” Then, I vowed to remember her birthday as a token of my friendship, and to be a great friend to her.

The day before her birthday, I told her that “I was going to surprise her,” and I promised on that. The same night, I chose to hand-make a birthday card for her. Using a variety of colored pencils, crayons, scissors, and white construction paper, I made the card. I also drew inside and out of it as well. Then, I wrote a small message inside. It read:

“Happy birthday, Essence. You're fifteen. There are some people that do not care for their friends birthdays. I'm not one of those people. A birthday is the day that you and your friends should cherish.”

Your Friend,

Makeem
“P.S., You're beautiful (oops... that slipped).”

On Essence's special day, as she came through the metal detector, I approached her and said, “Happy birthday, Essence. I made you a card.” I pulled out the card and gave it to her. She looked as happy as a football team winning the Super Bowl. She read the card, and she told me, “Makeem, I didn't know you could draw!” Essence then said “Thank you” and she walked away with joy.

In math class on the same day, Terrance, on of my classmates, asked me if I liked Essence. I said, “What? No!” He then told me that everyone knew about the card I gave to her. At the end of the day. I was bundled up, and ready to go. At the end of the hall, I saw Essence, and she embraced me with happiness. She told me that I “made her day,” and she gave me another thank you. We sat down and talked for a brief moment. I told her that everything from the card “came from the heart,” and she replied, “I know.” I then proceeded to tell Essence about my struggles with making the birthday card, and it was a challenge.

On the night I made the card, I did have a hard time making the core of the card a perfect as possible. I screwed up with the colored pencils, and I messed up on the message since I used pen. But, she didn't mind the fact that I struggled on making something special, but she did appreciate what I did for her. We hugged each other, and said goodbye to each other. That was the day my true feeling for her started to kick in. I was developing my first high school crush.

A couple weeks after her birthday, I asked Essence if she liked me. She said, “As a friend.” I told her that my brother forced me to do this. After that little mishap, we proceeded to a pretty engaging conversation. I told that I had a twin brother named Asante. She was very intrigued learning about my twin, whom at the time I dubbed him “evil.” After we talked for a good ten minutes, we hugged and parted ways.

Over time, our friendship was getting stronger and stronger. She definitely liked me as a person. I remember talking to Essence one day. I came up with a pretty great nickname that I would only use: Sunshine. I came up with it because I thought she was as beautiful as the sunset. She really liked the nickname.

In April, I receives all As in all four of my classes at the time. When I told Essence, she was really proud of me. She was so happy she gave me a caress in delight. Then she told me she had a 3.600 GPA. I replied to her, “A 3.6? Hey, it's okay. You'll do better next time. Don't give up.” She accepted those word of encouragement, and she replied back, “Thanks, Makeem.” I was very happy when I had a 4.000; I was psyched out of my mind. I even told my adviser.

Towards the end of the year, my feelings for Essence were increasing. On May 24, 2012, I caught the 71B in Downtown. I hopped on the bus, and guess who was on there: Essence. We greeted each other, and I took a seat next to her. I thought it would be the moment to reveal my inner feelings for her; inside my mind, I hesitated. I couldn't bring out the audacity to tell the person I love the truth. But I did tell her that my previous home had a fire on the third floor; she was very shocked to hear that. Essence told me “not to give up,” and I abide those words to this very day.

Later that same day, during activity period, the group, which consisted of myself, Essence, a girl named Casey, two guys named Morgan and Ben, and one of the advisers, went outside to play kickball. It was a three-on-three affair. Myself, Essence, and Casey were on one team; the remaining people were on the other. I was the first to kick. As the ball came towards me, I squandered my opportunity for a home run. However, I did a lot better on the second kick; I made it all the way to second base. Then Casey went up to bat. She had two foul balls, bu then she got the job done. I was running my fastest to get to home base; no one caught me at all. I made hone, and immediately after touching home plate, I lifted Essence up and embraced her (out of joy, of course). Unfortunately, I was only one who actually scored a measly point in the kickball game.

A few days after the game, She told Jaleel, a good friend of mine, about the kickball game. She acknowledged how fast I was, and that I scored the only point. Hearing that made me feel pleasant about myself. I even pointed out that I did, indeed, score the only point in that somewhat abysmal kickball game.

Six days after that day, I finally decided what to do: tell Essence the truth about my feelings for her. I walked to her and said, “Hey Essence. We need to talk.” She replied, “About what?” “It's a secret. Please don't tell. I...have feelings for you!,” I ultimately disclosed to her. To my surprise, she replied back, “Awe... that's so sweet. Did your brother tell you to do this?” I told her “No. I'm did this for myself.”

A week later, there was I trip to Kennywood. I happened to be one of many students going on that trip. There was a basketball game there; it required five dollars for one play through. On my first attempt, I failed horribly. The second attempt was the same as the first. But then I hit the jackpot on the third attempt. I earned six points since I made six shots. I was able to get a prize: a stuffed animal. To be blunt, I really didn't want the stuffed animal for myself; I wanted to give to someone.

Three days after the trip, I surprised Essence with the stuffed animal I won at Kennywood. She said “Thank you. I'll add it to my stuffed animal collection at home.” Winning that prize was definitely worth spending fifteen dollars for.

On the second to last day of school, I told Essence that I will be unable to return to school, since I lived in Wilkinsburg. To my dismay, Wilkinsburg was only twenty minutes away from the school (well, where I lived in that dump). She wasn't very happy with that, and I wasn't either. On the last day of school, we had our last conversation. We hugged each other. I told her that I can't make it back to school the following year. “That's so that. Hearing that makes me wanna cry,” she said in a very sad tone. I said my last words to her. They were: “You'll always be my sunshine. Farewell, Essence” During our final embrace, her last words to me were, “Goodbye, Makeem. I'll miss you.”

That was the saddest moment in my freshman year. It's devastating to know that after all of the accomplishments you had, you were forced to leave after making a spectacular impression. You know what's worse? Saying goodbye to the person that you loved the most. To my chagrin, that's what happened to me.

The End



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