††††††††† I can remember always wanting to become a teacher.† During my junior year of high school, I finally met a teacher who inspired me.† She was a special person who always wore a smile each time I saw her.† When she spoke, her voice was as soft as a lullaby melody.† She always walked with a lot of confidence.† By always picturing this teacher in mind, I knew nothing or no one could change my dream.† When I finished high school, I then went to college.
††††††††††† The first year and a half of college was a little hard for me because I was away from my family.† I was both very nervous and very excited.† I really didnít know what to expect.† Albany State, the college I chose to attend, provided a great experience.† The school was 90 percent African-American students.† It was so nice to see so many of my race in one place.† Some of my high school classmates also attended Albany State.† One of them was my roommate.† I did lots of things with my friends.† We were always going to parties, movies, and the mall, and we also studied together.† After a while, I started to feel lonely because I missed my boyfriend back at home.† I then decided to transfer to Valdosta State University.† I made a huge mistake coming home.† The main reason I transferred was to be with my boyfriend.† Later I found out it wasnít what I really wanted.
††††††††††† I continued to attend VSU.† A year later, I felt as if something else was missing in my life.† One Saturday night, my girlfriends and I went to a Bobby Brown concert on campus.† The concert was very exciting.† Bobby Brown did a terrific job performing.† The audience was very involved in his music and danced and sang along.† I decided to go get something to drink from the concession stand.† While I was standing in line, I noticed a familiar face from behind.† At first I thought that there was no way, that it couldnít be him.† I then saw him walking towards me.† I couldnít believe my eyes.† I looked at him as if I had seen a ghost.† I truly thought my heart dropped into my stomach.† It was my First Love.† I screamed his name, and as soon as I was able to breathe, I asked him what he was doing there.
††††††††††† Rufus and I began talking about old times.† While talking, all I could think about was how we got away from each other.† I was very young when I met him.† My parents, especially my father, didnít care for him a lot.† They thought Rufus was too old for me.† Rufus decided to join the Army.† As time went by, Rufus and I drifted apart.† After all that time, I finally got to see him again.† I asked him to join my friends and me.† That concert was a special memory for me.† As time passed, Rufus and I continued to communicate.† He lived in Cleveland, Ohio, and I didnít get to see him often.† One night while talking on the phone, Rufus asked me to marry him.† I felt as if my childhood dream were coming true.† Before I knew it, I had said yes.† A month later, I moved to Cleveland.
††††††††††† Cleveland was beautiful during the winter.† There was always lots of beautiful white snow everywhere.† It was my first visit to Cleveland, and I had never seen so much snow.† Rufus and I got married a few weeks later.† I was very excited to marry the man I had always wanted to marry, or so I thought.† After Rufus and I were married a month, I found out I was pregnant.† I was very nervous at firstóit all happened so fast.† Rufus was a happy man. He always wanted a son.† He just knew I was having a boy.† Months later Rufus was right; I had a healthy baby boy and named him Rufus Nelson IV.† Things were very good for Rufus and me.† At times I found myself thinking about home.† I began to feel home sick.† It was the first time I had ever been so far away from home.† I couldnít just drive down the street to my momís house.† Rufus was a man who loved to work.† Our working schedules were always a conflict.† There were very few times he and I had a chance to be together as a family.
††††††††††† Another year went by. I often thought about going back to school.† The more I thought about it the more excuses I came up with.† I became very depressed and just wanted to be home with my family.† I decided to talk to Rufus about how I felt.† Naturally, he didnít understand why I felt this way.† Months later, I asked Rufus for a divorce.† I moved back to Valdosta, and as soon as I could, I went back to school.† I finally got my degree in education.† I came out of school in the spring and got a job in the fall.† That was a joyous experience for me because there were many times I thought Iíd never get my degree.† To me this is a major turning point in my life that I am very happy to have achieved.