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English 101: Never Too Late

August 10, 2017

This summer I’ve been taking English 101, composition and reading classes, with Feather River College. I received a high grade and good feed back on my first narrative essay. My professor said I had a good intro, good story telling, liked my conclusion, and said essay was well composed. My major errors ere with punctuation: a few misplaced or absent commas and semicolons. I was really nervous turning in my first essay, and here it is for you to read.


Never Too Late

The first thing I ever stole was a pack of Skittles from the corner store. I’d seen my parents steal many times and, at this early point in my life, believed it was okay to take what I wanted. My mother realized I’d stolen the Skittles as I ate them on the walk home, but she didn’t reprimand me for my behavior until the next time she caught me stealing. She’d told me that what I’d done was wrong, which only confused me since I’d seen her and my father do it countless times. I loved and admired my parents, so how could it be wrong? I continued to steal throughout my childhood and into my early adulthood, but I never thought that it was a big deal; in fact, I took pride in my exceptional abilities as a thief. Then one night everything began to change after I accidentally killed a man who had been trying to protect his property. I was sentenced to twenty five to life in prison, and suddenly, all the crimes I’d previously been proud of became terrible thoughts that haunt my memories today.

Crime was something that I’d taken pride in because it was one of the few things I’d considered myself good at. I’d been in high speed chases and gotten way from the police, committed robbery and beat the charge in court. I could easily steal from large chain stores like Kmart or Walmart, but I found myself unable to maintain a healthy relationship with a woman, my home life was made up of dysfunctional drug addicts, and I’d lost the only three jobs I’d ever had. My self esteem was at benthic levels in a sea of melancholy, but stealing made me happy because nine times out of ten I succeeded.

I first stole a vehicle when I was fifteen years old and now, at the age of twenty one, grand theft auto was no complicated endeavor for me; this time I even had the keys which was supposed to simplify the task further. The thought that somebody could lose their life never crossed my mind. As I pulled the truck away from the driveway and paused in the street to turn on the headlights, I heard the voice of an irate man scream, “Hey, that’s my truck! I’m going to kill you!” I absolutely believed that he would try to kill me if he caught me, and I sped off down the street, unaware that he’d been able to jump into the bed of the truck as I drove off. In my haste to get away, I swerved down the narrow, dimly lit street, hit the front of a parked car and lost control. As the truck flipped through the air, the owner was thrown in one direction, hitting a tree and dying instantly, while I was flung in the other direction, landing in the middle of the street with hardly a scratch on me. I sprang to my feet and ran, but in short time, I could hear the police closing in from every direction and wasn’t able to run very far before being captured.

Two San Diego Police officers stood guard over me in the hospital, where I’d been taken to be checked for internal injuries, and as I lay in the bed surfing the television channels one of the officers snatched the remote from me. He said, “People who kill other people don’t get to decide what they watch on TV. You’ve been causing problems in my town too long and I hope they put you away forever.” I was in complete disbelief at the officer’s accusation of murder. It was true that I’d been having run-ins with the law in that part of town, so I figured he was just trying to unnerve me. It wasn’t until I was transferred to the county jail and I was formally charged with murder that it hit me.

I spent the next two years in jail awaiting trial and contemplating the fact that life can change in the time it takes to breathe a single breath. When I was sentenced to twenty five to life in prison every foolish crime I’d committed in my life began to play on repeat in my mind and every ounce of former pride nascent self-loathing and shame. I refused to consider the notion that my life could be anything but chaos and misery, and why should it be? I’d killed someone and something like that just doesn’t go away.

I’m turning thirty one soon and I’ve decided change is possible. I don’t have to live a life of crime. I can go to school and attend groups and vocational training in search of knowledge that will help me grow as a person. I can give instead of take and I can be happy if I want to, maybe even make it out of here one day.


From → BLOG

  1. I love your essay. Wish you all the best. Can see you are on the right track. Whether you are religious or not I will pray for you you it can’t hurt. I know your grandmother I see her strength in you.


  2. Theresa Adair permalink

    I enjoyed reading your essay. I am proud of you for taking advantage of your time to learn and to grow as a person. You are learning so many new and wonderful things that will help you with your life. I look forward to reading more of your future writings. Theresa Adair, Your Third Cousin LOL


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