Hi! I am writing an essay for my 101ENG class. I was wondering if you could give me your input on how I can make it better and any other comments you have!

Thanks!

I was a stay-at-home mom of a 9 month old boy named Charles Jaylin, and 8 months pregnant with my second, which would be a girl and would be named Jessica Cheyenne. I remember being excited about going to the flea market because I didn’t get out much. The flea market was a big building that had five different wings, from section A-E. You can find virtually anything you want there. There were booths that sold beautiful wood furniture, booths that sold clothes, booths that sold toys, booths that sold pictures, booths that sold license plates, booths that sold jewelry, etc. Sundays are always crowded. You can’t turn around without practically running into someone, let alone trying to maneuver through the crowds. The air is always stale, humid, and smoky because of all the people. It makes you feel almost claustrophobic trying to breathe air that probably has been breathed in a hundred times over. To a pregnant woman, at least to me it felt oppressive. So we decided to venture outside. That was a bad idea! I think we must’ve stepped from the frying pan into the fire, literally! My family and I were browsing the outside booths; sweating like crazy it was so sweltering hot. It was difficult to breath the air was so humid. I don’t see how the vendors could sit out there all through the day and not pass out. There were rows upon rows of wares to look at. Basically the same thing that was inside the building, just outside. One vendor was selling oranges. They looked so good and they were at a bargain price so I just had to have them. I looked up from paying for the oranges and I noticed my aunt and some other family members making their way toward me. We all exchanged pleasantries, and small talk, asking how everyone was doing. She commented on how big my little boy was getting and how good he acted. I told her that was just because it was the first time she’s seen him. Usually he acts spoiled rotten all the time wanting his own way!

As we talked I noticed this man that was standing off to the side of her small group, he kept staring at me the whole time we talked. He was really starting to freak me out. He was a medium skinned black man, well over 6’ probably closer to 7‘, bald headed (whether by shaving it or through genetics I don’t know). He was a heavy set guy, I’d say on his way to 300 pounds. Even though he was smiling and seemed friendly he had an intimidating air about him. I could’ve easily imagined him with a rigid stance, his huge arms crossed against the breadth of his chest, with a big scowl on his face. I don’t think that I would have felt any different about him. Some feeling must have shown on my face because he smiled and spoke to me. “You don’t know who I am, do you?” he questioned.

Now, I was pretty sure that I had never seen this guy before in my life, but I took a couple of moments to study his face just in case. The shape of his face was more oval than anything and he didn’t have any wrinkles yet. He had long eyelashes, and deep, dark brown eyes. He had full, high cheekbones. The man’s nose wasn’t big, but it was kind of fat, the same with his lips. They weren’t big, but they were plump, with the bottom one a little fuller than the top. He reminded me of the actor who played Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire television show. Except this man wasn’t so chunky or as light skinned as “Uncle Phil”. I had no idea who this guy was, why would he think I knew him? I shook my head at him indicating that I had no earthly idea who he was.

He smiled and announced to everyone that was listening, “I am your dad!”

The first thing that popped into my head was that he wasn’t my dad. My daddy was the one who raised me. My daddy was the one who loved me, who wanted me. My daddy was the one who kissed my hurts, who held me when I cried. My daddy was the one who laughed with me when I was happy. My daddy was the one who introduced me as his daughter and dared anyone to say otherwise. He caught me off guard and I was really embarrassed for not being able to recognize my own father and wishing that he hadn’t just blurted it out like that. My father invited me to his house for a visit so we could get aqainted All I could do was stand there and stutter through the rest of the conversation, rushing to get away from these people who acted like they knew me, but didn‘t have a clue.

I felt guilty but it wasn’t really my fault that I didn’t know him, because he had never been there for me; he was never a prominent figure in my life. The whole time I was growing up I only remember seeing my father a handful of times. When I did see him it would be in a store or I remember I saw him a fireworks show one year. He would say hi and make a fast retreat.

After this incident, I went to my mom and told her that I saw my father and that he invited my family to his house for a visit. It was just a statement; I wasn’t really expecting a response. I hear an indrawn breath so I slowly raise my eyes to her face. She has turned beet red and she is angry, really angry. “I don’t know why he invited you when he never wanted you when you were a baby. He was to busy taking care of his baby boy!” she said, with every word her voice getting louder. By the time she said the last word she was practically screaming at me. I asked her the question that was ricocheting through my brain, “Mom what baby boy?” She clammed up and wouldn’t say anymore about it.

Why would she keep something so obviously important from me? I have a little sister and step-brother, but I’ve always wanted an older brother. I wanted someone to be to me what I am to my little brother and sister. It’s crazy to think that I’ve always had that relationship and never known about it. I was so upset with her for keeping something with so much importance from me. Looking back, from now to then, I understand. My dad never wanted me and my mom didn’t want me to feel unwanted or unloved, so she just never talked about anything that had to do with my father. I understand, but it was a bad decision to keep a relationship from both of us (my brother and I) that we could have cherished.

I have never tried to contact my brother or even tried to find out who he is. I still think about the idea of having a brother and what it means to me. I wonder about how his life had been and how it is. I’m not ready to take that step just yet, but you never know what tomorrow will bring.
In your duplicated posting of this you said that this was an autobiographical essay for class. You do realise that means that it has to be a true story from your life?

Anyway, I haven't time to go through this 100% but it seems well written, it flows well, and you have a talent for narraitive. My only reservations are about the physical description of your 'dad'. You seem a bit obsessed by the 'big bad black man' image but surely if he was your dad you'd be black to some degree as well, so why are you so scared by/intrigued by his appearance? To comment like this on someone's racial appearance is acceptable in some cultures, but it may not go down so well in class in America!
I wasn't trying to describe him as being the big, scary, black man! LOL! I was just trying to describe him! Maybe I used too much detail? Thanks for the input! [Y]