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Sierra Dickerson
Spirit’s Demon

Ever had the feeling that you’re different from everyone else around you? Like GOD gave a purpose? Unlike everyone else around you, you understand things differently. No matter how many times you try to explain to folks why you act the way you do ? Have you ever felt like in a situation, you have demons fighting and pulling at your soul? Let me explain what I mean. You might be able to understand me better than the folks in the room with me!
My name is, Spirit. Which means “breathe” or sometimes interpreted “blow.” Don’t ask me why my mother decided to name me that. I personally feel connected to my name. Is it weird or nahh? My mother name is, Destiny. She use to tell me before she died, that my grandmother named her that, because one night she saw in her “dreams” that her destiny wouldn’t be fulfilled. Growing up was a challenge. I lived with my grandmother from the time I turned six. Here I am almost 18, living in the same house, in the slumps of Richmond, California. One of the most dangerous cities of Cali. I don’t have any siblings, but I do have one cousin on my father’s side that I’m real close with. His name is, Rayshawn, but we call him Shawn for short. We attend Richmond Carson High. Where all the girls are either pregnant, or about to slip up, and all the boys sell drugs, or getting handcuffs placed around their wrists. Now that I have told you the basics of my life, let me take you into the depth of why my spirit is fighting demons.
“Spirit, get up now. You know you got to pick up Shawn and get to school on time,” my grandma Patience yelled. I sat up and looked at my clock, which read 4:30 a.m., and then looked back at her crazy. “Grandma, for your name to be patience, you really do not have ANY at all,” I responded back to her. She just chuckled and said, “Chile, time waits on no one, so why should I,” and then proceeded out the door. I sat on the edge of the bed, rubbing the charm on my necklace my mother gave me before she died, and began to do my daily talks with her. After I finished, I hoped in the shower, brushed my teeth, lotion my skin and put on my clothes, then did my hair, and after I finished my hair , I ate. “I love you, Grandma Patience,” I yelled as I locked up the house and went to pick up Shawn. I pulled into Shawn’s driveway, and got out the car. Before I could even knock, Auntie Miranda opened the door and hugged me. She pulled me into the house and sat me on the couch. She looked at me with the biggest smile. “Auntie what is it?” “Spirit, I’m pregnant,” Auntie Miranda blurted out. Tears started to come down my face as I responded, “YES! I’M HAVING ANOTHER SIBLING.” Shawn then came down the stairs and ran and picked me up. He gave me the biggest hug ever and then put me down. We had a small little conversation before it was time for us to head to school. In the car Shawn starred out the window. “Shawn, is there something bothering you?” I proceeded to ask. “Spir, the game starting to get heavy, but you know I can’t hop out. Mama got bills that need help paying, plus a new baby on the way, and then you know how Shanice is,” he responded back to me. I rolled my eyes when he said that skunk name. They have been going together since 9th grade. True enough they were in love, but we are in 12th now, and she changed on him multiple times. She knows I do not mess with her anymore. “Yo Shawn? One, I understand that you want to help Auntie Miranda, but she has a whole husband. Pretty sure he will pitch in on everything, but for you to be trying to do everything for that skunk, is just ridiculous,” I said back with so much anger in my voice. He didn’t even argue my point. He knew I was right and didn’t have a comeback. We pulled up to school and hopped out the car. I looked to my right to see, “Shanice the skunk,” walk to up to Shawn. I just rolled my eyes and seen my boy best friend, Karein, walking my way. We been best friends since 6th grade. His momma is extremely sick. The doctors have no clue what her illness is called, or where it came from. He had an unreadable look on his face. “Karri what’s wrong,” I asked him. “Spir, she gone,” was all he said before he broke down on my shoulder. Not knowing that hearing this news would be the beginning of a day where demons would be nesting.
I rubbed Karri on his back gently. He wiped his eyes and then put back on that face. I grabbed his hands and proceeded into the school. While we were heading to the lookers, we heard Shanice arguing with someone, but then I heard my name being brought up. I then heard Shawn take up for me, so I just got my stuff and went to homeroom. Karri walked in and went straight to the back of class. I got up from my original seat and followed behind him. Shawn walked in so mad. I just looked up at him and smiled. “I’m done with her man,” he told me. “Oh, so you for real this time?” He looked at me and start throwing play punches. We fought till the teacher walked in. I looked at Karri, who was smiling at me. A smile of admiration, I felt butterflies in my stomach. Homeroom was just homeroom. Notes, sleep, and boredom filled the room. Well until, three cops busted into the room with one K-9. They came rushing to the back of the room to Shawn. I tried to get them off of him, but they put him in handcuffs and rushed him out. I grabbed all my things and rushed out. When I made it to my car, Karri hopped in the passenger side. I asked him was he sure about coming, and he shook his head yes. I called Auntie Miranda as quick as possible. “Hello, Auntie Miranda, Shawn just got arrested,” I told her as I heard sniffing. “Spirit I’m at the hospital, I lost the baby,” she responded. I pulled over, my whole heart shattered. “Auntie, I’m sorry to hear that,” I responded. She then sobbed into the phone. I sobbed with her, while Karri rubbed my back, until we pulled ourselves together. “Okay look, this is what I want you to do. Go into the house and in my room, look in the back of the walk-in closet. There is a small door, put in the code 0010. That should open the door. Get all the cash out, put it in your trunk, and then go to the police station,” Auntie told me. I responded, “Yes ma’am, and I love you.” She then said it back and hung up. I pulled back onto the highway and rushed to the Shawn’s house. I then got a call from the county. “I’m gone kill her Spir,” he said with so much malice. “Let me guess, skunk face,” I said in the most nonchalant tone ever. “YES! She been working with the feds man. Uncle Jessabelle on my momma side, work here, and he told me. My bail 20,000 dollars,” he spoke fast, the call was about to end. I told him I got him and proceeded to get everything. When I got everything and headed back on the road , I got a call from an unknown number. “Hello, may I ask who this is?” I asked the person on the other line. “ Good morning is this , Spirit Thomas?” asked the person on the other end. “May I ask who is wanting to know?” I responded curious as ever . “ This is Richmond Carlton General Hospital, we are calling you to inform you that Mrs. Patience Thomas had a stroke. She is okay, but she fell into a coma. She is showing signs of recoverage.” Tears started streaming down my face, once again . I thanked the nurse and informed her I would get there as soon as possible. I started hitting the driving wheel, screaming . I just couldn’t believe today was happening, they way that it is ! We rushed to get Shawn out . When they let him go, he ran to me and gave me a hug. “ I swear you my Ace, lil cuz,” he told me . We did our secret handshake and walked back to the car. We rushed to the hospital to see Auntie Miranda and Grandma Patience.
When we arrived to the desk I asked the nurse, “ What room is Miranda Gowan and Patience Thomas room numbers.” The nurse rolled her eyes at me and looked directly at Shawn and said “ Yes sir , how may I help you today.” Karri and I looked at the nurse like she was crazy . Then all of a sudden I hear, “ Spirit, go off on her Spirit. She clearly heard you, but ignored you.” My whole body began to heat up. I began to open my mouth, but Karri held my hand and whispered, “ Let it go, that negative energy can’t stay, I need you to stay strong.” I looked in his eyes and nodded just a little . He knew I was still mad . Meanwhile , Shawn set the nurse straight, and then she gave us the numbers . When we passed by , she mugged me but I laughed it off . First we went to see Auntie Miranda. I forgot to tell Shawn why we were even here . When we opened the door , Shawn ran to Auntie . “Ma, what’s wrong , I thought Grandma Patience was suppose to be in the hospital bed.” I looked down as Auntie shot me a look. “ Spirit didn’t tell you ?” she said in a low voice. He shook his head and looked at me with confusion. “ Son, I lost the baby. I don’t know what happened or how. I failed you guys. I failed as a wife .” She said while sobbing . Shawn hugged her as tight as he could and reassured it was alright. I took Auntie hands and looked her in her eyes and said, “ when I met you for the first time, I knew we would grow close . I love you so much, you did not fail us at all. GOD lets everything happen for a reason.” She smiles at me as I kissed her head. Then I told her I had to rush to my grandma. She kissed my cheek and told me she was praying, and she would see us later on tonight. Karri then gave me a hug and I felt a tear touch my cheek. We looked at each other with tears in our eyes. “ What if she leaves me ? What if she leaves before I can make her proud ? Karri I’m so scared to go in.” He wiped the tears out of my eyes and said, “ look Spirit. You are my only bestfriend. I know you are one of the strongest women I know. Stop thinking like that. It’s Grandma Patience she might not have patience for you, but she had patience for life . She is not leaving ! Now wipe your eyes and hold your head up.” He kissed me on the forehead . I had reassurance again . We walked and Grandma Patience laid there . I sat next to her and laid on her chest and cried. I lifted up and sat next to her ear and whispered, “ Grandma Patience Thomas, you are a fighter. You are the only person who has loved me with ALL of their heart. The only grandmother personally know . The only person who cannot leave me alone. Please wake up for me.” I felt her squeeze my hand and the wind blew past my face . A message letting me know she was fighting . Karri then got up and said a couple of words and kissed her cheek. Shawn did the same thing . We all walked out of the hospital . We got in the car and I sat my head on the starring wheel . “ I got to get my work from school. Graduation to close to be missing out on work. I got to make Grandma proud.” The boys agreed. When we pulled up , school was being released. Karri went to his teachers and Shawn went to dap his boys up and tell them the news . I had to use the restroom, so I proceeded to the girls room. I heard someone on the phone. “ Yes, I’m getting paid $5,000 for the bust. I loved Karri so much, but he doesn’t love me. He only pays attention to “ sPiRiT”. I can’t stand that trick, she irks my nerves . “ Spppiiirriiitttt, it’s me again boo. Aren’t you tired of her her picking? Always being ran over by her. She is a big, big, big bully. Let everything you went through out on her,” said the voice in my head. I almost punched the door open , but Karri stopped me. “ IM GONE KILL HER SKUNK SMELLING … ooouuuu let me go KARRI, “ I screamed trying to break lose . He slammed me against and a locker and looked into my eyes and said, “YOU DON’T GET IT. GOD is testing you . Everything you have been through, you stayed strong. That voice in your head is wanting you to react . I hear it in mine too. “Karri, you have no one now. You are lost child , just pathetic.” Blah,blah,blah. I’m staying strong for you ! DO NOT LET IT WIN SPIRIT!” I instantly broke down on the floor. I knew what he was saying was true. He bent down to my level and comforted me again . Shawn came running and started speaking out of breath, “ Yo. Who. I . Got . To. Blow.” Karri and I looked at each other and died laughing . “ no one dawg, we straight,” said Karri. He helped me up and we went to get our work. When we came back out, I bumped into Shanice. She almost peed on her self . “ Sha, Sha, Shawn. You out?” She stuttered. Shawn looked at her, shook his head, and walked off. We then followed him .
When we got back to the car, I had 4 missed calls from the hospital. Auntie Miranda was released from the hospital and was sent home . Then the other 3 were about Grandma Patience . The first call was saying , they seen extreme progress . The second one was she was waking up. The third one , she was calling out my name . I cried out to GOD . “ Thank you , JESUS.” I dropped Shawn off at home to be with auntie . Karri and I then rushed to the hospital. When we made it to the hospital, I rushed to see my grandma. When we opened the door, I ran to her . “ MY BABYYY,” she screamed. “GRANDMAAA,” I yelled back. “Your prayer healed me. Although I can’t leave this hospital bed yet. Baby yo momma told me that you been fighting off demons today . Is that true?” “ Grandma yes … I couldn’t have done it without Karri,” I responded . He started blushing . “ thank you, Son ,” Grandma told him . We had a conversation that lasted over three hours . We then kissed Grandma head and left. On the way home , Karri grabbed my hand and looked at me . “ I’m so proud of you Spirit . I love you so much . I realized I stayed strong, because of you. I wouldn’t mind having that in my life everyday, “ he said while smiling at me. I responded, “ Boy, you do have it in your life . You helped me stay strong and for that , thank you .” He told me, “ no I mean , would you be mine.” I looked at him in shock and responded “ YES!” The day is winding down now and I’m so glad , I can end it with the boy who helped me fight off my spirit’s demon.

Sierra from Tennessee
High School Senior
Liberty Technology Magnet High School