The prompt was to create a scene involving Jasmine and to relate its cultural significance
|For Marley, another dreaded hurdle finally arrived – the start of fifth grade. Having Missy in the same school offered little comfort since they occupied different floors and their lunch schedules did not overlap. They only walked to and from school together. That was it. Thank goodness, at least, Marley wouldn’t have to deal with the school bus until next year in middle school.
Marley spoke to Missy on their way to school, “This is nothing like what I expected my first day of fifth grade to feel like. I miss my friends so much. I miss our dad too. I want Dad and Mom to be together. I want my life back.”
“Me too,” said Missy.
“To go from knowing everyone to knowing no one and to go from feeling like you ruled the world to feeling abandoned because your parents divorced. I don’t know. How are we going to get through this?”
Missy squeezed Marley’s hand. “With each other.”
Marley squeezed back. “That’s all we have right now.”
Since Marley and Missy took a tour of their new school in early August, Marley committed to memory the route – through the front doors, up the stairs, take a right and her class with Mrs. Guilford was the first one of the left. Before they parted, Marley hugged Missy at the entrance, then with her head down, made her way to the classroom where Mrs. Guilford greeted her and the rest of her classmates.
“Welcome! Welcome! Hang your backpacks on the assigned hooks and find your name tags on your desks. Feel free to chat with your old friends or make new ones until the bell rings.”
Marley’s mom made sure the counselors and teachers knew about the girls’ move as well as the divorce. (As time went on their mom’s interest in the girls’ welfare waned, but initially she tried to ease the transition.) Therefore, Marley figured her desk would be somewhere near the front of the classroom. Although, she didn’t expect it to be by the window (the good news) and right next to the teacher’s desk (the bad news).
Amidst all the commotion in the classroom, as well as in her head, Marley sat at her desk trying to focus on her breaths, something Ms. Abbotts, one of the school counselors, taught her. As she inhaled she smelled something very familiar. She breathed it in again and began to cry. Jasmine. A flower their family grew outside of their trailer. The main flowers in her mom’s bridal bouquet. A flower Marley’s dad said he planted for the girls because they, like it, were gifts from God. When the shrubs bloomed he cut off sprigs and placed them in the girls’ room.
Marley wiped her tears before anyone noticed them. As she breathed in the sweet aroma again, her mood shifted. She lifted her head to see the vase of flowers on Mrs. Guilford’s desk. They reminded her of her father, and that was something she needed.