Angel Rios “Beautiful”

This is an essay featured in the 2013 Florida Literacy Essay Book. This is also the essay being read in Ann Palmer’s photo from Adult Learner day. A limited number of books are available for a $5.00 donation. Please contact for more information.

Beautiful to me is a moment in time when a new life changes everything in your life and the way you see things. It started the day I met Amanda. When we met, she was in a bad relationship, and I was not in a good place in my life. I was selling drugs and dealing with the streets, but we became close friends. One day she called me pleading to come and pick her up because the man she was with hit her when she said she was pregnant. I got in my car and went to her house. As I approached her parking lot, I could see them arguing. Getting out of my car, I saw him hit her in the face. Back then I had no patience, especially for a man hitting a woman. I reacted by shoving him into his apartment. I pushed him against the wall at the same time telling Amanda to get her stuff and go to the car. Looking into this man’s eyes, I could see fear, sadness, and hate, and all I could feel was anger and sorry for him, and not the good kind of sorry. I told this man that if he ever laid a
finger on her again that I’d be serving time in prison for his demise. As time went by, Amanda and I became more than friends. I loved her and from my understanding, she felt the same. She motivated me to do well and be a better man. I’ve never been a dad or a husband, so this was my first experience dealing with a pregnant woman. I did everything
to make her comfortable from foot and back rubs, late night runs to the store, and trips the hospital for labor pains.

It was on July 25, 2009 at 12:59 A.M. when I cut the umbilical cord of De’Anthony Joel Nunez. He was born 7 lbs. 5 oz. and 19 inches. Whoever knew that someone this small would change my life forever? The life I lived, the things I did, the person I was, was no longer. When I looked at him there was this moment of clarity where there was no one in the room but him & me. Wen I counted his toes and called his name, he opened his eyes and looked up at me almost like he recognized my voice. At that moment I realized he depended on me, that his life was in my hands, so I promised him that I would do right, work harder to make the right decisions, and be a better man than his biological father. “Any man can be a dad but it takes a real man to be a father.” That was beautiful for me.

My name is Angel L. Rios. I am a GED student at Lindsey Hopkins and
Mr. Will inspired me to write and now it’s a passion


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