What Went Wrong This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Damn, why me? Why am I so stupid? I can’t believe this. What’s going to happen? I can’t believe I’m being arrested again. On November 22, all this went through my head.

See, I understand what I did was pretty stupid, probably the craziest thing I ever did. But I didn’t think it would hurt so many people, including me. And I don’t mean just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. See, having your freedom taken from you makes you think about how you take life for granted. Just having people looking at me and seeing another Hispanic arrested made me feel disappointed, so imagine having to look my parents in the face when they found out.

This wasn’t my first time being arrested. I had been arrested twice before, but those weren’t a big deal. This time I had to go through the system. I was going to jail because I still had an open case and had violated my probation.

We arrived at the precinct and by the time the officer was done with paperwork, it was 1 a.m. Then he looked in my files and saw I had an aggressive past, meaning I was listed as a menace. He kept calling me a “troubled kid.” I just thought, F--- what this n----r thinks. Then he told me my mother was there but he wasn’t going to let me see her. When I asked why, he replied, “I don’t want to.” That was the only time I actually teared up.

That night I was taken to a youth facility. On the way I kept wondering whether I was going to be all right, or if I might have to fight to get respect. I was wondering if my grandmother were okay and if my brother were safe. All this time I felt like I deserved it - for all the wrong I did in my life.

We were finally there. Gates and barbed wire surrounded the building. Smells of sewer lines were so strong, as though they were directly in front of me, almost causing me to gag. My body began to stiffen. All my nerves started to build up. Flashbacks of me saying “I’ll never go to jail” haunted me. I was caught blind-sided.

I remember being escorted to the building by two armed officers, and walking up three flights of stairs. I was put in a sign-in area where they took all my information. Then they put me at a computer and asked if I would answer some questions. I did what they asked, answering questions about whether I had ever tried drugs, stuff like that.

Then they took me into a room where there was a guy about 6' 4" and 300 pounds who told me to strip. I said, “Hell no, you must be stupid,” but I had to. He gave me some socks, a white shirt, underwear, a navy-blue jumper and black sneakers.

That night I only got about three hours of sleep. The next day they took me to court. I hoped the judge was in a good mood. When they called my name to go in, my heart almost stopped and everything seemed to move in slow motion.

I walked into the court room, feet and hands in shackles and a guard to my right. My head was down the whole time. I didn’t dare look my grandmother in the eye. If I were sentenced to prison, I would do eight to nine months upstate. I could hear my grandmother crying. I felt they should jail me just for having put her through all this. Finally the judge made her decision. I slowly raised my head as she said, “You are free to go.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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KANSAS PRINCESS!! said...
Apr. 8, 2009 at 3:19 pm
This is the best story ever!! I wish it was longer and told what happened after she was free to go!! Love it!!
 
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