Submitted into Contest #92 in response to: End your story with a truth coming to light.... view prompt


Adventure Drama Happy

What a waste of my life. At one time I had it all; the right girl, a dream to go places, and friends, lots of friends. Or so I thought. And then the lightbulb clicked on but then suddenly it went completely dark and turned off. For it had dawned on me that a friend is someone that sticks up for each other and doesn’t bail on you when things go south. And by that I mean being in the wrong place, with the wrong people, doing a whole lot of wrong stuff.

Prison was the end result or in my case, Juvy.

I can only kick myself once because then it’s just an endless blame game. And there is only one person to blame. I look at him in the mirror every day trying to wake up that dumb look I see, that feeling I know, and that stupid boy who thought, what? that he could get away with doing whatever he felt was cool, fun, and oh, yeah, trade stolen stuff for cash money.

Juvy became my assigned home for five years. Things went bad from the get go and court advocates did what they could but this is what I got. The other three also were facing time. We were all separated into different facilities so I had no idea of how things went for them. I knew I just had to get through this. My family was separated and this is how it was. No visitation, for now. My father was outside of the city. I don’t know where, just that he took off after a nasty fight between him and my mother. My brother was overseas, in the military. He joined right out of high school and hoped that I’d follow his lead. I guess I had other plans. He’d probably kick my ass right now if he was here. My brother started down a slippery slope back then right about the same age I am now, but he saw the light when a car accident nearly ended his life. I remember that day and how he went from this mean, angry brother to my guiding beacon. If only I realized now, that what had happened to him then was a message, in a sense, to me.

In Juvy, there were others who had family issues and things going on. No one was too special to be in a separate class. We all had something not quite perfect in our lives. The place I’m at is squeezing the life out of me. Nothing will ever be normal again since the collar will always feel as though it’s around my neck. The collar being a mental image of what it feels like to be handcuffed, led to a cell knowing that’s my place for one thousand, eight hundred and twenty-five days and that equals my five years.

The days all began and ended the same. You got up and were dressed at the exact time, then escorted to the cafeteria for breakfast. Interaction with the others was limited as security was in your face, on purpose. School work, lunch, breaks, tight control for the rest of the day.  A short time outside was a relief as it gave us all a change of attitude being in the fresh air. For some reason, after a while, my name made to the ‘good boy’ list and they had me doing some extra duty. I decided to start to make myself better because of this as they had me in the kitchen. Some days it would be emptying garbage, cleaning dishes and mopping the floors. Other days I would be allowed to observe the head cook in his style with food preparation. It became a much needed time away in my day to come to grips with everything that had happened. Not only the reason I was here but how my life churned into a murky sea of crap. The one thing under the radar was the others in this place. There was a lot of boys who came from inner city areas where they were in the crib of their neighborhood. I had to play along or else there would be payback. Somehow, somewhere, when I got out, they made it known that others would seek me out. I agreed to be, like, on their level, and they’d try to get me to make others feel uncomfortable. It was all an attitude thing.

As time went on, my life here at the Sink Hole, as I called it, was one part playing hide and seek with others in any way that I could. By chance, I was brought out for one moment as there was a special guest waiting to see me. Really? The Juvy escort brought me into a secure room. I waited in anticipation as no one had been to visit in nearly two years of my time here. I get it, there’s just me, myself and I, doing time. Who else cares?

The shock I received on seeing my brother in uniform step into the room was over the top. We were given the okay to greet and he grabbed and lifted me into the air. I was in awe and trying to talk and then laughed, then I cried and sighed. He said, “Nice to meet you, too!” We laughed and then he kept our conversation short as he said he was only here for a few minutes. “I need to get back to the base, since we’re heading out soon.” It seemed there was more to why he was here, but I knew I needed to wait. Then the news he shared made me unbelievably over the top excited, happy and afraid all at the same time.

It seemed that their father and mother had entrusted their oldest son by proxy to make him their youngest son’s guardian.  Their lives were in shambles. They both knew that they had failed in parenting and wished more for him. He would be given a court date to nullify their rights.

“You are my brother, and I am here for you now and always.” The talk was simple, to the point, and sincere. He let it be known that his time in Juvy would be over at the end of the year. He would be back from his military exercise to help his kid brother get back to a life that was calling him in spite of all the ugliness he fell into. What that would be, is like opening a door to see a bright light leading the way.

Time to follow the light.

May 08, 2021 02:46

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