I've been away from this blog for so long it seems awkward typing here. A LOT of stuff has happened over the month or so I've been gone. I'll try to trim it down and include only the interesting parts... Here goes, my month in fast forward.
Want to know why I even stopped writing in the first place? Jail. Yeah, seriously. No details are necessary but long story short, they hit me, I hit them. I still got arrested and charged though. Not particularly the greatest luck... That night I went over to Anna's to sleep, since the dispute was between my mother and myself. About 2 days later, my mom called the police AGAIN for god knows what, and this time I was actually brought down to the station. Even though I wasn't technically in jail yet I was extremely uncomfortable. The officer that took me in was sympathetic, but he couldn't really do anything because remember "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and WILL be used against you". Everyone else there treated me like who would of guessed, a criminal. So yeah, I got my possessions removed... and throughout my time there I have truly come to realize. There is no privacy. I'm a sheepish kind of person so that didn't work so well for me.
I was to call for legal advice using some number, so I did. Basically I started figuring out the situation I was in. I was technically "arrested" but I wasn't in jail; I was only in the police station's detainment cells. I was to wait for a hearing with the Justice of the Peace, a supreme court member to decide on my release. However the lawyer on the other end of the phone said it wasn't a good idea to fight it, instead he wanted it to get adjourned to the next day at youth court. This was when my will felt a little weaker. I thought that I would just get a slap on the wrist, but now I would have to spend the night here?
So I became very familiar with my cell. The detainment cell I was in was rectangular, it had two flat stone benches on opposing long walls. In the left corner in the back was a stainless steel contraption, it was basically a toilet/sink/garbage can, all activated using push buttons. It was probably around 11am that I was put in that cell... waiting to see the justice of the peace. I figured, why can't I fight for my release? I sat in that cell for a very long couple of hours. At noon I was given lunch, a simple sandwich; bread and cheese, and orange juice. At this point I was very bored, not necessarily scared or anything, just bored. I wish I had my journal, or something to do... an hour later an officer opened the door and moved me to another cell. Great, they got my hopes up that I was going to leave. The cell was the same, except that the steel contraption was on the right side this time. I met a cellmate, don't know anything about him other than that he's black and was there for breaching probation terms. We just lounged around until around 6pm, we got our dinner. Cheese sandwich and orange juice.
I started to break a little, why has it taken over 7 hours for me to see the Justice? I voiced my question to my cellmate who basically said I had to wait at least 8 hours, and he predicted midnight. My mood just kept on sinking. At around 8 or 9pm we got an addition. Another cellmate, he was Asian with the last name Nguyen. He wasn't like any Asian I've ever seen, and i'm supposed to be Asian (Well, half-asian). This guy looked tough, he wasn't bulky or anything he just looked... tough. Well, fast forward till about 11pm, I was sent to see the justice.
I walked into the 'courtroom' with the police officer. It was a small room, with 4 benches and 2 podiums. We both walked up to our respective stands and then the Justice appeared. It freaked me out at first, he appeared through CCTV which is Closed Circuit Television. I was in awe as he spoke through the TV from god knows where. After the situation was laid out, the officer suggested that the decision should be adjourned to the next morning. Seeing my confusion the officer requested to call my father, who could help turn things in my favor for the Justice's decision. The phone rang and rang, but no answer. I was speechless. Fuck my family. I reluctantly told the Justice to adjourn the date, for the sole reason that everyone was telling me I would have nearly no chance getting released with the Justice's decision. Also, that I could only have one decision made, no re-dos. Back to my cell.
Have you ever tried sleeping on a jail bench? Impossible. Now I knew lying down was really uncomfortable, because while waiting for the last 12 hours that was all I did. The flat surface is made of stone and leaves no leeway for your bones. My wrists, hips, ankles and every other protruding bone mashed against the concrete slab. It was so painful, and the only way to sleep was in the most uncomfortable positions. First of all, there is the bright ass lights above the room, I can't sleep with light at all. Second, the room between the edge of the bench and the wall? Less than my body width from shoulder to shoulder, and I'm a pretty small guy. So basically to rest I had to curl myself up into nearly a fetal position facing the wall, with my right arm down on the bench and left arm to support my head, which was shoved as far into the dark corner I made as possible. SO UNCOMFORTABLE. The worst part? I can only sleep for five or so minutes before I wake up. The pain, it was unbearable. I had to constantly shift limbs around or it would hurt to much.
So basically it was impossible to sleep. The lights were always on, there's the stupid officer patrolling the hall, oh and the drunk teen chicks in the cell over. Not going to lie, I really wish I was over there, for someone to talk to. Not because they're drunk and attractive, I'm not like that. Around 2am, an officer came and took both me and that other asian dude down to the main foyer thing. I was like "what the hell is going on?" I was really confused. Then they pulled out these weird ass handcuffs. It was the handcuffs and shackles all of them tied together with a heavy chain. I had 2 complaints, the handcuffs and shackles were on way too tight and that the entire set weighed like 30 pounds.
They led us outside and placed us in an armored van. The van looks like any old police van, the scary part is the back where they put us. The back is split into two sides (driver and passenger) with a chunky metal wall. There was seriously only 2 feet of room on each side. 1 foot was already taken up by the metal bench. Oh great.
One of the things I began to resent about jail was that they never told you anything. There I was, at a police station somewhere in Calgary, inside of a police van, at 2am, not having any idea where they were transporting me. The ride was extremely bumpy, that made my wrists burn like hell because of the cuffs. After talking to the Asian dude beside me I learned that he knew exactly what was happening because he was a past-offender. I was being transferred to the CYOC (Calgary Young Offenders Center) for the night until court in the morning at 9:30am. Finally we had arrived, the usual happened. I got out, got led inside, got the chains taken off, got frisk searched for like the hundredth time, then got placed in a small containment cell.
I remember that containment cell very well, as it was my favorite cell (not saying much). It was definitely the smallest one but it was enough room for just me, just the way I like it. I've always been a solitary confinement sort of guy. The room was painted pink, it had a stone bench about a meter in length stopping at a wall which was meant to be a divider for the steel contraption on the other side. After they finally inputted all the data on me (which I hope they'll never use again) it was time for bed. I got a new set of clothes while they sealed my old ones in a plastic bag. The Asian guy was led off to go to a cell, I was EXTREMELY scared at this point. I started melting down. This was it. Jail. I would be in a jail cell. All night. I lucked out (if you can call it luck) and due to my "mental condition" (depression, which was proven by my medicine) I was to stay in the containment cell, so I could be monitored.
I didn't care whether or not they monitored me, I was just so relieved I wasn't going to be in a real jail cell surrounded by other offenders. They gave me a gymnastics mat and some blankets and shut me in there. I had gotten used to the loud sound of the heavy doors locking. I then just lay down on the mat, covered my eyes with the blanket and fell into the bliss of sleep.
I awoke to a voice yelling at me to get up through the window. I've never gotten up faster. Turns out they woke me up at 7am. So I had to wait there after I cleaned up the sleeping materials for about an hour. At around 8am they gave me breakfast. I was in shock when I saw what they gave me. 2 slices of bread, scrambled eggs, and jam, milk, and orange juice. After 2 meals of cheese sandwiches (I know I'm lame) it was like Christmas morning. I then proceeded to wait for the longest half-hour of my entire life. At the end of it, I went through the usual routine and was being shipped off to court.
When I arrived at the courthouse we went through the back. Basically I was being bullied by all the police officers constantly telling me to move faster. I was already walking as fast as I could with the damn shackles around my ankles. Then they put me and the Asian dude in a cell. I waited and soon enough I was being sent to see Duty Council. Duty Council is essentially a group of free lawyers for the youth. After meeting with the kind lady, I was sent back to my cell. Then we were moved to another cell. Until FINALLY at 10:50am I was called to go down to court.
When I was led into the courtroom by a side door, all I could do was marvel at the grandeur of the room. However, I pushed that aside and went through with the proceedings. I sat as my assigned lawyer laid out my case and suggested something that made utterly no sense to me. No wonder law school is so difficult. The judged ruled that I would be let out under certain circumstances.
- I must report to a probation officer
- I must attend every scheduled school date for the full duration or maintain or seek suitable employment as seen by the probation officer
- I must live where directed/approved by the probation officer (At that time, the Judged approved Anna's place for me to live.)
- I must have no contact with the Victim (My Mom)
After the brief hearing I was sent back to my cell for another waiting spell. A few hours passed and they moved us to a gigantic cell. It looked more like a shower room than a cell. I have no idea why they moved us so much, every place is the same... Stone Bench and Steel Contraption. I waited and waited until noon when they gave out lunch. A sandwich, however this time it was filled with some odd pasty synthetic meat stuff. I didn't care, I just ate it. Waited even more and finally got fed up with it and knocked on the door to ask. Apparently they were preparing paperwork for me to sign. Seriously, it was like 3pm who takes that long to do paperwork for ONE person? So I waited, and finally I managed to sleep by using my sweater to create a pillow and offset the pain. An hour later, loud knocking sounds shook me from my slumber. Four police officers entered and took the Asian guy away rather forcefully. I was kind of scared, but just pushed it out of my head. I was finally called to sign it, so I did. Then they put me back in the cell. Then they moved me to the scariest cell ever. It was a small room, with the barred door facing the stone bench. The room was a pale grey.
Looking back now I can see exactly where my sanity started to slip. I knew I was going to have to fight for my sanity after my reaction to the call with the legal advice lawyer. I wasn't worried at the time, because I have come to learn that my willpower is immense and for me anything was possible. But time wore me down. By the end of the night I was wondering why I was still there. Shouldn't someone have bailed me by now? The first sign of my mentality failing was at the CYOC before sleeping time. The next day, I felt extremely weak. Malnutrition and lack of sleep wore me down even more. Throughout the course of that day, how much waiting I had to do had me constantly teetering in a fetal position. I've sat in one place for hours before, but there it was different. The atmosphere, felt very unsettling. When I was in the final cell I started to lose it. I was shaking on the spot, I couldn't think because all my mental willpower was trying to keep me sane.
Then they moved me. Into a police van. I had no idea what was going on. While they were driving, I lost it. It felt like my heart was getting torn to shreds, and that my hands were uncontrollably vibrating. All I could think of was "No, this isn't happening" and "I can't go to jail". When they stopped and started unloading all the people, I broke even more. I really felt like I was going to die any moment from heart failure. Then the girl next to me noticed me. She only just noticed me because I stopped trying to hide my breakdown. She comforted me so much, in a way that no one has for years. She told me exactly what was happening, that they were just going to take me to CYOC to get my things then I would go home. I felt so much better and stopped the bawling. But then she got taken away and my head started spinning. Why were all the good people in jail? I've never met a girl who was that selfless and actually talked to me. I pray that she is alright.
Back at the CYOC I was to wait in the same containment cell as before. I waited for hours. Now it was about 9pm. I started to lose it again, desperate for anything I looked around. On the wall behind me I saw it, an intercom. I clicked the call button and said hello but no answer. 3 minutes later a voice came through and scared the crap out of me. I asked when I was going to leave, and the voice said "When the driver comes". I took that answer and hoped that the time was soon. Over the next hour, I was trying to use the last of my willpower to stop the insanity from overtaking me. Just when my willpower was all gone, the voice came through again. Looking back now it might not even of been the intercom but my insanity. It kept saying "Hang in there, just a little longer, we're going to get you out soon, everything's going to be alright" and I was calm.
The time had come for me to go. While I really wanted to go straight to Anna's place, I couldn't instead I was brought to 15th Avenue by a cool guy named Aaron. He confided in me, believed what I said and really saw that I was a good kid. The one thing he told me that stuck though was "Everyone has their own responsibilities, and you shouldn't be the one to be holding your family together. Now it might end up that your family has to split apart, but there really isn't anything you can do and you did nothing wrong, no matter what anyone else says".
I was brought to a place called 15th Avenue, which I found out was somewhat of an open house. I was to stay there for the night. The first thing I did? Drank a LOT of water. Second? Grab a pizza pop. OMG REAL FOOD NOM NOM NOM. After all of that I asked for the phone. There was someone I needed to call. Anna. Before I was taken away I managed to send off a text message to her telling her I was going to jail. Now it was time to call her. I would of called others, but her number was the only one I could remember. I called, and when I heard her say hello, I melted. Finally, a person I knew. Her reaction to my voice was so heartwarming, our reunion over the phone was unforgettable. It had to end though, and after that I fell asleep.
I had made plans with Anna the night before for her to meet me at a C-Train station downtown. I left 15th Ave after eating, and a long overdue shower. I then quickly realized I had no idea where I was... other than 15th ave. So I looked around and went to the direction with the most lights, and sure enough I made it downtown. Eventually I made it to the station and had just the most drama like gushy moment at the station. Anna saw me and she ran, jumped into my arms and time stopped.
We went home. I was so relieved to have that all behind me. Now, more than a month later I'm still getting over the aftershocks of that experience. I learned many important lessons, and I know that there is no way I will ever go back to jail.
Well, that's all I'm going to write sadly. That chapter of my life, is over and recorded.. This took me 3 days to write. I hope whoever is reading this has enjoyed my story, and maybe even learned something. There is still 1 more story to tell, what happened after this chapter. I'll be posting to my blog regularly again. Even now a new chapter is unfolding.