I had just landed in Portland when I heard all my voice mails. I had a warrant out for the delinquency of a minor. I tried to explain the situation to my parents on the way home from the airport, but I have always felt that they thought that I was hiding something. The truth was that I wasn’t hiding anything except the fact that I thought they were disappointed in my underage drinking and decisions made. I decided to enjoy my trip home, ask for my dad’s help with a lawyer if needed, and deal the with the situation once I returned.
I remember picking my favorite shirt to wear when I walked into the downtown Charlotte precinct. I had it all set up. I would turn myself in, get processed, and call my brother to come bail me out. I was not sure how much it would cost, but I did know if I could count on someone to bail me out it would be him. Besides, I had already left him with all my banking information.
Brother : a person who is there when you need him; someone who picks you up when you fall; a person who sticks up for you when no one else will; a brother is always a friend.
I ended up breaking down and crying once my picture was taken. I couldn’t believe that I was being arrested. I understood that the situation was unforgivable, although, I did not do any of the things I was accused of, but I should have used better judgement. I should have kicked her out the second I realized she was there. I was young myself and should not have had to to feel like the villain. I also firmly believed that at 16 you are well aware of the choices you make, but I also understood that alcohol could help influence poor ones. I couldn’t erase from my find that she had come looking for sex even before walking through the front door of the house.
I will always remember that I wouldn’t allow myself to be the “bitch” in jail. A woman tried to threaten me in the cell blocks to give her my one and only call “or else.” She was older, scary looking, and under the influence of some illegal drugs. I remember staring her directly in the eyes telling her no. She then shook her mangled hair and took a swing at me only for me to match her and swing back. The guards came and split us up. I might have only been in jail 5 hours, but I had already decided that I wouldn’t be that girl. My friend who was in the cells a few weeks later for the same reason as I ended up having her hair done by the other girls inside. A couple hours later I was released and freely walking the streets of downtown Charlotte.
In the end, I was offered a deal. I would write an apology letter to the family, do some community service, and be under probation for a year. If I completed all these terms the whole ordeal would be sealed. I might have made a stupid decision, but I wasn’t going to let it be the end of me. I completed all my terms and on my last visit to my probation officer she told me that everything was completed and finalized.
The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the past, but on building the new.