His face contorted in all-consuming anger. His nostrils flared, his eyes flashed and closed into slits. Then clear out of the blue; she never even saw it coming, he decked her right in the arm.
“And you better not tell anybody about this Bitch or I’ll punch you again,” he said. He ran upstairs into his room and slammed his door.
Gina was shocked. She went upstairs into her bedroom. She removed her pink cardigan and saw a faint grayish purple fist-shaped bruise starting to appear. ” How will I explain this o to George?” “What am I doing? Why am I trying to cover for him. I don’t deserve this. Ricky hitting me was not my fault”. She kind of just flopped on the floor Beside her bed leaning on the side of it. She brought her legs up and rested her arms on her knees. “But what if I had just said okay go to your friend’s house then this would’ve never happened. Stop, stop this was not my fault; I’m the parent, and he is the child. I have had it; it’s now, or never this needs to stop”. She put her head in her lap and began to sob ever so quietly. A few minutes later, she composed herself. “I can sit here and feel sorry for myself or do something about it.”
She pulled out her phone from her pocket and began to dial. As she heard the first ring, she started twirling her long brown hair around her index finger on her left hand. After the second ring, she hung up. “It was only this one time,” Gina thought. Gina believed it was silly to be afraid of her seventeen-year-old son. It’s not like he spent a lot of time at a gym, or had mad karate skills; in fact, the opposite was true. Ricky was more of the couch potato kind. He was short and kind of chubby. And he probably wouldn’t even know how to fight his way out of a paper sack. Gina couldn’t do this; she believed It was her fault, that she was too controlling and that she should have just let him go to his friend’s house.
She always was a people pleaser, never wanting to cause a confrontation. “Wait a minute; what am I doing? I am the one with the bruise. If I let him hit me once and have no consequence, then he will think it is okay and probably do it again. And next time he might put me in the hospital or accidentally kill me?” This needs to stop now; I will not let this get out of control.
She picked up her phone and pushed redial. This time she stayed on the line, and a man answered.
“Hello, Jackson Police Department Sgt. Parker Johnson speaking, how may I help you?”
“Hi, I would like to report that my son; hit me, and not just a little hit; I mean, my son punched me gave me a pretty good size bruise on my right arm.”
“Okay, Ma’am. what is your name?”
“My name is Gina Martinez.”
“You wouldn’t happen to be related to officer Martinez?”
“Yes, I would, I am his wife.”
“What is your son’s name?”
“Ricky, I mean Ricardo. His legal name is Ricardo, but he likes to be called Ricky. He named after his great grandfather, ya know. My grandmother wanted me to name my baby after her, but I had a boy and I not name a boy Rosa, so we name him after my grandfather Ricardo, but that name just too formal to me, so I started calling him Ricky, and it stuck. Don’t call him Ricardo; he hates it, and he gets mad. Oh my goodness, here I go again. I am rambling. I Ramble, when I get nervous sorry, I never called the police before. I am in shock as Ricky has never been physical towards me before.”
“It’s okay, please calm down Ma’am, please take a breath, and it will be okay. Is Ricky home right now?”
“Is he bothering you right now, or do you need E M S?”
“Do you need E M S, an ambulance?”
“No. I don’t think so. I’m okay; shook up but okay.”
“Has Ricky ever been in trouble with the law before?”
Gina tapped her freshly manicured nails on the floor.
“Nope,” she said.
“How old is he ?”
“He is seventeen, Sir.”
“From what you just told me, you need to nip this behavior in the bud right away. You know what you’re son has done is wrong and illegal. He has committed a crime; simple assault, domestic.”
“So, my son should go to Jail?”
“Now, I did not say that precisely. Police should come and speak with him. Set him straight, maybe scare him a little? You know most kids are scared when police want to talk to them about something they have done wrong. You know Ricky could get arrested today, and that could be what the boy needs. Sometimes kids need to learn the hard way. They need to see and experience the consequences of their actions. We will send someone out there, but it might be a while, like a couple of hours; because technically, this is not an emergency, and we have a lot of calls to clear. Where do you live?”
“on 35 64 squirrel Rd.”
“Thanks, and you try and have a better rest of your afternoon Ma’am.”
“Okay, thank you very much,” Gina said.
She hung up the phone. She went into the kitchen to get a drink. She hoped she had not made a mistake by calling the police. Having the cops come could be a good thing; finally, Ricky will see there are consequences for his actions; he will not just get away with everything. Could he go to jail? But she won’t, I won’t let him. George Gina’s husband of fourteen years arrived home. He came into the kitchen. Gina said hi to him and kissed him.
“How was golf with Ted?”
“Good, I’m a slight bit Rusty though. Where’s Ricky?”
“His room, I think he is playing video games.”
“Oh, I was just wondering. Ricky sure is quiet.”
George settled into the family room to read his latest issue of 9 1 1 Magazine. Gina put a pizza in the oven for dinner.
“Dad, Chow time!”
Ricky screamed as he had a seat at the table. George came and sat at the table.
“There was no need for you to scream for me Ricky, Anyways it’s your turn to say grace.”
“Do I have to?”
Yes,” said Gina.”
“Fine! rub a dub, dub, go God Let’s eat I’m starving!” Ricky said, really fast.
He grabbed a piece of pizza. He steams shoveled it into his mouth, nearly choking on it.
“Ricky!” Gina shouted as she glared at him.
“What? woman!” Ricky shouted back with a mouthful.
“Don’t talk to your mother like that, and you know what.”
“Okay, all right, I get the picture. In the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, bless us o Lord, and these our gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.” That was the only formal dinner prayer he knew.
“People, are you happy now?” Ricky said.
Neither George nor Gina responded to Ricky. They all had a rather quiet dinner. No one said much of anything at all. Quite dinners were nothing out of the ordinary for this family. Gina always tried to make it a priority for them to have nightly dinners together. But she wondered if they all were indeed together.
Yes, they were all sitting together at one table, but were they together? They were all in their separate worlds, not engaging with one another. George was still reading his Magazine. Ricky was texting on his phone. And Gina, well, she was lost in her thoughts just daydreaming mostly about Ricky and how her arm was still really hurting her. After Ricky finished eating, he ran off and went to his room. A few moments later, George looked at his watch. He got up and got ready for work. When it was time to go, George said goodbye to Ricky and his wife. He had no idea what his wife and Ricky had done. Or that he would be back before his shift was over.
Once George got to work, Detective Greevy asked to speak with him.
His expression hardened. “This may be hard to hear; we got a call from your wife. Alleging Your son hit her. You know we have to take this stuff seriously. “I Would like you as my backup.”
George’s cheeks turned pink. “You want me to arrest my son?”
“I want you to talk to them first and see what is up. I talked it over with Dickson, and we think it would benefit the boy if his
father was to come out there.”
“Do I have a choice, or is this in order?” he fidgeted with his wedding ring. “No, you don’t have a choice,” Captain Dickson said; as he poked his head out of his office.
“Okay, then let’s go,” said George.
They went off to George’s house. George was not too pleased with having to go to his own home for Ricky. But he did agree that maybe him coming out there could make him behave better.
Back at home, Ricky came downstairs and was just about to leave out the front door. Gina grabbed him and said, “where in the world do you think you are going, young man? I told you, you were not going out tonight, especially to some kid’s house, I don’t know. I just saw your last quarter report card. You are failing all your classes, So you are not going out tonight or any night until you bring your grades up. I know you can do better.”
Fuck school! And I say I am going out. You’re not the boss of me; I do what I want. Get off me!” Ricky jerked, pushing her little, petite body away from him. I am going out tonight. and I will be back whenever.”
Gina stomped her foot and pointed towards the staircase. “I don’t think so. You march your butt right upstairs. You’re crazy. You are not leaving this house”. Gina stood in front of the door and folded her arms across her chest.
No! Bitch, your not the boss of me”,
“What did you just call me?
Ricky balled his fists. “Bitch, bitch, bitch!” He punched her right in the eye.
Gina keeled over and brought her hand to her face. She moved out of Ricky’s way. Ricky was just about to walk out the door when he saw a cop car pulling up. He ducked back inside and ran upstairs to his room. Gina was stunned.
“For God’s sake, Ricky, how could you? How in the world am I going to hide a black eye? What will George think? What will anybody think?” The doorbell rang. Really, who the hell could that be? Gina Thought. Then she remembered about the police coming. She straightens up, took a deep breath, undid her messy ponytail, and shook out her hair. The doorbell rang again.
“One minute; I will be right there,” she shouted. She quickly threw her hair back into a ponytail and answered the door. Upon doing so, she found one tall skinny man in a suit and tie and one chubby, pot-bellied policeman standing there. Gina stepped out onto the front porch.
“Good evening, Ms. I’m Detective Greevy, and this here is officer Mar….well, you know this guy.” He turned slightly towards George. “Jackson police; we got a call earlier, something about your son hitting you. Can you please tell us what happened?” They just stared at her. Especially George, he was not expecting to see such a black eye.
“Did your son do that?” Detective Greevy crossed his arms.
Gina was in such a daze from her son hitting her; she just stood there with a blank look on her face. She just realized that the cop standing there was her husband.
“Hello! earth to Regina!” Shouted George; With a confused
look on his face. “Did Ricky give you that black eye? When did this happen?”.
Gina heard the squeals and giggles of little girls. Neighbor kids across the street were playing outside, and their parents sat on the porch and watched. Gina, who cared far too much about what other people thought of her, worried about what the neighbors might think. A police car parked out front and her on her front porch talking to two men, one a uniformed policeman.
He did, in fact, he just punched me in the eye a few minutes ago. Is it that bad? She turned to the door and stepped back in. “Y’all come on inside, don’t want any nosey neighbors spying on me now. You can never know what they might think of me talking to some cops,” she said.
George and Detective Greevy came inside the living room.
“This whole mess started this morning,” Gina continued. “Ricky asked me well; rather, he told me he was going to a friend’s house tonight. I told him no because I did not know this kid.” she yawned, covering her mouth with her hand. “Excuse me,” she half mumbled. George tugged at his shirt collar. Gina continued. “I did not feel comfortable letting him go. He got mad. Her eyes filled with tears. He punched me right in the arm.” She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. “I was upset and didn’t want anyone to find out, but I changed my mind and called y’all. Just not too long ago, Ricky was trying to leave. I wanted to stop him. Tears ran down her cheeks; she looked away. it all happened so fast, next thing I know; bam, he punches me in my eye.”
“Well, I want to talk to him right now! Is he upstairs? George turned towards the staircase on the left side of the room. Ricardo Emanuel Martinez, you get your ass down here now! I need a word with you,” he shouted.
Gina stood slightly behind George. “George, calm down it is all right I’ll get him.”
Detective Greevy turned slightly and crossed his arms. He was standing a bit back from George and Gina. He was only observing, but he was ready to help if anything happened.
“George turned around and faced Gina. No, it’s not all right Honey, Ricky does not have the right to place his hands on you. What Ricky did is wrong and a crime”.
At first glance, Ricky would seem like an average teenager. He certainly did not look like a punk or the kind of kid that would go around beating up his mother. But of course, looks can be quite deceiving. Ricky was upstairs in his room. He started pacing back and forth. All Ricky wanted was to get high; when he smoked his wacky tobaccy, all his problems seemed to disappear. He walked on sunshine and slept in a bed of roses. Being a cop’s son, he would not dare smoke weed at home cause the smell alone would tip off any police officer. He went to his new friend Darrell’s house after school to get high as a kite. He told his mother he was at the school library studding. Darrell lived with his dad. Darrell’s father caught his now ex-wife in bed with his best friend. He now spends most of his free time at his favorite pub, the Blarney Stone, so he was not around much or too plastered to give a fuck. So it was a great place to smoke without getting caught; Ricky would even bring a change of clothes so he would not come home smelling.
Ricky was furious about the cops being there. “Why the hell did she call the police? I didn’t do anything.”
He came out to see what all the commotion was about. Gina grabbed the banister post and called up to Ricky, who was standing on the very top of the stairs. “Come down here boy these very nice gentlemen want to talk to you,”
Ricky’s face went blank for a split second, then he scowled and crossed his arms. He pursed his lips. Ricky said absolutely nothing; he just flipped Gina the bird. “No! I don’t want to talk to anybody. Leave me alone, bitch, and go to hell.”
George, who was standing at the bottom of the staircase next to Gina, could not believe what he was seeing and hearing. He just stood there for a few seconds. He sighed and placed his hands on his hips. “Don’t you talk to your mother like that, and why are you beating her up? You don’t have the right to put your hands on anyone. He said.
Ricky did a double-take, couldn’t believe what he just heard. “No way, that cop sounded just like Dad, but it couldn’t be, could it?”
Ricky stood on the top step and brushed his dark brown hair away from his hazel eyes to get a better look. His face went white.
“Are you okay, boy, it looks like you just saw a ghost,” said George.
Ricky cracked his knuckles. “What the hell?”
He shifted from one foot to the other. “Why are you here?”
“I’m conducting official police business.” Gina just stood there half in a daze. Detective Greevy came over to Gina and lightly tapped her on the shoulder. “excuse me; ma’am, can I please talk to you in the other room?”
Gina jumped slightly and turned. She faced Detective Greevy. “Okay, sure, that’s fine. We can talk in the kitchen if you like.”
Gina and the detective; stood by the counter. Detective
Greevy put his back up against the counter and folded his arms across his chest. his forehead wrinkled.
“Ricky, hit you today?”
“yes, ” Gina crossed her arms.
“Was anybody else here that could have seen him hit you.”
“No, I was home alone with him.”
“Would you like to press charges, ma’am.”
“Press charges? Her eyebrows rose. You mean, I have my son sent to jail.”
“Yes.” Detective Greevy wrinkled his nose, and his upper lip began to curl. “if you press charges, we will take your son to Jail.”
“I was hoping by having you come here, he would learn his lesson. No jail.”
Detective Greevy wondered what fantasy planet this lady thought she was living on. It would be great if all he had to do were to show up and yell at people, and they would magically change their ways and Commit no more crimes. But he knew that ninety-nine percent of the time, it took a lot more than a stern talking to get people to change their ways. Having three teenagers of his own, he knew that teens need more then a stern talking to. They need structure, discipline, and consequences.
“He rested his hand on his hip. I feel like just our presence here is not enough to get through to your son. But there is one thing. This program called straighten up; it is specifically for at-risk youth. Your son would get to experience jail just for a full twenty-four hours without getting a criminal record. Your son is a
prime candidate for it. Is this something you would be interested in?”
“No, don’t take my son. She gave him a dirty look; a look of fear swept across her face. She was in total denial. “I should have never called. My son is not a bad person.”
Detective Greevy glanced up at the ceiling. People like her piss him off. Does this broad really think what her son did is acceptable behavior, and no further action is needed? He slapped his forehead and shook his head; he took a deep breath, raised his head, and continued. That’s fine if you don’t want to press charges. Well, we are going to talk to your son anyways and see what is going on. Now I won’t lie to you; there’s an excellent chance we will arrest him tonight.”
She fought back the tears. Oh, Really, but why? If I don’t want to press charges.”
“Well, for starters, because of your black eye, I have probable cause to believe that the crime of domestic assault was committed. You told me yourself that your son hit you; also, I noticed that you have a fresh bruise on your arm. It looks to me like a fist made it. I highly doubt you punched yourself in the face and the arm ma’am. Please don’t take me for a fool. As a sworn officer of the law, I have to uphold the law. It is illegal for your son or anybody for that matter, to hit or punch you hard enough to leave a mark”.
Ricky was still standing at the top of the stairs with his hands on his hips. Head cocked to the right, wishing his dad at the bottom would go away.
“are you going to talk to me or not son cause I am not leaving here until we have a little chat,” said George.
He stood at the bottom of the stairs with his back straight, arms crossed, and feet wide.
“Yo, you on crack! What if I don’t want to talk to a fucking Dick like you?”
“Then, we will have problems.”
“Dad, please go away! I don’t want to talk to you. I have nothing to say about mom except she crazy bat shit crazy.”
Ricky was hoping he could convince his dad to sweep this whole mess under the rug. He had no such luck. George could have cared less that Ricky was his son right then. He had already decided to treat him like any other kid he could encounter on a call like this.
“What you know about your mother having a black eye?”
Ricky looked down; wouldn’t look George straight in the face. He shoved his hands into his pockets.
“Nothing! I didn’t do it.”
George instinctively put his hand on his weapon.
“So, you know nothing of why we are here tonight. It is obvious that something happened; your mother has a pretty good purple shiner on her right eye, and you are saying nothing is going on. How did she get it? She did not give it to herself. Did she?”
Still not looking up at him, Ricky said, “I don’t know; she fell and hit her face.”
“She is claiming you gave it to her. And you know what I believe her; this is not my first rodeo son. Come here! He pointed at the ground by his feet. Can you please take your hands out of your pockets?”
“Why? Ricky looked George dead in the eyes. You’re not the boss of me!” He shouted
“George stared back at Ricky. “Take your hand out of your pockets. You may have weapons.”
Ricky rolled his eyes. “Yeah, sure I got a Glock thirty-two handgun in my pocket okay whatever,” Ricky mumbled under his breath. Ricky noticed George had his hand on what seemed to be his gun, probably ready to draw if he needed to. He wouldn’t pull his gun on me. I’m his son for god sake, but I did just say something about having a gun.
A look of fear came across Ricky’s face. Ricky removed his hands from his pockets. He put his hands up. His palms facing George. “see I have nothing.”
George relaxed a bit and removed his hand from his taser. Ricky came down the stairs with his hands still up. He thought he could make a run for it and leave out the front door; he did not believe George would do anything.
Ricky noticed Detective Greevy was standing in the doorway of the kitchen facing the living room. Greevy was quite tall and slender. He was standing with his right arm straight out, leaning on the door frame. He was chewing on a toothpick. He was only watching;
In case George needed help. Ricky turned towards the door, but George grabbed him by the arm and said: “where you think you’re going?”
Gina stood just to the right of Detective Greevy with her back against the wall with her left foot propped up on the wall. Gina’s eyes widened.
George was behind Ricky. He tugged at him, nothing. So George, grabbed both of Ricky’s wrists firmly and pulled his hands behind his back.
George steered him over to the wall by the front door and pushed his face up against it. Not roughly but firmly, he had his knee between his legs, so Ricky had nowhere to go. He ordered Ricky to step back.
“Why are you doing this to me, Dad?” Ricky pleaded.
George did not answer; he just ordered Ricky to step back again, pinching and pulling his hands a little bit at the same time; Not abusively, only making his point. Although he wasn’t yelling, there was a no-nonsense kind of bite to his voice. The tone of George’s voice scared Ricky, and he complied. George tapped Ricky’s foot with his foot and said, “spread your feet.”
Ricky obeyed, he was off balance; his chest was leaning against the wall, and his feet spread; Ricky was feeling helpless. He begged him to stop and let him go. Ignoring him, George told him to keep his hands behind his back.
He let go of his left arm for a moment, and of course, Ricky tried pulling it away. George was practically expecting that; caught it almost immediately, but this time, Ricky felt something more.
then just his hand; he felt something cold and hard.
Ricky finally figured out what was coming, but he was too scared and shocked to resist. Using his left-hand, George brought the cuff down on his right wrist; Ricky felt a momentary sharp pain as the cuff rotated around his wrist bone and caught. George then seized Ricky’s left hand with his right hand and applied the other cuff to his left wrist. By this time, Ricky was in tears, not sobbing uncontrollably, but crying.
Gina couldn’t believe what she saw. Did her husband just put handcuffs on their son and treat him like a criminal? She wanted to go over there and pull her husband off him and tell him to let her baby go; that this was all a big misunderstanding and a mistake, their son was not a criminal. But she decided that it would not be too smart to interfere with an official police officer on duty. Tears spilled onto her cheeks.
Ricky wondered what would’ve happened if he had tried to fight his dad. He was pretty sure that the cuffing part would have come out the same way if he had fought back, only that his dad would have probably used force, and he could have accidentally injured him. Being an avid watcher of the TV series cops, Ricky had an idea of what it can look like when you fight the police, and It certainly did not sound fun. He did not want to get maced, tased, or worse shot. Ricky felt his heart skip a beat as he felt George tighten the handcuffs, not too tight to cause injury, but tight enough that Ricky could not turn his wrist around in them.
George held on to Ricky’s arm. “Do you have anything on you that will cut, stick, or poke me in any way?”
“Nope,” said Ricky as he giggled a little.
“This is no joke, Ricky. I don’t know why you’re laughing. if I get stuck with anything, I will not be too happy, and neither will you.”
“I swear I have nothing.”
George placed his hand into Ricky’s hoodie pocket. He got a little green around the gills; as he proceeded to remove a green fuzzy sandwich of some kind. “Oh, gosh yuck, disgusting. Why do you have a rotten sandwich in your hoodie pocket?” George scrunched up his face in disgust. “It smells like I don’t even know; It just stinks man.”
“Oh, that was my lunch three days ago; I think it is or was tuna fish. I forgot that was in there.”
“First, a rotten sandwich. Now a banana peel; come on, you one strange kid indeed. Well, I will have to say this is the first time I’ve ever pulled a rotten sandwich and a banana peel from someone’s pockets, George said with a chuckle.”
After George finished searching Ricky, Detective Greevy came up to George and tapped him on the shoulder. George knew what that meant; he wanted to talk.
“Ricky, please have a seat on the couch. Me and Detective Greevy need to talk.”
George and Detective Greevy stepped a few feet away from where Ricky was sitting, not wanting him to hear their conversation.
A feeling of dread crept up from the pit of Ricky’s stomach. His legs started shaking uncontrollably, and his heart started beating a mile a minute; the thought of going to jail terrified him to death. But of course, he would never admit it.
George placed his hands on his hips. “What’s up?”
“Gina did not want to press charges, that’s what’s up.” Detective Greevy loosened his tie and pulled at his shirt collar. “Get this,” he slapped his hand on his thigh and slightly chuckled, she thinks if we just give Ricky a stern talking to. He will magically behave, maybe even become a saint.” He chuckled again.
His expression dulled. “Your wife decided she doesn’t even want our help anymore. She is sorry she even called”. His forehead wrinkled, and his eyebrows arched inward. “Now, no offense to your wife, but people like her drive me mad.” He crossed his arms in front of his chest.
George shifted his weight from one foot to the other. And crossed his arms
“No one was home during the assault Detective Greevy continued. So no witness. But due to her visible injuries, we could arrest Ricky for assault, domestic, and let the courts take care of it. Or he could be placed in the straighten up program, but parental permission is needed, and your wife does not want us taking Ricky.
” I’m asking you this as a parent, not as a policeman.”
George looked up at the ceiling; his eyes welled up. “I would just arrest him. If she doesn’t want our help, what can we do? Besides from what I’ve seen here tonight Ricky needs a serious dose of reality; I truly believe he thinks everything is a joke, but let’s see who’s laughing when he has to go before judge and answer to assault charges.”
“Okay, but are you certain, cause as you know once charges are filed, you can’t un-file them.”
“George looked Detective Greevy right in the eyes. Absolutely; this is for his good.”
“Okay, then if you want to arrest then arrest him, I will support your decision one hundred percent.”
George turned to Ricky. “let’s go, Ricky; You’re under arrest for assault on your mother.”
Detective Greevy turned to George. “looks like you got this all under control do you really need me to stay?
“No, not really. why?”
Detective Greevy pushed up his suit jacket sleeve and looked at his watch. “Well, I kind of promised my wife Penelope I would try my best to be home early tonight, her parents are visiting from Georgia.”
“Okay, you go I will be fine.”
“Detective Greevy smiled. “Thanks so much, George, I owe you one,” he said as he patted George on the back and left.
George grabbed Ricky’s arm and pulled Ricky to his feet. He looked at Ricky with a smug smile. “your seventeen now, right? ”
Duh, come on, Dad; you know how old I am. Remember we just celebrated my birthday last Saturday. We went to the Olive Garden.”
“Do you know what that means?
“What? That I had a birthday? So what! What does that have to do with anything? ”
George face-palmed. “Not your birthday!. You being seventeen.”
“What?” Ricky looked up.
“You really don’t?” George shook his head. He looked up and continued. “That means in the eyes of the law, son; you’re old enough to go to jail.”
“I know, juvie. So?”
George face-palmed again. “What did I just say? Did I say juvie?”
Ricky tilted his head to the side and paused. “Jail?
George stared at him briefly. “Bingo!”
Ricky’s face glistened with sweat. Terror flashed in his eyes. “Jail, jail real big boy jail.” Ricky never imagined that. He figured he would go to juvie. Why was he not old enough to go to real jail? The color drained from his face. “Jail.” his chest rose and fell with rapid breaths. You mean jail, jail grown-up jail.
George Snorted trying to hold back laughter. He cleared his throat. “Winner winner chicken dinner. Yup, you’re going to Jackson County.”
“But, But I’m not old enough to go there? I’m still a kid?”
“A kid?” George let out a big deep belly laugh. “But I thought you were grown and could do whatever you wanted.”
“No buts about it. According to the state of Mississippi. You are old enough, and you are going to jail. You will be booked into the Jackson County Detention Center. And like it or not, you will be an inmate.”
Ricky’s whole body went numb. His knees buckled a little.
“George pulled Ricky forward. “Come on, stop messing around.”
“I’ve got to be dreaming; Wake up, man, I’ve got to wake up to end this nightmare.” Ricky suddenly screamed, “Ouch!” George looked at him strangely. “What is your problem, kid?”
Ricky looked up at George.” I wanted to see if I was dreaming or awake, so I pinched myself on my hand. I’m definitely awake. Man, that hurt”.
“what are we going to do with you, Ricky, of course, your awake. Waite, did you think you were in a dream. Nope, this is real life.”
Ricky saw his mother standing in the doorway.
He scowled. “Why are you doing this to me; you bitch. I never did anything to your stupid ass,”
Gina, who was chewing on her cuticle, looked up but not directly at Ricky. “I never wanted this; this is all just you know a mistake,”
Ricky rolled his eyes. “A mistake? You called the police,” his mouth snapped shut. He clenched his jaw, and a muscle twitched.
Gina stood there, nibbling on her bottom lip. She frowned, her eyes were wet. Tears began to spill on to her cheeks. She wiped them away with her hand. “I…….I,” she stuttered “I…. never wanted you to get arrested.”
Ricky pressed his lips together. “Then why did you call the cops and tell them I hit you. You know I am going to jail, jail. not youth detention, but real jail because I am seventeen, and apparently at seventeen you go to jail, not youth detention.”
“I didn’t want you to go to jail.” Gina looked at George and gave him a dirty look. “But I have no control of this situation. Her upper lip curled. why did you hit me in the first place.”
By this time, George was fed up with Ricky, Gina, and the whole dam situation. He just wanted to make the arrest and move on. He figured he better get Ricky out of there before he started world war three with Gina.
. “Come on,” He jerked Ricky foreword. “Let’s go. Not even one word to your mother.” George stopped in front of Gina. He pressed his finger onto her lips. “Don’t even say one word to me. I don’t want to hear it,” He continued on his way.
Ricky suddenly jerked back, trying to get away from George, who was holding his arm pretty tightly. “come on, Ricky; knock it off.” George took Ricky’s cuffed hands and pulled them straight up into the air, causing Ricky to have to bend way over at the waist, only being able to look at the ground. This position was very uncomfortable and awkward for Ricky. George steered Ricky straight up against the wall and placed his hand on his back. He
leaned foreword and whispered into Ricky’s ear.” Who is the boss of you now?” he snickered, then smirked. “I guess I am.” Ricky kicked the wall; he did not want to go to jail.
“Chill out! Relax! Because once you get to jail, this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.
All Ricky heard was blah, blah blah. He could not have possibly cared less about what George had to say. He was distraught and angry about everything that had happened to him.
“Get off me; let me go, I don’t want to go to jail.
“George took a deep breath; to calm himself. Ricky was starting to make his blood boil. “I don’t give a rats ass if you don’t want to go to jail. you’re going tonight! ”
Suddenly Ricky started kicking towards George. George grabbed his leg. “Don’t you dare kick me, young man. He let go of Ricky’s leg, and it fell to the ground. “Let’s go.” he yanked Ricky forward. Ricky shuffled his Feet, hardly moving at all. George Gave Ricky a dirty Look. “Come “on, walk!” He started dragging him. “let’s go. I don’t have all day, boy,” George shouted.
Gina turned; she went limp and crumpled onto the floor. She started sobbing. “This is not what I wanted,”; she screamed. Her hands squeezed into fits. She punched the floor.
George Brought Ricky to the police car out front. George had had him sit in the back. Ricky lost his mind; he went nuts. He took in a deep breath, then blew out his cheeks. Ricky was furious, his face reddened.
George was just about to get in the car when he heard a thump, and then a crash that sounded like breaking glass. He turned around. Ricky had managed to kick out the window in a fit of rage. Fear and panic swept threw his veins. A vane popped out in George’s neck. His face twisted and contorted in anger. “oh shit!” He said. he saw that Ricky had completely shattered his backside car window. I’ve been needin’ to have that crack in my backside window fixed for some time now. George shook his head. “Why did I put it off for so long?” George came racing over by Ricky. He shook his head in disgust. “what did you do? What is wrong with you?”
Ricky growled and snarled. His face flushed. “Nothing!” he shouted.
“You need to take a chill pill boy. You know, by you doing all of this nonsense and being a freaken’ idiot, you now have more charges; for vandalizing a police car. You need to wipe that smirk off your face, boy. George’s face turned as red as a tomato. He was madder than an old wet hen. He bounced on the balls of his feet and shook out his hands at his sides, trying hard to calm. He continued. “you better wipe that stupid smirk off your face before I come in there and knock that smirk off your face clear to Timbuktu.”
Ricky’s face went blank .” he leaned foreword and hocked a loogie right in his dad’s face. George jerked back. He wiped his face with his hand.
“Disgusting,” uttered George.
Ricky chuckled. George crossed his arms and tapped his foot. “Really!” he shouted.
The next thing Ricky knew was he was on the ground face first. Ricky grunted as he felt his dad put his knee on his back.
“Now Ricky, I don’t know what your gal darn problem is. Why you think everything is a freaking joke; you need to learn you can’t just do whatever you want. There are consequences for your actions; well, you are going to find that out the hard way.”
“Ricky moaned. “Shut up, dad, I don’t want to hear your goddam lecture.” Ricky was getting sick of lying on the ground with his father’s knee in his back; he’d only been lying there for a few minutes, but to him, it felt like hours. ‘
“Can I getup now? Ricky pleaded.
George’s face glistened with sweat. “No, you just stay on the ground and chill out,”
“Ricky felt defeated. Dad, can you please at least remove your God damn knee off my back? He asked.
“Nope, you just lay there and be quiet. I have another unit coming to transport you to jail, cause I can’t use my car cause you decided you wanted to be a little shit and brake out the window.
Anger overcame Ricky. “Why are you doing this to me? You’re an ass; that’s why you did this to me, he shouted.
“You did this to yourself, Ricky, you dictated everything that wen”—
“Oh please, take your god damn speeches and shove them where the sun don’t shine, I don’t care,”
A flood of emotions overcame George. He never thought his son would act this way. He felt he raised him better than that. He was now confident he made the right decision to arrest Ricky and not just have him sent to the straighten up program.
Ricky was finally quiet. He hadn’t made a peep for at least five minutes. George figured he must have chilled out. .” hay Ricky; are you going to follow my instructions?” He asked, removing his knee from Ricky’s back.”
Ricky did not want to fight anymore; he was mentally and emotionally exhausted. “Yeah, sure, he,” replied.
George grabbed a lock of Ricky’s hair and yanked Ricky’s head back slightly.” Yes or no? Are you going to listen to me?” Ricky twitched in startlement. “Yes, I’ll do whatever you want,” he said in a soft, gentle tone.
“Okay, but remember, kid, if you go back on your word, then I go back on mine, and we’ll be right back where we started.”
George let go of Ricky’s hair. Ricky lowered his head to the ground.
George told Ricky to roll over onto his side, and he helped him sit up on his butt. He had Ricky scoot back and lean up against his patrol car, and kick his legs out in front of him and cross his ankles. Ricky complied with no problems. Ricky was so glad he was not lying on the ground with his father’s knee in his back anymore.
Another car arrived on the scene to transport Ricky; the officer got out of his vehicle. Ricky gave him a once over. This cop was quite skinny looking. He had a shaven head, probably in an attempt to look more intimidating. Ricky was surprised at how young this officer looked. Ricky smiled; he was sure this cop would be a pushover, so he had nothing to worry about.
The officer went and talked to George briefly and then came over where Ricky was sitting.
He crouched down. He smiled. “You must be Ricky.”
Ricky looked up with a scowl. “Yeah, what’s it to you!”
“I’m Officer Pancake.” Ricky busted out laughing. Officer Pancake’s mouth set in a hard line. Ricky shivered as Officer Pancake’s eyes seemed to penetrate right into his soul. “My last name really is Pancake.” He continued. Officer Ronald pancake. So get over it and move on Kid, I’m here to transport you to jail.” He Stood. “I heard you were not doing everything that officer Martinez asked of you. And that you like spitten’, gross! well, you’re going to do everything I ask, right?” no spitten’?” Ricky chuckled and gave a lopsided grin. “Yes, officer pancake.”
Officer pancake gave Ricky a dirty look. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Okay, first off, you can cut the sarcastic crap; we all know my last name is pancake get over it son. Now I came here to do a job, and I can do that job the easy way or the hard way. “Now,” he rubbed the stubble on his chin. I believe I’m a nice guy, so here’s what I’ll do, I’ll let you pick; easy way or the hard way.”
Awe transformed Ricky’s face. He froze. He was not expecting this scrawny, baby-faced cop with the name pancake to present himself this way.
“Tick-tock,” said officer Pancake as he looked at his watch; times up, I’ll choose, and I choose the hard way,” he said when Ricky did not respond.
Officer Pancake looked at George. “Hey, officer Martinez I need some assistance over here. Ricky looked up at Officer Pancake wide-eyed.
“Wait! I choose, and I choose easy, I will follow every order you give me.”
Ricky was not about to find out what he meant by the hard way, especially if he was going to need the assistance of another cop — two people against one; never a good thing.
“Officer pancake grinned.” So, you finally decided to choose, and you pick easy, why, thank you; you want to make my job easier tonight. Never mind officer Martinez; I’ve got this all under control.”
George smiled. He flashed Officer pancake the okay sign. Then a thumbs up.
“Okay, Ricky, I’m going to help you stand up; bring your legs up to your chest and push up as I pull,” said Officer Pancake.
He pulled Ricky up; this made Ricky happy for he was tired of sitting on the ground. He had Ricky sit in the back of his squad car and buckled him in. Ricky was very tired and felt very broken. Ricky had never been in trouble with the law before. The fact he was going to big boy Jail really messed with his head and freaked the shit out of him. Not knowing what to expect was making him worry; so much he was starting to get a stomach ache; he tried not to think about it, but that was a lot easier said than done.
George understood why Gina got the cops involved. He was just upset about her attitude when the detective and himself came out;. George stopped for a red light. He began rubbing his temples. Abruptly, George herd Beeeeep! George Jumped. The light had turned green. “Geesh, man, what the heck is your rush. I’m going, I’m going.” George could not figure out why Gina would call the police and then decide that she wants nothing done. “does she really think that the police are just there to discipline people’s children?” The fact that he had to arrest his son is not something George enjoyed or will soon likely forget.
George pulled in the driveway. It was late, but he decided to talk to his wife. George walked into the house. “Gina, we need to talk,” he shouted.
Gina was lying on the couch, reading a book. She jumped and sat straight up, her book falling to the ground. “What are you yelling for.” she yawned. “Talk About what?”
“About Ricky, that’s what,” Said George.
“What’s there to talk about. Ricky hit me. I called the police to come to speak to him and possibly frighten him and get him to change his attitude. She crossed her arms. I never wanted him arrested at all. But it was too late, I guess. She unfolded her arms and placed her hands in her lap. And you arrested him anyway, and that is that my baby boy is sitting in jail tonight. I thought we had this all settled.”
George sat down in his favorite oversized, ultra-plush lazy boy chair. “I just wish you would have talked to me about all this before calling the police.”
“You would have just brushed it off as nothing. I did not know what else to do. I did not want you to come out here.
“why would you be against him being arrested? Maybe by sitting in jail, Ricky will learn that is where people who beat up other people, carry drugs, spit on people and damage property go, and it ain’t a place he wants to be.”
“Wait a minute,” said Gina with a confused look on her face. “Back this buss up a minute, drugs? Spitting on people? Damaging property? What? What are you talking about?”
“Oh, yeah, you weren’t there. A lot happened with Ricky when I left. First off, when I put him in my car, he got angry, I guess, and he kicked out my backside car window. So, I went to talk to him, and he spits right in my face. Apparently, at the jail, they found a baggie of marijuana in one of his shoes “Really, Not my child, not Ricky drugs? You need to be home more, George. Gina crossed her legs. You would know how to handle his sassy attitude. As for me, I try, but I am just too reserved, and I am a pushover, and he knows it. He knows he can intimidate me more. You would not be intimidated by his crap; like I saw this evening, you put him in his place. But you are never home. You are always working.”
“Well, I have to work late. Also, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. You called the police and reported that your son had hit you, that is assault. We come and find out, yes indeed the crime of assault was committed and by whom and decide to make an arrest. George laid back in his chair and put his hand behind his head. He yawned. What did you want us to do? Anyways I think I made the right decision.
“Gina looked over at George. “I don’t know.” She shrugged. “Yell at him and tell him to behave or else.”
George leaned forward and smacked his forehead with his hand. “Jeez, Gina” He gave her a dirty look. He crossed his arms; you really think it is the police’s job to discipline your child. Ah, we have way better and more important things to do.
“Well,” she scowled at George. “I did not want my son arrested. My poor little boy is sitting in jail tonight”, her eyes filled with tears.
She quickly stood up. It’s late, and I’m tired. Good night. She proceeded to go upstairs. George got up and followed. He was about to come int the bedroom, but Gina was standing in the doorway, blocking him, “what do you think you’re doing?” She said.
“I am going to bed; this is my bedroom too.”
Gina rubbed her temples; she crossed her arms. It’s all your fault she said as she slammed the bedroom door and locked it.
“Regina, come on, really? I wish I would not have had to arrest my son. But I did, and it is what it is”.
“Don’t call me that you know I don’t like being called Regina.”.
The door opened, and a pillow and blanket went flying out the room, hitting George right in the kisser; as the door slammed shut and locked.
“Come on, let’s just go to bed. I did not intend to make you mad, honey.”
“Just leave me alone, please. I am going to bed, you can go to bed somewhere else. Like your chair, the couch where ever. Goodbye, and good night.
George scooped up the pillow and blanket and muddled down the stairs to the living room and slept in his chair. The next morning when he woke, his back was as stiff as an ironing board. After he dragged himself up and stretched, he found Gina sitting at the kitchen table drinking some coffee. She looked at him.
“Good morning, I would have woke you, but you were sleeping so soundly I did not want to bother you. I am sorry about last night. I am just stressed out about Ricky, I never imagined
Ricky getting arrested.
“No, Honey, I am the one who should be sorry. I came home yelling at you. It is just that I feel at a loss with Ricky. I never imagined him getting arrest to let alone, arresting him myself.
George grabbed a coffee mug from the counter and poured himself some coffee, hot strong and black just the way he liked it.
“When did he go from a cute innocent little boy to a teenage delinquent?” he had a seat at the kitchen table; across from Gina. He reached across the table, placing his hand gently on top of Gina’s hand beside her coffee cup.” all I know is we need to stay united for Ricky’s sake,” he said as he gently patted her hand.
“So now, what do we do?” Asked Gina.
Because of the domestic assault charge for hitting you Ricky can’t stay at the same residence as you. But Ricky has nowhere else to stay, so he will be held without bail. He will have to wait to see a judge. We will have to see what a judge says. But Ricky was charged with Criminal mischief class B because the damage to the police cruiser was more than fifty dollars. Domestic assault for hitting you. Assault on the police for spitting at me, and probably simple possession for the weed. He could get one-year, and or a ten- thousand dollar fine. Because there is no other criminal history I think the likely hood of that is very slim.
dollars. Domestic assault for hitting you. Assault on the police for spitting at me, and probably simple possession for the weed. He could get one-year, and or a ten- thousand dollar fine. There is no other criminal history I think the likely hood of that is very slim.
It was the day of Ricky’s court hearing to determine if he could go home or if he would have to stay in jail.
Ricky wanted to go home and put this whole nightmare behind him. He entered into the courtroom with a forced smile upon his face, trying to hide the fact that he was absolutely terrified. Ricky had never been inside a real courtroom. The closest he ever came
to seeing a courtroom was on T.V.
He was dressed; in his orange Jailhouse issued uniform, shackles, belly -chain, handcuffs, and cheap orange sandals that he barely was able to keep on his feet. The room was tinier than he expected after watching numerous movies and courtroom dramas.
It seemed to be a little more than two sets of wooden benches on either side of a walkway, with each terminating at some kind of fence. Beyond those fences were two worn tables, each with a pair of wooden chairs. Ricky proceeded beyond the fence to one of the worn-out tables and had a seat next to his court-appointed lawyer.
Looking down on everyone was a raised podium with a lower one to its right. The room was unoccupied other than Ricky and his lawyer. This was the first time Ricky was meeting him. Ricky glanced over at him. He had auburn short curly hair and, he was wearing khaki trousers, suspenders, and a button-down white shirt with a star wars tie. He sounded much older on the phone. Ricky saw his parents come into the courtroom. They had a seat on the second row of benches behind him on the other side of the fence.
Then an older, slightly gray-haired Gentleman; wearing a three-piece suit came in. He came through the fence and sat at the other worn table to the left of were Ricky and his lawyer sat.
A man in a law enforcement uniform of some kind came in from a side doorway. He stood in front of the raised podium and said, “Court is now in session. All Rise, the honorable Judge, Samuel Anderson, presiding.
Everyone stood, and the judge came in from the side door and had a seat behind the raised podium.
Ricky gave the judge a once over. Ricky thought he was a dinosaur. Samuel was an older gentleman, but not quite a dinosaur, but he did look quite a bit older than his age. He wore coke bottle black-framed glasses. He was very short, bony, with snow-white hair, and do to a medical condition, he walked with limp in his right leg.
“You may be seated,” he said, and Everyone sat.
Now Judge Anderson was known for being tough but fair;
“Let the record state that this is a preceding to determine if Ricardo should stay here in detention, or get sent to an outside rehabilitation facility or get sent home on probation.”
“Okay, you may proceed, Mr. McCoy, said Judge Anderson.”
Mr. McCoy got up and stood by the Lower podium to the right of the judge.
“I would like to call the mother to the stand. Please come and have a seat up here, Mrs. Martinez.”
Gina got up and came forward and had a seat.
“Do you think Ricky has an anger problem.”
“No, not really, he sometimes gets angry when he can’t get his way,” said Gina.
“Would you like to have Ricky come home with you?”
“I’m not quite sure. Gina started fidgeting with her wedding ring. She looked up. Part of me does, but then again, I am afraid sometimes in my own house of my own son, which is not right. But I think deep down Ricky is a good kid, I believe. I am just an overprotective mother. I need to give him more space, then he will not need to get upset with me”.
“Is this the first time Ricky has hit you, asked Mr. McCoy?”
Gina wiped her eyes; she was getting teary-eyed thinking about Ricky.
Gina began to pick at a hangnail, She was in denial; she could not come to believe her son would physically hit her; Gina did not want her son to go to jail, but she knew she had to answer something.
“she raised her head, this is the first time Ricky has hit me hard enough to leave a mark. He has slapped me a couple of times in the past. but he has never punched me before
“No further questions, your honor.” Mr. McCoy returned back to his seat.
“I have some questions for you, Mrs. Martinez,” said Mr. Ruck, Ricky’s court-appointed lawyer as he stood up
“How is Ricky doing in school?”
Gina Looked down and took a deep breath then looked up.
“Not good, he is flunking all of his classes. It is not that he is stupid, He just does not care. He does not do his homework.
“Has he ever been in any legal trouble before? Asked Mr. Ruck.
“No fighting at school?”
“Not that I am aware of; said, Gina.
“Mr. Ruck wiped his finger under his nose. There have never been any police reports filed on your son. And the police have never been out to your house before for any reason correct.
“So, overall, Ricky is a pretty good kid and not a threat to you or anybody else, and he just got angry and made a poor decision.”
“Yes,” Gina was tugging her earlobe. “This whole thing was just a misunderstanding.”
“That is all I have your honor,” said Mr. Ruck as he sat down.
“I would like to call Mr. Martinez. McCoy stood up abruptly. Or should I say, Officer Martinez.”
George got up, lumbering down the little walkway. He had a seat at the small podium. Mr. McCoy came out from behind the table. He started pacing back and forth with long strides. “Would you like Ricky to return home with you?” He asked.
“George folded his hands and rested them in his lap, jut under his belly. “No, I want Ricky removed from the home; I just don’t feel my wife would be safe at home alone with him there. I work a lot; I work third shift, and she is home alone with him a lot.”
Ricky’s eyes filled with tears as he heard that. He started fidgeting with the handcuffs on his wrist.
“Now, I see that you were the arresting officer. Now let’s pretend for a second you did not know Ricky at all. What did you think of Ricky’s behavior that night you were called out to his home?”
“Terrible, just terrible. A line etched between George’s brows. Ricky was disagreeable, violent, stubborn, messy, mean, selfish, and impulsive.”
“Violent? Did he hit you or any officers with you?”
“No, his eyebrows rose. But he did kick out the window of the police car. And he decided to spit in my face”.
“Have you ever witnessed Ricky Hitting your wife before?”
“Thank you, Mr. Martinez. That is all the questions I have for you.”
George stepped down and returned to his seat.
“I have some questions for Ricky. Ricky looked up, surprised. Would you please have a seat up here,” said Judge Anderson.
Ricky came forward; he moved carefully because of the shackles he wore on his feet. He sort of shuffle and scoffed his feet, not wanting to take too big of strides and fall. his shoulders were slouched do to the handcuffs and belly chain that kept his hands no higher than his navel. He fidgeted with the cuffs on his wrists. Gina Glanced at Ricky from head to toe. Only now did she noticed he was shackled and handcuffed. Gina couldn’t believe it; never in a million years did she picture this for her son. This was not how she envisioned his future.
“Why did you hit your mother?” Asked Judge Anderson.
“Because she made me mad, she told me I could not go to a party at this kids house. She never lets me do anything, and she is so mean,” replied Ricky.
“Mean? Does she beat you, verbally abuse you or make you go hungry? Does she harm you in any way, shape, or form?”
“No, sir, she does not.”
“Then tell me; how she is mean?”
“Because she does not let me do what I want to do and always wants to know what I am doing, I feel I am a pretty good kid, and I try to stay out of trouble.
Why are you falling all of your class at school?
“Because I don’t care, school is stupid.”
“So how are you going to get a job without a high school diploma?
I don’t know and will worry about that when I have too.
“Wait, how old are you again?”
“Right, you are only seventeen years old. You live at home with your mother and father, correct. Judge Anderson crossed his arms.
“Do you have a job?” Judge Anderson rubbed his chin.
“I don’t need a job yet,” replied Ricky
“I didn’t think so.”
I bet you don’t have to pay rent. Do you?
Ricky smiled, “nope.”
“I bet your parents pay for your food.”
“Yup,” said Ricky with a smug smile.
“Ricky, I want you to think about where you would be without your parents.”
You don’t make the rules, you are not grown yet. When you are grown. Have a job, pay for rent and food, and can financially take care of your self. Then you can do whatever you want. Until then, you mind your parents.
Wait, do you think you will just live at home forever. Well, let me tell you something, young man. Did you know that once you turn eighteen, your mother and father are no longer legally responsible for you? So they can legally kick you out of their house and not let you come back home if they choose too. And, if you don’t have a job or anywhere to go, you will become a homeless bum. Is that what you want?
“Why won’t people just leave me the hell alone.”
Ricky looked at Gina. She was crying, “Please don’t cry. I am very sorry for hitting you, and I did not mean to harm you. Ricky started crying crocodile tears. “Please, can I come home I promise will not hurt you I love you.”
“Ricky, stop with the tears. How many times have I heard that before? If you’re sorry, then why do you do the same thing again and again? Sorry is just an over-abused word. When will you learn that just saying I’m sorry can’t and will not fix all of your actions,” Replied Gina?
Ricky began getting agitated, and he began to yell, “don’t you love me if you did you would not have called the cops on me bitch. Remember you are not the boss of me, I am the boss of myself and don’t give a dam what anyone thinks I do whatever I please. And if I feel like punching my momma out I will .
“Sit down this instant young man!” Said, Judge Anderson.
“Ricky’s face turned red. No! You’re not the boss of me either. I can do what I want.”
“the judge was outraged by Ricky’s behavior. We will see about that. Ricky, if you can’t or won’t behave in my courtroom, then we will continue this proceeding without you. Bailiff, please remove the defendant; and keep your eye on him. Mr. Ruck, your client, is no longer needed for any more testimony. You can stay if you wish, but Ricky is no longer welcome to attend this hearing. However, he will be needed to be present when I make my final ruling. Now, Mr. and Mrs. Martinez, shall we proceed. would you be willing to take full care and custody of Ricky if I were to release
“As for me,” said George “I am sad to say this, but no, I don’t want him to return home. I think he will learn nothing if we bring him home. I feel that my wife would be in danger. Obviously, he has anger issues, and my wife can’t seem to handle him. She is home alone a lot with him. I work a lot. So no, as much as this hurts us, we are not willing to take full care and custody of Ricky. I really hope Ricky can get some help for his anger to get into some program or something.”
“What! Gina looked at George, she scowled at him. You never talked to me!”
“You be quiet!” Said, George. “It’s just I believe this is the last straw for Ricky. If we don’t intervene soon, we will lose him for sure.” Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Martinez, for your thoughts. The court will take into consideration your feelings on this matter. Okay, Bernard, you can let Ricky back in. I am ready to rule. Ricky, are you going to behave now?”
“Yes, Your Honor,” I will behave, Ricky said as he had a seat.
“Now after talking with your parents and after some serious deliberation,”
Judge Anderson took a deep breath, he continued, “I just don’t know what to do with you, Ricky. You had a clean criminal record, until now, but you seem to have this cocky attitude about you that you can do no wrong, and no one can tell you no. That the world revolves around you; Ricky Martinez, well let me tell you something kid the world revolves around the sun, not you”.
Judge Anderson picked up his water glass sitting beside him and took a drink. He looked up at the ceiling and paused their deep in thought. After about a second or two, he put the glass down and continued.
“I would love to throw the book at you kid and lock you up and throw away the key. But I believe that would do you no dam good. You are still young, and I think you have some good in you, way deep down, and you just need to find it. You’re never going to find it sitting here in jail, plus we do not have the resources for the individual attention that I think you need. I believe you have it in you to change, given the right environment.
I have decided not to release you into your parent’s custody. Ricky, who at this point was emotionally numb, did not give a crap about what Judge Anderson had to say or thought about him. But when he heard not being released into your parent’s custody, he went berserk. He was confident he was going home.
What?” Ricky shouted.
“Excuse me?” Said, Judge Anderson.
“I’m not going home.”
“Would you please let me finish, now where was I, after you so rudely interrupted, oh ya, like I said I have decided not to release you into your parent’s custody. I feel like If I release you back into the same environment, you will not change. Instead, I am placing you into the care of Andy and Ashley Richmond. They take in court-ordered teens and provide the much-needed attention and discipline in a caring, secure structured environment at their detention home in Mapleville, Iowa. I am dropping all other charges. Would the defendant please rise for my official sentencing.” Ricky and his attorney stood.
“Ricardo Emanuel Martinez, I now am placing you into the temporary custody of Mr. And Mrs. Richmond. You will stay there until they feel you are ready to return home and be reunited with your family. You will get transported by the transportation of corrections to Mapleville, Iowa. Good luck to you, Ricky. Case adjourned.”
The court officer came and took custody of Ricky. Ricky was distraught. “This is bullshit! I have to go live with these people in Mapleville, Iowa, where in the fuck is that?” He Shouted.
“Watch your language, young man! You are still in my courtroom! I can still change my mind. I can always change my ruling if you like”, Did you know that assault in the second degree has a maximum sentence of five years? Would you like to go to prison? From what I have heard, prison is not a very nice place at all, Living with the Richmond’s is probably not as bad as prison. Just get him out of my sight, we are done here”, judge Anderson said.
Ricky started crying; “I never did anything to you, Mom. Dad, how could you do this to me? Don’t you guys love me anymore? If you do, how can you let them send me away like this? It’s alright if you don’t love me because the truth is I don’t care if you love me or not”, shouted Ricky.
“Come on, kid, it’s time to go,” the court officer said as he began dragging Ricky out of the courtroom.
The last time Gina saw Ricky, he was pissed at her.
Gina still decided they should say goodbye anyways and let Ricky know they would always love him. He was after all their only son; flesh of their flesh
It was heartbreaking for Gina, knowing that her son was going to be sent eight hundred-some miles away from Her. George was sad, but he felt that Ricky getting sent away was the best thing for him. Especially after seeing how he acted in court. George new Ricky needed a rude awakening, or possible a wack to the head. George was embarrassed by Ricky’s behavior in court. Here he was a law infotainment officer, who dealt with thugs, and badasses daily, and his own son was out of control. Acting like his parents don’t know how to discipline him.
They entered the police station.
“Hey, Parker,” said George.
“Hey George, I’m surprised to see you here isn’t today your day off, anyway what can I do for you.”
Gina was standing there patiently, waiting for George to introduce her. Gina Kicked George in the ankle.
“Parker, this is my wife, Gina. Gina, this is Sgt. Parker,” said George.
“Nice to meet you, ma’am.” He stood up and removed his hat and offered his hand for her to shake. She shook his hand.
“Nice to meet you too.”
“Now, what can I do for Y’all.”
“We would like to visit Ricky Martinez. We are not sure how we would go about doing that, as this is all new to us. Said, George.
“Okay, well, you need to go upstairs to visitation,” said Parker.
Then he remembered what he was told. “Wait, sorry, but that inmate is not allowed any visitors except his lawyer. By law, we have to let him see his lawyer. But I don’t think he will need to because he is already sentenced. We are talking about Ricardo Martinez. Right”
“yes,” said Gina.
‘Then, yup, you can’t see him. He can’t have visitors. Those orders came from chief Mendez himself.”
“We would like to see the chief is he in ?” asked George.
“Sure, he is in his office. I will let him know you would like to see him. Just give me one sec.” Parker called the chief using the phone on his desk. “He will be right out; you can have a seat and make yourself comfy.”
“Hey, what can I do for my favorite daughter and son-in-law.”
” Daddy, we’re your only daughter and son-in-law. We are here to visit Ricky but were told we can’t.”
Parker poked his head up from his desk and began to stare at them. He had a habit of eavesdropping on people’s conversations when he found them intriguing, and he found this conversation to be quite fascinating. He had no idea they were related to the chief.
“Oh, well, he has been anything but a little angel during his lovely short stay here at the County jail.
“Not here, in private,” said George discreetly, looking over at Parker.
“Oh, come on in my office.”
Gina and George stepped into his office. It was drafty, with old dated green linoleum covering the floor. Off to the far side was the chief’s old oak desk, which sat beside a window; on top of his desk sat an old Macintosh laptop. Next to that was a pile of papers and a telephone. Behind the desk to the right was an olive green filing cabinet.
The chief sat down in his oversized black leather office chair that had seen better days; it had a piece of silver duct tape on the seat, patching a tear.
He motioned for them to have a seat in the two wooden chairs in front of his desk.
“As chief, I get all the disciplinary reports on all inmates. After only being here three days, Ricky racked up quite the disciplinary reports.
He rolled his chair over to the filing cabinet. Took out a pretty thick manila folder.
“Let’s take a lookie here , Ricky got written up for cursing at staff, for repeatedly refusing to follow directions from staff. It says here he had an altercation with staff that led to them having to use a restraint chair. After hearing he would not be going home but instead is being shipped off to Mapleville Iowa, he has gotten angrier. Usually, an inmate with disciplinary write-ups like Ricky has aren’t allowed, visitors. Visitations are a privilege, ya know.
“So, we can’t see him before he goes?” I mean this will be the last time we will see him for a long time and not like we can visit him he is being sent to Mapleville Iowa were ever that is. I never even heard of that place before.
“Okay fine, in your case, I will make an exception.”
“thank you, daddy.”
“I will have to come up there with you.”
They needed to check-in at the intake desk.
“We are here to see Ricky Martinez. We are his parents, said George.”
“Martinez?” The man at the intake desk said. He never even looked up. He just did some typing at his computer.
“Do you mean Ricardo Martinez? You can’t see him. Except for his lawyer, his visitation privileges have been indefinitely revoked.”
“Well, Junior, temporarily reinstate them,” said the chief. Junior was about to say who the hell do you think you are, but as he looked up and saw the chief standing right in front of him, he bit his tongue a little.
“Oh, chief, if you say he can have visitors, then he can have visitors. Mr. and Mrs. Martinez, you can come right this way.”
Junior led them down a long corridor, which seemed to go on for miles. Finally, they came to the visiting room. They would have to visit Ricky through a glass window.
“Please have a seat; Ricky will be with you momentarily.”
So they had a seat. Ricky came, he had his hands cuffed in front of him. He looked like he lost all hope and had given up on life. He just sat down like a bump on a log. Gina started crying the minute she laid eyes on him. She picked up the receiver of the red phone on the wall next to her. Ricky also picked up the red receiver on the wall next to him, “how are you doing?” She asked. “How do you think I am doing? I’m In Jail. And because of my age restriction I have to be housed in segregation, aka solitary. And it sucks monkey ass in here. You have no rights here. People are always telling you what to do, and you don’t have a say in anything. Your whole day is scheduled, and every day is just a repeat of the day before. I want to come home. I am sorry I messed up. I wish to go home. I want to sleep in my own bed and wear my own clothes. How could you just sit there and let them send me to Mapleville, Iowa? Where ever the fuck that is. I don’t want to go there. I am scared.”
George motioned for Gina to give him the phone. “Hey, Ricky,” he said.
“What do you want, Pig. Did you come here to arrest me again? Well, that won’t be necessary because I’m already in jail, so ha.” said Ricky. George was stunned, he did not really know how to respond to that. He could not believe how angry Ricky still was at him. “We’ve come to say goodbye. We still love you and will always love you. And we forgive you for what you did”.
“Then why can’t I come home? There Isn’t anything you can do? You’re a cop?”
“Sorry, Ricky, What is done is done. You can’t undo what you did, you made some mistakes, and now you have to suffer the consequences of those mistakes, plus I think this will be good for you”. Said, George. Ricky did not care about anything. He just wanted to come home and put this whole mess behind him. He did not understand how they could say they loved him, but they had him thrown in jail and were letting him be shipped off to Mapleville Iowa.
“so there is nothing you can do to get me out of this hell hole and stop me from having to go to Iowa,” said Ricky.
“We’re sorry, Ricky, but no, there is nothing we can do at this time. You just have to suck it up and take your punishment like a man,” Said Gina. Ricky got really angry, and when he gets furious, people better watch out. He dropped the phone receiver and stood up. Goddammit, this is bullshit.” Ricky leaned forward. Bang! Clank! Ricky slapped his cuffed hands on the glass window. Gina and George jumped back a bit. I don’t want to go to Iowa! I want to come home! “Why did you guys even come here if you can’t help me. Just get the hell out of here I don’t want to see you ever again,” Ricky screamed. His voice echoed and rsinated. All of a sudden, a guard came bursting in.
“What the heck is going on in here. You need to take it down a notch Martinez .” he grabbed his arm. “visitation is over for you lets go you need to cool off.”
“No, get off me. Yo, I don’t want to be touched”.Ricky fiercely jerked his arm, elbowing the officer square in the nose.
“Ouch, dammit, kid! Why did you do that for?” The officer brought his hand up to his face. His nose was bleeding, just a tad.
“come on, you little shit, let’s go. The officer dragged Ricky off.
Both George and Gina were taken aback by what they just witnessed. They were speechless.
Officer Seville came into Ricky’s cell and said, “let’s go. Your being released so you can go to Mapleville Iowa where ever that is. I have never even heard of that place. Well, apparently Judge Anderson knows about that place as he sent you there.
Ricky was taken down to intake. “Okay, Ricky, you can go in here and Dress out,” said Parker. Ricky was so happy to be able to wear his street clothes instead of his detention uniform. He felt like a normal person, not an inmate. “Okay, Ricky, here is your property, one gray Hoodie, one black belt, and one pair of white Nike tennis shoes.
“Please remove the shoes and put them on. Leave everything else in the plastic bag please. I just need you to sign here by the x for me. Now please put your stuff right here on the floor. have a seat in here and make yourself comfy. Someone will be with you in just a little bit,” said Sgt. Parker as he closed the door. Ricky did not say a word. He just had a seat.
After a few minutes, officer Skinner came and opened the door. Ricky had not yet met him, but all it took was just one look, and he knew that this was the kind of dude you probably shouldn’t mess with unless you wanted a good old fashion country ass-whooping’.” you Ricardo Martinez,” said Officer Skinner.
“Yeah, that’s me,” said Ricky.
“Well, I am Officer Skinner, and it is my job to get you to Iowa, so no shenanigans, cause I don’t put up with shenanigans.”
“Okay sir, I’ll be on my best behavior, but just one thing can you, please call me Ricky, everyone calls me Ricky and I really don’t like being called Ricardo.”
“that’s fine with me. Ricky just behave, cause if you don’t I can guarantee you will not like what will happen to you. You can call me Bubba if you want.”
Now nothing personal but I have to do what I have to do. I need you to step out here and please kneel on this chair for me and stay there”, said Bubba. He put shackles on Ricky’s ankles. You can get off the chair and face me. I need you to put your hands on your head and interlace your fingers, he said. He put a chain around his waist and secured it with a small padlock. Then he connected a pair of handcuffs on the chain and put them on Ricky.
Ricky was Outraged at all this. “Is all this really necessary? Asked Ricky.
“Yes, like I said, this is nothing personal with you; it’s just stander transport procedures. If you don’t like it too bad so sad, maybe you shouldn’t be committing crimes and getting arrested”.
Ricky still felt that all that was not necessary. He wished he was back home with his parents. When he really thought about living at home with his parents, who were not unusually strict, it was not all that bad. But it was too late for that. He gave that all up because he wanted to do what he wanted to do.
He did not want to be told what to do. “Come on, Ricky, it is time to go. We’re on a tight schedule, said Bubba as he took hold of Ricky’s arm. He led him out to the intake sally port, where a police van was waiting for them.
Ricky was a little scared as he had never ridden in a police van before, but he once saw a YouTube video about what it is like to ride in one, and it did not look like a fun experience at all.
Bubba opened the back of the van and told Ricky to get in. It was very cramped inside. Ricky had to duck to get in. It was very narrow in there. If Ricky could have stretched his arms straight out to his sides, he could have easily been able to touch the walls on both sides of him, no problem. Bubba stepped on up and securely fastened a seat belt around Ricky’s waist. Then he left and closed the inner door and then the outer door. There were no windows. Ricky was starting to feel a little claustrophobic. Ricky began thinking about all that he had involuntarily given up. Life as he knew it was about to change; Ricky was in for a rude awakening. Contrary to what he believed, one is not grown at seventeen years of age. Age does not always determine mental maturity, and life is not always fair.
Bubba got in the passenger side of the transport van.
“Are we all ready to go ?” Asked officer Quimby.
“Yes, replied Bubba.”
“Okay then off we go like a heard of turtles.”
Ricky felt the van start moving, it was a very bumpy ride in the back of the van. He was glad he was belted in so he would not slide all over the place. It was strange riding in a vehicle that had no windows. Ricky always enjoyed looking out the window at the scenery.
Not being able to look out a window and see where he was going made Ricky feel trapped. After a good twenty -five minutes or so, the van stopped, and Ricky figured they must be at the airport. There was no direct flight to Mapleville, Iowa. The closest airport was the Des Moines international airport, which was about one hour and twenty-six minutes form Mapleville, so from there, Ricky would have to travel another ninety-five miles either by car or bus to get to the Richmond’s.
Having a prisoner ride on a commercial flight is kind of out of the norm and not something airlines like to announce to their passengers. It might scare them. So there were special procedures put into place to inshore the safety of everyone evolved.
The transport van backed up to the rear of the plain. Bubba got out and opened the back of the van “come on, get out. You ain’t thinking about running away from me, kid, are you? Asked baba.
“No, I guess I have to go to Iowa, whether I like it or not, so I won’t run, I promise.
“Good, now because I am a nice guy and I can kind of see how it might be embarrassing and uncomfortable to have to ride on the plane all chained up so much, against my better judgment I am going to let you ride the plane with just your hands cuffed in front of you. No other chains and no leg restraints.
“Thank you so much, sir,” said Ricky. He was so glad to have the waist chain and the leg shackles removed. Having just his hands cuffed together in front of him was not ideal, but it was a lot better than the way he was all chained up before.
Bubba led Ricky up the Ramp onto the plane. The plane was empty. The regular passengers had not yet boarded.
“Have a seat by the window,’ said Bubba pointing to the first set of seats they came to. Ricky sat down, and Bubba sat in the aisle seat next to him.
“How long is this flight?” Ricky asked. “It is about four hours, kid,” Replied Bubba.
“What am I going to do for four hours? Four hours is a long time just to twiddle your thumbs,” thought Ricky.
Soon people started boarding the plane. After what seemed like the most drawn-out four hours of his life, they finally arrived at the Des Moines international airport. Ricky began to get a nervous belly. He had no clue what was in store for him.
As soon as the plane landed, there was an announcement over the loudspeakers. Due to safety concerns in the airport we ask that all passengers remain in their seats at this time, we will let you know when it will be safe to exit the plane thank you and please remain calm. A flight attendant came and touched Bubba’s arm. Bubba turned to Ricky and softly said: “that’s our cue to exit Kid; let’s go.”
He escorted Ricky out the back. When Ricky got off the plane, he saw a gray bus that kind of looked like a school bus, but at the same time, not really. There was a sheriff’s deputy standing right in front of the doors of the bus. He was holding a clipboard. He looked at his clipboard and said, “I am here for one male a Ricardo Martinez.”
“That would be this fella right here,” replied Bubba as he put his hand on Ricky’s shoulder.
“Can you spell your last name for me, Son?” The deputy asked.
“Sure, M-A-R-, T-I-N-E-Z.,” Replied Ricky
“Okay, thanks, son, and I am assuming you must be officer Skinner.”
“That would be correct,” said Bubba.
“I just need your signature right here at the bottom, please.
“He handed Bubba the clipboard and Bubba signed. “Thank you very much, sir. We are all set here. You have a nice rest of your day and have a safe trip back.”
“Okay, I will and you as well.”
Bubba turned and left and went inside the airport.
“Come on, kid, let’s go,” said the sheriff’s deputy.
The bus was empty. Only one guard was seated up front close to the doors of the bus. He had a shotgun propped up between his legs.
“Hey, is that thing loaded?” Asked Ricky, as he had a seat behind the guard. The guard gave him a creepy kind of smile and said: “wouldn’t you like to know.”
This was the longest and most boring bust ride Ricky had ever been on, they drove up abandoned streets. The only scenery to see was vast open cornfields, and densely wooded forest areas that Ricky assumed were filled with wildlife, along with the occasional towering grain house. Not only that, but the driver and guard barely said a word to Ricky the whole time. So the majority of the ride was in silence. Too much silence can make a man feel like they are going to lose their mind, and Ricky certainly was starting to feel like all the silence was getting to him.
Ricky broke the silence by asking, “when are we going to get there?”
“We will get there when we get there. It is not your job to ask stupid questions, the guard said.”
“Cut it out Boone, he just asked a simple, innocent question no need to get all upset about it. don’t you worry kid, I know this has been a long ride, but we should be there in about twenty-five minutes or so, so just hang on a little longer,” said the deputy driving the bus.
Ricky stared out the bus window. He saw a sign that said Mapleville population 4,000.
No one could be anonymous in Mapleville. Their motto was Mapleville, where everybody knows your name, and everything else about you.
They finally pulled up to a big, beautiful, two-story Victorian-style house. The Richmonds, In front of the house, there was a massive crab apple tree, with its sharp thorn-like claws and an ancient weeping willow, with it’s enormous sagging arms that provided shade in the summer from the intense rays of the sun. This place certainly did not look like anything Ricky imagined it would. Standing outside was a man and a woman; There was another young man; who didn’t look much older than thirty; wearing thick black-framed glasses; standing off to the side of them; he had on a sheriff’s deputy uniform. The doors of the bus opened, and the driver Got up. “come on, kid, we’re here,” the deputy said.
Ricky stood up and got off the bus. “I would like you all to meet Ricardo.”
“Nice to meet you. I am Andy, and this here is my husband, Ashley. “Over there,” she said, pointing to her right, “is our son Ben. Welcome.”
Ricky was shocked to find out that Andy was actually a woman; he thought she was a man. He never knew any girls named Andy. He did not know what to make of these people, but so far they seemed very nice.
“If it is not too much to ask, can I be called Ricky?”
“That’s okay with me, it will be duly noted. Now Ben here”, said Andy pointing to her right again; “he will get you all settled into your new home.”
“He’s all yours, Ben,” Ashley said as he winked. “Do your stuff.”.
“come on, let’s go,” Ben shouted.
Ben led Ricky up a short sidewalk and then up a few stairs. Ricky was confused; this, as far as he could tell, was not the main entrance to the house, but rather a smaller door just to the right of the door to the house, and not the same door Andy and Ashley used.
Ben brought Ricky inside and shut the door behind him. He said, “you know; you are now locked in. Here are the keys.” Ben showed Ricky the keys and put them in his pocket. “You couldn’t get out if you wanted to,” he said as he pulled on the door to show him, it was indeed locked. “come on,” he said as he led Ricky a little further; into the small room. He opened a big steel door
. “you know this building was built in eighteen eighty, and it should hold you very securely.
“Come on, get in,” he said as he pushed him in.
“Have a seat; we’ll just keep those cuffs on you for right now.”
Bang! Ben shut the door. Ricky could hear Ben insert a key into the door. Ricky heard a subtle kerchunk sound as the lock was automatically spring-assisted to the locked position. Ricky now knew the door was securely locked. The whole process of securing the door took Ben only about five seconds. But to Ricky, it was as if it was in slow-motion. His heart sank for he knew he was locked in. Ben opened the little cuff-port on the door and looked in. I will be back after I do all the paperwork on you. Probably in about an hour. “You mean I have to sit here just like
this for about an hour?”
“Yes, the paperwork takes a long time. You’re from Jackson, Mississippi. Right?”
“Well, I don’t know how things are run there, but here everything is done by hand. We don’t have fancy computers and stuff. We are what you young fellas might say old school here. you just sit tight, and I will be back.” There were bunk beds in the room. Ricky had a seat on the lower bunk. He felt anxious not knowing what was going on. After what seemed like forever Ricky heard Ben come back. He opened the cuff- port and looked in. Ben’s words were cold and apathetic. his voice was monotonous as he spoke. It was like he was in autopilot, just saying the same old thing.
“Please step up here and put your hands through. When I un-cuff your left hand bring it back through. Place your hand on your head. And do the same with the other”.
“Why do I have to do that for,” Ricky said, trying to test his limits like always. Maybe I don’t want to put my hand on my head.”
Ricky’s sudden outburst snapped Ben from autopilot. Ben grabbed onto Ricky’s right hand that still had a cuff locked on it, grabbing onto the empty cuff, holding it very securely, in a matter-of-fact, demanding voice, he said, “now what I need you to do is turn around and give me your other hand.
“No!” said Ricky. “I don’t want to, and you can’t make me.” Ben grabbed his hand and twisted it forward.
“How about now, he said.” are you going to turn around and
give me your other hand?
“Ouch, ouch ouch ochies, nearly crying. Ricky screamed, ouch! Come on man that fucking hurts! Okay okay okay, Here!” Without further delay, Ricky turned and put his other arm out through the slot. Ben grabbed his other hand and brought it back and cuffed his wrist in the open cuff.
“I think these cuffs here are a bit too loose,” said Ben. We can’t have you slipping out now.” He cranked the cuffs down on Ricky’s wrists and double locked them. “Okay put your hands back in. Remember, kid, you don’t and will not ever run the show here. I run the show. You better learn that fast or I can guarantee you will be forced to learn it. And it will be a very long, unpleasant bumpy road you will have to walk.”
“This is bullshit. Come on, take these cuffs off me. They fucking hurt; They are too tight.”
“Well, I think your cuffs are fine and not too tight. You know; they were not made for comfort,”
“Do you know that all this could have been avoided if you would have just put your hand on your head like I politely asked you? Every decision has a reaction and a consequence, and the result of your choice to not obey me is you don’t get the cuffs taken off. You just get handcuffed more uncomfortably. You can sit here just like that. And you can think about how much better it would have been if you had only followed my directions. I will be back to check on you in just a bit. He closed the cuff -port and left.
It was so dead quiet in that room. Ricky did not know what to do. Ricky’s wrists were starting to hurt, and he could hardly move them. Fuck these cuffs, Fuck Ben, for putting them on so tight, thought Ricky. He began to struggle fruitlessly in the cuffs as he was distraught. He really hated being handcuffed, and this time they were on really really tight. “I want these cuffs off me now!” Ricky shouted. He had no idea how long he was going to be held like that. He was one-hundred percent helpless, and that feeling was terrifying to him.
Ricky started pacing around the room. He went to the only window and looked out. He saw a vast open wheat field. It was a beautiful scene to see. The sun setting and the tall, damp wheat stalks, golden brown, gently blowing in the breeze, and glistening in the sunlight. It was like nothing Ricky had seen before, growing up in the inner city suburbs. He wished he could just run through that wheat field with his arms out, and brush his hands across the tops of those wheat stalks.
Then he realized he was looking at this beautiful seen through steel bars.
He started crying; finally, it sunk in; he was a prisoner. Of course, he was a prisoner before, but he never really believed he was one. He did not care about what he had to give up; he just cared about manipulating people to get his way. He was sure that it would not be long before he would go back to his regular life. He never made the mental connection of being in jail, and being a prisoner, as not being free to come, or go, and not able to enjoy the beautiful world around him. He started thinking about all the things he could not experience right now anymore. Like taking a walk on a crisp fall day and having the leaves crunching beneath His feet. Not being able to hug his mom or dad, not that he wanted to, but just the fact that he couldn’t; it was no longer his decision to make, and that was kind of scary.
Ricky never realized just how good he had it; until the rug was pulled entirely right out from under him and rolled up, so there was no going back. Ricky jumped; the cuff port on the door opened, and Ben looked in.
“Are you done with your little temper tantrum?” he asked. Are you going to stop acting like a two-year-old and act like the young man I know you are?”.
“Yes, sir,” said Ricky. He gave up fighting. Fighting a battle you know you are going to lose is just stupid, and a waste of time, Thought Ricky.
“Yes, sir, what,” said Ben.
“I am going to act like a young man,” said Ricky.
“Okay then I need you to come up here; turnaround and bring your arms up as high as you can for me. I am going to take off the handcuffs. Now let’s try this again when I remove the cuff on your left hand; place your hand on your head”. Ricky Placed his hand on his head. He was delighted to have the cuffs removed. “You can have a seat. I will be right back.” He closed the cuff- port. After a minute or two, he returned and opened the cuff port. “all right, then I need you to change into this, He ordered; His words were cold and Harsh.
“Really a uniform? A black and white striped prisoner uniform. Really?”
“oh yes, my parents don’t play when court-ordered teens come.” Ricky changed. “Please put your clothes and shoes into this
paper sack.” Ricky put everything in the sack. Ben took the bag. Okay you can have a seat and I will be back a little later. he closed the cuff port and left.
Ben kind of felt bad for Ricky. He was sent there all the way from Jackson, Mississippi. He was young, and he had no idea what was in store for him. This program was very intense, and it evolved, breaking the teens down mentally and physically; before building them back up. Breaking them down was the hard part for Ben. He did not really like being the tough guy, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to. It was hard for Ben to get into the right headspace, or into character, as he always said. He always felt like he was playing a different person. He is not a tough guy by nature.
Ben went home to see if his parents were ready for the detainee meeting and to help get things set up and to gather a few things, one being a bible. Ben was very religious, and he always gave every teen that came there a new king James bible, for he knew all things were possible with God. Ben knew God could and would change Ricky’s heart if he would only let him and would seek him out. By giving him a bible, Ben believed he was giving him the means to seek out God, and hopefully, setting him on the right path to God. People who loved God were good people for the most part.
Ben went back to the jail to check on Ricky. Ben looked into Ricky’s cell and saw that Ricky was lying down. Ben banged on the cell door. He opened the cuff port . “Wake up!” He shouted. Ricky, who was asleep, jumped nearly out of his skin.
“what the fuck, man,” Ricky screamed.
Now what I need you to do is place your hands on the bed and spread your feet.
“Why?” Asked Ricky.
“Because I asked you to nicely.”
“That is not an answer. why do you want me to place my hands on the bed and spread my feet.
“you will find out if you you just place your hands on the bed and spread your feet.
“But I want to know now!”.
Ben took a deep breath and sighed. “Ricky, why do you have to be so difficult. Just place your hands on the bed and spread your feet. your presence has been requested by sheriff warden Andy. AKA my mom.”
Ben cleared hi throat. “Remember what what happened earlier when you did not do what I asked. You did not like that. did you?”
“Fuck no!” Ricked shouted
You need to watch your language, swearing is not permitted here. I will let it slide for now but if you don’t get it under control asap you will have consequences. Dirty mouths get cleaned with soap around here. Ricky was not quite sure what he meant. But he was certain he did not want to find out.
Are you going to do what I asked or are you going to suffer the consequence.
What are the consequences? Asked Ricky.
Well wouldn’t you like to know? That is for me to know and you to find out”
Ricky sighed got up and put his hands on the bed frame and spreed hi legs.
“Thanks Ricky I am glad you decided to chose the right option.
You know you don’t move. Right? Any sudden movements will betake as a sign of aggression, and I will take your fucking body to the ground. You understand.”
“Yes, sir,” said Ricky. He knew that this Ben guy did not play. He did not want to piss him off and experience his wrath. Ben opened the door and came in. “You stay just like that.” Ben knelt down by Ricky’s feet. He put shackles on his ankles is that really necessary Asked Ricky, a little upset; he really hated wearing shackles.
“Shut up! You only speak when spoken to.” Ben put a chain around Ricky’s waist and secured it with a small padlock. Turn around and face me. Hands-on head interlock your fingers. Then he took Ricky’s hands and placed them in the handcuffs that were attached to the chain around his wast just at his navel. “Come on, Kid, let’s go, Ben shouted.
“sheriff warden Andy and under-sheriff Ashley are waiting. They would like to have a meeting with you, and they don’t want to be kept waiting.
“Sheriff Andy? I thought you were the sheriff, Replied Ricky.
“Who me, I’m just the new deputy sheriff. Now let’s go.”
Ben escorted Ricky out of the jailhouse and into his parent’s house. As Ben led Ricky through the living room, Ricky noticed on the sofa was a multicolored crocheted afghan. Upon seeing it, he felt like crying because it reminded him of a simpler time when he was younger, and how he used to snuggle on his mother’s lap with a crocheted afghan similar to that one. Seeing the afghan also made him angry because he felt everything he had to go through thus far was his mother’s fault for getting the cops involved in the first place. Ben continued to lead Ricky into what seemed to be the dining room and brought him to a large table. There Andy and
Ashley were standing in front of the table waiting.
“Hello Ricky, please have a seat’, said Andy. Ricky had a seat Andy and Ashley sat on the opposite side of the table across from him. Ben had a seat next to Ashley.
“I would like to welcome you to Mapleville,” said Andy. “I would like to tell you a little bit about myself.” she folded her hands in her lap. My official title here is sheriff warden Andy. I am the official sheriff of this town, and I am the warden of the jail; I am Sixty-five years old and a retired Police lieutenant for Mapleville PD. I was a lieutenant for five years. Before that, I was a patrol officer for Mapleville PD for five years. .” Ricky yawned and lowered his head, looking at his lap.
“Excuse me, am I boring you young man? Ricky, could you please do me one favor, could you please look at me when I am talking to you, Andy said calmly.
“Why? Maybe I don’t want to,” said Ricky.
“You will look at me when I speak to you, boy,” Andy said sternly.
“But what is it hurting if I don’t look at you.”
she got up went over to Ricky, and she forcefully put her hand under his chin and brought his head up to her eyes.
Hay don’t touch me,” said Ricky.
“I’ll touch you if I want to, and you will look at me when I speak. is that clear?
Ricky said absolutely, diddly-squat.
Ricky was shocked; he never thought a woman would act this way.
“You have a lot too learn, kid.” She went and sat back down. I
am the big shot around here. I make all the rules and regulations. I see to it that the staff here enforce all the rules. I have the final say on everything. And my jail is run my way. Don’t let the fact that I am a woman fool you; I run a tight ship here. I don’t take any bull. And neither does my staff.” She stood up and put her palms down flat on the table and leaned foreword towards Ricky. “First, you will be asked to do something. If you don’t do it, then you will be told to do it. If you still don’t do it, then we go hands-on and make you. If we can’t physically make you; you will have consequences until you do what was originally asked. And for the most part, those consequences will not be so nice.” She sat down. “Here!” she slid a spiral-bound, fairly thick book across the table. “This is the rules and regulations book. I would advise you to read this ASAP because you only have two days to learn everything in this book. It also will tell you the consequence you can expect if you break that rule. Ignorance is not an excuse to break the rules. She stood up and leaned over the table. She grabbed Ricky by the shirt. She pulled him to her face so close that their noses were almost touching. “after two days, if you break a rule, you will be punished no madder what. Even if you say, you did not know. Too bad so sad, I don’t really care. Is that understood?
“Yes, sir,” replied Ricky.
Excuse me? Do I look like a Sir to you?
, Yes mam; I mean; No, ma’am, you do not look like a sir. , and yes, ma’am, I understand everything you told me.” Andy let go of Ricky’s shirt and sat down.
Ricky was dumbfounded. He never imagined Andy to be so
stern, intimidating, and callous. Her outward appearance did not match how she acted at all. She was small-framed and short. She was dressed in a flowery skirt just above her knees. Paired with a plain pink long sleeve tee. And she had black ballet flats on her feet. Her long brown hair was pulled back into a side braided ponytail. She had on bright red lipstick, and she did not look intimidating in the least. Ricky did not like this lady one bit, but he definitely did not want to be on her bad side. “Here are the top three rules I think you need to know right away, she continued . “number one, you will say yes ma’am no ma’am and yes sir no sir all the time. No swearing of any kind will be tolerated. If you swear at myself or anyone else, you will have consequences. We are very religious, so you will not use God’s name in vain. The only time anyone should ever hear you use the word God is in prayer. Breaking this one rule will get you major consequences. The last rule you do as you are told, and do it the very first time. Okay”
Yes, mam, but that was actually four rules, not three.
“Ricky, don’t be a smart-aleck.” she turned and looked at Ashley.
Now Ashley was a big strapping man with broad shoulders, and a potbelly he had a long white beard. He was wearing a red and black plaid lumberjack type shirt with blue jeans and cowboy boots. Ricky was not quite sure how to read him. He looked a little intimidating because of his pure size. But just because one is big does not always mean they are tough.
“Hi, I am Ashley, and I am sixty -nine years old, and I am the
undersheriff.” which means I act directly under the sheriff, and I do everything the sheriff does. I am A retired corrections officer of fourteen years. He leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. Your fist month here will be a little intense as you will be on probation, so you will have stricter rules and less freedom until we get to know you, and you show to us that we can trust you. Also, we are arranging for you to see a therapist. We believe that you should have someone you can talk to about anything you want to. You will have access to this therapist twenty-four hours a day by phone, and you will be required to see him once a week.”
Ricky sat straight up in his chair. What! I have to see a therapist no way I am not going to see some, not job therapists. Ashley uncrossed his arms; put his hands on the table in front of him. He leaned forward, looked Ricky square in the face, and said, you have no choice whether you see a therapist or not. So I don’t care what you have to say.” Ashley turned his head and looked at Ben. Do you have anything you would like to say here?
“Yes, I would.” He leaned forward and rested his arms on the table.
We already meet, so I will keep this short. I am the deputy sheriff, and I act under the Undersheriff. I am thirty-nine years old. I have something for you.” He gently slid a black king James bible across to him. I hope this will help you on your journey. Ricky just looked at it; he could not remember the last time he read a bible. His expression softened, and his lips twitched. He looked up across the table at Ben. He gave a half-smile. A smile tugged at Ben’s lips; he was overcome with joy. He took a deep breath, getting back into Character. He continued, “you can bet your life that I take my job here very seriously. I take care of the prisoners at the jail. I truly care about every single person that comes through this jail, especially teens. I believe in more than just punishment. I believe in helping people change; everyone deserves a second chance or even a third, I never give up on people no madder how many times they screw up. I will try everything I can do to try and help steer them in the right direction, yes even you Ricky I will not give up on you, I will at times show you tough love, but I will be in your corner rooting for you. He turned and looked at Andy “are we all good here warden?” he asked.
“yes, I think so you can take Ricky back.”
“Come on, Ricky, let’s go. Said Be as he got up Grabbed the bible and the rule book
Ricky got up. Ben grabbed Ricky’s arm and led him out of the room. Ricky could not understand why anyone would want to help him. He was not worthy of help; he had fucked up more times then he could count. Ricky never meant to hurt people, but he just got so dang angry that he would lose control, and by the time Ricky realized what he was doing, the damage was done. He never talked about his feelings. He kept them bottled up inside; that is until someone or something would annoy him, then this flood of emotions would take over, and he would lash out and go berserk, and it felt great at the moment, but the aftermath was horrible. He was a ticking time bomb that he; himself did not know when he would go off.
Ben Brought Ricky back to jail. He opened a big steel door and behind that door was another big steel door. He led Ricky into that room. It looked like a dungeon. There was a big metal cage in the middle of the room made of crisscrossing strap metal. “Here is the belly of the jail where you will stay for awhile,” said Ben. There was a big metal door on the cage. Ben opened a locked box next to the door, and removed the padlock; he bent down and removed another lock on the bottom of the door. He grabbed the top lever and pulled it horizontally; it made a bang sound. Ben took his foot and kicked the lever on the bottom of the door Horizontally in the other direction; it too made a bang sound. He opened the cage door, and reached over and pulled a big lever in the box next to the door; this created a kind of clanking sound. All three of the cell doors opened. He grabbed Ricky’s arm.
“Come on, step up and in,” “he said you are going to be in cell number one. Now stand still as I remove all your registrants, like I said before any sudden moment will betaken as a sign of aggression and you will be taken to the ground, and I can guarantee you will not like what will happen after that, so for your sake just don’t move.Ricky was overjoyed to have the restraints removed. Ben looked at his watch, it was almost six thirty “I bet you’re hungry, kid.”
“Oh yes, I am starving,” shouted Ricky, who had not eaten in at least eight hours.
“I bet you think jail food is gross and disgusting,” said
Ricky frowned. “I won’t argue with that.”
“Well, then I guess I have some good news for you. The food here is not gross and disgusting. But quite the opposite. The food here is delicious. We do not have a contract with an outside food vendor. My Aunt Millie; she is a retired five-star chef. She volunteers and makes all the dinner meals for the inmates at the jail. Just dinner meals. Breakfast and lunch meals are prepared by the warden; They are nothing special but not horrible. Ricky was happily surprised. He could not wait to see what he was eating. Wait, I almost forgot I need to get your wrist band and your bin of basic necessities. I can’t believe I almost forgot to give you that. Anyways I will be right back.” Ben returned with a clear small plastic tub and what looked like a bright orange hospital bracelet. Ben set the bin down and said, “give me your right hand, please.” Ricky put out his right arm. Ben snapped the bracelet on his wrist and trimmed the end. The bracelet had Ricky’s full name on it and a bar code. “This bracelet needs to be worn at all times; you do not tamper with this. If you do, you will be in big big trouble not only from me but also from the warden. Is that understood.”
“Yes, sir,” Ricky replied.” But what is this bracelet for?”
“This is how I will keep track of you. You see that bar-code on there. I need to scan it with my phone; every day and night. Even a couple times throughout the night, and I need to scan it before you get your food. So I have proof you were fed.”
“Okay Ricky, here is your bin of basic necessitates, please open it and let’s make sure nothing is missing. There should be one gray wool blanket.
“You’re not allergic to wool?”
“I don’t know,” said Ricky.
“Well, you will find out tonight if you wake up with a rash; just show me the rash, and I will see what I can do.”
One tube of jailhouse, plain fluoride toothpaste; it won’t leave your mouth tasting minty fresh. One can of spray deodorant, One small roll of toilet paper; that toilet paper roll needs to last one week if you run out before then to bad you can drip dry, and FYI, it ain’t Charmin. One toothbrush, one washcloth, and one hairbrush. Everything in there. Nothing missing”
“Everything is here, sir.”
“Good. Then we are all set here; your cell will remain open. You are free to roam around the day room, but you are in for the night you will not leave the day room anymore today. I would advise you to read the handbook the warden gave you. It will give you not only the rules and regulations of the jail but also some information on what a typical day for an inmate is like here.”
Ben left. Ricky was alone; it was silent. Ricky’s stomach was growling. Ricky heard some jingling of some keys. “Ricky, please come here to this slot,” Ben said. “I need your bar-code” he scanned his bracelet with his phone. Here is your dinner. Ben said as He slid a tray through the slot. You can sit down at the table, Ben said. The food looked delicious. There were two portions of ravioli with sauce, a small dollop of mashed potatoes with a little gravy, and precisely three green beans and a carton of skim milk. Ricky Noticed that Ben had not left. He was standing and watching. “You have twenty minutes to eat,” Ben said.
Ricky sat and ate, then got up and gave Ben his empty tray through the slot. Ben left. Ricky laid on his bed in his cell; he began to read his handbook, the first rule was there shall be no swearing of any kind then it went on to list all the inappropriate words that should not be used. It was a pretty straightforward list. Ricky eyes widened when he read the next part. Any inmate who is heard swearing by any staff member will have to have their filthy mouth washed out with soap, first offence they will have to stand straight up hands placed be hind back if uncooperative hands maybe cuffed behind back. Inmate will have a bare of soap placed in their mouth on their tong for thirty seconds for every swear word said. .also he will be on a fasting diet of bread and water. Ricky continued reading his handbook rule two an inmate shell never take God’s name in vain, god should only be used in praying any inmate who uses god outside of praying will be immediately put on lockdown for twenty four hours meaning they can not leave their cell at all not even to use the toilet. they will be given a bucket for their cell to pee in as their toilet and thy will be on a fasting diet of bread and water for twenty four house. Ricky finished reading his handbook. He felt overwhelmed by all the rules and was astonished by how barbaric most if not all of the consequences were. Ricky was going nuts with boredom. had no access to a TV, his cell phone, computer, not even a book except the bible Ben gave him and he was all alone with nothing but his thoughts. Time was moving so slow for Ricky that it felt like it was moving backward Ricky lay on his bed and counted the bricks that made up the two walls in his cell. Each wall was made up of fifty ugly gray brick Ricky got up and started walked laps around the day room When he heard the jangling of keys, and he knew Ben was coming. All Ben said was time for lockdown. Last call for toilet use now or hold all night Ricky used the toilet.
“ Okay Get in your cell close your door, slam it, said Ben. Ricky closed his door with a bang; Ben pulled the lever with a clanking sound and left. Ricky pulled out his blanket and covered with it. It was scratchy. After about three minutes , the lights went out. It was a very long night. Ricky barely slept a wink tossing and turning all night.
Ricky woke yet again to an annoying bugle revelry. “Alexa Stop!” Ricky said as the bugle sound still played. “Alexa off!” Ricky said louder, but the bugle sound continued. Then Ricky realized where he was, and his heart sunk. For a moment, he thought he was in his cozy bed back at home; finally, the bugle stopped. But then something different a short rendition of jingle bells started playing. Ricky enjoyed the change. Life here had become so boring and structured he welcomed any change no madder how little with open arms. Then the daily playing of Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock started , which was getting old, everyday Ricky had to wake to that dumb song. Ricky was uncertain of what time it was. There weren’t any clocks in his cell, or anywhere in the jail.
He was never woken up at the same time every day. He was woken up anywhere between six and seven-thirty. There were not a lot of windows in the jail, either only a couple of small windows up near the ceiling, which only let in a little light. And there was not a single window in his cell. Ricky looked out the back of his cell, which was not made of solid bricks but crisscrossing strap metal. He had the perfect view to see the teeny tiny window up by the ceiling. He could just barely see the sun starting to rise, it’s light casting shadows on the wall below the window. Jailhouse rock still playing;Ricky put his pillow over his head as he lay on his bed. Ricky desperately tried to drown out the song that blared over the speakers in the jail. Then he heard the jangling of keys; He found that sound to be even more annoying than that of Elvis.
” Burr”, Ben shivered, I guess it is finally time to turn up the heat in here. Good morning,” said Ben. “I hope you had an okay night, hope it wasn’t too cold , I forget to tun up the heat for you. I guess I wasn’t ready for the cold weather 21° outside. I don’t know why that should surprise me it is the third week of November.” He turned on the jail lights, turned the thermostat up form 69°F to 74°F and opened up all the cells. Feel free to go out of your room, use the restroom, and stretch your legs.” Ben left.
Ricky lay on his bed and stared up at the ceiling. He wondered how his life turned out this way. Ricky never imagined he would be sitting in a jail in the middle of nowhere. He never thought of himself as a criminal, but he sure felt like one. Ricky was confused. He never truly meant to hurt his mama, but he was just so darn angry. Ricky started feeling worthless and hopeless, and the fact that he could not have his happy meds, and get high as a kite, made him mad. Oh, how he would feel better if he could just have his meds, but he knew that was not going to happen because his medication of choice was illegal. He heard the awful sound of the jingling of keys. Ben came and shouted chow time. Ricky came and got his breakfast, which consisted of some oatmeal, some sliced fruit, and a cup of orange juice. After breakfast, Ricky went and lied down in his cell, He must have fallen asleep.
Suddenly Ricky heard some commotion. He came out of his cell to see what was going on. Ben came back in, but he was not alone. “Looks like you will have a cellmate kid. This here is Clyde he is one of our frequent flyers, he was picked up, by officer Mckeegan for being drunk in public and indecent exposure, he was found taking a leak right on the sidewalk. Right on Main Street, right in front of Ramsey’s Market. But he won’t be here long just a forty-eight-hour hold, so he has a safe place to sober up and a reminder that we don’t put up with drunks peeing on the sidewalk in front of grocery stores.
“Well, what… did… you,” Clyde said as he stumbled into the room, his hands cuffed behind his back. Ben had to hold his arm to keep him from falling down “you wanted me to… go in… my paints…. didn’t you. ”
“Clyde, I need you to sit in this chair for me, okay, buddy,” said Ben, as he helped him sit in a wooden chair outside the cell block cage.
“Hey buddy boy, can you take these gal dang cuffs off me now,” said Clyde, slurring his words. I don now why they were put on me in the first lace.”
“I know you didn’t need to be cuffed to be brought in. You never really fight. And for the most part, you come willingly. You’re usually a happy drunk, sometimes even signing all the way here. But this time was a little different; you were found peeing on the sidewalk in front of Ramsey’s. Market. And according to Officer Mckeegan, you were acting a tad bit hostel towards him.
What were you drinking this afternoon.”
“Excuse me? Ben said with a confused look on his face.
“Non-ya, as in none of your gal dag business. Just get these dang uffs off, I want them off. I don’t like that Mckwegan fellow. He not very pleasurable.
“When was the last time you ate?”
“I don’t know. Say what is with the third degree? Benny baby, you know me. I get drunk. I come here and sober up; take my nice nape and go home.”
“You just drank; you did not smoke anything?” Asked Ben.
“I don’t know, Clyde said, getting upset. Just let me go night, night. So I can go home.
Ben was concerned about Clyde. This was not how he usually behaved when he gets drunk. But then again, he never saw him this intoxicated.
Don’t worry about Mckeegan; he is new, he came here from Carnard, and he doesn’t know you like I do. My daddy is retiring soon, and we need extra help.
Don’t worry, I will take the cuffs off as soon as possible unless you give me a reason, not to, please just sit tight and give me a minute.” Ben looked at Ricky, who was sitting at the table in the cell block cage. “Lockdown,” Ben said. Ricky got up immediately and went right into his cell and closed his door. Ricky found it to be a lot easier to just do what he was told around here, the people here were nuts. They liked to use physical force on people who didn’t do what they are told. They used the pain compliance technique. The whole idea behind this is that people don’t like pain, so they cause the person pain until they stop doing the unwanted behavior or until they do the wanted behavior. Ricky was sick of being manhandled, so he did what he was told.
Ben opened the lever lockbox and pulled the leaver, locking all the doors. Then he opened the cellblock door and came in. He secured Ricky’s cell door, then left and yanked the lever lock opening all the doors. Because of the padlock, Ricky’s door could not be opened. But the other cells were now able to be opened.
“Come on, Clyde, stand up,” said Ben. Clyde did not move. Ben began Gently Rubbing his chest. “Come on, man, you need to get up for me,” he said.
“What, what, five more minutes, I don’t want to get up,” Clyde Mumbled
“you have to get up, man. Finally, Clyde came to and stood up with Ben’s help, of course. He was so inebriated that he could hardly stand on his own two feet, so Ben walked him into the cellblock cage.
No, not one, said Ben pulling him towards cell two. But, but that’s my spot. I always stay in cell one”.
“well, cell one is occupied.”
“Well, just tell him to get out of my room; he can use two.”
“Unless you want to share it. Which I am not allowing. You are in no condition to have a cellmate; you have to go in two. I don’t even know why it madders. All the cells are identical.” Ben removed the handcuffs on Clyde, and Clyde laid on the bed face first. After a few minutes, he started snoring like a Mack truck going downhill.
Ben secured Clyde’s cell door and unlocked Rick’s door. I will be by latter to see how you guys are doing.
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