This is Josey's story. I will let it speak for itself. Please read it, and please read other stories written by students enrolled in the Scriber Lake High School Writing Program, recently published in I'm Finally Awake: Young Authors Untangling Old Nightmares, stories of abuse, drug addiction, mental illness, and homelessness, stories that need to be told and heard and understood. These students are our children. Their stories are all that we are.
SHARDS OF GLASS
by Josey Lane Daniel
The ice cold water feels like shards of glass on my skin, causing my jaw to clench.
I swear they do that on purpose.
I’m weak and helpless. The withdrawals make my skin feel soft and fragile, like an overripe plum. When they checked me in the officer gave me slippers three sizes too big and pants I trip over. I step out of the shower, throw on my oddly huge clothes, and walk out.
"Where do I go?" I ask the guard. I feel like a robot; all my movements are pre-programmed. I’m walking, but it feels like someone else is walking for me. She takes me to a room the size of a cubicle containing only a toilet and a mattress. My legs become heavy, lead-like. I feel small and tired.
The guard hands me a sack lunch. "I'll come get you when I’m ready to transfer you downstairs," she says in a tone of disgust.
How long is that going to take?
I sit down on the bed and pull out a sandwich—the bread looks discolored, the meat slimy. The apple should've been eaten a week ago, and I’m scared to drink the cup of juice. When I take a bite, the sandwich tastes like dirt and mold. I immediately throw up.
My body shakes, but I can barely lift the blankets to cover my body. I’m cold but I'm also sweating. Anxiety washes over me as I go through the events from earlier today.
Why did I have to punch her?