Once medical determined that I was no longer a danger to myself, or anyone else, they sent me back to population.
Although Daniels and I were stuck in the same cell for around 16 hours together, her warning was the last words she spoke to me. She slept the rest of the time and honestly, I was fine with that.
Her being asleep gave me the chance to not f*** up the good rapport we had established by saying something stupid – which I’m notorious for.
When they opened the doors to the female pod, all eyes were fixed on me. I ignored them. I was on a mission and didn’t have time to entertain the curiosities of the other women.
I needed to give my sister the heads up. My brother, whom had spent around 16 years in prison himself, had put some money on my books when he’d heard about my incarceration. I hadn’t spoken to him in over 10 years, but having been in a similar situation himself, he hooked it up.
However, I had used all that money up on toiletries, boxers and socks, and had been broke for a few weeks now. My father and sister had refused to give me any money, and initially, I was pretty bitter about it.
Over time, and the more my senses started coming back to me, I came to understand. I assume they wanted to make this experience as uncomfortable as possible for me. And I’ll tell you what, watching every other woman carry giant sacks of snacks back to their cells on commissary day, was certainly a cruel punishment.
I needed someone to give me a call. It cost $2.50 per phone call, and girls in here weren’t exactly the most giving of people, so I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.
I began by begging, running from girl to girl, flashing my best impression of a sad puppy, and being met with rejection left and right.
I tried bargaining. “Someone can have my breakfast tray for the next three days – unless it’s pancakes – if you give me a call!” I yelled from the top of the stairs. Crickets. Apparently everyone in here had gone deaf all the sudden.
My mind was racing, I had to figure out a way to call my sister. Visions of her cheerfully answering her front door and being met with a gunshot haunted me.
Tears began welling into my eyes and my throat knotted up. I didn’t want to cry, because I was afraid that if I started, I wouldn’t stop. I felt so…Helpless.
Suddenly it dawned on me. I had something, one thing, that every girl in here wanted.
I ran to my room and ripped my shirt off, (calm down, this isn’t going where you’re thinking).
I pulled my sports bra off and put my shirt back on. Sports bra’s were like crack in here. They were $20 on commissary, and when faced with the choice of phone calls to baby daddies or letting their boobs hang loose, these girls chose the phone calls every time.
I marched to center of the day room and proudly thrust my bra into the air. “Alright ladies, deal of the century. This gorgeous white sports bra could be yours for the taking, all I need, is one phone call!” I yelled triumphantly.
“Man sit cho ass down, ain’t nobody want your dusty ass sports bra get the hell outta here”, Shonda said, her face twisted in disgust.
I dropped my hand to my side and let out a sigh.
“Come on man, I really need to call my sister. And for the record it isn’t dusty. I just got it back from laundry today and have only worn it for like 5 seconds. Anyway, pleeeeeeeeease. someone. I’m begging. It’s basically life or death“.
“I’ll take it”.
I gasped and whipped my head in the direction of the angelic voice who had come to the rescue.
It was a girl I didn’t recognize. She must have arrived while I was in medical. I ran over to the gate of her cell and pressed my face up to the bars. “Oh my God, thank you so much. I really need to make this call. I’m Tiffany by the way”.
Alicia, my new best friend, punched her code into the phone and dialed my sister’s number.
“It’s ringing“, she said, handing me the phone. My heart was pounding. “Please pick up, please pick up”.
My heart leapt from my chest. Thank God. I smiled at Alicia and gave her a thumbs up, she raised her eyebrows pretending to be excited.
“You have a collect call from The *********** County Jail. Inmate: Alicia Dober, is on the line. To accept this call, press one”.
I waited for her to punch the button, but instead I heard ‘click‘ followed by a dial tone.
I gasped. “Hello?” I said into the receiver. “Hellllllo?”.
She had hung up.
My heart began pounding even faster and anxiety had twisted up my insides like a pretzel.
I looked over at Alicia as I slowly hung up the phone.
“If ya’ll are done you need to move. We only have 10 minutes left to use the phone and I am next in line”, a girl said behind me.
My head twisted around like the exorcist. “Hold the f*** on”. She backed up and crossed her arms, but didn’t say a word. I’m sure she could tell from my expression that now was no the time to try me.
“Can you please call her back, Alicia? One more time? It didn’t charge your account because she didn’t accept the call. It said your name when she picked up so she was probably confused”, I pleaded.
“Yeah, aright. I’ll try again. But we gotta make this quick because I need a call too”.
She dialed the number and handed me the phone. It rang twice, and I was sent to voicemail.
I took a deep breath in an attempt to calm myself. I don’t know why the hell my sister just did that. It’s obvious it was me calling even though it wasn’t my name. Who the hell else would be calling her from jail.
I started to feel angry.
Now, not only were my boobs flopping around like a National Geographic documentary, but I still didn’t get to warn my sister and my arm was killing me. It was black and blue in a bunch of different places and felt like it was on fire. Drugs sounded really f***ing good right about now.
I layed in my bed, staring at the ceiling, and suddenly my mind was consumed with thoughts of getting high. The physical pain combined with the emotional pain was too much to handle while sober. This was all still new to me, I didn’t know how to cope. The nurse in medical said that if I start to become overwhelmed with my current situation, instead of panicking and letting anxiety cause me to make rash decisions, I needed to try praying.
I laughed in her face.
There was no such thing as a God. I know this for a fact. When my Mom died people tried to pull that bullshit with me: “God has a plan”, “There’s a reason for everything”, “God needed your mother with him in Heaven”.
It’s complete and utter bullshit. I needed her here, with me. F*** God. I’m not gonna “pray“, I’m gonna get high. Drugs have always been there for me, God never has.
A gnawing, aching, overwhelming need to feel the drugs coursing through my veins became my main focus.
My hands began shaking as desperation crept in. I needed to find drugs, and I know someone in this hell hole has them.
I stood up with a burst of adrenaline and marched out of my cell. I know these b***h’s in here have drugs, girls are always getting high. I just had to figure out who had them.
I remember a rumor about a girl named Sheila in cell 1. Evidently she had smuggled 50 Roxycodones in here in her, “back door“. I had never given the story a second thought, until today.
I bounded toward her cell near the entrance of the pod, determined to do whatever it took to get one of her pills. As I passed the entrance, the door to the pod swung open. I stopped dead in my tracks as 2 young girls, who didn’t look a day over 17, came walking in wearing regular clothes and holding clipboards.
I made eye contact with the girl closest to me as the door shut behind them. I was frozen, confused about why the jail would let these innocent looking teenagers loose in here with an army of felonious addicts.
The girl smiled and took a step closer to me.
“Hello” she said.
“Hi” I replied cautiously.
“How are you?”
“I’m sorry to hear that. Why do you look so confused?”
“I’m just. Um. Trying to figure out why there are teenagers with clipboards in here. Is this for a project or something?”
She turned to the other girl and laughed, then smiled back at me. “I’m not a teenager, I’m 23, but thanks for the compliment”.
“Okayyyy, sooooo, what’s going on?” I said, looking back and forth at her and the other girl.
She stuck out her hand for me to shake, and I hesitated, but stuck mine out as well.
“My name is Ryanne, and I’m here to talk to some of the girls. what are your plans when you get out of here?”
“I have to go to rehab for 6 months, why?” I said, crossing my arms.
She smiled. “It’s fate!”
“You being the first person I saw when I came in”
“Oh? Why is that?”
“Because I am here to find girls who are interested in attending our Faith Based Rehabilitation program”.
“Faith based as in…”
“Faith based as in – God”, she smiled.
I looked up to ceiling and began laughing, hysterically. I’ll tell you what, if there is a God – he certainly has a f***ed up sense of humor.