It wasn't the first time that I had woken up in either a police station or a juvenile facility, but this was the real deal. I was in a small cell with very bright lights and it was just big enough to fit a cot against the one wall with a metal toilet and mirror on the other side and a very small ledge that you could sit at and write a letter on or read a book at.
I remember the lights coming on early in the morning and that's how they woke you up everyday. I guess it beat the detention center I had spent close to a month in down in Virginia the year before. There they never turned the lights out, they said it was easier to make sure you hadn't escaped that way.(who needs sleep)
I remember that first morning waking up to the bright lights, it took a few minutes for reality to set in. There were many mornings I woke up trying to remember the events of the night before, but this time was different. Even though many of the details were sketchy, I knew I was in big trouble, that I had really messed up this time.
Finally a guard came and spoke to me through the small opening in the cell door. There was a window in the door with wire running through it so I could see out into the control area. I knew I was in a special place in the prison because there was this huge round room with lots of plate glass windows and it was full of guards. I think from this spot they could control the whole facility.
Anyhow the guard told me that when he left the area that they were going to open my door and that my breakfast was waiting for me on a table out there. They were acting like I was some kind of a wacko that was going to try and take out the guard (I guess after all I was there for going on a shooting spree) it was taking a little while to sink in.
So this guard left the front of my cell and an outer electronic door opened, I'll never forget the sounds of those doors opening and closing. Once he was outside, then my door opened and I was able to walk out into a room that was a little larger than my cell with a table and one chair that you could set at and eat.
This happened three times a day, breakfast, lunch and supper and the rest of the time you were in your cell. I later found out that I was in a special section of the prison for two reasons, first was the fact that I was still 17 and couldn't be put into general population and secondly because of the severity of my crimes.
I don't remember for sure how long I was there, I 'm pretty certain it was just under two weeks. I know they only let me out to shower once and I got out once for a visit with the pastor from a church that I attended with my grandparents as a kid and my mom came once after she got out of the hospital. You see my stupid acts gave her heart issues that night and she was in the hospital for a day or two. I got to look at her through a pain of glass and listen to her cry for the entire time she visited over a telephone. She just kept asking me over and over again, why did you do it? Why did you do it?
After my stay there they moved me to a juvenile detention center until my trial came up. This place was much more forgiving and it didn't take long before I was taking for granted what I had done and I was already learning how to work the system.