The Struggle is Real
It’s 2AM on a Monday morning. I hear “Robbins get your stuff, you’re out.” I’m half asleep when the guard tells me this, so I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or not. Then she yells at me a second time to hurry up. I jumped out of my bunk, grabbed my blanket, pillow and bag with all the standard issued jail items they gave me at booking & I was out the door.
After going down one elevator, one long hallway & through a set of doors, I was in the belongings room, where I traded in the orange jumpsuit and other jail issued items. I was only in county jail for 3 ½ nights and 3 days, but it was the longest 3 ½ nights and 3 days of my life. I walked outside and I see my dad there waiting for me. I gave him a hug, got in the car, plugged my phone in, and then my dad asks me “now what?”
Now what? Well I had a list of things that I had to do, like get to probation within 24 hours of release, call in for random UAs, and pretrial… but I still had to get my (at the time) boyfriend out. My boyfriend had taken all of the charges for me. He very easily could have thrown all the blame on me, but he didn’t. I have never thought anyone would do something like that for me especially when it meant facing a possible 75 years in prison. There was an immediate weight of stress dropped on my shoulders at that moment.
I had never bonded anyone out of jail before. I had never been out on bond before, never had my car taken away by the police, had never taken public transportation, never gone to court or taken any kind of drug test… To say I was stressed out would be an understatement. I honest to god think I lost all sanity in the weeks that followed. My mind was literally, for the first time, incapable of completing a complete thought.
I remember calling bondsman after bondsman, begging & pleading “Please I need him, I’ll be homeless soon all by myself if he doesn’t get out soon….” And all I kept hearing back was “Sure, if you have a house for collateral” or “If you have 10K to put up or” or just flat up “Nope.”
For two weeks straight, I could hardly eat, I couldn’t sit still. I could not function properly due to the anxiety and stress and the pressure of “I need to get him out.”
I was at the point of giving up hope. Until the day I had court and got my first offer. I remember thinking to myself that day as I took the deal, that something had to give, and maybe by taking the offer that would be the thing to set the rest in motion. Four hours later, I got a call from a bondsman, and he told me “Get this much money to put down, and I’ll get him out.”
That bondsman had me in tears of relief and joy. That one person taking a second look past what was on paper and listening to my story and my boyfriend’s story was enough to give me hope again but also light the fire in me again and two days later, he was out. I’m forever grateful. He said yes when everyone said no, and it changed my life and my boyfriend’s life for the better.
Painting by Gwynne Duncan