10,000 Words In
“... I thought back to the moment when I made the decision to stay. I was sitting in the passenger seat of a bail bondsman’s car and he asked me a #question that I’ll never forget. The manager of the halfway house where I was staying had just refused to house me any longer. Being clean and sober was a mandatory part of the recovery house rules and I had just failed my latest drug test. Since compliance to these rules was a written stipulation in my original bond paperwork, if I didn’t stay there, I had to go back to jail and bond out to another approved facility.
I wasn’t prepared to go back. I didn’t want to go back. Handcuffed, I cried and pleaded the whole way to the County jail. Nearing the final traffic light, before my fate was permanently sealed, I begged and pleaded with the bondsman to let me go. I made promises not to get in trouble and to go to additional recovery classes. I told him I would report to his office as often as he wanted and that I’d even pay him extra money. What he asked next became my motivation for staying in jail.
We stopped at the light, he looked over at me, and with eager eyes said, “Tell me; what exactly are you willing to do for me if I were to let you go free?”
I stared at the man suggesting I sell my soul for freedom and knew I wouldn’t be getting the better end of the deal. The fact that this man thought so little of my character shouldn’t have surprised me, but somehow it did. I didn’t deserve to be offended, and had no right to be angry by his proposition. I stared back into the face offering me death. Clinging to a lifestyle that treated me as a prostitute made absolutely no sense.
“The light is going to turn green. What are you going to do?”
I wasn’t willing to forfeit the only thing I had left even if it was the very thing that was killing me. I dried my eyes, sucked up my tears, and nodded in the general direction of the county jail.
“Alright, take me back then. Let’s do this.”
EXCERPT: Jenny Reese Clark, Against the Grain.