“It was a survival thing: he didn't answer back,
didn't say anything about job security for prison guards,
debate the nature of repentance, rehabilitation, or rates of recidivism.
He didn't say anything funny or clever, and, to be on the safe side,
when he was talking to a prison official, whenever possible,
he didn't say anything at all. Speak when you're spoken to.
Do your own time. Get out. Go home. ... Rebuild a life.”
― NEIL GAIMAN, American Gods
INNER CITY STORIES
I remember all the stories my dad would tell me about how I was such a good baby growing up, since he raised me from when I was little up to four years-old. After that everything went blank; when my dad was young he had lost his dad and my uncle, and since he had me when he was young he didn't really have enough time. One day he got arrested, I don't recall for what since I was little and didn't really understand what was going on, but I remember all the jail visits I did with my grandma. It made me super happy to see my dad because to me my dad was everything and he still is, but then one day I had a huge breakdown in the car. I was probably around five or six and I couldn't take it anymore; I wanted my dad out of prison, I wanted him home with me and grandma. My grandma responded, “Pumpkin, we don't have to go today, would you like to go get some ice cream instead?” I responded with, “Yes, grandma, but I miss daddy!” That's when she said, “I know, but daddy will be back soon; so wipe your tears, he wouldn't want you crying. Now give grandma a big, big smile.”
From that day on we stopped going and my dad called us instead almost every day at the same time. When he finally got out and got back on his feet he actually did amazing; I'm not saying that just because he's my dad, I'm saying that because he really did. He went to school to become an electrician, so it was finally me, Dad, and grandma all over again. Then my Dad met my stepmom, which is where my brother and sisters come in; I love them, by the way, with everything in me. From that day on we spent our time together; we did family things, going to the zoo, movies, mall and out to eat.
After that I wasn't able to see my Dad because people were keeping him away from me, so I started to stay with my grandma; that way my Dad could come by and see me along with my siblings. Over the summer of 2015 I was out a lot; I kept calling my dad so that we could spend time together; but he wouldn't answer. After the fifth try one day I decided to call my grandma; when I called she picked up and I asked ,”Grandma, have you heard from Daddy?” She answered, “Pumpkin, I have to tell you something; you can't cry, promise me you won't cry.” I replied, “Grams, just tell me what you're talking about, ” as my eyes began to water. “Your Dad got beat up by the cops for no reason….”
Then I lost it, words wouldn't come out; she was calling my name, “Jayda, Jayda, Jayda,” but I just gave the phone to my mom. After that my mom and grandma talked about what happened while I tried to calm down. My mom told me that they busted his eye and the whole right side of his face, and fractured some of his ribs for no reason. Then me and my grandma worked together to get my Dad out of jail because he wanted to see us grow up and help us with school like any father would want to do. One day on a school night I slept over at my grandma’s and in the morning we went to Hartford to get him out. We were there for hours; we got there at 5:00 and got back around 12:00 am; my Dad was so happy to see us, though, and I was so happy to see him as well.
Now my dad is back on track; we just had another addition to the family, my baby brother Cam-Cam. My Dad is also a part of the school's PTA, I think it's called, and is very active in our school meetings/open house etc. I honestly love my Dad; he's my hero, always willing to give a helping hand and teach people new things. He cares so much about others, especially his kids. So I'm glad my Dad is back, healthy, and healed.