As we approached the detention center, I could not help but notice every single unfamiliar detail and was in denial that my own brother had to deal with the conditions I was currently surrounded by. As much as I could not stand my brother at that moment, I still felt bad that my own blood related family member was faced with living in this life changing place that I saw through this barren dirt road and through the trees that were dying more and more as the seconds passed. Before I knew it the two and a half hour car ride was about to come to an end and I would see my brother for the first time in over a month.
As we went under the cut out of oak trees, the clearing quickly approached us. What was supposed to be grass fields was currently just dirt covered land with patches of yellow-brown straw covering the ground. I could not help but notice how empty the entire place felt. Before I could take myself out of this trance, I realized something… there was no human life outside. Through the desert-like woods a white building came into my view. I remember seeing nothing but white: no windows, no flowers placed around the entrance, nothing.
After parking and getting out of the car I was finally able to see my parents’ faces. Sadness and despair engulfed us all. It went to show that they noticed everything I saw and felt, from the empty landscape to the tears welling up in our eyes. My mother and father knew not to say anything to each other; otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to control their tears. We walked up to the entrance slowly, it was as if we were pulling our bodies back from dealing with the fate we were about to be faced with.
It was all like a dream, I felt as if I was in someone else’s body. Everything from walking through the front entrance with security guards lining the way, through the metal detector that towered my twelve year old body, signing my name on the sign in sheet, and getting my photograph taken made me think nothing but “I can’t believe this is happening to me”. However, nothing seemed more unreal then walking into my brothers holding room. It was a jail cell, but not the typical type of jail cell with cement walls and bars along the open front side. It was the type of jail cell that someone could go crazy in: white walls, no windows, and one bed. I looked up to see my brother’s face and reality finally hit me: My own brother was a criminal and would always been known as that.
I took a seat on the bed alongside my brother, trying to forgive him for everything he had done to hurt me and my family in the past. I remember I had no words to say along with my feelings of helplessness just as I always did when it came to standing up for myself in front of my family. I couldn’t help but notice the seconds that clicked by on the clock above the door. Finally, I broke the silence. “Why is this happening?” I asked openly as my parents just stared at me, confused. “Why do we have to deal with this?” I wasn’t really talking to anyone, I just wanted someone to hear my emotions and understand how I had been feeling since I began to realize the monster my brother was becoming. Silence overtook the room and I felt my brother becoming more and more uneasy as he sat on the opposite side of the bed as me. “Because of you guys.” my brother muttered. I remember I could hardly hear what he said, but it still struck me as if he screamed the words right into my ear. “Us? How did we make this happen?” I forced myself to hold back my tears in between every word. “You guys did this to me. You, Nicole, are why I am like this.” My brother said as he stared at the floor. I became increasingly angry, beginning to shake as I sat there with my hands clenched in my lap. I felt myself losing it inside. I needed to scream. “I did this to you? I am the reason why you are here?” I began to cry, not because I was hurt, because I was angry that something so profound could come from my brother. “How...