After our time on the stand, it was clear that my father prevailed. How could he have not, with all of the perjured testimony? I was left with no other alternative but to accept the label as a juvenile delinquent. Meanwhile, Jay’s win caused him to smile wide; his snowy white, straight teeth gleamed bright as freshly polished ivory, and his soul, as dark and dull as ebony. My poor mother, left with no paper towel to wring, sat on her hands, and stared blankly forward, as if numbed by what had just happened; unaware of her own victimization.
After some legal jargon between the judge and attorney, the judge spoke to me,“Young man, are you aware of the severity of your actions?”
Defeated, depressed, and drained, I replied, “Yes, sir.” And I really did. I knew right from wrong. I was stuck in the middle of having to do wrong in order to escape wrong; there’s got to be some good in that.
Some papers were shuffled, and again, the judge spoke.
“Now, it was my first choice to send you to another detention facility, but I can’t see how that will provide you the help you need. After reviewing the case further, and at the request of your social worker, Ms. Murphy, it is my ruling that you will reside at Charter Academy in Mobile. There, you will receive the counseling which will prove to be of the utmost importance to your success as an adult member of our society. You are to be packed and ready to check into the facility immediately,” he ordered.
And so it was, by the pounding of the fine wooden and brass gavel that destiny would alter the path of my life…in a good way, thanks to Lola Murphy.