WHILE YOU WERE AWAY – A play by the Fall 2015 Documentary Theatre Class (RCHUM 334)
Scene #8: “On the Outside Looking In” written by Rami Kadouh
It was shock, just complete shock.
Imagine our shock and her shock when they read the sentencing. 3 years of JAIL time!?
Jail time was never on the table, we thought she was getting probation, 6 months…
Our attorney, what a joke she was, she didn’t know what the hell she was doing
The attorney’s incompetence is really the reason she went to prison, she never would have done the
plea if we knew prison was on the table, we never would have talked her into pleading guilty,
because she didn’t want to plead guilty, cause that would make her a convicted felon
Our mindset was that she didn’t do anything so if she pleads guilty, she’ll just have to serve
The sentence really blindsided us, and there was nothing we could do, there was just an awful
feeling of helplessness, desperation, you know what I mean?
And the worst day out of all of this was when we dropped her off there
To be honest, I didn’t think she would live through it, I thought she would die there, I thought we
were dropping her off to die there
I mean I knew she was tough, but at 66 years old, she wasn’t in the best shape physically, so there
was this constant worrying about her, about her well-being
And the healthcare there sucks, I knew she wasn’t going to have good healthcare, I just worried
about her, I worried that she was in pain,that she wasn’t going to be treated well
Her world was her kids and her grandkids, and I thought she was going to die in there
But we did whatever we could to support her, to help her make it
In jail, cash really goes a long way because you can buy stuff, so we always made sure she had the
maximum amount of money in her account
But financially, it wasn’t really that easy, you know what I mean?
We couldn’t let her lose her house, so after making her house payment for 2 and a half years, all the
savings that I had were gone
But the monetary costs were nothing compared to the emotional costs
Having to lie all the time, I didn’t want my kids to know, they never knew the truth. We just told them
she was at a place to quit smoking.
Every time the phone would ring, you’d have to run to answer it right away before any of the kids did,
I didn’t want them looking at the Caller ID and seeing “correctional facility”, so that was a nightmare
I didn’t want my friends to know either, I’d have to lie to them when they asked to make dinner plans,
I’d say that I had to go to some business conference
Just having to lie all the time, mostly because I didn’t want the kids to know, it was awful
But I visited her every month, drove 8 hours, sometimes would have to stand in line in the cold and
rain for hours just to see her
And leaving there every time was the worst, knowing that you’re not going to see her again for
another month. The only thing worse would have been dropping off and leaving your child there.