The plan was relatively simple. Break into my parents’ house, take their credit card, and wire ourselves some money before they wake up. We would be gone before they knew what happened. We hadn’t accounted for the fact they were on vacation and had taken all their cards with them. When we got inside, we had to figure something else out. We began searching the house for valuables, which quickly evolved to taking everything worth money. TV’s, stereos, CD’s jewelry, it all went out the door.
The other issue we hadn’t accounted for was the driver not wearing any gloves. At this point the thought of dousing the house with gasoline and burning it down seemed like a logical conclusion. There was never a question of morals, or basic human decency. The house burned for hours before anyone noticed and called the fire department. I heard second hand that a fireman had been injured falling from the second floor, and that my mother had been seen on the lawn in tears with the smouldering ashes of her home burning to the ground behind her. This news brought a moment of guilt, but was pushed aside with more partying.
It didn’t take long for the police to put things together. They wanted me for questioning, which led to my friend’s parents’ house, where all the stuff was still stashed waiting to be sold. His brother called to warn us not to come home, and now we were on the run with only a couple hundred dollars and a car. We made it to Tennessee, where the driver asked us to drop him off at an ex-girlfriends place. We never came back and he turned himself into the police giving them everything else they needed. My friend and I doubled back to a town not far from High Point, where he had an ex-girlfriend and contacts to make some quick money. Being the mastermind criminals we were, the police picked us up in an apartment parking lot when the manager called in a complaint for littering.
The police arrived, at the apartment guns drawn. I was found shaking in the closet and shortly thereafter made the trek back to High Point in the back of a Sherrif’s car. They questioned me, but I wasn’t talking. They didn’t care, because they had everything they needed. They did add a jab about burning down a house that still had my sister’s ashes in it. They had me, and for the first time in a while, I couldn’t blame anyone.
I spent the first week in jail in solitary confinement since I was a minor. When I made it to general population, they were waiting for me. They had seen us on the news and were waiting on our arrival. I was separate from my friends, but saw the one I was arrested with during transport to our initial hearings.
My parents had come to visit me, and said they understood why we took the stuff, but not why we burnt it down. Of course, I blamed it on the other guys. They told me they would get me out so I could get some help. I told them I should stay there, because I seem to do better when I’m locked up. I figured I could go back to school in prison and maybe get better. That and I heard there were more drugs in prison than on the street. They finally convinced me to come home at least until the trial and try and get some help. Putting up the remaining property of their house as collateral, they posted bail and I was released.
I thought I was finally done, that I was going to straighten up and fly right, but this was only the beginning of my journey.
To be continued…