I could feel the fear, crawling like big, emotional spiders, up the walls in that waiting room.
We all joked nervously as we watched a judge's talking head discuss our Constitutional rights.
Then, one-at-a-time, we walked into another room and faced Her Honor, the Judge, via a video camera and a television screen.
My turn came around on the wheel.
"Ms. Rader" said the judge, looking at a file in front of her, "You are charged with one count of criminal trespass, which is a third-degree misdemeanor in the State of Kentucky." (Obviously, the judge paid attention to the fact that I am not an official resident of "The Bluegrass State")
"An agreement has been made wherein you are being offered the option of time served and release today" continued the judge. But you are to stay away from (I loved how she referred to the shelter house of horrors) THAT PLACE.
"I won't go near it, Your Honor" I promised, with a smirk on my face.
The lady finally looked straight at me. And for a split-second, our eyes locked.
I believe that she understood exactly why I did what I did.
Some of us were happy after seeing the judge and other inmates were devastated and broke into tears.
Rejoicing and regret filled the hallway as we filed back to our respective cells.
Later, right in the middle of dinner, a guard announced: "Time to go, Ms. Rader."
Thirty minutes later, I was long gone.