From the November 2002 magazine.

A Dream of Hope

She dreams of a better life, but her mind tells her it's impossible

I feel a prick in my arm and it jostles me back to consciousness. I try to open my eyes, but they will not open, the lights are too bright. I peek through a small slit in one eye and see a plastic vial turning red with blood, my blood. I suddenly realize I am lying on something cold and hard; it makes me shiver. I hear a deep; scratchy voice say something about not being a pro or an amateur, I wonder what that means. They see I am coming to, and I feel someone grab my arm and pull me up to a sitting position, my head starts pounding as I force my eyes open. I try to find my memory but it eludes me. I ask where I am. They inform me I am at the hospital, my heart drops to my feet. I wonder what I have done. Have I hurt anyone, or worse, did I kill someone?

I want to rub my eyes but I cannot; my hands are behind my back in handcuffs, the cold hard metal digging into my wrists. My thoughts say to me, I've done it again. There is a woman in a brown uniform and she pulls me off the cold metal table and leads me outside. The cold night air grabs me; my feet are cold from the ground, I realize my shoes are missing. I ask where they are. The woman in the brown uniform tells me they are at the county jail. I ask how my shoes ended up in jail, realizing, too late, that this is no longer funny. I want to ask what has happened, but I am too afraid, afraid to hear the truth. I manage to ask why I was at the hospital and if anyone was hurt. "Not this time," she says. "We only needed some of your blood." I am somewhat relieved.

-- Dee C.

Fruitport, Michigan

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