She conjured, cried and called; nobody was listening.
At 6:12am, Jenifer is being booked into the Bexar County jail on the allegation of premeditated murder in the first degree.
She was the last one with Jasper and everybody knew that she was getting it in on behalf of Crystal and or Regina, whom the streets called Vagina, and for a bomb-ass reason.
She’d been escorted in in her gray stacks, smoke gray shorts and halter with a black leather Widow Spider embroidered crawling over the left shoulder. Bangle earrings and 18 wire-rim bracelets. Even with her makeup smudged and smeared, some of the male officers had to show their appreciation of her flawless beauty, though it is hard to distinguish if she is Korean and Black or Hawaiian and Black. At 5’10, 135 pounds her presence is mesmerizing.
"This way" she’s ordered by a buff female officer who is about to finger print her and relieve her of her jewelry.
Without saying a word, because she’s disoriented from the whole matter, she steps to the desk in a trance. She couldn’t believe after partying the night away with her best friends then returning home to Derrik’s violent ass, that her life would end like this; aggravated!
What the judge and jury didn’t see was the fact that Derrik was full of party favors, again, when he literally slaps the night’s taste out of her mouth, again and her composing herself, again, enough to slit his throat from ear to ear, 40 minutes later, was a task.
"Place your items in this folder, then go stand back in line" she’s ordered.
Like a zombie she does as told.
As she is caroled into the over-crowded and freezing cold holding cell with fifteen other females, some raggedly as hell, some that was well put together for their evening, her stomach flips and flops. The stench of heroin bile, alcoholic breath and crack sweat makes her dizzy, along with the loud and boisterous conversations being spit back and forth.
She squeezes in between the only two quiet females, "May I?"
"Ain’t mine" one assures.
As females rotate and relocate, she knows it’d be a matter of time until she’s next. Where was her family, her friends.
During the nine hours she’s been sitting, the veterans lay out the rules and regulations, bail bonds and ‘good’ lawyers’ contact information while being spilled to which officers are completely fucked up.
As a first timer, she’s filled with fear when she doesn’t hear her name being gonged out for release.
"Olevios, Jenifer Olevios."
She snaps to attention and rises to her feet, "Yes."
"Come." She’s led to a changing hole to exchange her $300 outfit for a $1 jumpsuit that smells like someone had just, right then, taken it off.
"Put it on or I’ll put it on you" the officer barks.
An hour later I’m being led, chained hand and foot, along with 17 other females, to be transported like Con Air convicts to Bexar County’s ‘barely-legal’ jail. Though I’m not claustrophobic I feel I’m about to be.
"Shit!" as the transport van moves through downtown to relocate us a few blocks over, I can taste freedom though I can’t even envision ever being free again.
Why did Derrik choose my life to physically disrupt and destroy. Why had he gonet out of his way to speak to me four years prior as I was going about my business at the library. It was a bunch of beautiful babes being boss.
The transport van slides into the housing Annex’s garage. As the thick doors crawl closed the engine is quieted. Both officers exit and lock their weapons away securely in lockboxes. The female unbolts and unlatches the rear doors.
Jenifer falls in line so she won’t get dragged, keeping an eye on the ‘hidden’ officer with the shotgun.
They enter and is shoved against a cold concrete wall. The officers remove the shackles and roughly usher every one into a freezing hold cell, after they announce their SID numbers, where they’ll have to sit for another 8 hours.
Twenty hours after Derrik’s drained blood has coagulated in her apartment, she’s given a State ID card, bunk number and is standing in front of her assigned 7A-26.
When she wakes up 39 hours later the party favors have worn off. Her stomach is growling loudly as reality comes slamming in.
"I seen you come in but you looked so out of it I figured to leave you be; here, eat this" Inmate Ellen states, handing her a hooked-up Spread.
Jenifer pulls herself up, bumping her head on the bottom bunk; "Thanks."
"What you in here for."
Jenifer looks around the nearly-crowded cell, trying to get her brain to explain.
"I killed my dude."
"Say what. Why?"
"Because the legal system let me down" trying to put a small smile on her face.
"They left your hygiene kit with me, handing it over, so go clean yourself up as best you can."
"K, looking around the open space, I be right back."
Ten minutes later she returns, slightly refreshed yet heavily confused. Was this her future and how would she get through it. Did she actually take Derrik’s life or was she in a nightmare. Were doors slammed in her face, that she has no control over opening; woe is she.
A year later, after her parents made her $175,000 bond three months into her incarceration, she’s done the best she can at assisting with her legal issue.
"Your Honor, I had to do what I did to save my life. No, I don’t wish it was me instead of him, I haven't abused anyone. No, I don’t want to take this back, I prayed for him to keep his hands to himself or release me to be free. For the four years I was held emotionally and physically captive, being beaten behold belief, baptised in my own tears to the god of fear, I didn't see any of you all coming to my rescue. As I hid in corners and consoled my coward, none of you pushed me clear of this oncoming and horrific accident. When I repeatedly called for help, I was repeatedly told there was not enough evidence, as I continue to be questioned why I didn't leave being only able to answer 'he'd find me as he always did, I heard not one of the voices here today lead me to freedom. No, I can’t say I’m remorseful; I wanted to live. I plead the fifth as not to incriminate myself; he's incriminated me enough."
"Well young lady, the court's intention was to sentence you to twenty years in the Texas Prison system, possible parole after seven. The court catches its breath. The photos of Mr. Grimes’ murder scene is still very vivid in this courtroom. You left a bloody mess. For whatever reason it came to such an ending, it must be paid for. Yes our system slacks, and as humans beings, we fall short no matter our position, but how we handle it is what’s called moral character. You displayed lack of moral character in your actions. Because of your statement, and because of the God I serve; I sentence you to time served with prejudice. You have preached a sermon that can not be ignored, and seeing that my Aunt and youngest sister both were murdered at the hands of severe domestic abuse, I can appreciate you saving your own life, and for that I will not take it away from you. You are free to be released on this day. Court is adjourned."
Jenifer won’t even hold her breathe for fear of not being able to release it. She contemplates numerous outcomes, all which would free her; either body or soul. And if not what she’d do in the stead.
She stands and is escorted to the back to be released; because of the God she and the judge serves. Was it worth the action of murder. Will her life ever regain civility.
She hears the cries coming from behind her. Even with her not guilty sentence, his family still loves and admires her for her emotional strength, wishing they could have done something different to save both of their lives.
Years later, a rivetingly revised and academically educated Jenifer is revitalized; and it’s on.
Never An End