She sits across from me, a glass partition preventing us from touching. Having spent the last three weeks in county jail, she has detoxed from the latest drug binge. Her eyes are bright, the smile genuine, and for the first time in a long time, she’s not agitated with me, but calm and laughing. My love for her swells my heart. This is a feeling I haven’t had in a long time and I treasure the moment, because I know these are fleeting.
Then suddenly I’m brought back to an uneasiness, a slight feeling of manipulation when she tell me, “I’ll go to rehab. I want to reconnect with my family, get off the streets and change my life. I want to be a college girl and get a job. I want to come home.”
I nod my head in agreement searching her eyes for some glimmer of truth, looking for something that tells me that this time she means it. That this time she won’t leave rehab after four hours. That this time she won’t leave rehab after five days. That this time, I won’t get the call that she’s arrested again.
Then I hear, “Mom, this is my bottom. I’m scared and need help.” We both tear up and and like the movies, we put our hands out to touch the glass. These are words I’ve been waiting years for her to say. But does she really mean it?
I talk with probation and they are placing her in a six-month program instead of more jail time. She will have an opportunity for another life.
I continue to hope.
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