Littler Brother 2
She was dressed in a hospital gown, open at the back, and her cell was even more bare than mine had been — just padding all over, no sink or bed, no light. She emerged blinking into the corridor and the police camera was on her, its bright lights in her face.
Barbara stepped protectively between us and it. Ange stepped tentatively out of her cell, shuffling a little.
There was something wrong with her eyes, with her face. She was crying, but that wasn't it."They drugged me," she said.
"When I wouldn't stop screaming for a lawyer."That's when I hugged her. She sagged against me, but she squeezed back, too.
She smelled stale and sweaty, and I smelled no better. I never wanted to let go.That's when they opened Darryl's cell.He had shredded his paper hospital gown.
He was curled up, naked, in the back of the cell, shielding himself from the camera and our stares. I ran to him."D," I whispered in his ear.
"D, it's me. It's Marcus.
It's over. The guards have been arrested.
We're going to get bail, we're going home."He trembled and squeezed his eyes shut. "I'm sorry," he whispered, and turned his face away.They took me away then, a cop in body-armor and Barbara, took me back to my cell and locked the door, and that's where I spent the night.#I don't remember much about the trip to the courthouse.
They had me chained to five other prisoners, all of whom had been in for a lot longer than me. One only spoke Arabic — he was an old man, and he trembled.
The others were all young. I was the only white one.
Once we had been gathered on the deck of the ferry, I saw that nearly everyone on Treasure Island had been one shade of brown or another.I had only been inside for one night, but it was too long.
There was a light drizzle coming down, normally the sort of thing that would make me hunch my shoulders and look down, but today I joined everyone else in craning my head back at the infinite gray sky, reveling in the stinging wet as we raced across the bay to the ferry-docks.They took us away in buses.
The shackles made climbing into the buses awkward, and it took a long time for everyone to load. No one cared.
When we weren't struggling to solve the geometry problem of six people, one chain, narrow bus-aisle, we were just looking around at the city around us, up the hill at the buildings.All I could think of was finding Darryl and Ange, but neither were in evidence.
It was a big crowd and we weren't allowed to move freely through it. The state troopers who handled us were gentle enough, but they were still big, armored and armed.
I kept thinking I saw Darryl in the crowd, but it was always someone else with that same beaten, hunched look that he'd had in his cell. He wasn't the only broken one.At the courthouse, they marched us into interview rooms in our shackle group.
An ACLU lawyer took our information and asked us a few questions — when she got to me, she smiled and greeted me by name — and then led us into the courtroom before the judge.
He wore an actual robe, and seemed to be in a good mood.The deal seemed to be that anyone who had a family member to post bail could go free, and everyone else got sent to prison.
The ACLU lawyer did a lot of talking to the judge, asking for a few more hours while the prisoners' families were rounded up and brought to the court-house. The judge was pretty good about it, but when I realized that some of these people had been locked up since the bridge blew, taken for dead by their families, without trial, subjected to interrogation, isolation, torture — I wanted to just break the chains myself and set everyone free.When I was brought before the judge, he looked down at me and took off his glasses.
He looked tired. The ACLU lawyer looked tired.
The bailiffs looked tired. Behind me, I could hear a sudden buzz of conversation as my name was called by the bailiff.
The judge rapped his gavel once, without looking away from me. He scrubbed at his eyes."Mr Yallow," he said, "the prosecution has identified you as a flight risk.
I think they have a point. You certainly have more, shall we say, history, than the other people here.
I am tempted to hold you over for trial, no matter how much bail your parents are prepared to post."My lawyer started to say something, but the judge silenced her with a look.
He scrubbed at his eyes."Do you have anything to say?""I had the chance to run," I said. "Last week.
Someone offered to take me away, get me out of town, help me build a new identity. Instead I stole her phone, escaped from our truck, and ran away.
I turned over her phone — which had evidence about my friend, Darryl Glover, on it — to a journalist and hid out here, in town.""You stole a phone?""I decided that I couldn't run.
That I had to face justice — that my freedom wasn't worth anything if I was a wanted man, or if the city was still under the DHS. If my friends were still locked up.
That freedom for me wasn't as important as a free country.""But you did steal a phone."I nodded. "I did.
I plan on giving it back, if I ever find the young woman in question.""Well, thank you for that speech, Mr Yallow. You are a very well spoken young man." He glared at the prosecutor.
"Some would say a very brave man, too. There was a certain video on the news this morning.
It suggested that you had some legitimate reason to evade the authorities. In light of that, and of your little speech here, I will grant bail, but I will also ask the prosecutor to add a charge of Misdemeanor Petty Theft to the count, as regards the matter of the phone.
For this, I expect another $50,000 in bail."He banged his gavel again, and my lawyer gave my hand a squeeze.He looked down at me again and re-seated his glasses.
He had dandruff, there on the shoulders of his robe. A little more rained down as his glasses touched his wiry, curly hair."You can go now, young man.
Stay out of trouble."#I turned to go and someone tackled me. It was Dad.
He literally lifted me off my feet, hugging me so hard my ribs creaked. He hugged me the way I remembered him hugging me when I was a little boy, when he'd spin me around and around in hilarious, vomitous games of airplane that ended with him tossing me in the air and catching me and squeezing me like that, so hard it almost hurt.A set of softer hands pried me gently out of his arms.
Mom. She held me at arm's length for a moment, searching my face for something, not saying anything, tears streaming down her face.
She smiled and it turned into a sob and then she was holding me too, and Dad's arm encircled us both.When they let go, I managed to finally say something. "Darryl?""His father met me somewhere else.
He's in the hospital.""When can I see him?""It's our next stop," Dad said. He was grim.
"He doesn't —" He stopped. "They say he'll be OK," he said.
His voice was choked."How about Ange?""Her mother took her home. She wanted to wait here for you, but..."I understood.
I felt full of understanding now, for how all the families of all the people who'd been locked away must feel. The courtroom was full of tears and hugs, and even the bailiffs couldn't stop it."Let's go see Darryl," I said.
"And let me borrow your phone?"I called Ange on the way to the hospital where they were keeping Darryl — San Francisco General, just down the street from us — and arranged to see her after dinner.