Window 116

By Mayra, age 18, California
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

A glass window about 5 inches thick was the only object separating us from each other. A brown telephone on each side of the glass was the only form of communication. And deep stares along with lamentation were the only things restraining us from having a conversation.

Two years ago, I recall running away from home and running away from my father. Having to hear the constant threats of murder towards my mom was painful, and so were the nights when my dad would creep up to our home and try to force us to open the door. I remember feeling empty-handed when we left the place we called home for 16 years and moved to a tiny one bedroom guesthouse a friend of my mom's offered us. I felt so disappointed, yet for the first time, I never felt so alive. This freedom we had all obtained felt unknown and very pleasant at the same time. Even though we lived in this small place, this small little piece of nothing, we were happy knowing that no one would bother us here. The company of each other was all we needed, and even though at times we felt scared for what might happen, we always kept our faith and hope for a better tomorrow. It took a lot to get to where we are now, a beautiful house in an upper-class area surrounded by trees, flowers, and friendly neighbors. Everything is perfect, yet I continue to feel incomplete. There is a huge hole in my heart screaming for the father I never had.

That's how I ended up back here. That's how I ended up visiting my father, who after two years is locked up in a prison only 15 minutes away from where I currently live. It's almost ironic, how faith comes into play and has us so close, yet so far away. So here I am sitting on this small steel stool, waiting for my dad to come out of his cell into the room filled with more than 20 cubicles. As I'm waiting, my mind is flooded with memories of when we used to be a family. As I attempt to remember the way my father looks, I see a row of men walk in wearing royal blue outfits with "Los Angeles County Jail" written on the back. As these strangers wearing blue walk past window 116 ... I see my father.

There are no words I can use to express the way I felt at that moment. But I can tell you this - I wanted to break that window down with my bare hands and hug him so tightly and tell him how much I have needed him all this time, how empty I have felt since we ran away, and how much I still need him today. Instead, I sat down, feeling so lonely and crying my heart out like I have never done before. My heartbeat was pacing fast and my eyes were locked onto his.

When he finally realized I was there he began crying, and I could tell that he felt the same way I did. I felt weird. I felt heartbroken. I felt so many emotions I cannot describe. When he sat down we both picked up our phone and stared at each other deeply. For two minutes we just looked at each other, both crying with a passion. We then managed to lift the phone to our mouth and asked the same question at the same time. We talked and talked and talked.

After an hour had passed, a guard began to point his flashing light at every occupied cubicle. I knew what was coming and I did not want it to happen, but as my father said I love you he reached for the glass window and asked me to place my hand right onto his.

I wish things could be different ... but they're not. For now, I can't say much, only that going to Castaic* helped me realized the value of my freedom and the value of life itself.

Existing in this world is easy. Living life takes more than that.

Which would you rather do ... exist or live?

* The Los Angeles County jail in Castaic, California

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

Sweet Designs Magazine
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