From a Caterpillar to a Butterfly- My Journey (part 1)written by Nicole De Coteau.

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

It was July 3rd, 2006, I finally felt some sort of happiness, I finally found love, I was doing fashion shows like crazy, I was going out and enjoying my life every weekend, I found friends who became family.July 3rd 2006 One of my best friends, my little sister, and I were on our way to pack to head to New York for our summer vacation. My mom bought our tickets and we were so happy and ready to blaze NYC. As we got off the bus and proceeded to walk down my street I noticed a tinted van with a police officer in the front seat. In my heart, something said to me that's an immigration officer and in that same instant my phone rang and my little brother told me they were at our house. I could have ran with my little sister because I had another best friend living less than a minute away, but in my heart, I couldn't leave my little brother behind so I walked down the street with my heart beating 100 miles per hour.

As soon as I began walking an officer came up to me and asked me are you, Nicole, I said yes I am. when I looked at my house I saw so many officers and police cars and a white van surrounding my home, all my neighbors were outside looking at what was about to go down. One of my neighbors shouted who told on y'all Nicole. As I walked into my house my home was ransacked, officers were going through our things one of the officers said call your dad and another shouted he won't come, I firmly shouted not my Father my dad will come for his kids. I remember my best friend started to cry, she was yelling you can't do that, you can't take my best friend, my heart broke. That evening my summer vacation turned into the worst day of my life, I was allowed to pack a backpack, they put us in this white van with no windows, my dad kept assuring us don't worry we will be ok but as we were driving to exit our street the van suddenly stopped and the officers received a call stating they had to let my little sister go because she was only 14. So at that moment, they let my sister go with my dad and it was just me and my little brother driving where we didn't know.

Fast-forwarding a bit after driving for hours we reached this place, as we came out the van we saw other people with handcuffs not realizing we were next.

As we walked into the building we were being booked and pictures were taken of us, we were checked from head to toe to make sure we had nothing on us. My brother and I were separated and they took me in a room and a woman officer searched me again, I asked her where was I

? she said I was in jail( a correctional facility). At that moment I didn't know if to scream, run or bawl. They made me take off my clothes and put me in an orange jumpsuit, I was so scared. I walked down this hallway with doors that you needed a code to enter and made a loud bang when it shut. I got to this room with bunk beds and other women who were sleeping I looked at the clock it was about after one in the morning. The officer guided me to a bunk and as I sat on the bunk and the door slammed I put my face over a pillow and I began to bawl. I heard in the distance oh no another one, someone came next to me and hugged me and said its gonna be ok.

My life had now enter the metamorphosis process.