I looked around the cell I was in, the walls were a disgusting off white color, the toilet and sink were the same color and too close together. I was sitting on the bed, but I knew what it looked like, it was the same off white as the rest of the cell and had a musty scent to it, or maybe that was just the smell that was throughout the prison. The only bit of color was the bright orange clothes I was wearing that had the word “Inmate #1374” written on the back in black lettering.
I had been put into solitary confinement, though I wasn’t sure why. When I had asked the guard outside my cell about it when I first arrived, he told me that it was for safety. Who’s safety it was though I couldn’t figure out. Probably anyone I would share a cell with, I was almost undoubtedly considered a danger to others.
I could still remember how I had wound up here like it was yesterday. Though really I had been in here over a year now. It had all started with a normal day at my Grandma’s house. I had been sitting on the back porch complaining to myself about how boring it was to be there. I closed my eyes and let myself pretend I was there again.
Ughhh, another boring day at Grandma’s house. I looked out at the yard, it was bright green grass for most of it with little wild flower patches. After about twenty feet though, it turned into a forest. My older brother Ryan and my cousin Ben loved to explore the woods, I on the other hand hated it.
Ryan and Ben came out from under the porch steps to show me the bugs they had found. I wasn’t afraid of bugs, but I certainly didn’t like them.
“Look at the cool stripes on this caterpillar,” said Ben in his ever nasally voice as he held out his hand.
I looked at the caterpillar, it was fuzzy, green, and had yellow stripes, I nodded
“It looks poisonous,” I told him.
“Well, I found a spider.” Ryan told me, sounding proud and held out his hand for me to see.
It was all black except for a bright red hourglass shape in its back.
“It also looks poisonous.”
He dropped the spider like it was a hot potato and I laughed.
Ryan was a lot of things but brave wasn’t one of them. You could tell just by looking at him, he was skinny and short. His posture was awful, he had his shoulders hunched forward, and he often hung his head. And his thick black rimmed glasses didn’t help him look like any less of a wimp.
Me and Ryan were almost exact opposites, the only thing we seemed to have in common was our red hair. Though our parents, and every other family member, thought we were just alike. It was annoying, but if it wasn’t for Ryan everyone would notice how quiet I was. So I guess I shouldn't be complaining, Mom was a strong believer in the saying “It’s always the quiet ones that snap.” Though maybe she was right to believe that and maybe I had “snapped.” But there was also a good chance I had been born this way.
“Hey Joyce, want to explore the woods with us?” Ryan asked me.
I had told Ryan, and Ben no so many times to this question that I don’t know why they bothered to keep asking. Maybe it was because I used to go with them when I was little, but I stopped exploring with them years ago.
“Well? What’s it gonna be?” Ben asked, his nasally voice driving me crazy.
I thought for a moment longer and came up with a plan.
“Fine, I’ll come.” I told them, “just give me a few minutes to get my sweater.”
They both nodded and Ryan said, “Okay, cool, we’ll meet on the back porch after lunch.”
I nodded then went inside and got my sweater from the coat closet.
“Joyce honey, what do you want for lunch?” asked Grandma as I passed through the kitchen on my way to the stairs.
I stopped and shrugged, “How about a PB&J with grape jelly,” I told her, and climbed up the stairs.
As soon as I got upstairs I put on my sweater and started to wonder if this was a good idea, and if I could really get away with it. I sighed and thought of all the annoying things Ben had done over the years. Then I shook my head and decided, If I can get through this, then I wont have to deal with Ben anymore.
My train of thought was suddenly interrupted by someone walking in the corridor outside my cell. Thump. Thump. Thump. I could hear the guard’s footsteps drawing closer. I closed my eyes and laid down in the hopes he would think that I was asleep. Thump. Thump Thump. The footsteps stopped abruptly.
“Wake up!” shouted the guard, “Come on! Get up!” he tried -and failed- to shake my cell door.
I rose slowly from my bed and faked a yawn. Finally after a long moment, I turned and looked at the guard. He was the same guard as when I first arrived, a heavyset man with a continuous blank look on his face.
“What do you want?” I asked him.
“Ya get one last meal, what do ya want?”
I thought for a while. One last meal, I’m going to die tomorrow. What do I want for my last meal?
“Come on ya brat! What do ya want? I don’t got all day here!”
I thought for a while longer before finally deciding, “I’ll have a PB&J with grape jelly.” I told him as I sat back on my bed.
He looked at me a while longer before finally walking away. I sighed what’s his problem? I let myself drift back into my daydream as I closed my eyes.
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