The Box

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The sky was raging; pouring down buckets of water from the sky. Dark clouds gorged the blue sky desperately; the whole process did not take more than five minutes.
“Another typical day.” murmured Joe Critz as he elevated his eye-level to meet the window.
Behind the cold, hard-metal bars, this single window was the only connection Critz had to the outside world. He yearned for another breath of the soothing air outside he had once indulged himself in, but after four years in the prison cell, he knew too well that this was just another one of his naïve dreams.
His claustrophobic cell box had concrete walls on all four sides, shutting out any leaking colour from the outside world. “If it weren’t for sudden impulse of greed, I would never be here.” Crouched in the corner of the cell, Critz has his legs to his chest, head on knees and started rocking himself to and fro. Tears rolled down his cheeks, the once powerful entrepreneur has diminished. Huge droplets of water splashed viciously on the vulnerable cell, and then lightning struck.
Through his tears, Critz saw his fairy-tale-like life four years ago. With his fair hair combed neatly and dressed up in his signature Armani suit, Joe Critz exuded an air of sheer confidence. He reached out for the door knob, turned, and the door opened obediently. To him, everything was in his complete control. As he stepped outside, the morning sun greeted him with a warm welcome. The colours of the spectrum- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and purple were all registered by different flowers; all within his sight. He took a deep breath and scented the smell of nature; freshly cut grass mixed with the honey-sweet smell of flowers.
“DAA—DY!” From the door, the best gift god had given him, his one-year-old daughter, came staggering towards him from the door.
This flashback made him convulse with pain and brought him back to reality. He once declared to be the best dad in the world, but now he is sitting inside this small box, missing all the developments of his little angle. He pounded his chest hard with his fist, but it did not alleviate the pain. Sweat broke out from his forehead, streaming down along the cascade of tears. His dark blue eyes showed only regret.
His brows were locked in a deep furrow. Replaying the past, he now realises how absurd and foolish he was. He had a beautiful house, a lovely family, and a business soaring higher day by day. He knew the consequences, but the offer was simply too good to turn down.
“One million dollars, no trace, no evidence, and no one will ever know,” was what they told him.
He thought at the time, “For once, I should not limit myself in the moral box.” He accepted the offer. They were wrong. Police surrounded his office, cold hand-cuffs embraced him, and he ended up in the cell. He knew from heart he is no criminal, just a person with too much greed, but then again, who isn’t?
The food was bland at best and served cold, and his toilet flushed about half the time. Critz, who had always lived a high class life, couldn’t adapt to the conditions in the cell. Without hope and a blurred picture of the future, Critz thought of ending his life.
Just at the point of break-down, the image of his daughter smiling innocently and looking at him with complete trust came to him. The trust he grants himself no more. Despite her baby face, she looked extremely mature. Her eyes showed deep understandings of the world. “She has my eyes,” Joe thought, “no one can ever take her away from me.”
As if a chemical reaction, this became something Critz pursue; he cannot let his daughter down. With a strong motivation and clear goal set, Joe knew the first thing he had to do: Get out of the prison; the box which he is trapped in at the moment.
For the first time in four years, Joe Critz combed his hair and looked descent; and this was just the start. He participated under full cooperation in every group discussion class, let out his remorse and made friends with the others he once view as inferior.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Joe Critz, please come in,” the gaolers ordered gravely.
Smiling nervously, Joe went in the room, nodded respectfully at the present gaolers and took a seat.
“We are pleased with your vast improvements, and have agreed to put you on probation. You may leave tomorrow.”
The smile on Joe’s face broadened into a grin.
“Yes, one more day it is,” he says. He is finally out of the box.





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