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Point of View- The Jailer and The Inmate

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(the jailer)



My footsteps echoed in the dank hallway. The lone window at the end of the stretch was covered in drops of rain silently sliding down the glass. It always seemed to rain on these days. I started back down the in the opposite direction. As I passed his cell, I fought the urge to stop and talk to him; even try to give a few words of comfort or something like that. He probably had his head down close to his knees with his eyes squeezed shut. They all did that on their day. Maybe they’re praying, maybe they’re wondering what they would’ve done different. I wouldn’t know. I try not to talk to them much. Don’t want to start feeling sympathetic. It was their own fault they were here and there wasn’t anything I could do to change that.

The smell of fried chicken and collared greens was drifting through the row for a change. The men near his cell were sniffing the air hungrily yet not daring to ask if he would share, not with it being his day and all.

I heard tapping on one of the steel bars and one of them had cleared his throat. The silence that usually was draped over the row was popped open like a balloon that had taken in too much air. I turned to see who it was. It was him. He beckoned to me and I slowly made my way to his cell. His voice was barely audible through the thick accent and the way he muttered his words. “ Sir, I was, well, I was wondering if you would tell-tell my daughter, her names Elise, that I’m right sorry that I had to leave her and mess up her life so awful, and that- that I’ll, um, I’ll always love her.” His short speech had come out in tangles. I nodded curtly and stepped away from the man. Right before I turned back to my walk, I think that maybe I saw tears well up inside the murderers eyes and slide silently down his cheeks. I rotated so that I was once again facing the sole window and began to walk the hallway, my footsteps echoing.

(the inmate)


I’ve wasted it. I wasted it, I have, and now I cain’t do nothin’ to get it back. Sure, I knew what I was doin’ was wrong but that didn’t stop me. The law had been like nothin to me back then. Like a naggin’ nanny that couldn’t tie me down. I laughed in its face. And now I’m payin’ the price. Maybe I wouldn’t mind so much if it weren’t for her.
I remember when she would look at me with her eyes filled of all that sadness that they didn’t look they had room for anything else. It seemed like with every glass I emptied another piece of whatever she was livin’ for was gone. I did love her really. She don’t know how every day I’ve been here that I’ve prayed to God she’s ok. That someone is lookin’ after her. ‘Course, I don’t know if God will actually listen to someone like me. She hated me she did. And with good reason. I was always canned by the time she came home. Sure, I felt bad about it, like I had just kicked a little puppy dog or somethin’ but even my daughters sadness didn’t stop me from what I did.

So now I sit here in this cell with nothin’ to my name but four numbers and a wasted life. And even that will be gone soon. This certainly wasn’t how I wanted to leave I’ll ya that much.





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