Wait Chapter Seven: Jailhouse Visit

Jailhouse Visit


*BEEP BEEP BEEP* Mandy’s hand slapped the Snooze button so hard it almost broke the clock. She hadn’t slept well that night. Knowing the symptoms of depression all too well, she figured that sleep was going to be often elusive. Only she had hoped it wouldn’t be as elusive as she had originally thought. She buried her face in her pillow, sighed, and pushed off the covers. “Some days, some days,” she muttered to herself as she stood up and walked into her bathroom. She took a quick shower, got dressed, and finished getting ready for school. Before she put on her makeup, she took a long look in the mirror. She saw someone with a hollow face, dark eyes showing no trace of emotion, and a mouth that looked as though a frown was permanent. She saw someone she didn’t recognize, someone who was there, but at the same time, wasn’t there. She saw herself, but not the part she recognized as her “usual” self. It was the part she recognized as her depressed self, the one who had no motivation in life. It was lucky that she got out of bed every morning. She put on her makeup and took another long look. This time, she saw the same person, only with a less hollow face, eyes that sparkled here and there, and a smile that was almost breaking the surface. But Mandy believed that it was the makeup that made the first person disappear. “Well, that just sucks now, doesn’t it?” she said out loud. “You put on makeup and you see a person who is exactly the same as before, but different than before at the same time. It’s almost funny, really.” She shook her head. “Oh who am I kidding?!” she half yelled. “There’s only one person in that face. That person knows the truth. She just… She just doesn’t want to admit to herself that it’s the truth.” She sighed and went on with her morning. “Hey Mandy?” Jack called through her bedroom door. “Chris and I have some work to catch up on. We won’t be home until later. We’ll probably see you late tonight. Love you.” Mandy picked up her textbooks and put them in her backpack. “Love you too!” she replied back. She heard her uncles’ footsteps, the door opening and shutting, and their footsteps going down the hall. “Ok, let’s put on that happy face!” she said, mimicking her kindergarten teacher. She smiled at herself in the mirror, held her head high, straightened her posture, and walked to the kitchen for breakfast.

Mandy walked through the school courtyard, deciding to sit outside for study hall today. Tons of her schoolmates were roaming around outside. “Hey Mandy! Are you going to the game on Friday?” Drew, one of Jeremy’s basketball teammates, called to her. Mandy was going and everyone knew it. Jeremy was the star of the basketball team. “You know it!” she called back. She walked toward an empty picnic table until a finger tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around to find Jeremy standing behind her. “Jeremy! Why are you he--?” Mandy started to ask. But Jeremy interrupted. “Can I talk to you for a second?’ he asked her. Mandy looked around. “Uh, sure,” she said. She walked toward an area that was quiet and somewhat secluded next to a line of trees. She sat down under one of them. Jeremy sat down next to her. “What is going on with you?’ he said before Mandy had a chance to say anything. “You’re acting weird all of the sudden. Like something’s wrong and you’re trying to hide it.” Mandy stared at him. “I’m not acting weird and nothing’s bothering me, Jeremy. Honest,” she told him while she acted like she was shocked he would say such a thing. “Really? Last time you said you were fine-” Mandy interrupted him this time. “You don’t need to remind me that the last time I said I was fine, I fainted and hit my head due to a sudden drop in my blood pressure. Why would you say that I’m not fine?” He sighed and looked at her. “Ever since you had that dream, you’ve seemed to be on edge a little. Now I know something has to be wrong because you’re acting like nothing’s wrong when I can clearly see that something is wrong in your eyes.” Mandy stared at him for real this time as she stood up. “Look, Jeremy,” she said as he stood up. “Nothing is bothering me at all. My life has changed so much. I can be happy that people stopped treating me like I was some kind of freak, can’t I?” She looked directly into his eyes.” Jeremy looked back, the worry written all over his face. “You know that I would tell you if something was truly wrong.” Jeremy shook his head, resigned to the fact he was just going to have to take her word for it. “Ok then,” he said. He kissed her forehead. “You’re fine.” Mandy smiled as she slipped her hand into his. “You know it, Jeremy. You know it.”

Mandy sat, waiting, on a wood bench. It was the afternoon and she had stayed in the library after school to finish her homework before setting off on her mission today. She had promised Ellen that she would visit her friend’s nephew in prison. She was nervous, but she had made that promise and intended to go through with it. She had left her things in a locker before she passed through the metal detector and was approved for visitation. A male police officer came around the corner. “Ok, we’re all ready,” he told her. She got up and followed him down a hall to a row of windows that were divided into little sections by small wood walls. The officer led her to one. “He’ll be here soon,” he said and walked back down the hall. A minute later, another officer appeared with a man in his twenties wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs. The officer sat him down across from Mandy and took off his handcuffs, attaching one side to his right wrist and the other to a metal bar. The officer nodded at the man and he picked up the phone that allowed them to communicate with whoever was sitting across from them. “Hello?” the guy asked. He looked up to see a blond girl wearing sunglasses sitting across from him. Mandy decided to protect her identity from the guy by wearing a wig, sunglasses, and fake stick-on pink nails. “Who are you?” the guy asked, confused. Mandy had already picked up the other phone. “That’s not important,” she told him. “But what I have to say next is so important, it directly affects your life.” The guy became worried. “You’re not pregnant, are you? I swear to you, I’m not the father because I honestly don’t know who you are.” Mandy shot him an annoyed look. “No, I’m not pregnant,” she said. “I wear a purity ring, for your information. This is the first time I’ve even met you.” The man became confused. “If this is the first time you’ve met me, then why are you here?” “Will you just stop asking questions already, Brian?” she asked. “How do you know my name?” he asked her back. She sighed. “That, too, is not important. Listen, the reason I’m here is to show you how much God loves you even though you killed your cousin and are going to spend the rest of your life in prison. One of your aunt’s friends visited you not too long ago. She wants you to accept Jesus into your heart so at least when you die, you’ll go to heaven, not down under.” Brian stared directly at her. “I’m not going to Australia when I die.” “You know what I mean,” Mandy replied, clearly getting annoyed that this was taking longer than she had originally thought. “I don’t want to believe in all that spiritual stuff,” he told her. “It’s just a bunch of people who made up this God to give people hope and something to believe in when nothing actually exists.” Mandy was not surprised at all. Carefully, she replied, “That’s the problem. Too many people want to be able to see something to have proof it actually exists. The same thing happens with Bigfoot and aliens. Some people believe in them. Others are skeptics, needing that proof. Sometimes, you have to believe in things you just can’t see. Here’s a question. Do you believe that the wind exists?” Brian shrugged. “Yeah,” he replied, wondering where this conversation was going. “Ok, so you believe it exists. But here’s the real question. Can you see it?” “Of course I can see it,” he replied. Mandy shook her head. “No, you can’t actually see the wind,” she told him. “What do you mean I can’t see the wind?” he asked. “You can’t see it,” she replied. “You can feel it. But you can’t see it.” “I don’t get it,” he said, scratching the back of his head with his right hand. She took off her sunglasses. “Of course you don’t get it!” she told him. “You won’t get it until I explain it to you. The wind is invisible, which means you can’t see it. You think you can see it when it blows leaves off the ground or it goes through the trees. But you can’t. All you see is the leaves or the trees. But you know it exists. You’re believing in something you can’t see. I believe in God even though I can’t see him. You get it now?” Brian stared hard at her for a moment. “I get it,” he replied very slowly. “Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just like, you can’t see God. But that doesn’t say that He really isn’t there. I get it now. I actually get it now.” Mandy smiled. “Exactly,” she told him. “Do you think that you can accept God into your heart and believe that He exists even if you can never see him until you go to heaven?” He nodded. “I think I can.” The officer stepped forward and asked for the phone. “May I help with this part?” he asked Mandy. “Go ahead,” she replied. The officer sat the phone down so it leaned face-up against the wall. “Do you believe that Jesus and the Lord God exist?” he started. “Yes I do,” Brian replied. “Do you believe that God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for your sins?” “Yes.” “Will you believe that God exists for the rest of your life? Will you praise and worship him for as long as you live here on Earth?” Tears started to fall down Brain’s face. ”Y-yes.” The officer looked at him. “Then I need you to repeat this prayer after me.” “Dear God in heaven, I have seen your wonder,” the officer started. “Dear God in heaven, I have seen your wonder,” Brian repeated. The officer continued. “I have seen that You have given me mercy for all of my sins. I know that You made the greatest sacrifice by sending your son to die on the cross for my sins. I am accepting you into my heart today. I promise that You will live on forever inside of me, guiding my soul down Your path for me. Thank you for loving me. Amen.” Brian repeated the last part back to the officer. He was handed a box of tissues, wiping his eyes and blowing his nose. He picked up the phone again. “Thank you…” “My name is Mandy.” Thank you, Mandy. For making me believe.” Mandy smiled at him. “It was no problem at all.” The officer came through a door and led her back to where Brian was sitting. He got unhand-cuffed and stood up, giving Mandy a hug. “Can you tell Ellen that I want to see her?” he asked. “I’ll pass that along to her,” Mandy replied. Brian was hand-cuffed again and Mandy waved good bye to him as she walked back to the front area. She got her bag from the locker and walked down to the bus stop.

Mandy turned on her phone to check her messages while she waited for the bus. No sooner had she checked her messages than Jeremy called her. “Hello?” “Hey Mandy. Where did you go after school today?” “I had to go visit a friend in town.” “That’s good. Do you want to go to dinner this Friday, after the game?” Mandy smiled. “Sure. Your pick.” “You always say that.” “It’s only because you always pick well.” “Ok. Talk to you later. Love you.” “Right back at you.” Both hung up and Mandy got on the bus, heading to work at the corner market next to her apartment building.

As soon as he had hung up with Mandy, he called Alex. “What’s up, Jeremy?” Alex asked. “I need you to find out what is going on with Mandy. She’s acting like nothing is wrong. But I know something is and she’s not telling me what that is,” Jeremy told her. “I can try. But it might not work, so no guarantees here,” Alex replied. “Thanks,” Jeremy said. He hung up and looked out his window. He lived near the waterfront. His parents had to buy a house a few cities over for their jobs. Since they wanted him to finish out school at Rock Skies High School, they rented him a condo in the city. His cousin, also 18, would come by at least once a week to check on him. Mandy loved the view of the water. He decided that once he and Mandy got married, he would attempt to buy the condo, with the help of his parents, and they would live there together. He badly wanted to ask her. He knew that she turned 17 before their graduation. He also knew that he could get Alex to find out what her left ring finger size was. He had a rough plan of how he was going to propose to her. All he had to do was ask her if she thought that they could get married in the future. If she said yes, he would ask her uncles for their blessing. If that was a yes, he would go and get her a ring and propose. He was proud of her. Not only for being in the same grade as him because she and Alex had taken a test which allowed them both to be able to skip a grade, thus allowing them to graduate along side their boyfriends, but also because she had shown him things about life that had changed him forever. He remembered their words from the hospital. “You sound like a sappy romance movie,” she had told him. Sappy or not, he loved her. That was a done deal. They had their share of fights. But everything worked out well in the end. He couldn’t stand it. But he knew that he had to, for both their sakes.





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