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CHAPTER 1: CELL 333
Sirens. The blaring red and blue light stings my eye. It’s all a blur, a rush. How did I end up in this situation in the first place? Then, I look behind me. The flames are swallowing everything without thought. What have I done?
As the police officer ducks my head into the car, hands behind my back, I am trying to remember what led me here. Did I black out? I must have, but I don’t remember…
Matt is sitting next to me with a look of pure terror on his face. Matt has been my friend ever since I could remember, we are like brother and sister. Double trouble is what our parents call us. I have only seen him look like this when we accidently broke his mother’s china while playing baseball in the house. We were so stupid. His mom beat him black and blue. He’s probably remembering that time too, and knows what’s coming when he gets home…if he gets home.
“What happened?” I whisper to him. Somehow one of the cops heard me and yelled at me to shut my pie-hole. Geez, these people are strict.
As I am riding in the police car, the minutes are hours. My brain is a wall with no pictures or even paint. I struggle to remember what happened just hours before. I have never felt like this before. My stomach is twisting, my head is swirling for answers, and my eyes are struggling to focus. I think we are getting closer to the destination, nevertheless, because the car starts to slow down. The cop opens the door and I start seeing blackness…
I wake up dizzy, on a cold concrete floor. My hands have bruises on them from the manacles I was wearing before. I don’t know how much time has passed. I look down and see myself wearing my worst nightmare. Orange is not my color! And jumpsuits are so last year!
I lay down on my bed, hoping that it will comfort me, but it is rock solid. If I have to spend more than one day in here, there is no way that I will be getting any sleep! Plus, the toilet is so disgusting and everyone can see me. I go over to look at myself in the mirror. I look different somehow. There are bags under my eyes and my hair looks like a birds nest. But, that’s not what’s different. There is a look on my face that I have never seen before: I’m completely petrified. I feel like tears should start welling up in my eyes, but they’re not. This entire situation still hasn’t sunk in yet. I see the iron bar’s reflection staring at me in the mirror. The walls are crumbling on top of me, like my world. My life is ruined. I should not be in this place; I can’t even remember how I got here.
I run over to the bars, reaching my hand out to freedom. There is no way out, though. I am trapped in here. I do not have to key that unlocks these gates to the world. I sink down to the floor looking out of the bars. I see the inmate that has the cell across from me. She’s in cell 333. It looks like she’s been here a long time. She doesn’t look like the typical prisoner that actors portray in the movies. She has blonde braids that are very messy, only one crooked tooth, and has no ink on her body. She looks at me with her tired blue eyes. I can tell that she is young, but I can tell from her eyes that she has an old soul.
“What are you here for kid?” she asks me. I was surprised by how her voice cracked with almost every word. She must not drink a lot of water, or hurt her throat screaming or crying.
“I have no idea,” I tell her truthfully. “I think that I blacked out on the scene, but when I looked back I saw huge engulfing flames.”
“That stinks, kid,” she tells me sympathetically. “I have been here for two years, and let me tell you it’s no walk in the park. Kids come up in here thinkin’ they’re tough. They ain’t though, the older prisoners are animals. They get bored here and look for a little fun. Decide to go for the kids, it’s a shame.”
“How about you?” I ask curiously. “What did you do?”
“It’s a long story, kid,” she tells me while sighing. “I got with the wrong person and he brought out the worst in me. My family and friends tried to tell me, but I didn’t listen. I thought that I was in love.” I can hear the pain in her voice as she tells me this. He must have been a terrible person.
“It’s not his fault I’m in here, though,” she adds. “He just laid out the trail and I followed. The one thing I learned in here is that you can’t blame others for your mistakes.” She was sincere about that last comment. I can smell a lie from a mile away, so I knew that she seriously learned that important life lesson in here.
I feel like I know her so well now, but we have only been talking for five minutes. I don’t even know her name. “Ally,” I say to her.
“Nice to meet you, Ally,” she smiles. She almost walks away from the bars, but I stop her.
“Wait!” I yell to her. “What’s your name?”
“You don’t need to know,” she tells me with a grin. “There are some little things I like to keep private.” With that statement she walks away and lay on her bed.
I wonder why she was so private about her name. Then again, she didn’t tell me what she actually did, just the story behind it. She’s an interesting person, that woman in cell 333.