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Wrong Doings

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Salty tears hit the cold cement floor of the jail cell. Another defeat. But this time, the punishment was worse. This time, Maura Nichols wasn’t going home, anger shadowing her. This time, she was resting up in a rusty cot with a filthy mattress and a thin pillow. If she had to use the toilet, too bad. She had to wait until the bathroom break. Maura could remember her view at home—big open window overlooking the ocean. Her view here? A manly looking female with tattoos and muscles so big it was unreal. Her cellmate smoked on cigarettes made out of pages of books, orange zest, and who knows what else when the guards weren’t looking.

Maura picked at a loose thread on her bright orange jumper. She didn’t belong here. In these clothes. With these people. She belonged in a court room, in a suit and pumps, with a judge and attorneys. Sitting back on the cot, she ran a hand through her matted hair. How unprofessional and unhygienic. How unlike Maura. Well, so was the thing she had done. She shivered at the thought. “Don’t think about it.” she whispered to herself. Her cellmate and the man-woman looked at her. She covered her mouth discreetly, avoiding eye contact.

Please don’t hurt me, she prayed silently. They turned away from her and went back to what they were doing. A miracle. It was the first good thing that had happened to her in what seemed like forever. She heard too many terrible stories about this place. This place called jail, where, when she won a case, she sent all the horrible criminals of the world. Was she one of them now? It wasn’t her fault. How was she supposed to know she would do that? No one could have predicted that.

“Maura?” Her lawyer stood before her, along with two wardens. Her lawyer was dressed how she would have been if she were on a case. Hair pinned back in a tight bun, wrinkle-free two piece suit, shiny black pumps, neat makeup. Maura envied her. She hated that woman because she had freedom. Several grossly disturbing thoughts popped into Maura’s head about her lawyer, but she shook them off and smiled sweetly.

“Hello, Layla.” She attempted to look calm and more undisturbed than she actually was.

“Your husband, son, and daughter have come to visit you. I was hoping we could speak after as well.” Layla Forman smiled back tightly. Maura nodded and stood up, wringing her hands. She didn’t want her children to see her this way, in here. But she missed them. Following Layla out, she almost cried at the sight of her husband and children.

“Baby… Maura.” Maura collapsed in her husband’s arms, sobbing, clutching onto him for dear life. She just couldn’t keep it together, not even for her children. Her 13 year old son and four year old daughter stood there, looking on the verge of tears themselves. Maura’s husband, Austin, rubbed her back, kissing her head.

“I’m so sorry. I’m so stupid. I have no idea why I did this. I’ve ruined not only my life, but all of yours. I miss you. I love you. I want to come home.” Maura sobbed.

“Mom…” Her son, Tristan, stepped toward her with her daughter, Lillian. He choked on his own tears. Her “all grown up” son was about to cry. “I need you.” He burst into tears, joining her hug with Austin. Lillian tugged on Maura’s hand.

“Come on, Mommy. It’s time to go home.” Maura shook her head sadly, and Lillian became panicked. “Daddy said you were coming home.”

“Maura, time is up.” Layla gently guided Maura away, and that’s when Lillian started to scream.

“MOM! PLEASE! MOMMY! NO, COME BACK! LET GO OF HER!” Lillian sobbed into her father, and Maura had to look away in shame. She knew she did this. And they would never forgive her.

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