Beat Me No More

July 10, 2012
I sat in the waiting room, with nothing much to occupy my mind. The walls were all grey cement, with no windows to look out of. The guard seemed friendly, but I don't think he could actually have a conversation even if he wanted to.
I don't know why I expected more from a Prison.
I started to bite on the edge of thumb nail. I don't even remember how this happened. Everything went from completely normal to insane. I've been guessing what would be happening in the next couple of months, but nothing like this. Nothing like this at all.
Suddenly there was a buzzing sound, and a man in a uniform came out with a grave stare. Closing the door slowly, he looked up at me, with a mix of anger and pity on his face.
He walked to the chair next to me and sat down, letting out a sigh of frustration.
"And I would suppose that you’re Justin's girlfriend." He asked.
I just stared at the floor, also gray. I knew I wouldn't cry or anything like that. I was just too afraid to face him. He probably, like everybody else, thought I was a criminal too.
"Yeah," I replied faintly.
He sighed again, still in the frustrated tone.
"You don't have to inform me of anything." I said quickly, a notch louder. "The police already told me everything he did when they interrogated me."
He sat for a minute, in almost a relaxed position. He wasn't treating me like a criminal like the Detective did. He just sat there, almost as if we were old friends.
"I'm really sorry this happened." He said, now looking at me.
"Yeah, you're a cop though," I said facing him, "I bet you're used to these little surprises."
He looked back at me, and you could tell he genuinely felt sorry for me. “Yeah, but it never gets old, you know, seeing the faces of the loved ones who had no idea.”
I stared back down at the floor, “Yeah, well I wasn’t a loved one,” the heat of anger starting to flash into my face, “as far as I know, I’m just another one of his lies.”
We sat there for a minute. I picked at the loose thread in my jeans, anger just boiling more and more inside of me. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the times that Justin and I had spent together; going to the State Fair, eating popsicles on the curb, watching scary movies downtown. They said that he started doing it six months ago.
We had been dating five.
“Can I go see him now?” I whispered, still staring at the floor.
He looked at me, sorrow still in his face. “Yeah.”
He stood up and led me to the door. “Just remember that everything will be recorded and if he does anything to scare you just hit that yellow button inside and I’ll be there instantly.”
I’ve grown up in a good home, even after my parents had passed away. I have, or had I should say, good people that surrounded me. But this man’s kindness, I had never experienced before
So I looked up at him and did something that I hadn’t done in almost 4 months. Smile.
“Thanks, I’ll be ok.” And I walked through the door.
The atmosphere immediately changed. I felt the fresh air trap behind me as the door closed. But I wasn’t scared. Even if I was, there was no way that I would let Justin see it.
But you could barely tell he was there. He sat in the middle of the room behind a metal table. He wasn’t sitting straight towards the door, which surprised me. He was sitting facing the wall. It matched his face. Cold and bare.
I slowly walked up to him, settling my anger down so I could rationally say what I needed to. He continued to stare straight at the wall, even as I stood in front of him.
I stood there for a good solid minute. Either he was too insane to realize I wasn’t there or he was ignoring me. Right now, neither would surprise me in the slightest.
“Hello, Alex.” He finally said, still not looking at me.
But I wasn’t going to return his callous hello. Instead, my eyes narrowed a fraction of an inch, still staring at him with intent.
He raised his head a little and looked me in the eyes, making a jolt of electricity pass through me.
“What brings you here?”
If I wasn’t so set on not showing emotion, my mouth would’ve dropped. Sure I’ve seen arrogant serial killers on Criminal Minds before, but I never really thought that they would be this shallow in real life.
“How have you-“
“Don’t talk to me like that.” I said, cutting him off.
He sat there for a few seconds. He was trying hard not to show it, but I could tell that he was shocked. I was never really strong when it came to Justin. You could say he was very dominant.
“What do you mean?” He asked sarcastically, “I’m talking to you in a very respective manner.”
I took a deep breath so I wouldn’t blow up. “Don’t you bull crap me right now, I am not someone you can joke around with anymore.”
He rolled his eyes, “Oh please, can you stop freaking out like you normally do?”
“Shut up!” I yelled, not really loud, but loud enough to give him this face of appall.
I inhaled, feeling every ounce of anger inside of me ready to pour out. “You’ve had your fun running around, but now you put yourself in here, so I’m gonna talk now.” I put both hands on the table and slightly leaned in.
He half smiled, the way I used to love him to. “Alex, I’ve never seen you-“
“You do not get to talk!” I yelled again.
And the look he gave me was frightening. He stared at me, with his black dark eyes. I remember him getting angry and how looking into his eyes would terrify me to the point of tears.
I smiled menacingly. “You’re in handcuffed remember,” I stood up and crossed my arms, “you can’t do anything.”
I couldn’t believe how much confidence I had brewed so quickly. He was still staring at me, but I was too angry to be terrified.
“You’ve realized what you’ve done don’t you?” I asked in disgust. When there was no response, I raised my voice, “Don’t’ you?!”
“Yes,” he said almost immediately, but then he quickly transformed into that dark person I wasn’t used to, “Why don’t you tell me?”
I laughed, “No, no, I’m not going to tell you, you’re going to tell me.”
He sat there, still staring. I waited, but there was no response.
I walked up to his left side and bent my knees a little. I grabbed the sleeve of my t-shirt and ripped it up, showing my bruise. “Is this what you did to them?” I yelled? “Did you hit grab them, bruise them, make them cry?”
I stood up, rolling my sleeve down. What was anger was now turning into triumph. I walked over to the other side of him and pulled up my left jean leg. There were cigarette burns all up the side, some new and some healing.
“Did you burn them with cigarettes?” I said, my voice getting louder, “Once you were done beating them, you pulled their pants off and burnt them didn’t you? Didn’t you?!”
He turned to me with a blank expression. “I didn’t do anything to those girls.” And then he turned his head to face back towards the wall.
I smiled, “Oh really?” I pulled my pant leg down and marched over to the front of the table. I grabbed the bottom hem of my shirt and saw a look of pure worry on Justin’s face.
I violently pulled it up to my chin, revealing the deep scar stretched across my stomach.
“This was on each of the girls.” I said so angry now. “You made a scar on them right before you raped them bad enough to where they died.”
I paused. “All twenty four of them.”
I pulled my shirt back down, enjoying him trying to settle his worried face.
I stared at him for a minute. I was happy to see him on the bottom. After he had beat me so many times, it was so good to feel on top.
I once again leaned on the metal table. I stared into his deep black eyes that used to scare me so much. The times he used to slap me and cut me and bruise me. They all flashed through them, dissolving one by one.
“Is that what you were trying to do to me?” I whispered, daring him for an answer. “Were you going to do all that to me?”
He stared at me, looking at me as if he still had control of the situation. I wanted to slap him so hard. Not just for me. For all twenty four of the girls he murdered.
“You should be happy that I let you live.” He whispered.
I stood there, happy and content. He was trying to scare me, that I knew. But right now, at this moment, that was absolutely not going to happen.
“When you’re up in that courthouse,” I started, feeling the taste of revenge dripping off of my tongue, “and they need one more reason to put you on death row, I’m going to show up, and pull my sleeve up and pants and shirt, like I just did,” I inhaled, almost smelling victory, “and I will make sure that poison goes through your veins.”
I stood up, smiled and went across the room. I pressed the yellow button and the door flung open.
I stood outside the doorway, even after it had closed. The air smelt so clean and fresh. The colors were a little brighter, even for grey.
The officer I was talking to earlier came up to me. “You alright?” he asked, a little cautious.
I started to fumble with my nails again. I turned to face him, with my thumb nail still between my teeth. “Better than ever.”
“You know, we never got a confession out of him,” he smiled a little, looking through the window into the holding cell, “until you went in.”
I stopped biting on my nail, realizing what I had done. I had made him confess. He was now truly accountable for his crimes.
I let this sink in for a second. “Well, how about that.” I turned to face him.
He looked down at me, almost admiringly. “You know, even though you were very strong in there, we’re going to get you some help.” He patted me on the arm where my bruise was.
I am honestly never the one for help. I grew up without all that therapy stuff. But something inside me had changed. Something great. Something new.
“I think that would be great.” I said, smiling. I think smiling would occur more often now.
After he had given me his card, I walked out of Justin’s prison and at the same time, I walked out of my own.

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