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Ten Years

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My day starts out the same way every day; with the jingling of keys and the shouts of the prison guards. The same noise that I woke up to ten years ago. The noise that was started by the slamming of the judge’s wooden mallet. The thing that sent me into this H. hole. For ten years.

I get out of my cot and splash my face with the ice-cold water from the rusting metal bowl. It feels like I am inside a fridge for the split second it hits my face. I am suddenly wide awake. I do this because I let my guard down and let my wife get killed. Because I let my guard down I am in jail charged with the murder of my wife. I look up and see myself in the mirror. I see my eyes, piercing blue, staring straight back at me. These are the eyes of a murderer without a murder. The eyes of a person that was set up for a crime they never did. Because of this I have spent ten years in prison, with a lifetime to go.


I walk over to my bead and sit down on it. I cradle my head in my hands and think of my family and what they must think. Believing that their father is a murderer and having to bear that weight. This is what I do every day that I have been in prison. Every day for ten years, I have thought this. But I have never felt self-pity; only hate. Hate for the person that ruined my life. The reason I wake up to find myself behind bars. Locked away from the ones I love. For ten years.

I stand up and walk up to the door. Each metal bar is familiar to me. Every name that had been inscribed in its once shiny curves. It is now old and rusted. Just like me. Just like the name inscribe in it. This door was installed when this cell became my home. The only name on it was mine. I was utterly alone because of this door. The door that kept me here for ten years.

The guard walks up and lets me out. The same guard that let me out for the past ten years. To him I am just #409. To me he is “Hello. Good morning”. The only three words he utters to me every day. He never asked me my name for the past ten years. He never talks. He just does his job. To guard me. He has done this for the past ten years. Nothing but guard me.

I go through to routine of the endless chores that must be done. Scrub the floors, paint the cell walls, polish the wardens shoes, and wash every window. The jobs of a man in prison that is not a guard. I am not a guard; therefore, I am a prisoner. No visitors are allowed. I do the jobs of a man that has been caged up for ten years.

I return to my cell walking past the other cells that I have looked at eighty thousand three hundred times. I count every time. Twice a day. Three hundred sixty-five days. Ten years. Every day. Every cell is familiar. Every cell has a number. Every number has a name. Every name has a story. Mine is the only one that is not true. Ten years I do this routine: wake up, get out of my cell, do my chores, and then go back in my cell. I do these things again. And again. And again.





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Pedro de Steel said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm
Quite thought provoking and creative.  Simply awesome.  I love it. 
 
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