The first few days were actually very easy. I wasn't expecting that.
Everything was so routine, so monotone, that it almost felt like home. There was no point to anything.
Everyone went to bed at the same time, and everyone got up at the same time. The food was the same, and, depending on your crime, you ate with other people, or in your cell. Some people played games like checkers and cards, while others watched TV.
Guards were everywhere. They were easy to spot with their uniforms.
I let them shuffle me around with the herds of other criminals. Shuffle me to the lunch room, the showers, and one day they actually let a bunch of us outside.
There wasn't much of a view, though. Small patches of grass hidden in a sea of concrete. Beyond that, electric fences lined with barbed wire. No trees. No animals. Not even birds flew over the prison yard.
I stayed in my cell most of the time.
I had a cell mate, but he only went in the cell when he had to; at night.
He told me he was put in here because he was charged with killing someone. I said I was, too.
He said he was innocent. I told him I wasn't.
I got a letter one day, and I was quite surprised to see it. I didn't think I was allowed to get mail. The guard who gave it to me had a grim smirk on his face. He had opened the letter and read it all ready. I scowled at him and took it.
My name was written on envelope. My heart skipped a beat as I recognized the handwritting. I pulled out the letter, my hands shaking as I unfolded it.
"By the time you read this, I'll probably be dead."
Suddenly I felt sick. My hands froze to the paper, and my head began to spin. The letters on the page swam before my eyes. I made myself keep reading.
"I said before that you were the only thing keeping me alive... Well, I tried to come visit you a few times and they wouldn't let me, not even when I pretended I was your brother. I know it's only been a week since we last saw each other, but since I know I can't see you ever again, I have nothing left to look forward to in life. You told me I deserved to be happy. The only thing that can make me happy is you, and without you, there's nothing left for me here. I'm killing myself as soon as I'm done writing this."
Tears filled my eyes, burning them, and as my emotions turned my stomach to ice, his handwriting became more and more sloppy. My hands trembled as I imagined how his hands must have trembled as well.
"There's a gun under my bed and it has a few bullets in it. I think shooting myself in the chest ought to kill me. I've seen in movies where people shoot themselves in the head, but miss their brain somehow and survive. I don't want to survive. Not without you. You're a really good person. If I make it to heaven, I'm gonna tell God to send me to hell if that's where he was planning on sending you. I'll take hell if it will send you to heaven...I don't know what else to say, except... I love you. Goodbye."
I closed my eyes, and the letter slipped from my hands to the floor as a numbness came over my body. He's dead, I thought, my body shaking all over.
Suddenly my eyes fly open. I stare at the guard as he grins at me with wickedness in his eyes. I see the gun strapped to his side. I look into his eyes for a moment, seeing nothing but hatred and disgust.
"You fuck that faggot?" The guard chuckles. "You whores are all the same, always- Hey!"
I reach for his gun, grabbing the handle. He swats me with the back of his hand, and I fall to the floor.
He steps back and starts to close the cell door, but I throw my arm in the way.
Something crunches inside my arm, and blood and bone snap out of the side.
I don't feel it.
I kick the door open and run at the guard. Backing up, he pulls out his gun, just like I hoped he would.
"Stop!" He yells.
I don't stop.
"We'll go to hell together," I whisper.
His finger jerks down on the trigger, and I close my eyes.