48 Hours..

Time.. precious time; I have less of that. 48 hours. Why does it seem that these last 48 hours are going slower than the last 48 months I have spent here? Nothing has changed in this hour. Nothing.. not the hazy light coming through the small barred window, or the guards who watch over us, looking into our little cells as they take their rounds in the corridor; nothing. Only time has slowed down. I look at the dust particles scattering through the rays of sunlight. They feel at home in this dark hell, just as I do now.

I get up from my bunk and walk to the wall. Memories.. unwanted, unforgettable memories; they stare back at me from sheets and newspaper clippings I’ve stuck with scotch tape to the wall, my diary on the floor, blood drops that are now dry, and my reflection in the cracked mirror. I look at my hands, scarred from the time I broke it in frustration, in hatred of that man I found myself to be. Maybe that’s one thing that has changed. I’m no longer frustrated. I no longer look at the future, for I’m a hanged man, awaiting the final string of my life to be cut.

I stand at the bars of my cell, listening to the silence; in the silence, heavy footsteps echo, and I see the guard across the corridor. He’s always there, at that cell, talking with the Brawler. No. Taking orders from him. If only I still had that kind of power. Life in this dark hell might have gone by smoother. There goes that goddamned siren again as it announces noon. Lunch to be slopped on to a teensy circle of ceramic, had in fifteen minutes and forgotten in fifteen seconds; nope, nothing has changed. I see the Brawler come out, stretch himself, and yawn. I mutter something about not feeling hungry as the guard comes to unlock my cell door. Here he comes, the big brute of a man. Billy – The Brawler, a banker’s nephew. He’s been here since I have. I heard he got tired of the easy life, and shot his uncle and five others, made away with much moolah, but the cops chased him down. I’m sick of the sight of him. I pray he goes away soon, stops bothering me.

“Sweetheart, not hungry?” he sniggers, stopping at my cell, as I turn my back to him. I’m not your sweetheart, you sick bastard. Don’t call me that. “You can sit on my lap. I’ll ask the guards to give you that chance. You won’t get it afterwards. Come on, I heard it’s not the usual slop. Special lunch today in your honor,” he says, laughing. Go away. I don’t want lunch. I am not hungry. I am not gay like you. I shake my head vehemently to underline my thoughts to him. He shakes his head too. I feel his hands on my ass, as he pinches it hard. Involuntarily, I shudder. Go away, please go away. Thankfully, that guard Riley calls him, and he leaves. I see the wall, and a headline boldly returns to my heart again.

“Motel Murder: Tracy convicted, sentenced to death row”, it says. “Bruce Tracy, 32, main accused in the Marty Motel double murder was sentenced to death row today. Tracy, under the influence of cocaine, is believed to have tortured and killed a woman who is yet to be identified, only known as Jane Doe, 29, as per the fake ID she was using. The owner of the hotel is the second victim. The extreme brutality involved has shocked the city, and the verdict of capital punishment comes as no surprise. Liam Tafferty, attorney to Mr. Tracy has however indicated that they would appeal against the judgment. With strong evidence and also the presence of Mr. Tracy at the murder scene confirmed, the prosecution is confident that there will not be any upturning of the verdict.”

Four years on that wall.. the letters have somewhat faded. I had had no hesitation to appeal. How could I have done that? No. Not to her. She was Jane Doe to the world, but to me, she was my Nita. My darling Nita.. a prostitute, whom I had fallen in love with; she was going to be Mrs. Tracy when she was cruelly taken from me. She was going to give it all up. She had promised that that one time with Marty would be her last time. But I couldn’t prove it. Marty was dead. The appeals went from court to court, but after yesterday, the last ray of hope has also vanished. The highest court has upheld the verdict, and set the execution date.

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