I couldn’t help but laugh to myself, honestly. Like, of all the places in the entire jail I could be placed, I was locked in a closet with my arch nemesis.
I stared at her sleeping face for a moment, noticing how sweet and peaceful she appeared while dreaming. I knew that the moment her eyes flipped open however, it was going to be a different story.
What the hell am I supposed to do here? She’s gonna wake up and turn into the Tazmanian Devil. There will be hair and fists flying all over the place. I could, beat her ass while I had the advantage. I could pummel her while she slept, and by the time she realized what was happening, it would be too late. The guards would run in and separate us.
Wait, they would move me back to isolation, I’d rather her just wake up and murder me. I could fashion a flower out of toilet paper, and when she wakes up, smile and hand it to her and be like, “friends?”. Perhaps I’ll just hide under my covers and play dead. I mean that’s really the only reasonable option here.
I pulled the wool blanket up over my face and immediately realized what a terrible idea this was. Not only was it impossible to breath, but I was inhaling lint and pubic hairs.
F*** it. I’m not gonna hide, I didn’t do a damn thing to this girl. She sucker punched me, all I did was retaliate with a damn pillow. No, I’m done playing nice. I refuse to spend another second stressing over this little Chihuahua.
I stood up from my bunk, and walked over to hers. I quickly tapped her on the shoulder before I had a chance to change my mind. She began to stir, but pulled the blanket up over her head and began snoring again.
Shit. My heart was pounding out of my chest.
I tapped again. This time she cussed from beneath her fort. “Go the f*** away, man”. I was so nervous, that my hands were shaking, but I couldn’t sit back down and obsess about what was gonna happen, I needed to make something happen. If we were going to fight, I just wanted it to be over with.
“Hey, Daniels. Wake up. It’s Johnson”. I said, taking a step back, in case she decided to come out swinging.
“You gotta be f***ing kidding me” she said.
“Yeah, I know, that’s what I said”
She began laughing. Literally, laughing. I wasn’t sure if she genuinely thought this predicament was hilarious, or if it was the laugh a serial killer does before ripping someone’s face off and making a hat.
“So, anyway,” I began, I figured we could just, um, get this out of the way now, since we are both obviously stuck in here. I don’t wanna get sucker punched when I’m sleepin, ya know?” I said.
She sat up, like straight up. She kept her head under the blanket and just, sat the hell up. It was as if I’d just awoken a vampire from it’s slumber.
She ripped the blanket down and squinted at me, her eyes swollen from sleep.
“Aright, what’s up then?” she said, remaining seated – which was a good sign.
“What’s up, with you…Then?” I replied. I am the f***ing worst at come-backs.
She tilted her head to the side and looked up at me. Her expression wasn’t threatening, she looked… Tired.
“Aright, you want it? Here it is. Ima be real witchu, okay? You are the reason my 2 year old ain’t never gonna see his daddy. You went and f***ing snitched on my baby daddy, and now, he’s off to – God knows where, but he’s gone. Cuz the f***ing poh-leece is lookin for him, because of you”.
She looked down at her feet and shook her head, then looked back up at me with tears welling in her eyes. She was trying to keep her chin from quivering, and looked away to hide the tears falling from her eyes.
My muscles relaxed a bit, and my heart felt heavy. Although, technically, I didn’t force this dude to buy these guns, I was partly responsible for the fact that this poor toddler wasn’t going to know his father, because when the police finally did catch up with him, he was going to be put away for a very long time.
I thought about that little boy, and felt a knot begin to form in my throat.
“You know what the worst part is?” she said, staring passed me, at the wall.
Ugh, it gets worse?
She turned to face me and was hiccupping back sobs. “I’m 5 months pregnant, and he ain’t gonna be around for his daughter. He won’t be there for the birth, he won’t be there to buy diapers, or help me out. I gotta do this shit by myself. Because of you. So yeah, I don’t like you, in fact, I f***ing hate your ass, but I ain’t gonna fight you. I’ve got bigger things to worry about. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna get some f***ing sleep”.
I stared in stunned silence as she laid back down and rolled over to face the wall.
My very first thought was – thank God I only hit her with a pillow.
My second thought was… Well now I feel like a big a**hole.
The things I did while using didn’t only affect me, or my victims, or my family; they affected a family I wasn’t even aware existed. The consequences of my actions rippled outward like a rock thrown into a pond.
I stared at the outline of Daniels body for a moment. The guilt was overwhelming. I don’t blame her for being angry, I would be too. She is a single mother with an addiction, I can’t imagine having to leave a child behind while I did time. Even harder to imagine was how difficult it would be to go through this hell – jail – with a baby inside me.
“What the hell am I doing?” I said under my breath as I walked over and sat down at the foot of her bunk.
“Hey, Daniels”, I tapped her leg, “hey real quick, before you go to sleep”.
“I already was asleep hoe, why the hell you on my bed?”, she said looking at me like I was crazy.
I took a deep breath and began speaking, I couldn’t hold back my emotions as the words started spilling from my lips like an overflowing sink…
“I need you to know, that I’m sorry, okay-“, she rolled her eyes, “I am, I really am sorry. I don’t have kids, so I can’t imagine how hard it must be to raise them. But I do know it has got to be 10 times harder without a dad in the picture.” She sat up and inched backward away from me, until her back pressed against the wall.
“I didn’t know Lazarus had kids, I was over there all the time and he never said a word. Honestly though, it wouldn’t have mattered to me. I would have done the same thing anyway. He asked if I could get guns, he said he would hook me up with pills. I am an addict, okay, I wasn’t thinking about the repercussions of what I was doing. I was thinking about getting high”. She rolled her eyes again, and I was certain that she wasn’t processing a thing I was saying, but I didn’t care. I had to say it.
“For the record, he texted me about the guns, okay? There was record of him asking. I didn’t have to snitch, he snitched on himself. I am sorry about your son, I am sorry about your unborn daughter, I am. You need to know I’m sorry, I never meant for any of this to happen, I was sick. I am sick. I need help.”
She stared down at the bed in silence, she didn’t say a word. She began anxiously shaking her foot, and I could tell something was happening inside her head. I just didn’t know what.
“Look, I appreciate you being real with me. Apologies are hard to come by in this place“, she said quietly. I felt so grateful that she was receptive to my apology, the goosebumps prickled up on my skin because it felt like we had a breakthrough. I opened my mouth to respond but she interrupted suddenly.
“He wants you dead” she blurted.
“I’m sorry?” I said, confused by her sudden outburst.
“Lazarus, he wants you dead, or at least hurt bad. He prolly aint tryna kill you but, he’s a man of his word, and he doesn’t play. I talked to my cousin and she said that Lazarus told Greg to check online for when you get released. He’s gonna find you, he will. He’s a crazy motherf***er man. You done got yourself into some deep shit. You kept it real wit me, so I wanted to return the favor. Just watch your back out there”.
I stared at her for a moment, I had so many questions, but couldn’t find the words. My mind began racing through thousands of scenarios, and images of my murder were playing like a movie in my head.
“Can you please get off my bed now?”
“Yup” I said, standing abruptly.
“Hey, um. There’s something else” she said, as she laid back down.
“Your friend, Trisha I think her name is? I guess she told Lazarus where your sister live at. You might want to call her… Just sayin”.