I sat gazing out the window of the little house that had been my home for the past six months looking at nothing in particular; just staring outside thinking; thinking about life beyond the very tall wired fence that now surrounded me; what I would do when I was allowed to go beyond the gates of this god-awful place I had gotten myself into; what would be the very first thing I would eat; what would be the very first thing I said to the wide open spaces beyond this prison house; what I would say to the person responsible for my being here. The minutes slowly passed. This daydream had become a ritual at this time every afternoon for the past week as I counted the days until my parole hearing. It was next Tuesday at 3:00 pm; my parole hearing. Would I finally be free from the constantly bickering women who seemed to live for any kind of drug they could get smuggled inside; free from the constant pressure from those same women trying to get me to “just try it”; free from the advances of the lesbians looking for a partner; free from the psychologists who continually tried to get me to admit I did something wrong and felt sorry for it. I shuddered myself back to reality as I heard the door open and another inmate from our little house entered. She was the only person I had been able to talk to throughout my stay here and unfortunately for her, she would most likely be here for a long time yet, her crime somewhat more serious than what I had been found guilty of.
She came over to me; I faced her rather wistful smile. “Well Sadie you have only another week here. Though I can’t in good heart say I am sorry to see you go” she said, “I will truly miss you and little Tanner.” I hugged Savannah.
As if on cue when hearing his name little Tanner stirred and made this noise that said “I’m awake now, please come pick me up.”
Smiling at the sound I quickly went to little Tanner’s crib and gently lifted him and held him close. Tanner was my ray of sunshine in an otherwise hopeless situation; my inspiration to make the best plan for my release. I felt such shame at having brought him into the world under these circumstances but I couldn't change that now.
Somehow I needed to decide what I would do when I got out of this hell-hole; put the experience behind me and try to move on or seek revenge in some way. Seeking revenge seemed to have my attention most of the time because I just wanted to get even for having been unjustly charged and because the guilty party just let me fry. Tanner was the only thing that kept me from a final decision of seeking revenge on who had become my most hated acquaintance.
As I sat down (still holding Tanner close), I picked up the daily newspaper. The front page shocked me speechless. There staring at me was a very familiar face under the headline “Fatal Crash Kills Driver” with further highlights “Crash leads to discovery of drug house near Stattler Creek Road”.
I had contemplated finding her; seeking revenge in some manner. I spent long nights dreaming up ways to get back at her. I could quite easily have found out where she had gone. If not for feeling sorry for her and wanting to help her, I wouldn't be in this predicament. After all I had done for her she ran away and left me ‘holding the bag’ (as the saying goes); and quite literally ‘holding the bag’……..of stolen money; money she had taken from proceeds of the sale of the Lions Club raffle tickets. Unfortunately I was unable to prove the money was in my possession by mistake and had to take the rap. Thinking back on it now I was quite convinced this was not the first such incident she had been involved in. It was clear to me now she had taken advantage of me and manipulated my sensitivity.
This news changed things but also took away any possibility that I could ever clear my name. I guess I would just have to live with that.
Looking down at the bundle in my arms I smiled and for the first time was satisfied with the direction my life would be going. With a lighter heart I felt more confident about the parole hearing. Next Tuesday could not come soon enough for me and little baby Tanner. Just one more week.