Have you ever thought how being in prison was like? Well, I thought about it a lot, the cell would always smell like sweat and somehow like pee. Gross, the way to describe a cell with just one word, the thought about others pooping and killing themselves between each other makes me want to puke. The fact that once a murderer was here, maybe a robber was acceptable, but the thought of blood, makes me cringe and frown slightly.
The red and thick substance is absolutely gross, I may have it inside my body and running through my veins but with the sight of it, I would literally faint. Sadly that weird, gross, salty and metallic substance is coming out from my ankle right now “Let me get out for god’s sake” I say holding my hurt ankle and the officer rudely tells me to shut up.
I narrow my eyes at him and his rudeness; I never thought that I would be here for stealing Wal-mart, why? Because if I would have told myself two years ago that Zoe would end up in the hospital because of me, but worse I would end up in prison because I have robber, I would have started to cry. Like, really, Zoe was my best friend then, and about the stealing thing? Well, that’s another story.
Because people say that it’s better when you live things for you to tell them in the future but who the hell would like to share this? How the hell would I tell my children that their mother was a criminal? Easy, the answer to that. I wouldn’t tell them, never, ever in million years. However, when I was fifteen never in million years I would have pictured myself being where once a dirty and morbid murderer stood with a bloody knife or a 36-calibre gun in his rough and red yet thick hands.
“Let me out, for god’s sake” I cry out as the pain on my ankle becomes bigger, the red fluid coming out from there, I let out a cry as I reach the disgusting bench that is right next to the toilet “Hey, you blondie!” I hear some deep and old voice calling me, I look for the owner of such a deep tone of voice “Right here” I am surprised to see some big fat man next to my cell. His eyes are brownish but his hair decided to go for the color of blonde.Well, at least what was left of it.
His almost bald head is decorated with a blue bandana, but what amazes me the most is his way to choose the kind of leather that he is actually wearing “I like your jacket” he compliments me “Thank you, it’s one of my favorites” I say with a smile and the old man returns it, he gives me a questioning look “What are you-” he is cut off by the same officer who arrested me walking towards my personal hell. The officer stands there and I start throwing him profanities of not such a lady-like.
I take the appearance of the guy standing at the other side, he is wearing his typical blue uniform with the hat covering his forehead and most of his face with the name tag indicating me that his name is ‘D’ Aria’ ; in his hand, he holds a white paper sheet “Asshole” I mutter rolling my eyes with one of my hands holding my left ankle; at the sound of my swear word the officer throws me a cold and hard look that clearly indicates me to shut my mouth “Is anyone coming for you Ms, Anderson?” I see the smirk on his lips and when it gets bigger, the urge of me hurting an officer gets bigger too.
I get up from the bench and walk where the officer stands “My dad is a lawyer” the comment comes out from my lips without realizing it, the comment somehow sounds a little too bitchy. I look up at the cold and serious officer standing still watching at the information on his hands like it’s the most precious art piece of France “I don’t care” he says through his teeth hoping that I wouldn’t hear him, sadly I do and I, now, don’t regret about the bitchy comment “I didn’t ask what his profession was, I asked you if someone was coming from you” his bored tone fills the room as I hear Mr. bald chuckle.
“I don’t know” I mutter embarrassed by my answer, he laughs at me and a growl escapes from my throat as the embarrassment fades away and the anger begins to build up inside. The desperation is big, the stress is bigger but somehow the sadness wins over those ones. I grab the bars and begin to shake them “Let me out” my voice comes out deep like the one of Mr. Bald “I already told you, girl. No money, no exit.” I shake the bars once again and the devil walks away with a smirk playing on his lips.
“What did you do, Blondie?” the deep yet friendly voice sounds to me “Well, it’s a long story,” I tell him and he laughs, I sit there on the bench sideways to face him, leaning my head against the bars “Let’s begin with the fact that my name is Leah. Leah Anderson” I tell him offering him a smile.
Have you ever pictured yourself talking with someone called Dave who looks exactly like a gangster but it’s not a gangster and he ends being extremely friendly? Well, apparently, I didn’t but that’s weird because in whichever situation you can know whoever and when I mean. I mean, whoever. I met Jordan at the Ladies’ room and please don’t ask me why because I think it’s a different story for another moment. The point’s that you have to be very open minded ’cause if you aren’t well you wouldn’t have a bandana stuck at your ankle to stop it from bleeding the shit out, just like me and like every common person who sat here on this -now bloody- bench.
Dave laughed. And that made me laugh too. After telling him all of my stories, he laughed and told me “To be such an intelligent teenager, you have a lot going on” Dave told me that he wasn’t doing anything except for being in a bar when the police arrived that he didn’t know that the alcohol that they sold there was illegal, also he told me that he had a wife called Amy and a baby girl named Caroline, that she was blonde just like her father but that she got the blue eyes of her mother.
I smiled at his story and his happy life, I thought he would be a rough and bad gangster but I judged a book by its cover, guess I was wrong “Unfortunately, I didn’t get my mom’s eyes. The asshole of my brother did” I tell him and he gives me a humorous chuckle “Don’t you get along with your brother?” he asks me curious and also confused because when I told him what has happened it sounded like I did get along with him.
“Oh no, I do. But he is just a pain in the ass. Just like every sibling” I clear out his confusion looking into his dark brown eyes “I know, right? I have five siblings and because I am the younger one, they literally bully me” I let out a long and hilarious laugh, he looks at me while I laugh “Does your ankle hurt?” he asks me pointing at my left ankle “Yes, at the beginning I thought I was shot but it was just like Dart” I say shrugging looking at my bloody ankle “Leah, you are stupid” he tells me sincerely.
“Don’t take it too seriously, Dave” I tell him then standing up and walking towards the bars then leaning my head backward with my back facing them “I want to breathe” I mutter under my breath enough to just be hearable then something clicks into my mind “Hey, Diarrhea” I call out for the annoying officer and his face comes up, his face looking like someone just painted his face red “It’s D’ Aria” I shrug losing completely his attention. I start to call him out but he would just ignore me, that is annoying, someone who is aware of being call out yet they make themselves deaf.
I scoff “What do you want Ms. Anderson?” Now you are decent with me but then my eyes flicker to a tall figure standing there with a big badge of Sheriff, a smirk makes its way into my rosy and pink lips “What? You were being very rude to me, D’ Aria” I say with an innocent tone, the eyes of the Sheriff lit up with amusement at my statement “I wasn’t being rude in any way, lady” he says through his teeth, making a slight emphasis on the word ‘Lady’ “Of course, I am here by a demand, I deserve a call. Don’t you think?” I ask fanning my long eyelashes. The sheriff waits for his answer for long and eternal five minutes “You may have two minutes” he tells me.
The Diarrhea’s boss finally goes away as he walks towards my cell and takes gold keys out of his blue pocket. But I feel satisfied because I could feel the hard gaze as I check out my long yet polished nails then I hear a clicking noise that almost makes me jump at the sound of it “Two minutes” after saying that I walk towards the phone and think about who I should call. The first person that comes to my mind is my dad.
A shiver of fear goes down my spine, the fact that I promised my dad not a long time ago that I would never come back, terrifies me. I did something really bad and I am really aware of it. But I don’t know if you have ever felt it but that feeling about knowing what your parents will say or how they will react. My dad isn’t someone who is patient in that kind of part, his reaction is not always the best so please let me tell that it’s dead sure that I will be grounded for ages. The fact about coming late home, it’s acceptable. But prison? Boy, I am literally death.
The second person that slides through my mind is my brother, I am about to press the first button but regret begins to wash over me. My brother is not even an option that asshole would tell my dad and I don’t want him even know it, besides John doesn’t have any money right now, I still haven’t organized an appointment with my mom’s lawyer to do the property thing and the repartition of all the money. I gulp down all the liquids inside my mouth.
“One minute, Miss Anderson,” The official says looking at his wrist where a silver watch is placed. The anxiousness begins to wash over me like a cold shower then out of nowhere I dial one number that I surely know that he will come for me. The fact that Logan likes me, is somehow good because honestly, the dude has money and right now I don’t need Sarah’s or Nick’s cries or even my brother’s. I don’t imagine how it would be like if my mom was alive, she would have gotten me out of here immediately but the problem is the speech about it later.
Like every parent, the speech is the worst part of it, the ‘Don’t behave in a bad way’ or what about the ‘I trust you so don’t fuck it up’ bullshit? That is annoying. My parents never truly trust me since I changed it was like something switched on at the sudden change “Hello?” his deep voice sound through the phone “Logan, I need your help. Please, I need to get out of here” As those words leave my mouth it’s like magic because he understands, the concern clear all over his voice.
“Just please be fast and bring money with you because I swear when you arrive I will explain to you how everything happened” I tell him with a little of anxiety at my voice but when he is about to tell me something the officer speaks up “Time is over” my finger moves towards the hanging button. With a lot of force, I press it until Logan’s voice is gone and a beeping noise is replaced by it.
“Go back to your hole, that’s where rats belong” he tells me pushing wards the cell, I give him a dirty look that shows every kind of hate towards him but he ignores it like my look was just drowned by his skin, I sit where I was before consumed by silence in every way. I start mumbling the last song that Nick and I heard at the cliff. It was such a beautiful moment just the feeling of him or his presence feels really good, that thing that squeezes your heart of satisfaction like you finally made a good decision in your life.
I still remember it, the fact that my skin was touching his makes the goosebumps appear on my arms making my little hairs go up, the comfortable atmosphere was one that I hadn’t felt since Jordan’s death. Just nervousness that knot that immediately appears on your stomach like you want to puke is so freaking horrible because it’s not easy handling such a strong feeling like that one.
You sense like everything is going to go wrong and that thing actually betrays you by doing that, by making you do everything wrong. But let me tell you something, I am not someone who handles the nervousness in the best way. I become the clumsiest person who has ever existed, I am literally a fool, the annoying knot doesn’t let me work, my brain stops just like when you prepare and study the most difficult exam ever but you fail it. Just like that, you fail it.
The easiest exam, the one that you prepared for, that one. You fail it. That’s what nervousness does and I freaking hate it; suddenly I hear a familiar voice “Oh, thank god you are safe” I meet his electric eyes, I sigh with the corners of my lips lifting up slowly “Uh, I think you should rephrase that” I say awkwardly and lets out a loose laugh. I watch as Diarrhea stands up to see the paper that Logan holds on his cold and big hands.
The guy reads the paper carefully then gives a curt nod, making his way towards where I am, my butt shoots up from where it was placed, he tries to find the guy as a smirk play on his lips making me narrow my eyes at his immatureness. To be an adult he is the most immature person I have ever known. When the door slides open, I smile satisfied as I get out from the rat hole “By Dave, hope you get out soon” I wave at Dave with a smile, he smirks at me then tells me “Can you please call me wife and tell her I am fine?” I nod in response then ask him for her number.
His face shows upset and I smile sadly at him. The old man looks up at me with the sadness all written over his eyes “You just didn’t get arrested for being there, right?” I whisper and he shakes his head “I- I betrayed my wife” what does he mean? he cheated on her, I look at him and he shakes his head as if he is reading my thoughts “But I swear it was not something illegal” he tells me quickly, I shake my head as I put my fingers on the silver yet oxide bars.
“What did you do, Dave?” I ask him with a little of disappointment in my voice, he just lied to me and the worst thing? I believed him “Leah, I am sorry. You seem like a really good girl” he says with a little of happiness at his face “Just tell me already, please” I tell him almost in a whisper “I- I am the owner of the bar, someday people sold me vodka at very cheap price, so I couldn’t help it but buy it, then the police came over to tell me I was doing traffic of alcohol. I can’t believe I trust that guy” Dave says shaking his head with disappointment, he places his head between his hands as his elbows rest on his tights “The legal process will be very complex” I tell him kind of worried but then he looks up at me with hope.
“Can you do something?” he asks me with a lot of hope in his eyes and his voice, I mean, of course, I would help the old man, he has a girl and a wife, he has a family. I am not that heartless “Yeah, I will see what I can do” I promise him, he grabs my hand and looks at me with soft and caring eyes “You are a very good girl, Leah. Don’t let experiences or people ruin you” he says sincerely and I frown slightly at the world ’Good girl making him chuckle he lets go of my hand, I finally tell him goodbye, the last thing I saw about Dave?
The sadness in his eyes.
I walk towards Logan and he doesn’t say any word, he slides his arm around my shoulder, me following after by sliding my arm around his waist “You are not going to question anything, will you?” I ask him looking at the side of his face as I wait for a response “Nope” he tells me popping the ‘p’ and making me smile at his smart answer.
Soon we get out from the cold and boring prison, suddenly the warm wind hits my face making me feel calm and relax at the outside for my freedom. Just to think about the wind hitting your face and your hair go back, it’s a feeling of satisfaction, the freedom is something you work for, something you deserve as a human, freedom makes you feel alive, it makes you feel happy, loved, your mind feels numb, it’s like your body has the control of all because freedom is the most beautiful feeling and I love it.
I love being free and be with people who have the same feeling respect at the feeling because you can speak aloud with no worries or comments, you can feel happy with the necessity of someone by your side, the thing about being independent it just feels good and maybe that’s why the worst punishment for would be and it has been being grounded. I feel in jail but with Kit Kat’s and pizza.
Since I was a kid, I have always argued for freedom and for equality, to me, those things are the most important in life, it’s unfair how much inequality you see these days, the worst thing? the lie about how every its threat with the same intentions. Do you want to tell the truth? That’s absolute bullshit, the freedom and equality it’s something that you can’t have if you are not rich or if you are not important or popular.
The social pyramid sucks. That necessity of wanting to be on first class never ends. But to be free first you have to lift off your shoulders all those bad vibes, all those things that with the thought of it, ruins your mood. Talking about mood, don’t you hate when everything is going okay then something happens or someone speaks up just to fuck up your day? Well, that exactly happens when Logan speaks up “I called your dad” I stop in my tracks and slip my arm out of his waist “You did what?” I question slowly trying to process if what I have just heard is right.
“I told him, I thought he was your first option to call, so I assumed he already knew” Indeed, my dad was the first option but how you already know and if you don’t remember I am telling you again. I decide not to because being grounded to death it was not one of my wishes, including the pile of wishes that I have. I rub my face with my hands suddenly feeling desperate “You shouldn’t have open that big mouth of yours” I say greeting through my teeth.
“I just thought-” I hold my hand up right in front of his face as I take a few steps backward “Just save it. You are not in any need to give me an explanation. I will fix everything” I say trying to convince myself that I wouldn’t be grounded to death, that my dad would comprehend and wouldn’t feel hurt after breaking my promise. I want to believe it, I really do. But why lying, I already know what it’s going to happen.
“Just please, drop me off at home,” I tell him, he nods and leads me towards his car is, which is not so far away, after a few steps we reach our destination and he tells me to get into the car and I gladly do it. I can’t believe that I am going to face my dad after trying to hide all the situation, a simple person just came and ruined it all with a call but now that I think about it the school would not shut up about the whole think of Zoe going to hospital, they’ll probably call my dad or maybe they already did yesterday.
“What are you thinking about?” he asks me as I watch out from the window. I glance at the hour and it’s seven in the morning, and entire night I have passed in that hole hell “About my dad, about school and everything, I guess” I tell him and he nods, I lean my head on the window and let my eyelids fall making me feel relaxed, for a long time I finally feel relaxed my mind feels free, I don’t know how. It just feels like someone drugged me like my mind is playing some sick trick to me.
I know I am not allowed to feel like this, I am not allowed to feel like everything is okay because it would be unfair to me and my feelings, it would be unfair to everyone who loves and loved me once. Why? Because I still have that in my heart, that darkness and that black color that surrounded it. I feel like somehow I don’t deserve feeling relaxed “We are here” Logan informs me and I take a moment to take in what has happened, what I have done, how I may have ruined the opportunity to go into Standford, how I have screwed up my friendship of eighteen years with my best friend.
“Leah, are you there?” he asks me waving his right hand in front of my face, nodding I get out from the navy car, when I am about to walk towards the door, I hear Logan calling my name, I turn around offering him my attention “Good luck” he tells me winking at me, as a response I give him a sad smile and watch him leave from where he was before. I put my hand into my pocket to search my key then I remember that all my belongings are with Nick. I spot the key that’s placed on the door frame then pull the door open. Without making any noise, scared I walk into the kitchen and see Sarah sitting right there with a glass of water next to her left hand.
I freeze in my place, my body feels numb where it’s standing, she knows about my presence and that’s when I see a little drop fall. She is crying, that makes my heart break into million of pieces “Aren’t you going to say anything?” I ask in a low voice, scared when I see her hand go around the glass and squeezes it “Why should I? You kept awake all night,” she tells me with the hurt and pain clear in her voice. The guilty begin to grow up inside my body like some plant that someone just applied something to grow up faster each time.
“I hate you,” she tells me looking up at me and I see her red bloodshot eyes “Sarah, I-” she cuts me off by raising her hand “You didn’t let me finish,” she says, I, somehow, feeling even more nervous and guilty each time “I hate you because you are making me this-” she points at herself and I see the same clothes from yesterday just like me, we stink “You are making me miserable because it’s the first time we have ever fought and I hate it” she tells me breathing heavily.
Then she continues by saying “I hate that your pride so big that you even haven’t apologized, I hate that you are a selfish, arrogant bitch-” I think my heart stops at her swear word, slowly breaking into thousand of pieces “You keep living in that past of yours, that affects all of us and you are so freaking blind that you can’t see it. You can’t see that you don’t trust me anymore, you don’t trust anyone” she yells at me, I take a step backaward feeling really broken inside by her words “I do trust you” I whisper, shaking her head she laughs at me.
“Don’t take as a dumb person, Leah” she tells me with hurt and anger showing in her voice “You haven’t trusted anyone just because one thing happened to you. Now you are made of stone just because something happened to you, you became a totally different person. You are not the girl I knew, you are this heartless bitch that I don’t recognize and seeing you like this hurts deep inside me. It hurts” she says putting her hand on her chest “You know why? Because after being this heartless girl and careless one. I still love you, Le and I totally hate it because somehow I feel like as a best friend I should have done something. Something to get you out of that depression you have because you may not show but I know you are very hurt” she says.
Tears start swimming at the corner of my eyes like they are some fishes trying to reach a waterfall ready to fall through my face “It hurts me” that words make my heart break and I hug her showing her how grateful I am to have her here, with just her presence and I am grateful because I may not have my mom here but I have someone to knock some sense out of me and that’s what all that matters to me.
That I have my best friend with me.