One Last Time

4 min

I'm in my third year of college at Temple University. I am a social work major with an English minor. I really enjoy writing, reading, and drawing  [+]

Image of Fall 2020
Image of Short Fiction
I don’t like to think of myself as a bad person; just someone who has made awful decisions. Someone who has had rotten luck for a long time. For years, I’ve been confined in a room with no people surrounding me. It’s small and dark. The bricks are painted in a very dull grey that only adds to the darkness in the room. If it wasn’t for the tiny window in the corner of my cell, there wouldn’t be any light. The only items in the room are one bed, a toilet, a sink, and a mirror. So, yeah, there’s not much here to entertain myself with.
I’ve had very limited time outside and even fewer family visits. Not that it matters anyway. My family hasn’t come to visit me since I was first incarcerated. And that was a long time ago. 28 years to be exact. I only had 2 more years left in my sentence. But then the judge thought it’d be better if I was dead. He sentenced me to death about a year ago, I think. I’m not really sure. You sort of lose track of time in prison because you have nothing but time. But I do know there have been many trials since then and there’s probably more to come.
I don’t blame my family for not visiting me. I haven’t really been the best father nor the best husband. I wasn’t around much and when I was around, I’d bring nothing but trouble. I would get frustrated with my family easily and insult them a great deal as a result. The arguments would usually end with tears on their part. I’d drink and drink like there was no tomorrow. I would try to forget all my traumas by drinking. I didn’t realize that even if I forgot my troubles, they’d still be there the next day waiting for me to overcome them. In fact, it was because of this that I first ended up killing a man.
It was an accident. I was at a bar getting wasted when someone walked up behind me and accused me of things I didn’t do...
“Give me back the money you owe me.”
I turned around and looked at him confused.
“What are you talking about? I don’t owe you any money.”
He scoffed before grabbing on to my shirt collar, “Who do you think you are trying to fool William? Don’t act so innocent, it doesn’t suit you. You owe me $300,000 and I expect you to hand it over right now if you don’t want me to shoot you on the spot.”
“You have me confused for someone else. I'm not William and I’d think twice before putting your hands on me again.”
I could already feel my anger rising up. It was worse when he decided to shove me at an attempt to push my buttons.
“I'm not afraid of you. You honestly think I'd be scared of a weak little punk like you? If anything, you should be scared of me."
I didn’t bother responding. I just reacted by punching him on the face. I don’t remember much about the fight, but I do remember that I had him in a choke hold. He kept begging for me to let him go. The more he begged, the harder I pressed. I only stopped the minute he ceased to struggle with me. I didn’t feel guilty or scared about what I had done. I only felt the adrenaline instead. After that incident, I continued to kill more men. On purpose. It gave me the aura of invincibility. The ability to overpower other men--something that I didn’t experience as a child. I found myself liking it. It’d give me a certain thrill that I couldn’t replicate by doing anything else. I was powerful.
I guess feeling that sense of power for once in my life was the main reason why I enjoyed murdering others so much. I never felt that feeling before; I used to always be in the receiving end of things instead. For a long time. When I was younger, my father used to beat me with a rope or with his bare hands; sometimes he'd even burn me with the tip of his cigarette. My mother would just stand there and let my father--no, that monster hurt me. I didn't know what was worse. The monster beating me or not being protected by my mother. It seemed that he was more important to her than I was. Anyway---enough of that sob story. That's in the past and that's where it will remain. I'm not that weak child anymore. I'm a man. A powerful one.
I am sitting at the foot of my bed staring at the light peeking through my window. I close my eyes and try hard to remember the important things--- how my little daughter looked. She had dark brown wavy hair like me, green eyes like her mother, and an enchanting smile that gave you peace whenever you saw it. She was only six years old when I was taken away. I vaguely recall her playing with her dolls when the police knocked loudly against the door. She must be a grown woman now. I wonder if she hates me; if she even remembers me. Hopefully, she only recollects the good things. My mind then drifts off to thoughts about my wife. I still remember our wedding day and thinking that she looked like the most beautiful woman in the world--with her rosy cheeks, emerald eyes, and beautiful dimpled smile. I feel something wet escape my right eye. I quickly wipe it off.
“Hey, Logan!” Matthew-- a guard--calls, pulling me away from my thoughts.
I open my eyes and draw my attention towards Matthew who stands in front of my cell.
“It’s time. Today is the last day you’ll see this room.”
I look around the room I spent nearly half of my life in. I gaze at the bed I slept in every night, the sink, the toilet, the mirror, and the dull grey walls. However, the thing that my eyes focus on the most is the window. It was the only thing I focused on while imprisoned. I see trees adorned with flowers from a distance. I see birds flying and chirping cheerfully in each other’s company. I see the light blue sky decorated with fluffy cotton-like clouds and the bright yellow sun illuminating my cell. I see life--a life that I no longer have the chance to embrace and return to. Matthew opens my cell, handcuffs me, and leads me away. I look back at the room one last time.

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