After soaking in the anger and sadness that had me paralyzed yesterday, I’ve come to accept my fate. So I swivel out of bed and place myself in front of the last letter to my wife. I write;
I feel as though fighting this whole ordeal was just a waste of time. Why fight when life will eventually end in this way. Life won’t always end the way that mine will; but after thinking about it deeply, I don’t really have much to complain about. You were always there for me no matter what the circumstances were. Even when you were still in your pajamas and you had to pick me up from the bar when I was young and stupid. But hey, it was the first time I was actually going to fight in a war so I was scared. I’m just glad that you understood. And I’m still sorry for ruining the interior of your old car. It was a good idea to get rid of it because air fresheners couldn’t even get that smell out of there.
But sweetie this is it. I don’t know what to write anymore because it’s not like I can see your facial expressions or even know how you’re going to respond to these letters. Oh and don’t be surprised if Shylah starts to act very strange when she knows that I’m gone. You know that her and I are very connected because she’s my little daughter in a cat’s body. And even though I see you two arguing from time to time, I know that you love her too; it was always funny to hear you scolding her as she was back talking you with meows though. But believe it or not, she will comfort you more than you realize. She definitely reads off of our vibrations, and since my vibrations will no longer be emitting from my body, she’s going to reach for you since we were so close to me. Although, be careful when you’re around her too much because she can and most likely will become a little diva. Don’t underestimate her.
On a good note though, I kept my sexuality the whole time I was in prison. No one had the liberty of sodomizing me, so at least you were and will always be the last person that I made love to. Which is a great and uplifting realization, trust me. I’ve been offered multiple times by some forceful individuals, but I know that you’re the only one that can really please me.
Also, I made some good friends. They’re not your average bunch of guys, but they’ve been watching out for me through this whole ordeal. Turns out my cell mate, who I’m not going to name out of protection for you, has already dealt with another soldier who was in my kind of situation. It wasn’t the same scenario, but the ending will be the same. The other men in his crew were very pleasant as well and I’ve been playing chess with a nice boy from the south. So besides all the gangsters and rapists and killers in here, it’s really not that bad. Just imagine going to a big city where all of the criminals are your neighbors. So there’s basically no difference.
But my love, I’m going to have to end this letter here. I want to imagine your smile as the last thing I see when I go. And please, don’t name the child something obnoxious because I was black. Nothing like Red Iris or Laquefima or something stupid. My name was Jimmy, so you don’t have to worry about that embarrassment burdening our child. Oh how I wish I could joke with you in person. So I’ll enjoy joking with you in the afterlife. Endless hugs and kisses in your direction Sabrina. I love you more than life itself.
Your loving husband,
I carefully fold the paper up and place it under my mattress with the rest of the letters. I look up to see Ramos staring intently at me until he says, “Today’s the big day.”
I reply, “That it is.”
“How are you feeling about it?”
“Honestly? I’ve made peace with my ending. Everyone has one, why not go out with a bang?”
Ramos slightly smirks as he says, “Good deal. Let’s go and eat your last meal.”
I chuckle as I say, “You have no idea how happy I am because I never have to eat this shit again.”
Ramos pats me on the back as he laughs and says, “I’m actually a little jealous now that you say that.”
We make our way over to the cafeteria and sit with our usual crowd. Everyone looks at me with questions holding their eyes. None of their words know how to make it to their mouths until Tony says, “So how are ya feelin cupcake?”
I chuckle while replying, “Not too bad Tony. Thanks for asking.”
“It’s no problem baby. Are you gonna try out the man meat before you go so that you don’t have any questions? I could set somethin up for ya.”
We all laugh as DM remains silent and shakes his head. Ramos says, “Only you Tony.” He then looks over to Fingers and nods at him. Fingers gets up from the table and glides over to the serving line. He swoops up an object and then makes his way back to the table. He smiles and hands it to Ramos under the table, so Ramos says, “Thank you sir.”
I ask, “What was that?”
Ramos sighs as he says, “Well since you’re leaving, I’m alone to defend myself. During these times I have… sharp tastes, if you know what I mean.”
“Hey, whatever it takes to defend yourself. Unless you’re always around Mac here.”
Mac laughs and says, “But then I’ll just be put back in solitary. I’ve actually gotten pretty used to it at this point.”
“How many times have you been in there?”
“Probably around ten or twelve times. Not a big deal.”
I shake my head as I say with a grin, “Good lord.”
Johnny Boy leans into the table and says, “Hey, since you’re gonna be gone and all later today, how bout we play one last game of chess?”
I smile at him as I say, “I’d love that.”
“Maybe this time you might win.”
We chuckle as I say, “It’s okay, I know that I’ll lose.”
The meal continues with small talk without bringing up my ending too much. Johnny Boy leaves to set up the chess game, so I pick myself up and hobble to where we play in the center of the prison. I see him sitting there waiting for me, so I take a seat and then crack my knuckles as I say, “Time to enjoy my last game with a friend.”
Johnny Boy pushes his lips together as they move to the right side of his mouth while he nods. His eyes seem to lack conviction, so I ask, “What’s wrong?”
He replies, “Time for you to go pretty soon.”
“I know, but lets just enjoy this game.”
“That’s not what I mean… I’m sorry for everything that’s happened to you.”
Confusion pushes my eyebrows together until I feel someone put my hands behind my back. He stands me up and keeps me still with his strength. I look around to see who’s holding me, but I figure it has to be Mac. I ask, “Mac, what are you doing?”
He says, “I’m sorry Jimmy.”
I face forward again and see Ramos directly in front of me before I feel my stomach being pierced repeatedly. Shock flares open my eyes as I continue to slide to the ground. I stare Ramos in his eyes and leak out, “Why Ramos?”
He stabs me one more time as he says, “Nothing personal kid. It’s just business.” He looks up and says, “DM, time to deliver another body.”
I feel something stab into my neck as my life continues to leak out of my stomach. My body looses its ability to move as I feel like I’m only within my head now. I hear Ramos say, “By the way, I can’t send off these letters… It’ll be better if you keep them with you for a nice memory.”
He shoves the letters down my bloody pants, so a tear trickles down my cheek. I hear guards’ footsteps approaching us rapidly as everything begins to fade from my sights. The only thing I seem to be able to do is listen to everything around me. But everything is so loud and clear, that none of it can be comprehended. So as I feel myself escaping my body, I only whisper, “Sabrina.”