The story so far:
“Why not, you might as well try to finish off Adara; if we didn’t get here when we did.”
“We caught you red handed.” Methra joins in with certainty in her voice.
Charlie stands straight up, amazed at how everything has now been blown out of proportion. He shakes his head, as he scratches his hair line in amazement, then chuckles,” My intent is to just drag Adara to Evan Greens office, so we can finalize an agreement out of court.”
“Who’s Evan Green?” Methra asked.
“He’s Charlie’s attorney.” Adara answers, as she continues to console Paige. Franco and Methra stand back in disbelief, looking for the pieces to still play out.
Adara looks up at him, “We have been all so sidetracked, I forgot that was today.”
Charlie returns back to anger, and wants to approach his Ex-Wife with open hands, but quickly steps back, as both Methra and Franco react to his moves, “This is what I mean, Adara. You have never listened or worked anything out with me! Not as a team. Everything has to be your way!” his voice growled louder with each word. “You just don’t understand. You want me to have less visiting rights. Well, I want as much as possible! If you win and get me to have less time with my daughter, then the support becomes less too. But, Adara, I want more! She is my child too!
“So, you want us to believe you’re just a woman beater?” Franco challenges, as he prepares for Charlie to explode. Charlie instantly turns to Franco, “NO...” he explodes, but becomes lost for words, as he self realizes how barbaric he has become over these last years. He’s humbled, and reasons where things started to get out of control. He surmises that he has put himself in the worst position he could ever be in. He turns to Adara, pleading “I would never hurt Paige.” he starts to whimper, “I’m her father, and love her more than anything.”
“I believe him.” All eyes turn to Paige, as she looks up at her father, “I can feel it in his soul.” She turns to her mother, “Mom. It’s not him.” She pulls away from Adara; her head bowed, and strolls to Charlie. Charlie kneels, as she sits on his knee, and puts his arm around her. She begins to lay her head on his shoulder and sob, “Daddy.” She tries to find the right words, and then starts to cry” I was forced to take someone’s life last night.” Charlie is struck with shock, as the others try to dismiss Paige’s guilt from arms length, “No honey, it wasn’t you.”
Charlie begins to feel slightly justified with anger, as he interrupts them all trying to pacify Paige, “What the heck is going on?”
There is silence for second, as Paige looks up to her father, “I get the same type of headaches Mommy has, and...” she tries to just finish her statement before falling apart again, “Daddy, please listen. Try to listen to them.” He keeps his eyes on her as she places her head back on his shoulder crying in distress, and then he turns to Adara. As Franco and Methra finds a place to sit, all three struggle to find a beginning that’s would make sense. Once Adara started, the morning hours flew fast, as each one took turns complementing on the last one’s voice of reasoning, except Paige. Through time, she had cried herself to sleep, while in her father’s arms. Only Adara notices. As they get to why they reasoned that Charlie played the imp to all of their struggles, without understanding their version, he did recognize that he did not make it difficult to their justification, and felt remorse for it all. As the late morning reaches its quarter hour conclusion, Methra finishes with, “…And so, here we all are. Sitting in conversation is not what I expected either.”
Charlie replies for the first time in hours, awakening Paige, “So, what do you all plan now?” Methra looks at him with great doubt, “We don’t know. We were all so sure it was you; if it’s not you, then who?” The room grows silent as Paige cannot help but yawn. Charlie speaks in a softer tone, “To be honest, I don’t get it. I’m sorry; I’m not trying to be ignorant.”
“Can you at least respect what you don’t understand?’ Paige asks, with sincerity in her voice. Charlie turns to her, “It’s not one of my strongest characters…” he struggles not to admit guilt, “But for you darling, I’m going to give it my best shot”. He tries to console her, as Adara watches through new eyes of an unchanged relationship, as the other two watch Adara. Charlie feels helpless as he looks at his daughter, “I don’t know what to do for you, young lady.”
“Would you go along with watching over all of us?” He holds back any reaction to not understanding her, “What do you mean?” Paige looks down to the floor, “We’re all going to need a place to sleep for a few hours…” she looks up at her father, you have the biggest place I know, where we can all be together.” Charlie tries reasoning with her, “But you were just soundly asleep.” She smiles, “I know. And it was the first time I could sleep in days.” Franco feels slightly threatened, and sighs, as he looks toward Adara who witnesses the two, and takes it all in. Methra tries to deduce Paige’s plan; “You want to be asleep and confront him?” Paige gives Methra her attention, “If he wants to get to me, he can do it at will.”
“I don’t like this” Adara replies. She turns to her Mother, “You could not be there last night for me, and I don’t think you will be able to be there in the future either.” She looks down at the floor, “I want to be asleep before him…” looking up to Franco, “But, I don’t think I have to do this alone. I think I can have you all with me. I’m pretty sure I can have you all in my dream.” All turn to her in pains of concern and worry, as they all shared doubt, including Paige. Charlie nudges her for her attention, “Do you think you can do this?” She smiles at him in assurance, and speaks stereotypically, and expresses her own concerns for herself, as her lips quiver, “I’m a teenager, Dad. I’m supposed to know it all.”
“You just awoke. Do you think you can go back to sleep that easy?” Adara asks. Paige begins to express the realities of the situation and does her best to share it to her mother, as tears form again, and with a broken voice, “After last night, I think I can sleep for a long time.”
With great hesitation, they all stand together, Paige still in Charlie’s arms, and her head resting back on his shoulder. As they start to exit, Charlie’s humility causes him to address they others, in a voice of surrender, “So…Who wants to drive?”
Oblivious to the morning routine, Jimmy Silent was in his own world of thoughts, carrying on robotically, following orders thrown at him by others around him. He just gazed to nowhere, thoughts on finishing upon his acts before and throughout the systematic line of lunch hour. Oh, how he looked forward to lying down for just that half hour, to spy on the outside world, through dreams, and the acts of unsuspecting others. Through trances and thoughts of his own reasoning, his wishes seemed to make time pass by, and soon, he was back in his cell, with only one goal. He jumped in his cot, knowing this was becoming too easy. Through thought, he knew instead of trying to catch up on sleep after each act, he could easily fall asleep, if soon after his missions, he woke and kept busy. He rolled on his back, and smiled as he closed his eyes, and he was free.
Without warning, he felt her presence, and sensing the shattered innocents, he knew it was his last agent. “Hello there, little girl”. No reply. “Sure is strange to find you coming to me.” Again, there is no reply. With affirming sense of communication towards her, he announces “Let’s get the rules straight, missy, it is me who sets the timing of these games.”
Within a short instance later, she replies “Not anymore.”
“No. In fact, I want you to leave us alone.”
“It doesn’t work that way.”
“It does now”.
“Sure, whatever you want. (Pause) Now, let me tell you what I want. I have one more piece to play, and that is to show the act that Thou shalt not kill. And since you stepped up to the plate, you will do perfectly, and know I’m smirking when I say this, but being so young, and so dead, will set a resounding bitterness to the deeds before you. After all, you are a killer.”
“No. There are others know it was you.”
“And where are they?”
“Here with me. Here with us.”
As how focused, he could vaguely sense the presence of more than one, “How can I not know them.”
“Because, I am protecting them from you, and that is not easy. My mother is crying right now.”
“Really, and who is protecting you?”
“My father; my fathers, you see, I have three of them; my natural father, to whom you will never know; my step father; who I now protect you from, and the almighty God, the father, who has set the Laws even for you to follow.”
“I am not amused! Let us finish this act.”
“Sure, but only if you are willing to participate.”
“Alright, humor me.”
“Well, you have found justification to have everyone die, if not at their own hands, that is everyone but me.”
“No, you must have a short memory.”
“My memory is fine. It was through me that you killed. And it was through the others that you killed again. If this final act is to be done right, you must kill yourself.”
“I doubt that will easily happen.”
“Then, I guess the game is over.”
“I SAY WHEN THE GAME IS OVER!”
“Then…you must die.”
Although deeply asleep Jimmy Silent could fell a strong pulsating pain in his head, “Damn it, what are you doing?!”
“You must feel the others prying to find a way to you. Much like you has done to us all.”
“The others who are the others you speak of?”
“I already told you, the others who are here with me.”
“And should you all have the ability to approach me at once, how will you address this dilemma?!”
“The only way we have suddenly come to know. And while it is just me, I wanted to say… I forgive you.”
“I forgive you.”
“That’s not going to make me kill myself.”
“That’s your choice. But I still forgive you.”
The pain continues to grow, and so does Jimmy’s frustration, “And how do the others feel about this?!”
“That is why I spoke to you first. They have their own levels of forgiveness.”
“They have their own levels of forgiveness towards me?!”
“No. They must forgive each other. In this world, there is enough pain and suffering that we all do to each other, and it needs to be complimented by forgiving each other. They have no need to kill you.”
“Then why do they cause all this pain towards me; why is their presence growing stronger?”
“To let you know one thing. I am not alone. And, they are going to be there to help me through this. I can only hope I don’t let them down.”
“But you have blood on your hands. That means they would be helping a killer.”
“We have already discussed that. It was through me that you killed. And you have decided not to follow through with the game by killing yourself. And so…I forgive you.”
He notices that the darkness of sleep is showing bright light starting to cut through the blanket of sleep,” THIS IS ABSURD! I will find you again someday!”
“Hopefully, if that is what is to come, I will be waiting, and if God willing, it will be on my terms.”
“I will kill again!”
“That is your own doing. Just remember the Ten Commandments; all ten of them.”
“SCREW YOU ALL!”
Jimmy Silent wakes up shouting in anger, throwing his cot across the cell, and then clutching his head, as the pain is overwhelming.
Jimmy Silent regains his composure, and turns to the gated entrance to his cell. Donald Berkley, stood outside the cubical, “I’m glad I came in early.” He pokes his stick through the cell bars, pointing it at Jimmy, “You have gotten my Attention. And now I will make my presence known to you for let’s say fourteen days. I liked it when you were silent, Jimmy Silent.” He started banging the stick against the bars, intentionally making a rhythmic ringing, “Fourteen days, Jimmy. Fourteen days.” He took his club, and placed it in the holster, and with deliberation, stepped out of sight.
Donald Berkley was the senior second shift guard of this ward. And like games played between the gangs, the guards had their own system of games. The warden didn’t promote it, nor would he stop it, for as long as the day ended in peace. Office Berkley, with his degree in psychology, came up with a list of key members of different gangs, where he would introduce himself, and make himself known by disrupting their sleep patterns to the point of exhaustion. Once the leader knew how the game worked, they would keep their subordinates in line, and Berkley would leave them alone. The game also extended to other levels, such as newcomers, and in Jimmy Silent’s case, those who momentarily became unruly. Jimmy could expect to be awoken at random times throughout the next fourteen nights. Berkley even knew how to make it work in his favor by pointing out that the disruption to the chosen also disrupted their bunkmate, and the cell s next to the punished, making known that the punished should watch behind them all day too.
But night fall was a long time away, and Jimmy was back to his robotic routine, as he contemplated what had become of his Ten Commandments. And for now on, short trips to the outside, with little planning, resulting in better conclusions…in his mind, and it was only his opinion that mattered. Oh, he was not going to spend the rest of the day analyzing someone much younger than he. In his mind, he won. That teen was going to need counseling, and the rest of her life to even feel at peace with what she could understand. Her mother would be wrought with anguish just witnessing her daughters struggle to enjoy everyday life. Stress would make her lash out at both ex-Husband, and anew alike. And, like any fool, a friend to be close, and struggle with knowing she could pull away anytime it got too hard to bear, with the conscious knowledge, that she left those who did not have her luxury. All of this misery pending, through just one teenage girl, and they all will work it in and call it a lifestyle. Oh, yeah. He won, no matter what.
It was a long afternoon, and Jimmy Silent was ready for the pillow. It didn’t take long. But it also seemed not long; he was woken by the loud banging of Officer Berkley’s stick. “Look at me. I want to see your eyes, and know you are awake.” Jimmy slowly worked the energy to look Officer Berkley’s way. “That’s good Jim. You catch on real fast. Go to sleep for awhile.” Jimmy laid back down on his back listening to hear Berkley’s next abrupt wake up call. It wasn’t long. And in the distance, Berkley’s voice rang out, “Come on, Masterson. I want to see you awake.” Jimmy got an idea, smiled, and closed his eyes to slumber.
Berkley didn’t make this a round and round event. There was paperwork to push throughout the course of his duties. And although the act was not routine, there was a time limit for each random act of constant awakening of those on his decided nightly list. As he worked back to the wards station, he made an act of conversation to his subordinate, Richard Stalks, “Well, some of the new interns are just not happy with their new accommodations, Rick”. He sat to the right of officer stalks, and gave him a quick glance, and noticed that Stalks remained silent, only giving him a gazing smirk.
“Do you have time off coming to you? I mean you’re starting to smile like Jim Silent up there.” No reply. Berkley shook his head, and turned to the computer do work off some of his routine agenda’s checklist, “Fine. A quiet night it will be.”
Jimmy Silent fought to awake as soon as he could, only to catch the last resonance of the gunshot. He faintly heard, “Oh dear god! Berk!” he could hear the young subordinate panic as he phoned for help,” Officer down, gunshot to the back of the head! Come quick!” silence for a second,”God, Berkley, it wasn’t truly me. Please hang in there.” fainting to manly cries of frustration. Across the ward, someone shouts, “Hey! They shot one of their own!” The silence never heard from again that night, as the chaos and shouts and grunting filled the air.
Jimmy Silent lay back down, smiling. “Oh yeah, much easier, with little planning, and with quick results. This is only going to get better with time.” Jimmy rolled over, ready for a good nights rest. Sleep was on his agenda, and not even the ruckus could keep him awake now.”