Lompoc, Federal Prison. (one year later)
I fix my gaze on the ceiling of my cell, I can hear Lester sleeping like a little baby, cuddled up with his arms wrapped around his pillow. I wonder how he manages to sleep like that. His conscience is as dirty as any other inmate’s inside of these walls, but he still can sleep like there isn’t a tomorrow. He’s a heavy sleeper, but at least he doesn’t snore.
It’s funny, but the sounds of the prison during the night have nothing to with the ones in the day. During the day, I hear the fights, the harsh words, the empty laughter, the menacing threats, the subtle deals. If those sounds can scare, at night the sounds are even more scary. Heavy sighs, coughs, snores… those ones are more or less almost normal, but others are just scary. Moans, cries, screams,…
At night, there are no differences between inmates. It’s the only time when all of us are more alone than ever and most of us are lost in thought. It’s at night when our skeletons leave their closets. We lock them up during the day, but at night they hunt us down, making us relive our most terrible nightmares again and again, like a vicious self-destructive cycle.
Nights are the worst. During the day, I can keep my mind busy doodling cars, reading, fixing shit and working on the vehicles, but the nights are a completely different thing. I can’t do anything to take my mind off thinking. I simply can’t pretend I’m in another place.
It’s at night when the horrible reality that is surrounding me hits me in the face hard enough to make me cry. I’m not crying because I’m hurt or I’m frustrated. I’m crying because I feel powerless.
It’s at night when I can see Jesse’s hands in fists, clutching my t-shirt, his blue eyes full of tears holding my gaze while he’s fighting for his life, coughing blood. I can hear his voice, pleading, begging me to help him. He doesn’t want to die; he’s just a kid.
I can see Vince, staring at me. His eyes are dry, he’s not crying. His gaze is defiant, full of banked rage. I can hear his voice cursing, laughing dryly. He’s a tough motherfucker and he won’t cry in front of Mia. He looks at her and whispers that he loves her and always will and that he’s going to keep an eye on her from the other side, making sure that no guys are hurting her, or else he’ll come back, to beat the crap out of the asshole. Then he turns his gaze to me and promises me he’s going to keep a place for me at his side in Hell, so when I finally join him we can hang around, fucking with the Devil, messing with his business.
I can see Letty crying, yelling at me that it’s all my fault, that I should have listened to her. I should had paid attention to what she was saying instead of being so consumed in my own world.
I see Leon’s accusing eyes. He’s quiet as he leads Letty to the car, helping her get in. Then she makes herself comfortable inside, slamming the door closed, still crying. Leon gets in the driver’s seat and just nods at me.
And, of course, I can see Hanna’s eyes, brimming with unshed tears. Guilt consuming her soul slowly, killing her hopes, burning her dreams.
I do try with all my heart and soul to not to think about her, I swear I do, but I can’t forget. I can’t forget her, I can’t forget what she did to me, what I let her do to me. And I’m sure that it would be much easier if I would be able to hate her, but I do love her. I feel frustrated because of my weakness, because in spite of my current situation I know I’m in love with her, and that painful realization only leads me to get pissed off with myself.
I can hear the kid fucking around again. Some day I’ll beat the shit out of him, I swear. But I already know that’s not gonna change the fact that he’s just a skinny smartass with more balls than brains. He’s not exactly a genius.
He’s bitching about the fucking gameboy again. I told him to get over it and play as if it just vanished, but he’s too damn stubborn and is determined to find who took it from his cell. He just won’t listen. Oh, hell, I’m not his older brother or his father.
Lester, my cell mate, says that the kid has a serious case of hero worship with me. Damn him. The last kid who worshipped me is buried seven feet under the ground just because of it. I’m already blaming myself for Jesse’s death, not to mention Vince’s, so I’m not gonna carry any other deaths on my shoulders. It hurts too much; it still hurts like a bitch, so he better keep his adoration to himself and leave me the fuck alone. I don’t want another Jesse in my life. I don’t need the shit from another nineteen year old kid, I already had enough with my own.
Since the day ‘Snake’ took his damn gameboy the kid has been shitting no end about the matter. Yeah, I know who took it, but there’s no way I’m telling him.
Pette, Harrison, Lester and myself think that Marcus, the kid, is just an annoying skinny brat, but we don’t want him to be beaten within an inch of his life or worse. So, we are playing dumb concerning ‘Snake’ and the missing gameboy. The only thing we do is give Marcus false trails so he’s busy with that task, but we never point him in the right direction or even nearby.
‘Snake’ is a dangerous motherfucker. A 6’5 feet inmate with more than two hundred pounds of muscles upon muscles with a tattoo of a cobra head covering all of his back. If the kid goes and start bitching around him, I know for sure that ‘Snake’ is going to tear him apart.
‘Snake’ is sentenced to life imprisonment because he killed his wife when he found her with another guy and when he was done with her, he ripped the guy’s dick off with his bare hands. Snake had been in death row but the Governor relaxed his sentence.
The rumors around here is that this motherfucker has really worthy connections outside. Some shit about being an ex-merc linked with the CIA who has evidence about some top secrets. If that shit about his connections is true, then he’s dangerous not only because of himself or the kind of things he can do to you, but because what can be done to you if you cross him. Maybe he has a deal with the agency. I figure that you never really retire from the CIA.
This is one of the most bizarre things about being an inmate. You are mixed in the same place with all kind of people you never thought you’d cross paths with on the outside.
Lester is guilty of fraud and misappropriation. The guy passed himself off as a broker in front of four respectable business men and they gave him their money. A couple of months later, Lester transferred the funds to his own account and disappeared the next day. They caught him when he was trying to cross the border into Canada and now he’s going to be locked in Lompoc for twelve years.
Part of the money is still missing and Lester is not saying shit about it. He knows pretty well that he’s not going to get parole; he hasn’t spilled everything about his crimes, but he really doesn’t care. Lester is all ready to spend a few more years locked in prison because he’s planning to spend the rest of his life like a rich fucker, lost in some paradise island. He’s going to leave the US as soon as he gets his freedom. Lester has it all settled.
Marcus, the kid, is guilty of theft in a drugstore. His sentence is two years, he has been here six months. The skinny punk was, according to his version of the events, with two buddies and they were bored and he though it would be funny. The other two split before the cops showed up and the kid slipped on some shit that was on the floor, falling and hitting his head. He lost consciousness and when he regained it, he was handcuffed and a cop was reading him his rights. Like I said, he’s not exactly a genius.
Harrison is the oldest of all of us, he’s almost seventy years old. He’s sentenced to life imprisonment and just like Snake he had been on death row, but his crime had other motivations.
Two guys entered his house one night and they savagely raped his sixteen year old daughter. These motherfuckers were smart enough to use rubbers, so they couldn’t find DNA on the girl. The jury found them ‘not guilty’, there were enough evidences against them. Harrison’s daughter killed herself two days after the trial and Harrison took justice into his own hands.
He tracked the sick bastards and spent two days torturing them before he finally killed them. In consideration of his age, his cardiac problems and his diabetes, and taking into account the painful events that led him to commit the crimes, the Governor pardoned him.
Harrison is black and the two motherfuckers he killed were two white wannabe richies. Of course, if Harrison would have been white, he never would have gone to prison in first place for such a crime, a ‘crime of passion’, but he would have been considered a hero, if a sad one. But the reality is different. I can’t help but feel sad knowing in my heart that that’s a painful truth.
Pette, well, he says he’s innocent. That it was all entrapment. Something about helping a childhood friend and ending up mixed in with a drug dealer, a corrupted cop, a whore and a settling of scores. Whatever. The result is that he was sentenced to ten years. He has already served four.
“Hey, Dom!” the kid calls me as he sat in front of me. “I’ve got a new trail.” He whispers.
I pretend I’m not listening, but from the corner of my eye I glance at Lester who rolls his eyes, shaking his head. Marcus frowns a little as if he’s lost in thought, then elaborates.
“Pette told me that Harrison could have some new useful intell ‘bout my….well, fuck, you know, don’t you?” he asks me.
He thinks I already forgot about what he’s talking about. Like I could. The fucking gameboy was like an extension of his hands. He was playing with it almost 24/7. Lester says he won’t miss the annoying sound of the damn gameboy. I can’t say I will miss it either.
“Yeah, kid, I know.” I answer dryly, not even lifting my gaze from the magazine I’m reading, well now I’m pretending I’m reading it.
I know he’s staring at me even without looking at him. I know he’s waiting for me to say something more. Sorry, kid. I’m not. He waits a couple of seconds in silence and then he plunges on.
“We’re at that time of the month, huh, Toretto?” and with that he jumps to his feet and runs out of the cell before I can raise my head.
As soon as he disappears from our view, Lester bursts out laughing and I just shake my head, grinning. Yeah, he’s a smartass and someday that mouth of his is going to cost him a serious mess and somebody is going to make him swallow his teeth. Fucking kid.
I still have one more year ahead of me until I can apply for parole. So far, I’m still in one piece mostly because I’m doing my own thing. My skills as a mechanic makes it possible for me to be in maintenance and from time to time I have a look to the prison vehicles. Two busses, three minivans and four cars.
It’s curious how my mind plays tricks with me. When I’m under one of the chassis of the vehicles with my hands stained with grease and motor oil it’s much easier for me to pretend that I’m in another place, that I’m not an inmate.
Lately, I’ve been spending some time in the prison library reading sci-fi books. If my father could raise his head, he probably wouldn’t believe it. When I was a kid I was always saying that I hated reading and doing homework, but now I can spend easily two or three hours just sitting, reading. And I have discovered by chance that I actually have a talent for drawing. Shit! Who would have told me?
I draw mostly cars. I select a picture of a regular car from a magazine and I draw it, changing and re-designing the original chassis. Then I draw all the interior side, adding a hell of a lot of gadgets, putting as much detail on it as I can.
The psychologist says that it’s an interesting way to develop my cognitive skills, to work on my self- control issues because I need to keep all my mind focused on a task that requires a deep concentration and an endless amount of patience.
Marcus’s favorite model car is a Porsche 911. Since the first time he took a glance at my drawings, he’s been asking for one for himself. He says that if I was cool I would have already drawn a Porsche for him.
I wasn’t going to draw one for the kid, but since I know he’s so affected by the lost of his precious gameboy, here I am, skimming the pages of the magazine, searching for a Porsche 911 for the damn kid.
I find one and, grinning, I mark the page. I already know the perfect colour for the chassis and the kind of gadgets I’m going to enclose. I pretend I’m not listening when the kid is prattling, but I’m just doing that. I’m pretending. I can’t help it. Fuck, I’m afraid I didn’t learn shit after what happened.
Lester glances at me. He doesn’t say it, but he knows what I’m doing, and he chuckles softly, shaking his head and plays along. Making me think he’s all consumed by his magazine full of photos of exotic places, indecently expensive houses and bizarre furniture.
“Fuck you, Les,” I say, not raising my head. He doesn’t say anything in return, just a snort. Sometimes words aren’t necessary.
I flip the page and freeze as I blink a couple of times. It can’t be real; my brain is playing tricks with me again. But no, I blink a couple of more times and I realize that I’m looking at a picture of my own car, printed in the prestigious magazine. Dominic’s car.
The photo covers the double page and it’s just simply amazing. I can’t find the right words to describe it. The sunlight is shining on the body of my car, enhancing the different tonalities of the colours. I can distinguish each and every single one we used to paint it. My team and me made a hell of a job with my car. The lines are, for lack of a better word, just perfect. Its class and style are unique. Now that I’m staring at the picture I wonder if I was trying in some bizarre way to make my car an extension of myself.
I can’t help it but my heart starts to race as I swallow hard against the invisible knot ,not knowing where it came from. Hanna took that picture and even though she wasn’t a professional photographer, she captured the primal essence of my car, its rebel spirit.
I shut my eyes tightly, forcing tears back as I clench my teeth. I’m not sure about what I’m feeling right know. I feel a mix of pain, anger and joy. After one year without news about her. Somehow I know she’s still thinking about me, just like I’m thinking about her. Hanna.
She kept her promise. I don’t need anybody telling me about it. I simply know. She made possible the picture of my car being published. She knows my car meant everything to me. Below the photo appears my name. Just my name. Dominic. That’s how I know she’s the one who is behind this. She’s the only one who knows how much, now more than ever before, this simple shit means for me. Hanna.
As I climbed in my car I couldn’t push aside the sensation that something was going to happen tonight even thought my plans weren’t much different from any other Friday night. I was going to race; I was going to win; I was going to host a hell of a party to celebrate my victory and I was going to end the night fucking Letty and/or any other chick.
The only thing that changed from one Friday to another was the place where we raced our cars. As a street racer, the second rule I learned was to never race with your car in the same place twice. Too risky. Cops might be waiting for us to show up. The first rule was really simple. No matter if you won by an inch or a mile; winning was winning. And I was a winner.
As a winner, I was always the last one to show up, drove my car alone and always left the place with beautiful female company sitting at my side inside of my car, like a real winner.
That night wasn’t any different. When I arrived at the place, everybody was already there just waiting for me. Waiting for the leader, the legend. Toretto.
No one dared to start a race if I hadn’t arrived yet because I was the one who said who raced and who didn’t. Everybody respected my decisions and my word was like an unwritten law. They did as I said. I said who, when and how. And that was that. It was my way or the highway.
A couple of new guys from the upside area of the city showed up with their brand new cars. Just a glance at their rides and I knew they had put at least twelve grand under their hoods, if not more. They had heard about me. Of course, I wasn’t a nobody.
Everybody involved in any way with cars knew Dominic Toretto. Not all racers could test their cars against mine. Everyone knew Toretto was the best and any wannabe street racer had to prove not only that they had balls enough to race against me, but they had to show they were worthy of that privilege. I wasn’t there to waste my time; I was there following three different goals: to get a hell of a lot of easy money, to fed my hungry ego and to feel alive. The shot of adrenaline wasn’t a bad feeling either. In fact, I loved it. I was an adrenaline junkie.
So far the night was just like I predicted. I raced a couple of times against the locals, I won. Mia took the money and Letty kissed the shit out of me, causing my dick to scream, demanding attention.
I knew why she did it. She was marking her territory in front of the other chicks. Letty was sending the message to whatever girl dared to think about putting their hands on my body. She was saying: ‘Careful, bitches, nobody messes with me. This is my man, if you touch him, you’re dead’.
For me it was almost funny because I was nobody’s property. Never was and never would be. I was my own owner, anyhow it was the other way around. Letty was mine, my team was mine, my sister was mine and my car was mine. Mine and mine alone. And I wasn’t too good at sharing.
I loved Letty, she was funny as hell and she was more than just great fucking. I was her first and only and I showed her everything concerning sex. So, naturally, I made her the way I liked her to be. Somehow I created her. But that was the problem. I created a monster.
Letty adored me. I was the perfect guy and in her eyes I was the picture of absolute perfection in every sense of the word. And I really loved that fact, it turned into an addiction, an insane addiction. But, at the same time, Letty was too possessive, too obsessed with control and she was literally suffocating me with her constant suspicions and doubts.
I thought all women knew that the best way to keep a guy at their side was just letting them free. But, Letty either didn’t care or she was just simply too stubborn to realize that universal truth. Even though she had been around me since she was twelve years old, she didn’t know shit about the way I was. She didn’t know shit about my rebel spirit, my real soul. She never paid attention to my signs and I was starting to be not only pissed off, but mostly bored.
It was more than just boring and even annoying to have to give explanations about where I was or where I was going; why I wasn’t there or why I didn’t answer the cell phone or when I was going to come back. But, I really loved Letty, and in spite of the fact that I was cheating on her every chance I had, I was unable to let her go. I always ended up coming back home, begging her to forgive me because she was my baby girl. That is until I met my woman, Hanna.
I didn’t even know how I saw her in the crowd of people that was there that night. She wasn’t stunning; she didn’t have a body to die for; she wasn’t even dressed to kill like the rest of the girls. She was just there in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, with a camera, taking pictures of the cars.
I narrowed my eyes in suspicion. It wasn’t the first time that an undercover cop was around, trying to get as much intell as possible while pretending to be doing something else just to gain our trust. So, I stared at her openly, watching her.
She took a couple of pictures of Hectors’ car and then she was talking with him. Edwin went to their side and joined in their conversation, well, actually he started to hit on her. From where I was, I couldn’t hear what she said to him. So, without really thinking too much about it, I started to walk to their side until I heard her voice.
“Why, thank you, Edwin, you’re such a gentleman.” She said, her voice was slightly hoarse, like the voice of a smoker and tinted with sarcasm. Hector and I caught the double meaning of her words, but Edwin didn’t.
Edwin was many things but he definitively wasn’t a gentleman at all. He used to treat women as if all of them were horny bitches hungry for a piece of his dick.
In response to her words, Edwin grinned wickedly and leaned slightly against her, invading her personal space. She took one step backward as she cleared her throat.
“When you grow a couple of inches more, you call me, ok, honey?” She replied in a gentle tone of voice, giving him a card and with that she turned around and headed toward another group.
I couldn’t stop the huge grin that graced my lips, watching Edwin muttering obscenities while he tore her card into pieces, throwing them into Hectors’ face who was laughing his ass off.
In fact Edwin wasn’t tall and she had hit right on the mark. She identified Edwin’s main weakness in a matter of minutes and went directly to the sweet spot, not showing mercy. I did bet her words hurt him more than a kick in the balls.
I still hadn’t seen her face or her eyes I just saw her back side. Not too much actually. Her jeans and t-shirt were at least two sizes too big. I shook my head slightly, thinking about how the rest of the girls there were dressed exactly the opposite.
I was talking with Vince about Mia. He’s been in love with her since Mia was fifteen years old. I always knew there was nothing to it, but I always kept my mouth shut about the matter.
Mia had one unshakeable rule. She never dated someone who was a friend of mine or belonged to our group, our life. Mia said they all were dancing in the palm of my hand in the rhythm I was playing, and that she wanted someone who was able to kick my ass. I laughed silently, like I was going to let her date some punk who I didn’t know nothing about.
All of sudden, I felt a soft caress on my upper shoulder, an almost imperceptible touch. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I wasn’t high on adrenaline and turned on after Letty’s kiss.
As soon as I heard the female voice, I turned around and found myself looking at the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. The were green with grayish sparks around the pupils. She was talking because I could see she was moving her lips, but suddenly I couldn’t heard what she was saying. I was completely lost in those eyes, unable to keep my mind focused. Somehow, the world around me just vanished in seconds and the only thing left was her eyes, sparkling like flames, dancing with a soft breeze.
Then, I blinked furiously, snapping back to reality and she was there, with her hand extended, a card between her slim fingers.
“Hi, Dominic’s car deserves much more than this.…. call me.” I lifted a hand and took the card, looking at it. There was a card of the most prestigious car magazine in the country with a cell phone number printed on it and a name. Hanna.
End Flash back
Hanna. Now I know that that night she did the same to me as she did to Edwin. Hanna didn’t know shit about cars and/or races. She didn’t know what she was getting into, but she used her ultimate weapon to catch my attention. Her ability to find people’s weakness. Hanna took a look in my eyes and saw my rebel spirit, my real soul.
“Toretto!” The guard calls me and I lift my head and look up at him. “Phone.” He adds as he moves back a step, making room for me to exit my cell.
A heavy sigh escapes my lips as I stand and walk out of my cell. The guard is walking two steps behind me as I cross the long hallway directly to the stairs. I go down a floor and my mind starts to race with thoughts about that phone call. Somehow I know it’s not Mia, she never calls at this hour.
My gaze meets Snake’s for a second and his lips twitch in an evil grin. His eyes are flashing at me with a cold gleam. I frown slightly as I hold his gaze. I swear he’s plotting something but who knows. I’m not looking for trouble and I know he’s dangerous, but I’m not letting him intimidate me.
So far both of us are keeping our distance. I figure that my size is not a joke for him. I’m 6’2 and I’m 200 hundred pounds of muscle. I’m in shape because I train in here as much as I trained outside. It’s just another way to kill the endless empty hours locked in prison. As long as something keeps my mind busy, it works for me.
I might not be an ex-merc linked with the CIA, but I’m not a saint either. Vince and I weren’t exactly spending our time together going to church while we were growing. I’m used to taking care of myself. Apart from that fact, Vince taught me enough shit to make sure I survived Lompoc the first time I landed inside these walls, and Vince was a real tough motherfucker.
I suspect Snake knows about me. It’s difficult to keep secrets around here. Almost everybody knows something about the others. Maybe not the details, but enough intell to know who you’re dealing with. Intell is equal to power in the ‘real world’ and it’s the same here. Intell might mean the difference between life or death.
As I enter the phone booth, the guard informs me that this call won’t be monitored because the District Attorney asked for it considering the special circumstances. He adds something about me being a lucky fucker after all.
In response, I just narrow my eyes, tightening my jaw and close the phone booth. I’m many things but lucky? I don’t think so.
“William?” I ask. At the other side of the line, William, my lawyer, laughs a little.
“Dominic!” I wince slightly at my full name and I can’t help myself.
“It’s Dom, William.” I reply, letting him hear in the tone of my voice that I don’t like anybody calling me by my full name.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever, I have great news for you, son.” He pauses and I can hear the noise of papers rustling on the other side, as if he’s looking for something. And I know it’s that way though.
I’ve been in his office and he’s a mess. William is a hell of a lawyer, but he’s also a complete mess concerning keeping his desk in order.
He doesn’t know shit about computers or databases, he even says that those things are just a waste of time, energy and electricity. William still files all his documents in filing cabinets. He was one of my dad’s best friends and his lawyer, they both grew up together. So when my dad died, I continued trusting my legal business to William’s hands.
“I received a really interesting phone call early this morning from the bureau of the District Attorney, Dom. It seems they want to offer you a deal.” As soon as the word ‘deal’ leaves his mouth I cut him off.
“What?!” I ask, feeling my heart jumping inside of my chest as a suspicion grows fast inside of my mind.
“Yeah, son, you heard me.” He laughs. “The FBI needs..”
“No.” I cut him off. I just don’t want to hear it. I have a bad feeling. “Whatever it is I’m not interested.” I add and I can hear him gasping at the other side of the line, probably in shock.
“Excuse me? What did you say?” His voice is full of disbelief and I can picture him getting to his feet.
I figure I’m acting like a fool, but just listening to the three letters…. I don’t want to have anything to do with them.
“What’s fucking wrong with you?!” William raised his voice and I don’t like one bit where this conversation is heading. “You’re locked in Lompoc. You’re not in a position to shit around, son. We’re talking about your parole here. Are you listening to me? Your fucking parole. You can have it before your time comes.” He’s pissed off with me. I know. But I don’t like this.
I have a really bad feeling about that ‘deal’ and I shut my eyes, rubbing my forehead as I let out a heavy sigh. I don’t like this. I don’t like this.
“I don’t give a shit.” I hiss, closing my free hand into a fist and tightening my grip around the phone. “I don’t want nothing to do with the FBI.” I say through clenched teeth. I hear William grunting, probably in frustration.
“That’s not an option, Dom,”
“What?! Like hell it’s not. We’re talking about my fucking life here, William. I…”
“Fuck! Are you listening to yourself?” He asks me. “Your life? What fucking life, son? You’ve already wasted a whole year in prison!” I shut my eyes tightly as I punch the wall, growling. “Ok, listen to me and pay me attention”
“No!” I raise my voice. “I don’t want to listen!”
“Fuck, Dom! Just listen to the deal, damnit!!”
“I said, no.”
“I said no, William!”
“Dom, for Fuck’s sake! I’m going to phone her. She’s…”
“Don’t you fucking dare, William,” My voice is cold and hard and low and I know I’m warning him and he knows it too. I close my eyes, I’m shaking slightly and my heart is racing inside of my chest.
I hear him sighing hard and I take a deep breath trying to calm myself down. We both kept silent for several seconds until I hear him again.
“I’m your lawyer, Dom. Your dad trusted in me since we were kids. I’m on your side, son. I want the best for you.” He sighs again and I close my fist so tightly that my knuckles turns white.
I know he’s telling the truth. My sentence would have been a hell of a lot more years if it wasn’t for him being a damn good lawyer. I know he cares for me and Mia. I know that, but I also know that if I let the FBI touch me again, then…I’ll be damned forever.
“Dom, please, I’m not telling you to accept a deal with the FBI, I’m telling you just to hear what they have to say. That’s all, son. That’s all.” His voice is grave and full of concern. He’s worried for my future and I can understand that, but still…
“No way, William. I can’t hear what they have to say. There’s no way I’m doing that. Last time I heard what the fucking FBI had to say, I became an inmate, serving four fucking years in fucking Lompoc. I’m sorry, pal. But I’m not going there again.” I say, swallowing hard. “You’re my lawyer. I’m the one who pays for your services. You do as I say and I say fucking no!” and with that I hung up the phone.
Maybe I’m not acting in a reasonable way, but right now I don’t care if I’m not. I’m pissed off and exhausted. I’m so tired of being here, of being an inmate.
This place is suffocating me. It’s killing my spirit slowly and I’m being made aware of that fact. My interior light is extinguishing and I’m starting to suspect that that’s the first step to dying inside. That’s it. One step after another, slowly, so slowly that I’m not realizing it. My soul is dying slowly and so is my spirit. My rebel spirit and my real soul are about to fade forever, and I’m too tired to fight.
I exit the phone booth, I know William is not going to call me again, at least not today. He knows me a little more than I think, and he’s aware that I’m mad right now and that he’s not going to get me to listen to him. So, I figure he will wait a couple of days until he phones me again, talking about the fucking deal.
William is not going to let that go so easily. He’s completely sure that it’s the best for me, so he’s going to continue, pushing me until one of us admits that the other is wrong. Well, hell, I can’t blame him for that though. He’s as stubborn as I am myself I guess. Whatever.
I make my way back to my cell and I can hear the commotion. The inmates are cursing, screaming and yelling. It must be a fight between gangs. It’s nothing new though. Every now and then, they start some mess. Usually takes place at the yard not inside the cell block because almost always several inmates are implicated, so it’s easier if it’s in the yard. I guess it must be a settling of scores. The damn audience is cheering and making bets about who’s going to rise victorious. You never know how these little fights are going to turn out.
The guard who was walking in front of me comes to a abrupt stop and turns around, facing me.
“Toretto, against the wall!” He orders me.
I know the deal, so I oblige without a second thought. I turn around on my heels and press my hands against the wall, palms open. Then I turn my head to one side and I see him.
Snake is being dragged along the corridor by four guards. His wrists and ankles are cuffed with chains that are connected between them and end around his waist. His bare chest is stained with spots of blood. I open my eyes wide as I look at his hands. They are drenched in blood.
Snake is looking at the floor in front of him but when he reaches my side, he lifts his head and meets my gaze. I narrow my eyes in suspicion. He grins evilly at me as he licked some spots of blood from them. His eyes are sparkling with a cold psycho gaze. He seems to be high on adrenaline and I bet the fucker has a hard on just after beating some poor bastard to death.
One of the guards pulls on his chains and he is forced to tear his gaze off mine. I can’t help the shudder that crosses my spine when I think about his gaze. I swear that motherfucker was trying to tell me something without words.
Finally they turn the corner of the hallway and the guard at my side push me slightly.
I reach the hallway and there’s a dead silence that sent shivers up my spine. I can hear murmurs around me as I walk back to my cell and some inmates are staring at me openly, as if they are waiting for me to do or say something. What the fuck is happening here?
I cross in front of the cell Harrison and Pette share. Harrison is shaking his head while listening to Pette who is crying silently. I come to a stop and lock eyes with Harrison, a puzzled look on my face. In response to my silent question, he just shakes his head and looks away. What the fuck? I walk with long strides directly to my cell.
Lester is looking at a spot only he can see, his gaze lost. His hands are grabbing something so tightly that his knuckles are white.
He raised his head and looks at me. His eyes are brimming with unshed tears. His jaw is tightened so hard that his neck muscles clench. I frown deeply as I enter, taking a seat in front of him. Lester follows my moves as he blinks, two single tears rolling down his cheek.
I look down at his hands as he opens them so I can see what he’s gripping for dear life. The gameboy. The kid’s gameboy. My brows arch completely as I blinked in confusion.
“What…?” I swallow slightly. Lester takes a ragged breath and clears his throat.
“Someone pointed him in the right direction finally, Dom.” He says, swallowing hard, trying to find his voice. I felt my heart skip a beat. “The fucking kid just didn’t listen, man. He was too stubborn just like you said.” A few more tears escape his eyes as he blinks furiously, sniffing.
“He went looking for Snake and….and I guess that the fucker was at that time of the month…” Lester chuckled sadly as he wiped his face with the back of his hand, cleaning his tears.
I open my eyes as I grab my head, leaning forward, resting my elbows on my knees as a deep growl escape my lips.
He clenched his jaw again as he looked down at the gameboy, stained with blood. “He tore the kid apart, Dom. He…he…” Lester’s voice is hoarse and strangled as he speaks through clenched teeth. “That beast Snake beat the shit out of him and then he raped him with his fucking fist.”
I shut my eyes so tightly that they almost hurt, my hands in fists. I’m fighting back tears and my throat closes completely in seconds. I force the air to pass through my lungs as I take a deep breath, swallowing the knot in my throat.
I know there’s nothing I can do to change the horrible reality that is around me. I’m not talking about just the fact that I’m locked in a prison, knowing that my sister is alone outside. That’s bad enough to make me scream, but not enough to make me cry like a little kid. It’s being a silent witness to all the atrocities that a human being can make against another.
The reasons and motivations that leads a man to kill another just for such a simple thing is the reflection of the stupidity and the futility of life in prison. Nobody gives a shit about what happened here today. This is just another event, another incident. Nobody cares.
In a lame attempt to give a reasonable explanation I ask myself why a nineteen years old kid died today?
I feel powerless and even hopeless because I realize one thing: I don’t have any control over the things that are happening around me. And I can’t help but wonder if Hanna had any choice in what she did. I wonder if she felt as powerless and as hopeless as I’m feeling right now.