I don’t want to be here. Trapped in my own lonely mind with no place to hide. It’s loud, different sounds, voices, insults bouncing around my brain, driving me insane. But what can I do? Sit here staring at the plain brick walls and the 8 metal bars surrounding me… That’s what I do for many consecutive hours every single day.
I know why I am here, and I know I’m not the only one that knows of my past. That’s why I do not speak to other cell mates. ‘Mates’ HA! What a stupid word to use for these people. They’re not my mates and they never will be, they’re more like the demon of my uncontrollable nightmares, although they are real and inescapable. But what are even worse are the horrid flashbacks of what I did. Speaking of flashbacks, here it goes again…
I was standing with my back towards him. A glistening knife gripped tightly in my right hand, the voices in my head began to speak: ‘Kill him Mandy. Do you really think he was working on his so called business trip? Ha more fool you.’ These words changed me into someone I never dreamt of being. I snapped. ‘Aaron?’ I called him, ‘yes Mand?’ he replied casually, as if everything was okay. I took a deep breath, ‘come here.’ My tone of voice had changed, it was more demanding. He did as he was asked for a change, stood up with a sigh and strolled towards me. I could hear his footsteps behind me. I bet he wished he had stayed put. Before he could rest his dirty hands on my shoulders, I turned and plunged the knife into his abdomen. I looked down at the knife, now dripping with crimson red blood, creating a blood bath in my kitchen.
And SNAP! I’m back in this hell hole. My mind tends to drift away; sometimes somewhere happy, sometimes somewhere I have been before, and sometimes it even drifts its way into hell.
The bell is ringing, indicating that it must be dinner time. Once again I am walking down these bland, damp corridors towards the cramped room they call ‘the cafeteria’, led by a rather handsome prison guard. Well, I say handsome. I haven’t seen any male species for the duration of my time here… 6 years, 2 months and 19 days; so I would probably settle for anyone that would have me.
They’re looking at me again. Over 60 pairs of eyes fixated on me. Surely I’m not the worst person in this place; surely I am not the only murderer. It’s crowded in here. These women don’t have the ability to form a queue; they’re all just huddling around the food as if they are going to see something different on the menu. I’m pretty sure that the staff here do not know the meaning of nutrition. Nothing but stew and soggy dumplings, splattered onto grubby looking plates along with plastic cutlery. They do nothing but treat us like children in this place. According to them we are all just ‘pathetic’ and ‘worthless’. Well, come to think of it, they’re probably right.
Half an hour has passed now and we are all being let outside for 15 minutes of fresh polluted air, only in the shoebox sized prison gardens but still this is our reward for the week. I’m not even allowed a cigarette in this place! 6 years without one and I am still craving one as if I smoke 50 a day.
Time’s up, back to our cosy cells we go, I guess.
Oh no… here comes another flashback.
It’s the morning after he was murdered. His pale, cold, white body is laying in a pool of blood on the floor. I sighed and shuffled around him to switch on the kettle, he’s always getting in the way. I glanced down at his expressionless face… and that is when it hit me. I killed him. I did this to the man that I love… but why? What happened? I panicked and dialled 999, I asked for the police and I told them that I think I murdered my husband. Before I knew it my front door was being kicked in and I was being taken away, with four strong arms holding me.
Months and months of therapy went by before I could accurately recall everything that had happened that night: the voices in my head, the knife and the blood. Everything became clear to me. I broke down at first. But then I realised what my motivation was. The trustworthy voices. They told me what he had done, what he really was. He was not loving and caring! He was nothing but a cheating scumbag.
I had known the voices in my head since I was just a little girl, I had no reason not to believe their words.
BANG! The slamming of my cell door snaps me out of it. I am sitting on my bed staring at my usual spot on the wall. The spot on the wall is what keeps me sane. You can see how the brick has been worn in this particular spot, maybe it is from the previous inmate… maybe they were schizophrenic like me. But maybe they acted out when they began to see things, things that no normal human being will ever witness. They may have kicked the wall repeatedly trying to escape, or maybe it was not a wall they seen. After 6 years you would think that they would at least give this place a lick of paint right?
It’s getting darker now. I guess I should get some sleep, after all, I did only have 30 minutes of sleep last night. Some crazy woman was having her usual ‘night terrors’ in the cell next to me, screaming and crying as loud as an atom bomb. The voices in my head where going wild… along with my hallucinating mind. Plus tomorrow is visiting day, so I suppose I have to be awake or that; not that anyone ever visits me.
Up and dressed and off to the visiting room. I don’t know why I bother, I’m only going to be disappointed. My eyes are darting around the only bright coloured room in the building, looking at all of the smiling convicts greeting family and friends around me.
‘Where is she?’ a strong male voice demands the prison warden. A voice that I know very well… my Dad. He’s walking towards me, my heart is racing. What is he doing here? What does he want? What will he say after six years of me being locked in here? Six years of me being non-existent to him.
‘Dad?’ I say as he takes a seat opposite me. ‘What are you doing here?’ I stare at him, awaiting an answer. He waits for a moment before speaking; ‘I know how to get you out of here.’ My eyes widen, and he smiles. After 6 years there might be a way out?
‘you are sick. I have your medical records Mandy. You can be moved to a hospital, receive regular help and finally say goodbye to the voices in your head.’ Wait… what! Why would I want to get rid of the voices? Why would I trust him over them? They are the ones who have been there for me throughout my life, not him.
‘NO! NO YOU CANNOT DO THAT TO ME! WHERE WERE YOU ON THAT NIGHT? WHERE WERE YOU TO TELL ME ABOUT AARON? OH THAT’S RIGHT YOU WEREN’T THERE! BUT THEY WERE!’ I screamed in anger at this so called dad of mine.
A familiar feeling is rushing over me… four strong arms take hold of me and lead me away from him. This is my home now, and it will remain that way for a further 19 years.