It was Friday the 10th of March, this day makes a year behind bars for me, a year of stupid food, crazy people, no freedom, no family and no friends, I’ve been in this prison for a year now and I have no single one to call a friend or partner or something like that, all I have is myself, my pen, a notepad and a picture of Elizabeth, the girl I love. The one they said I killed.
My regular day was waking up to a very loud siren that wails for about five minutes and then a very loud thud on the first door or better still “the first iron” as it is popularly called followed by a voice that says “wake up!” As angrily as what I can’t even imagine. Today was quite different, there was the siren but no thud on the first iron, I woke to the siren and as I did every morning when I wake up, I went on my knees and placed my elbow on my bed and said something to God, I repeat the same thing each day to the extent that wisdom my cell mate mastered a few lines.
“… and father, I forgive my family and friends for rejecting and deserting me at a time like this, Amen!” Me and wisdom concluded. I looked up at him with a fierce smile and asked why he doesn’t even try to talk to God at least once.
“There’s no I am that I am” he snapped back with a long hiss. “Wèrè” he concluded.
I took my cloths off the second I finished saying that to him, in the prison it was almost normal to behold another man’s naked body and make a few comments about it. I remember the first few days I got there, there was a massive wash hour one Monday morning like that, after some intense labour in the field. All of us men headed straight to the bathroom, all twenty eight of us; the bathroom was as big as my lecture halls back at school. I was the “newest guy” there, the JJC. I got about a word about my body from everyone in the bathroom. Oh the sad joy I felt to be complimented by a man as I am about
I headed to the bathroom, it was a Sunday and I was ready to hear one or two things from the preachers that’ll be coming around that day. I wanted to look neat, even though my facial hairs were very prominent. To smell nice was also key. I took my towels off, hung them on a rail and turned on the shower, I started to wash myself gently when suddenly I was out of the prison.
“Joseph, what’s going on? Who are these guys” Elizabeth’s voice resounded in my unconscious head.
“Jo what do they want, just give it to them”
“Hey, Jo you ok?” I remained silent trying to figure who’s voice it was I just heard, ok it’s Maxwell’s I said within me and snapped back to reality.
“I need the soap, like now” he said stretching his hands towards me. I gave it to him.
In all of this prison, Maxwell and I are the only more “civilized” and I can’t find the other word now but I guess you know what I mean. Maxwell was a banker, he committed first degree murder when he killed his wife and her lover after catching them red handed in bed. I should have killed myself too he’d always say.
Back to my cell and wisdom was already getting high on gum, I know of weed and other drugs for highness but gum is just so strange, he inhaled it sharply for about 15 seconds and then give off a loud groan when exhaling with his mouth. Just crazy.
It was almost 9am and some people from the prison mission from different Christian denominations were already showing their faces. I sat there alone at the cross hall, that was actually the first time I wanted to be in a Christian setting, I wasn’t angry at God, but I was with my own church, they practically excommunicated me, my family didn’t even help at all, since I got here no visit from any of them.
I started at the bible on my table with the urge to open it,
“Good morning, I’m Chioma from gospel light mission…”
“Morning Chioma, please sir down” I interrupted.
Chioma was a young babe in her early twenties probably 23 years. A very good looking young women with a very attractive and captivating smile seeing here reminded me of what the world use to look like before I got here.
She started by telling about Jesus, I could tell it was here first time with the constant pause and shaky arms, I tried to fix my eyes but she earnestly avoided contact with my eyes, once our eyes met and she blushed to heaven.
” You know what Chioma, I know about Jesus, I believe in him” I said with a sigh, she opened her mouth and this time fixed at me with tears almost in her eyes.
“Why’d you do it?” She said with her lips shaking.
“Do what” I replied standing.
She brought out something that looked like a card and gave it to me. “Contact me Jo, we need to talk” she stood up and left for the door.
She knew who I was, I got curious and scared at the same time, I looked at the card and it was a home address. The name on it looked so familiar but I couldn’t just figure it out.
Since I had nothing to do I went back to my cell to continue a book I started reading recently. I got in and there it was, my cell mate covered in his own blood. I screamed like a babe and called one of the officer available to us. In seconds, his body was moved and it was just me in that cell. For that night at least.
Thank you for reading… more episodes coming pretty soon, find out what happened to wisdom and who Chioma is. Find out what really happened to Jo how he got here.