April returned to her cell. Roberta was waiting. She looked at her, but said nothing. April had never spoken about her crime, and although Roberta had told her all the gory details of her own, she knew that April would tell her in her own good time…or maybe she wouldn’t.
April had stopped going to the visitation room years ago. Roberta never went. She knew, like April, that no one would ever come to see her. She was a disgrace. All of her fair-weather friends as well as the ones she considered to be loyal, had abandoned her.
She mused that it was always about what she had done to her husband. It was never about what he had done to her. He had lied to her for years. He had cheated on her. He had a child with another woman.
She had devoted her life to him, had been a dutiful wife, and had taken care of him when he was seriously ill. “That’s the way it is,” she once said. “The ones who destroy everything, suddenly become the victims in everyone’s eyes.”
True, Roberto was indeed a victim, but no one tried to understand what it must have been like for her. What was it like, finding out that her entire life had been a lie? Why did no one see her as the victim of a lowlife, deceptive Lothario? She didn’t know and she had long since stopped caring.
Two more years went by and once again, April was being considered for parole. The board consisted of the same tired quorum of special commissioners, with the exception of a new, young man named Roger Carson, who all but announced, “I’m going to flex my muscles.”
He looked at April and took the lead. “I see that you have been somewhat uncooperative through the years. Let me ask you something. You do understand that there’s still time for you to have a life, or do you want to die in prison?”
April reacted with the same blank expression the others had been seeing for years as she asked, “you say there’s still time for me to have a life? What kind of life? A solitary life? That’s what I have here, and I don’t know if your records reflect anything other than my refusal to answer the question, but I have never had one visitor since I entered this steel and concrete purgatory. Tell me, Mr. Carson. What would be different?”
Mr. Taylor said, “very well Ms. Drummond. As I have stated numerous times, we have a certain amount of sympathy, but the fact is, you committed murder. You took revenge and…” Before he could finish, Roger inserted with a smirk, “before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. I think Niche said that.”
April looked at him and said, “that was said by Confusious, you moron. Dig two graves? He’s the one in the ground, isn’t he?”
Mr. Taylor smiled slightly and said, “Okay, Ms. Drummond.” April waited for the question.
“If you had it to do over, would you do anything differently?”
April calmly said, “that monster raped and murdered my child. I hunted him down and broke into his house. I went into his bedroom and blew his brains out.”
“Again,” said Mr. Taylor. “If you had it to do over, would you do anything differently?”
Through gritted teeth, April said, “YES. I WOULD HAVE MADE HIM SUFFER. I would have made him beg for mercy. I would have made him beg for his life. Then, I would have made him beg for death.”
Mr. Taylor once again stamped “DENIED” on her form.