The Penitent

“Sorry! You can’t go out there!”

The little pretty nurse smiled at me sympathetically.

I stared at the big glass doors that consisted of reinforced glass which lead to the garden beyond.

I turn my dead stare on her.

“You need permission to go out there.” She smiled at me apologetically.

I allow a moment of expression. My eyebrows raise fractionally.

“I’m sorry. You need to be accompanied.” She smiled at me again, but I could see the slow spread of fear over her face. A wary smile. Very wary. Probably a wise thing. I was in that frame of mind where anything was possible. I pondered upon the possibility of grabbing her face in both hands and biting off her nose, as a reminder to humanity that I existed.

I imagined grabbing her around the neck with both hands, closing my eyes, and biting hard

In my peripheral vision; I watched the burly guard. He was bigger than me, but not by much. White shirt; black trousers. A big guy. A hard guy. A thick looking bastard. I pondered as to whether he had ever seen hate unleashed. I turned to look at him. I can take him. I can take him. He looks a bit ignorant. But then again, I am the most ignorant thing I know.

My nerves are on edge. Everything is happening in slow motion.

I look at the nurses’s pretty eyes and then shift my eyes slightly. In that moment, she has become irrelevant. She does not realise, but in that moment I have calculated the momentum required to bypass her. I will use her head to open the glass doors if I have to.

She is afraid but she smiles. God love her. She is a prisoner to the system, like me.

The guard is moving towards us. I look at the pretty nurse. She is looking at me almost pleadingly. I take in her eyes. Her mouth. Her hair. Her worry.

In that moment I feel a connection. We are both scared.

The guard moves up.

“Everything ok, John?”

He allows himself a slight smile.

“You look tense.”

In that moment. he disarms me. He calls me by my name. He makes me human. He makes me one of us. He recognises me a person. To him, I am an equal.

” Yeah. Any chance I can get out tomorrow?”

“Maybe.” He smiles. “Maybe.”

I smile.

My life sucks balls, but God is making it as easy as possible.