Cell

This is an old piece of writing I did in college.  It was a colloquial writing piece that I liked and apparently so did my professor.  Just a little bit of change from my previous pieces.  Think about it and enjoy.

Whelp… I guess this is it. White-washed walls, a thin mattress, and a little hole that gives me a small piece of a hallway. No hope. No outside world. Just a hallway.

I did it for the money. That’s what the world is all about after all.

All about the money.

My wife ex-wife. She’s so ashamed of me. I love her, but the only feeling she has towards me is shame. I don’t know if I blame her for that. I’m pretty ashamed of myself at this point. Such an idiot.

We needed the money. Money is everything.

I’m sure my children are just as ashamed. At least the two who understand what is happening. Elise. She’s not even old enough yet. And for the next 25 – 35 years she won’t see me except through a piece of glass. That is if her mother brings her to see me at all.

Kyle and Brock are probably mortified to go to school. The other kids’ parents will no doubt tell their children to steer clear of “those Tindal boys.”

“Like father like son, they always say!”

Garbage.

It would have been worth it had I gotten away with it. That stupid kid just got in the way. Had he not been there…

I’ve gotta’ be the biggest fool on God’s green earth. Why would I do this? He was just minding his own business, going about his normal day. He was probably depositing his first real paycheck and now, because of me, his family is mourning their only son.

I panicked.

I had a wife and three kids and a lifestyle to maintain, after all!

“I needed the money” was the best answer I could come up with when the judge asked me what my motive was. Truth is, I didn’t need the money. No one needs money. They need the feeling that money gives. People who have never had it don’t understand. It’s like electricity runs through your fingers when you pull six crisp one hundred dollar bills out of your genuine-leather trifold.

Even better is the electricity that gathers around you when the people behind you in line at the checkout at Best Buy catch a glimpse of the other twenty Benjamins you have in there. Of course, it’s not an accident that they see it. I became so good at parting that leather gap and tilting it to the side just enough that everyone and their brother near me could clearly see the wad I had. I was so confident in myself.

Maybe that’s why I thought I could get away with it. All I had to do was get in, get the money, and get out. I’m too much of a freakin’ idiot I can’t even complete a simple three-step process. I messed up…  Real bad.

That kid just got in the way! No. No, it wasn’t his fault. I couldn’t handle the pressure. Ha. Eleven years working on Wall Street, and I couldn’t handle the pressure? Jesus.

My baby girl. I can’t believe there’s a chance that I won’t see her again. She was my everything since the day she was born. Sure, I loved my boys with all my heart, but there’s just something about that initial connection when a daddy holds his little girl for the first time. It’s like I saw the future. I imagined everything. Her first communion. Her first day of school. Her standing on my toes as we danced together. The beginning of puberty when she would become all her mother’s.

Then boys. When the doctor handed her over to me I came up with my first date speech right then and there. “Did Elise tell you what I do for a living? Wall Street? Yeah. I work with some pretty powerful people. Good powerful and bad powerful.  I’ve helped out a lot of people. Have quite a few ‘favors’ comin’ my way. You kids have fun! Wear your seatbelts, and have her back by 10:30.”

OK, so it wasn’t spectacular, but I thought I would have plenty of time to perfect it. Now, I won’t even ever deliver it.

The jury and judge were against me the whole time. There was no chance of me getting out of that courtroom. They didn’t even let me speak for myself. Granted, I didn’t know what to say, but they didn’t give me the opportunity.

I did it for them: My family. Now they have all abandoned me. My wife. My kids.  All because I made one choice. One stupid choice.  Damn.

I needed the money. It’s all about the money. Show me the frickin’ money! The frickin’ downfall of mankind! God! Why the hell did I need the money? That electric feeling? Bull.

That kid. That poor kid. He couldn’t have been more than 23 years old. I ended his life.  I ended his life and destroyed his family because I needed money?! I’ve got to be the most selfish, ignorant fool ever!

If he would have just been there earlier, or if he had been a few minutes later.  If it had just rained that day and he had gone back for an umbrella, it would have all been different.

Story of my life.

Had this just happened or if that person had done this instead of that.

It is always someone else’s fault. I learned that on Wall Street.

I had everything. I was just too stupid to realize it. Elise. Kyle. Brock. June. They were my everything. How dare I say I did this for them? They don’t deserve this. I made the stupid decision. I deserve everything that comes to me. They don’t deserve the ridicule, the hatred. Everything that they will receive.

I’m glad that she’s divorcing me. My kids shouldn’t see me. I’m a murderer. A frickin’ murderer. I’m a monster.

This was no one else’s fault. It was mine.

I deserve this. It is my fault.

Other men would die for just a taste of what I had. I had everything. And now… And now what do I have? A few memories? Hopes and dreams that will never become reality? My life is pathetic. I’m pathetic.

I didn’t need the money. All I needed was what I had.

Money is paper. Filthy, dirty paper. That’s it. It’s not worth any more than the yellow legal pad I’m scribbling on.

Not worth anymore than my stupid regrets.