Mind Games

“It began the morning after Dad died; or rather, the morning after I found him in the garage, painting the floor a deep, vibrant red”.  I catch my lips curling into a grin, “It’s not as though he’d ever been artistic” I mutter in the direction of my cellmate.

“It smelled like a chain workshop, and the metallic smell got worse as I got closer to him...” I paused as I felt Juan’s gaze upon my shoulders, so I turned to see him leaning toward me, listening intently.
“Why is the air smelling like chains, Omar?”

I couldn’t hold it back this time, my lips bent in anticipation as I replied, “Blood, Juan.  My father painted our garage in his own blood.  No paintbrush, no paint, just a simple 8mm pistol and a steady trigger finger.”

“Bad family makes bad thoughts, but not bad person Omar.  Why they put you in here?” Juan asked, still leaning forward on his rickety cot.

“Well that’s when I met her, Juan.  I left the garage, walked into the kitchen and there she was.” I juggled the next sentences around my mouth as I pondered those few events, how momentous they were for me as an 11 year old. 

“Meeting Jen, it was like we’d known each other our whole lives, and from that point we were inseparable.  Strange though, in each of these memories, her face is just a blur; and there is nothing before Jen.  It’s as though my body decided that my life without Jen wasn’t worth remembering.”

This was the first time I had spoken about this aloud with anybody, and though I’d only met Juan three days prior, I felt I could trust him.


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