I never thought I could love anyone but myself.
Now I know I can’t love anyone but you.
You make me think that maybe I won’t die alone.
Maybe I won’t die alone.
-Die Alone by Ingrid Michaelson
I Never Thought
He finished the letter to Mary. He would see her before he had a chance to mail it, but it didn’t matter. For the last year, he had been writing her every day, and he wasn’t going to break with tradition just because he was finally going to meet her. He knew it was odd to fall in love with someone without meeting someone. Everyone had made fun of him, told him that she was probably hideous and old, that her picture was fake, that she was probably a man, all that sort of shit. But he didn’t care if any of that was true anymore. She was the only person who understood him. It had taken her a year to save up the money to come all the way down here to Alabama. And it wasn’t like he could go to her, not with the way things had been before today. But it was all changing. And after today, they would be together forever. The clanging of the bars interrupted his thoughts. “Chris, are you about done writing? She’s gonna be here anytime. I don’t see why you even have to write her when you’re finally gonna meet her.” He stared up at the guard. “I promised her after we got together that I would write every day until we were together, Billy. We’re not together yet.” Billy shook his head. “Whatever, Chris. Are you sure this girl knows you’re dumb as a box of rocks? Come on, it’s time for you to go.” He got up and followed the guard. He smoothed down his shirt, making sure it was all tucked in. He didn’t want to look silly in front of Mary. Billy banged on the bars of the gate. “Bobby, let us through. It’s Billy and Chris. It’s time for the doc to leave us and go meet his pen pal.” They passed through, and he was outside the walls of Holman. Billy gave him a pat on the shoulder. “Well, doc, I guess this is where we part ways. It’s been good working with you. You might have even helped some of these crazy bastards. Probably not though. They’re all going straight to hell for their crimes, and no amount of time with a shrink is gonna change that. I hope your Mary is everything you want.” He smiled a bit. “Thank you, Billy. I’m sure she will be.” And he walked away from the supermax prison for the last time. Away to freedom and to his Mary.
©2012 Erin Sharp