By Rebecca Braun.
Waiting in the small room is uncomfortable. There are more people here than I had anticipated, and some are staring at me. I don’t really care anymore. The newspaper and television reporters have been relentless in trying to broadcast my feelings and emotions for the whole world to see. I just give them a sad look, then drop my eyes to the floor in shame. They tend to leave me alone after that.
I tune out the people around me and pretend I am the only one in the room. I need to see my boy, and talk to him, alone. The curtains are slowly drawn open. Through the large one-way glass window I see him, lying on a simple gurney, his arms and legs strapped down, the IV’s already in place. He is wearing the clean shirt and pants I brought him, and without the orange prison jumpsuit, he looks like my son again. In this moment, I want to hold him and protect him from the cruel ways of the world. He looks so helpless lying on the cot, like a small, frightened child.
How did you get here, Jimmy? How could you rape and kill that little girl? How could a son of mine do such an unspeakable brutal crime? I’m sorry, so sorry, that I couldn’t protect you from him. Maybe, if I had left your father and we had escaped him, you wouldn’t have done this.
I stare at the long jagged scar, trailing from his right eye down to the corner of his mouth. His father hit him with a broken beer bottle when he was six years old. No girl had ever found him to be handsome. He barely talked to anyone while growing up; he could never meet their eyes. He was so self-conscious, so scared of his father. You would never guess he would grow up to be just like him.
They begin the injection. His body convulses, slightly. He briefly gasps for air, and then his head rolls to one side. It is over. My boy is dead.
The victim’s mother begins to scream uncontrollably, sobbing. “The bastard deserved it,” whispers her husband, trying to console her.
I don’t scream. I don’t make a sound. Justice is being done, and I am only here to say good-bye to my boy. I gaze at Jimmy’s body. He looks so small, his limbs limp and fragile. He was my son, my only baby, but I can’t cry for him. Not here. The curtains close, and the lights come on. I stand up, gathering my coat and purse, walking out of the room as quickly as possible to avoid meeting the young girl’s parents, and hopefully escape the media who are waiting with their cameras and recorders.
My son, the rapist murderer, is finally free.
REBECCA BRAUN grew up in Minnesota and now resides in St. Paul with her loyal border collie, May. They enjoy long walks and snowshoeing in the winter. Becky believes her writing inspiration comes through walking a spiritual path and being open to the universe. In her first life, she taught music for more than twenty years. Now, she is pursuing her second life and passion, writing. Visit her at www.facebook.com/aeternalumen.