Queen of Theft
Aside from Chad and Callie; my cell mate, Nadia, served as my only friend in the Prison. She was the only person amongst the hundreds of women that treated me like a person. She did everything to see to it that I didn't hear the voices, though they weren't voices I could ignore. Child killers, rapists, and black widows didn't get the best treatment in Prison. Nobody bothered to hear my side of the story before labeling me a 'Black Widow.' Nobody knew I had granted the world a favor by getting rid of Stefan. Maybe it was Benji the women were pitying over, a murder I played no part in but ultimately took the blame for so Chad could live out his life with Callie. For Benji and Stefan, I was living a life of deadened whispers and torture.
Nadia, on the other hand, was one of the feared women in the Prison. She wasn't a killer, in fact I don't believe she could harm a fly. She was a thief. She was currently imprisoned for the next eighteen months, servings time for money laundering and passing worthless bank checks. She got away with it for awhile, almost two years, because who have a thought a woman of her size and poise would be capable of such a crime?
"What happened to the mistress, Katherine, didn't you want to kill her too? You kill your husband and left the woman that was fucking him alive, that sounds like a crazy thing to do. I would've been slicing and dicing both of their throats," the bunk creaked as Nadia readjusted herself annoyingly, getting comfortable as if it was story time.
"Wanted to," I began, "But how do you kill the woman that's pregnant with your husband's child? Is it humane to take your hostility out on an innocent human being? She wasn't innocent, she knew he was married. Instead of walking away, instead of being a woman, she did nothing but spread her legs for another woman's man. She allowed for him to impregnate her. Instead of abolishing the mistake she made plans to kidnap, torture, and possibly murder my husband. Malcom is an angel, an innocent angel, but it should've been mine and Stefan's child. She's walking as a free woman, raising my husband's child with his best friend posing as the father. It's a sick and twisted cliché, the plot twist being everyone knows half of the truth. I'm locked away serving life for a crime in while I only committed half of, meanwhile my husband is haunting me from beyond the grave."
A few moments of silence passed, silence I often dreaded in the night.
"Hypothetically," Nadia exclaimed, "Have you ever thought of appealing your sentence? You're saying you only committed half of the crimes you were charged with, that's a step in the right direction. What if you use the scorned wife story as your argument, it could help get you out of here sooner."
"What do I do with my life from here? My husband is gone, his family has isolated me from my own family for years. I was made to sign a prenuptial agreement, all of his estates are going to Malcom when he becomes of age. I have nothing to show for anything, everything that I've become has happened because I was married to Stefan Monroe. I was never my own person," I could feel the burning sensation of tears building up as I was claiming defeat, "I'm stuck here in Prison while another woman walks around with life I longed for, the life my husband was selfish enough to not give me but gave another woman without thinking twice."
"I'm the Queen of Theft, so hear me out when I say this," Nadia began with a slight chuckle, "Don't get mad at the hand that feeds you, steal the shit back. It was meant to be your life; you married the scum bag, fucking him for however long the two of you were together, and you have nothing to show for it. He's the sucker that fell for little miss whatever. Steal your life back!"
Her sinister laugh from below sent shivers down my spine. I thought murdering Stefan was the unthinkable act, an act I didn't see myself having the courage to follow through with. It was the hardest but utmost fulfilling achievement. It was almost as if she was now asking me to do something unthinkable, something only these bars kept me from doing. She wanted for me to steal my life back, steal everything Callie had since stolen from me.
The morning hours couldn't come fast enough, the lights overhead startled me when they finally flickered on. I hurriedly straightened my portion of the cell and made up my bunk, avoiding all contact with Nadia. I didn't want to hear her voice her plans any further. I didn't want for someone to overhear what she was plotting or for her to force me to pursue her plot, though she meant well.
The guard scanned our cell, gave a quick look underneath our cots in search of any contraband, and went on with his duties. Once headcount was complete, Nadia and I made our way to the chow hall for breakfast.
"Are you going to talk with the Detective in charge of your case?" Nadia asked questioningly but in a whispering tone.
"What case? There is no case! It's over and done with, I was convicted and I'm stuck in this place. End of story. I don't want to drag this out any further, I want to serve my time and that's the end of it," I looked down at the floor focusing on my feet as I took every step.
"Don't go all pussy on me now, not when just a few hours ago you were depressed over that slut stealing your life. She stole your husband and your husband's baby, now she's a free woman," Nadia got in front of me and rested her hands on my shoulders, forcing me to make eye contact with her, "You don't deserve to be in here, Katherine. Your husband cheated on you, that's a horrible thing. Adultery can do twisted things to people: make them unable to think straight, do things out of character, and act manic. You have an excuse, a mental alibi. You can get out of here and be a free woman, you just have to listen to me!"
"Let me have the day to think over my options," I annoyingly scolded her as means to avoiding the rest of the conversation, "Get your hands off of me so we can eat and get to work before we end up in Solitary Confinement. I damn sure won't be able to do anything about me being in here if I'm stuck in there."
She held her hands up reluctantly signaling her defeat and releasing me from her grasp, "Whatever you say, boss. I'm being a friend, that's all. I don't want you being in here if you don't have to be. You did what you did for good reasons. Your husband should've have ran around on you, he shouldn't have gotten another woman pregnant, and I understand why you murdered him. I don't understand why you let a woman walk, the other half to the affair. Baby or not, I wouldn't have done it. Wait it out until the birth and take her right then and there! I'm a thief, not a murderer."
"I wasn't a murderer either," I laughed, "I didn't think I could do it, never thought I was capable of murder. When it happened, I panicked. You should have seen me cowered over in a corner: hugging my legs, rocking back and forth as if I was stuck in some kind of psychotic state and practically begging for my mother. The stench and the sight was horrible, something I never want to witness again. It haunts me, really. The way it eats at me. I don't know how I did it once, and I'll never understand the people who can stomach it more than once."
She shrugged her shoulders in response, "Some people are crazy, love. I could never kill a person. I don't think it's right you took the fall and the blame for someone else's murder. If you didn't kill Benji, who did?"
"I'm telling you this in secrecy and confidence, Nadia," I whispered, "But the plan to murder Stefan wasn't mine either. I was put in the right place at the right time. I saw my husband in a very vulnerable position, and I did the job before someone else could. I had no part in murdering Benjamin Harrison, he was innocent. Chad murdered Benji before Stefan was kidnapped."
I watched as her mouth fell open in horror, "The plot thickens, little mistress plotted for your husband to be murdered all along! You could've walked free, hands clean."
I smiled at her in disbelief, "Maybe you're right, maybe you're not so crazy. Maybe it's time I pay Detective Massey a visit."