Have you ever purposely forced yourself underwater just to see how long you could hold your breath? Even if you were just a kid, when you and your cousins would say “count how long I can hold my breath!”
I never had that luxury. I’ve never seen a swimming pool in my entire life actually.
I’ve seen a bathtub though. I used to use a bathtub. On the days I couldn’t handle it anymore I would draw a bath and slowly slide down, far enough to where my entire body was succumbed by water. I’d count silently in my head, how long I could last without the privalege of new air entering my lungs.
Three minutes is my best time. A whole one hundred and eighty seconds my lungs can last until my fight or flight instinct kicks in and my body forces itself out of the water.
I’ve never been able to beat fight or flight. I always took the easy way out when it came to things. Waited until everything was calm and quiet and then I struck. It was an easy way to avoid confrontation, an easy way to stay hidden.
A knock at my bedroom door directs my attention toward it and away from my thoughts.
“Come in,” I say loud enough for them to hear. The door slowly opens and Kelly stands there, his hair tousled and shirt unbuttoned a few like he’s been sleeping.
His voice is even raspy as he speaks, “I was just gonna say that Wilkins is going to make a food run if you want anything? Anything you want, on us.”
“What’re you getting?” I adjust my blanket on my legs and lean back against the wall. He scratches the back of his head and shrugs a little.
“We’re thinking Everly, if that’s good with you,” I nod in response and he nods too, “So is a classic cheese burger fine?”
“Yeah sounds good, no onion or tomato though and a lemonade would be awesome.”
“I’ll bring it to you when he comes back with it,” He goes to shut the door but I stop him.
“I’m gonna hang out in the living room for a little while if that’s alright?”
He scoffs at my question, “It’s your home Gianna, you can do whatever you want.”
“I prefer Bo over Gianna,” I stand up from the bed and notice most of my stomach is showing. I pull down my shirt and apologize.
“Uh, yeah, no it’s fine. Bo it is.” He makes his way to the couch and I follow him. I sit down on one side and he sits on the other.
“Do you know if any of my friends know I’m out of the prison?” I ask before I turn on the TV.
His lips curve down just as he shrugs, “Not that I know of. I could contact your attorney and have her bring them up to speed if that’s what you want?”
“Yes, please. That would be amazing,” A small smile forms on my face and I turn on Criminal Minds, “I’m absolutely obsessed with Dr. Reid.”
“These shows are bullshit. No offense to you or anything but any TV show about the FBI or police or anything is wrong. They don’t depict us as good as they should, is what I’m saying. I mean yeah, local police everywhere dislike the Bureau because some of our leading men and women are total asshats but what they do in this show, totally shows what dirty cops would do. Which is not what we do.”
“Ouch, so a label is put onto you guys because of TV shows like this?” I watch the screen as they go over their next case, “I’m sorry it does that but I could never give up my addiction to crime shows. They’re my own personal brand of heroin.”
“Careful with your word usage, I could arrest you under suspicion,” I furrow my eyebrows at him, I cant tell if he was kidding or not. After a few seconds of us looking at each other, a small smile breaks onto his face, “I’m only messing with you. Now that’s some dirty cop shit.”
“How about this. Watch a few episodes of Criminal Minds with me and tell me how you feel about it after, if you don’t like it I’ll forever give up watching any cop show that comes on... except Law and Order.”
“Sounds like a deal, how much are we putting on this?”
“I’m putting my love of heroin on the line, what about you blondie?”
“I’ll give you twenty bucks and treat you to whatever dessert you want,” He raises his eyebrows and I smile a little.
“I like the sound of that,” I shake his hand and I start the episode from the beginning.
We get through the first episode and I hear the key enter the lock in the front door. Wilkins walks in and nods his head in our direction. He passes out the correct burgers and I even get some fries with my order.
“What’re you kids watching?” He looks at the TV and raises an eyebrow, “Criminal Minds? Really?”
“It was her idea not mine,” Kelly raises his hands in defense before taking a bite of his burger.
“Let me tell you something, these TV shows are bullshit.”
“I see where Kelly gets his views from,” I look at him and he nods in agreement with Wilkins.
“Call me Alex, I hate when people call me by my last name.”
I can’t help but giggle, “If you hate that then why would you enter a career where it’s all you hear?”
“It’s not about what they call me, it’s about what I do.”
“I don’t understand the kid either,” Wilkins whispers loudly, “he has his own unique view of the world. Sometimes I think he’s foreign.”
“I’m a blonde man from the state of New York. You can’t get any better than this I’m afraid.”
I roll my eyes,“Right because New Yorkers are always so welcoming.”
“You’ve been?” He asks, a surprised look on his face.
“Once or twice. I’ve been all over the country with foster care. It’s kind of insane really. You’d think they’d keep me in one state.”
He does that thing with his lips again as he nods his head. I don’t understand why he does it but it seems like something he does a lot.
Alex takes another bite of his burger and even shoves a few fries in his mouth,“Well, lets continue on with our bet. I’m waiting to ruin your life.”
I let out a small laugh,“Ah, the world already beat you to it,” I press play once again and leave them both to think about my words.