Life Behind Bars
Fred proposes Grace to be his wife. They are really sweet and romantic couple.
After the dinner, Fred walks into his den and grabs all the paperwork on his writing desk. He finds one interesting white envelope with a big letters on it written “CONFIDENTIAL”. What is it? He opens and reads it. Oh Geez, I cannot believe it, can they wait? What am I supposed to say to Grace?
Fred panics. He keeps drinking and drinking. Shit! I screwed up everything. Grace, I am so sorry. He hears someone knocks on the door, he opens.
“Grace, I am so sorry! Please, do not leave me, do not leave me!
Fred screams and walks backward toward his balcony and looks afraid. He acts uncontrollably. He slips and falls down from the 15th floor of his apartment. His body is sliding down very fast, landed on a concrete, which smashed his skull, shattered his limbs and sprayed his internal organs all over the place and the eyeball ripped out.
He is dead. Frederick Thompson is dead!
Why did the fiancé kill him? Did she really kill her future husband? Or someone else did!
Fifteen hours earlier.
Grace woke up very early as usual and needed to be at her office before the others came. She liked working very early and she thought that she would know what was happening in this world before anyone else knew. She walked into the kitchen, grabbed two slices of leftover pizza and reheated them up in the microwave and made a cup of black coffee. Five minutes later, she was ready for the breakfast.
She sat on the couch, turned on the TV, and watched the Bloomberg and observing the figures of the foreign exchange on the right side of the screen. She was a foreign exchange trader at FX Futures Company in San Francisco. She was bright, charm and had shiny blonde hair and a good figure.
The phone rang and she smiled. “Hi, morning too”, yeah, I am okay, what about you?”
“I could not feel any better, sweetheart”, Fred said. “Hey, listen, sweetie, I will pick you up tonight by 07:00 p.m, right? “I will take you to my apartment and cook for you, your favorite food”
“Sounds great!” but I think I need to drive myself because I will stop by my mother’s house then to your apartment”, she said.
“Oh, okay then, so see you around!”
By 08:00 p.m., they had had the dinner and Fred was looking at his girlfriend right on the eyes and smiled.
“You are the love of my life”, I cannot imagine what would I become if I do not marry you, Grace McMahon”, Fred put a beautiful green emerald with silver band around her tiny finger. “Would you marry me, my sweetheart?”
Grace smiled and her eyes sparkling “Wow! It is so beautiful and-
“Yes, beautiful like you. So would you be my wife?”
“Oh, Fred, Yes, I would marry you and be your wife, Frederick Thompson!” She said happily.
“Oh, thank you love”, he kissed her lips.
“And, by the way, did you decide the month and date of our marriage?”
“Yes, I did. I decided our big day would be on May, 5, 2015”, Isn’t it good?
“Whatever you decide, babe? Any particular date, perhaps that you chose May, 5th?” he smiled and kissed her forehead.
“Yeah, look at the number, 5-5-2015, and in Chinese, it is “a lucky number”, count them and it would be 9! Besides, May 5th is my birthday! She grinned.
“Wow! Clever, and I like that idea, he smiled and kissed her lips down to the neck. His hands explored to her breasts and caressed them. And they had made love.
She looked at the watch and it was already 09:00 p.m. “Okay, I got to go. I will have a meeting with one of our investor in the office tomorrow, so I guess I need to prepare everything”, she hugged and kissed him.
“I love you”
“I love you, more”, he kissed her back. “Drive carefully!”
She waved and left.
Fred watched her left and smiling alone, thinking how lucky he was. I have everything in my life, a gorgeous girl that I am gonna marry soon, just another one month, a beautiful house that I will give her after our marriage, a convertible and everything she asks for. Thank God! I am the luckiest man in the world. He could not stop smiling alone.
Fred was mid thirty, handsome and intelligence. He had blue crystal eyes and dimples would be shown when he smiled. He was a CEO in one of the second largest software companies in Silicon Valley for ten years. One thing that he could not run from was that he was addicted to alcohol. There was nothing that he could do when he had a problem was just kept on drinking.
He walked to his den and grabbed all the paperwork on his writing desk. He found one interesting white envelope with a big red marks on it and saying “CONFIDENTIAL”. What is it? He opened and read it. Oh Geez, I cannot believe it, can they wait? What am I supposed to say to Grace?
He held the letter from the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the IRS. And he realized that he failed to file tax penalty and ignored the court’s hearing due to the tax evasion. And now, he was facing the punishment. The punishment for a federal tax evasion conviction was a sentence of incarceration for no more than five years and a fine of no more than $ 100,000. He swallowed hard and sat. He knew that he would be in jail for at least 3-4 years. He grabbed the chair and sat. Thinking. Angry. He rose and walked toward the coffee table where he and Grace had a drink together. He took one bottle of whiskey and drank it. He kept drinking and drinking. Shit! I screwed up everything. Grace, I am so sorry. He heard someone knocked on the door, he opened.
“Grace, I am so sorry! Please, do not leave me, do not leave me! Fred screamed and walked backward toward his balcony and looked afraid. He acted uncontrollably. He slipped and fell down from the 15th floor of his apartment. His body was sliding down very fast, landed on a concrete which smashed his skull, shattered his limbs and sprayed his internal organs all over the place and the eyeball ripped out. He was dead. Frederick Thompson was dead!
Detective Tony Stewart and his partner, Detective Paula Gilbert, were ringing the bell of Grace’s apartment.
“Good evening, Ms. Grace McMahon”, I am detective Tony and my partner Paula, can we come in?”Tony spoke on the speaker phone.
“Yes, and I am on the 10th floor”, she opened the gate.
Grace opened the door and waited for them.
“Hi, Ms. McMahon, I am detective Tony and my partner, detective Paula. They both showed the badge. Grace allowed them to come inside. Jasmine fragrance gave the room beautiful sweet smell. It had an antique furniture decoration. There were two pairs of an aquarium in the entrance heading towards the other room. They chose to sit at the comfortable white long sofa with the teak unique wooden coffee table.
Grace’s mind kept on thinking and wondering what had happened. “Um...w-what can I do, detectives?”
Detective Tony and Paula looked at each other. “Well, look, we came here to let you know that Frederick Thompson had died last night. He fell down from the balcony of his apartment”. Paula said carefully.
“Oh…” Grace put her hands on her mouth. The tears rolled down her cheeks. “What-what happened?”
“We do not know yet, we are still investigating the case”…and well, we have some questions for you, Miss McMahon” detective Tony said.
“When did the last time you see him?
Grace’s voice shook and she swallowed hard “I was with him having dinner at his apartment last night… and we were having a wonderful time together. He proposed me and look…”she showed them a beautiful emerald ring.
Paula grabbed her hand and looking at the ring “yes, it is so beautiful and… what time did you leave his apartment?”
“Around 09:00 p.m.” We are planning to get married on May, 5th and now…”she cried loudly and her body shook.
“We are sorry for what happened”, Paula hugged her.
“And we will keep you informed”, Tony said.
“One more thing, we will come back and get you DNA test later on if it is necessary”, Paula added.
A week later, detective Tony came
with one police officer to Grace’s apartment. She opened the door. Tony handed
over the arrest warrant.
“What is it?’ she asked. “Why am I arrested?”
“Ms. McMahon, we found your fingerprint all over the place and your bare footprint in the balcony so we assumed that you pushed him”, Tony explained.
“I told you that I spent the night with him, the night he fell down. I did not kill him! I did not kill him! She yelled.
“Yes, mam, we arrest you in response to a criminal offense, and you have a right to call a lawyer”
The judges decided that she was guilty and was in the first degree. She sat crying. Why did not they trust me? I did not kill Fred. I am not guilty. I will file an appeal for a review of my innocent and hopefully to appeal the case to a higher court.
“Grace, I will do my best to let you out of here! I know that you are not guilty, but we just need to get more evidence or a witness if we have”, said Attorney Jason.
“Yes, please do your job, I do not want to live here for years!” she said and cried.
“Yes, mam, I will! And take care of yourself, I will visit you every two weeks and if any progress I will let you know very soon”. And Grace just nodded. She was confused and desperate.
She had been in prison for fifteen months now. She looked so skinny, dull skin and messy hair. Her life was so horrible. She could not sleep in almost every night. Her mind kept thinking about the past, the perfect relationship with Fred. Her dream to marry him, having kids with someone that she truly loved. All the dreams were gone along with the death of Fred. And the worse thing was that she had been accused by murdering him. Maybe I will die here. I think it is better. I have no life anymore.
“Hey, you cannot sleep again?” Mary asked. She was her inmate in the prison. She was tall and had an athletic body and short brown hair. The other prisoners were afraid of her. But she was very nice to Grace. She had been in jail for ten years and accused by killing a police officer who tried to seduce her. She helped Grace from a rapist who lusted after a woman.
“No, I cannot sleep”
“Still thinking about Fred?”
“Hey, c’mon girl, move on! He is already dead. And what is the point of you to keep thinking about him? You think that he is going out of the grave and visiting you here? C’mon, you got to pull yourself together, keep praying. And you must believe in yourself, and if you really believe in yourself that you did not kill him then the good things will happen to you. Trust me! “Now, let’s get some sleep, okay?
Grace looked at her and said “You were right, Mary, I need to get him out of my head! I have to keep thinking positively and hope to be out of here very soon, I just need time to overcome with all of these”
“Yeah, just keep on prayer”
Grace stayed with Sandy before. She was one of the rapist’s victims in the prison. The first day Sandy was in jail, she was raped by her inmate. She had a trauma and decided to commit suicide, but a warden stopped her. She was hospitalized and moved to the new cell a month later and found a new inmate. Her name was Nicky. She helped Sandy from the traumatic. She cared so much for her. And she was a lesbian. Sandy could not help her feelings for Nicky’s caring and loving. And finally they had a relationship.
A year later, Nicky was found dead hanging in her cell. She left a note saying that she would be facing a death penalty hence she decided to commit suicide. Sandy was devastated and frustrated. She became wild and sarcastic.
Grace joined Sandy’s cell. On the second night, Sandy approached her. She slept next to Grace and touched her breast and threatened her not to scream otherwise she would stab her stomach. She raped her a couple months ago. Sandy did to her many times, but no one could help. She was a maniac. She was tall, skinny and had black short hair and had a cross tattoo on her neck and a scorpion along her arm. Grace was afraid like hell when the first time she met her. She asked to move to the other cell but had been rejected.
One day, she grabbed her in the bathroom to have a sex. Grace refused, but Sandy slapped her on the face. Mary showed up. She grabbed Grace and helped her to move to her cell. She asked her inmate to get the hell out of there.
Mary was a lesbian, but she had never done anything bad to Grace. She had always been there for her and Grace had no idea if Mary did not show up and helped her at that time, she could have slept with Sandy for years.
After one hour…
“No! No! Please do not jump, take my hand, F-Fred...!” She woke up screaming every night and it was always the same dream.
“Hey, Grace,Grace, wake up...wake up!” Mary woke her up.
“You called his name again”
Grace cried and said “Please, hug me”
Mary got up from the bed, sat on the edge and hugged her. “Nightmare again?”
“Yes, but this time was weird. I saw him calling my name before he fell down from the balcony, he said sorry for what happened to him and sorry for screwing up everything. And I do not why?” It looked a real dream”
“Maybe, your dream was right. Maybe he wanted to say something to you before he died? You need to tell your lawyer, sweetie. Who knows?”… So now, get back to sleep, okay?
“Would you sleep with me here, please?’”…here in my bed?”
Mary stood and looked at her. “Umm...I...I-
“Please, I need someone beside me at this moment.
Grace took Mary’s hand to hug her from behind.
She turned to Mary and kissed her cheeks. Mary opened her eyes and looked deep into Grace and moved closer and caressed her hair. Grace kissed her lips. They pressed their lips and hugged. Grace moaned when Mary kissed her neck and caressed her breast and pulled over her shirt. And she slid her fingers around Grace’s pants and pulling it off along with her panties. They kissed again passionately. And twenty minutes later, they fell asleep.
“You got a new lover now, babe?” Sandy came whilst Grace was taking a shower.
“What you mean?”
“Well, well, well, do not be stupid, hah? Your fucking protector got you. I know that you fucked her last night, right?” Finally, this little baby enjoyed having sex with a woman” She laughed and pressed her body to her. Grace was aghast and pushed her away. Sandy got pissed off. She took the knife and slashed Grace’s cheek and stomach. She touched her cheek with one hand and the other one held her stomach to stop the blood.
A strong hand grabbed the knife from her and put it on the neck. “You are a son of the bitch just playing around with her, hah?”
“You are mother fucker! You think that you can kill me, Mary?” I am gonna kill ya!!! Sandy yelled at her.
“C’mon Sandy, get over it! Find someone else who wants you but not her”!
“Who you think you are, hah? Asking me what am I supposed to do? Sandy grabbed the knife quickly.
“Ha ha...You are slow; I thought that you are stronger than me!” She swung the knife to Mary. “I am gonna kill you, Mary Foster!” She stabbed the knife to her stomach.
Mary fell down and looking at Sandy who was laughing at her. Grace walked toward Mary with a limp and held her body. “Hold it, Mary, I am gonna help you. I will call the warden”
“Nah! You cannot go anywhere, bitch!”
“Watch this!” Sandy slashed Mary’s throat. Blood everywhere. Sandy panicked and ran. And Mary was dead.
The next morning, a warden came
to Grace’s cell and to let her know that she had a guess. Attorney Jason
McGuire. I need to tell him about my dream.
“Morning Grace, how are you doing?”
She looked very sad and her voice trembled “I-I am good, thanks. And got anything?
Attorney Jason looked at her and said “What happened to your face?”
“Sandy did this to me and she killed Mary”
“Oh shit!”… He kept his voice firm, even though his heart was thumping hard enough to press against his ribs “I’ll get you out of here soon, Grace, and I am so sorry to hear about this. And are you okay?
“Yes, I am okay.” Any news?
“Yes, I have good news for you. I have been searching and searching the real cause of Fred’s death and the background so forth. And finally, I found out from the department of justice that he did not pay the tax for very long time, ignorance their call and until I found this!” Jason showed a white paper with a big red letters on it written “CONFIDENTIAL”. “Look at the date!” April, 1st, exactly the date he died.
Grace grabbed and read it “Oh God!” Where did you get this?
“We found it in Fred’s drawer, it was locked, but we could manage to open.
A week later…
Grace was at courtroom looking at Attorney Jason and he nodded to her. She was wearing silk light blue blouse and black skirt. She looked gorgeous and elegant. As expected, Jason shot to his feet “Your honor,” he said. “Today, we are going to seek a full acquittal in the Court of Criminal Appeal of the case of Grace McMahon. She shouldn't have been charged with anything. We believe it should have been a complete acquittal. We believe it was a mistake for what it had been decided. And that's why we're appealing. We're very, very confident that the three judges sitting on the Court of Criminal Appeal will agree with us and exonerate her completely."….
She took a deep beautiful breeze for the very first time after having been in prison for more than fifteen months now. She felt relieved even though she wasted her time living in a nightmare, and the judges decided not guilty ultimately. She kept thinking and wondering the way Fred solved the problem. He chose to drink alcohol as the problem-solving instead of talking to her. The alcohol was the cause of his death. He drank too much and hallucinated. A person who began to hallucinate might become nervous, paranoid, and frightened, and should not be left alone. And he was alone that night. A hallucination itself involved sensing things while awake that appear to be real, but instead have been created by the mind. It was obviously that he was under alcohol, hallucinating and thinking that Grace would leave him because he had faced the incarceration for the ignorance of tax payment. And the marriage would be postponed which he thought it could hurt her. And that was my dream all about.
Thank God. No matter what, I am free now. I miss Mary. She taught me a lot of things about life and… yes, I am moving on! Thank you, Mary.
She stood in front of her apartment for such a long time thinking what she was going to do without Fred. She had to start her life all over again. And she knew that she could. I think I am stronger than before. Life behind bars taught me a lot. And my love, Fred, I have forgiven you. Rest in Peace.
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