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Everyone has their story; some people get locked up for murder, others for robbery. Some people are a danger to society, and some are just caught making rash decisions. I guess that's the first thing that makes me different from others. To be honest I haven't the slightest clue as to why I'm here in the first place. I made one mistake, had one single accident, and lost all the freedom I had.
My life isn't really exciting. I sit behind bars day and night. It isn't really a glamorous life, and the cell I reside in couldn't be any worse. There's only one window to look out of, and there's not much of a view. All that's visible are the deteriorating bricks on the building across the street and the sky, nothing magnificent. The bed is so worn out it's almost impossible to get a good night’s rest, and it reeks of must. Sometimes I'd rather be sleeping on a bed of needles. The temperature is probably set around a constant fifty degrees and the only light available is what filters through the window. Even the food here is foul, and there's absolutely no variety. The same meal is served every day. Liver, but at least it's delicious. Who am I kidding? I could go on about how wonderful my life is, but I'll be blunt and to the point: It sucks!
I do have one cell mate; his name is Jack. He's had a rough life, and it has really affected him. Sometimes, as soon as the sky darkens with the night, he rocks back and forth to comfort himself. As he rocks he explodes into a frenzy of laughter. He's not exactly the most intelligent thing to walk the Earth either. Occasionally as the guards bring us our food, he attempts to escape, but there is no use. It always results in disappointment, and I'm not sure if he'll ever learn. Jack isn't all bad though; he's the only friend I have. No matter how long we're in this mess, we're in it together.
“Jack, why did we get ourselves into this mess? We're smarter than that.”
“You are, but I'm definitely not, I guess this is the only place I belong. I'm not good at anything anyways. I'm nothing but a failure.”
“Now quit that Jack, you're not a failure. It was an accident, we both know it was an accident.”
“I guess so, but it isn't fair! We didn't even get a second chance. Everybody deserves a second chance.”
“Now that's enough! You're going to be alright. Don't feel bad about it, it's over with. Let's get some rest tonight and we'll talk more in the morning.”
“But Simon, I'm not tired yet, and I really don't like it in here.”
“I don't either, but what can we do? Go to sleep Jack.”
After tossing and turning for hours, I finally fell asleep; However, I'm not even close to being fully rested. Now I'm sitting on my bed waiting for Jack to wake up. After all, I did promise him we'd talk more in the morning. The fetid aroma of liver is making itself to our cell: just what we've been waiting for. The bars slide open and the tin plates were set on the grungy floor. I don't see how anyone could actually like that stuff. Jack and I both abhor it with a passion.
The bars slam shut. It was so piercing that the sound rang in my ears and interrupted Jack's sleep, as he instantaneously sat up. He sat there for a while letting his eyes adjust to what little light there was and then headed to our run-down restroom in the corner of our cell.
“How did you sleep last night?” he asked as he made his way out of the bathroom.
“I didn't sleep very well, but I'm use to that by now.”
“Simon! I can't do this! I don't belong in jail!” Simon then began to flail his upper limbs around and scream louder than an air horn. He slammed his body against the bars in frustration, and there was a faint rattle.
“The latch was left unlocked! We can get out of here! I'll try to turn the latch, when you hear it click slide it open!”
Jack placed his hand between two of the bars and felt for the latch, and when I heard a slightly louder rattle I knew he had found it. It took a few moments of struggle to turn the latch, but the click confirmed that he had done it. I pushed the bars aside before Jack and I bolted in the direction of the exit.
Rounding the corner, the sound footsteps became audible. We both came to a complete stop and listened attentively. They were coming in our direction. Jack darted into an open door, and I followed him. We stood just out of view from whoever was in the hallway, breathing heavily. The footsteps made their way to the open door, and silence fell over us. Whoever was walking had stopped right outside the room were in.
Jack looked at me with wide eyes. “What are we going to do,” he mouthed the words at me.
I mouthed back, “I have a plan, just do as I say. Stay here until he's gone.”
I walked out the door and at that same moment the guard spotted me. I was firmly grabbed and taken back to where I started, the dreadful cell. I walked over to my bed and sat there staring off into the distance. Hours passed before the sun had fully disappeared and the stars lit up the sky. I curled up on my bed and slowly drifted into a place where dreams seem like reality.
I roll over in bed and give my eyes a few minutes to adjust to the light. There was something outside the cell moving, but I couldn't make out what it was. I rubbed my eyes and saw Jack standing outside the cell. Jumping to my feet I ran over to the bars.
“Jack, What are you doing here? Are you crazy!?”
“I'm here to help you. I couldn't leave my best friend behind. Like I said, everybody deserves a second chance.”
At that moment Jack started to paw at the latch. I tried to wait patiently but was so excited it
could hardly be contained. A smile flashed across my face when I heard the click. Jack came back to help me, and Freedom was awaiting me. Running down the hall we tried to make as little noise as possible. One after the other we slid through the limited space in the cat door.
“We did it!” I shouted once we were outdoors. “We made it out of that dingy kennel!”
Simon began to chase me around the large tree in our backyard. We were having so much fun for the first time since being put in the kennel. The wind through our fur was the cherry on top of our escape. We felt so free again, and Jack was the happiest I've ever seen him. Just seeing his smile sent chills up my spine, and I was just as happy. Everyone deserves a second chance, and this is ours.
Everyone has their story; I was so excited when our owner brought Jack home from the shelter. With all the excitement I had an accident on the carpet. Jack here drug a dead mouse into the house. That's our job after all, to keep the mice away. He thought he was just doing his job. Turns out our owner is terrified of mice, and we're supposed to leave them outdoors. One little mistake got us locked up, but now we're free and enjoying every bit of it. That's our story, what's yours?