I call Alice. I always call Alice. Usually it's a funny, "oh, you're in jail again, what a surprise" type of conversation. This time is a little different.
"Jess. What the FUCK!" she shrieks into the phone and I have to pull it away from my ear. "You FUCKING tried to assassinate a FUCKING mob boss and you didn't FUCKING tell me! You're the stupidest–" There is a kafuffle on the other side of the phone and I hear Alice scream in frustration.
"Sorry Jess," says Shane on the other end. "Her pregnancy hormones are making her a demon. It's terrifying."
I start to laugh. It's more of a cry-laugh, but he doesn't have to know that. I don't have any reason at all to call Shane and Alice, but I think that out of everyone in this stupid city besides Nick, they are the two people I am going to miss the most if I go to prison for life. And calling them makes this feel like a minor offence. Like tomorrow I'll make bail and go home with another sentence slapped on my record.
"Are you okay, Jess?" he asks. "Need us to do anything for you?"
"Do you have shampoo?" asks Alice.
"Alice," Shane snaps.
"What? She always says that police station doesn't have shampoo when you need it. And fresh underwear. I can bring you some if you like?"
"Jess, you're not saying much," says Shane.
"I'm okay guys," I lie. "I just ... wanted to hear your voices."
There's a five second pause before Alice says, "she's been through a shit-ton, Shane, I think she's lost it."
"I haven't really," I lie. "The both of you are practically my family. You've done so much for me in my life and I've done literally nothing for you. I want you to know how thankful I am and that I love you both."
"Naw," says Shane. "I've gone all goosey."
"You big pussy," says Alice. "Oh, guess what!?"
"We're having a boy!"
I feel my stomach do a flip. It's the best news I've heard in a long time. "Really! A boy? Congratulations you guys!"
"Yeah, and we want you to be the godmother," says Shane.
"Shane," Alice moans, "That was supposed to be a surprise when I see her next, you fucking ruined it!"
I feel tears come to my eyes again and I wipe them before anyone behind the one-way glass can see. "You want me to be the baby's godmother?"
"Yeah, of course," says Shane.
"Uh," I say, "someone not in prison?"
"You're not getting charged for this and we know it."
"Besides," says Alice, "we don't care. It'll make him really popular in school if he has a godmother in prison."
"He'll be the toughest kid in the sandbox," Shane adds.
I laugh and it comes out as a sob.
"Say you'll be godmother," says Alice. "And you'll be a semi-appropriate role model, and–"
"I'm gonna stop you right there," I say with a smile and hear them chuckle on the other end.
"Well," says Shane, "there'll be plenty of time for you to make up for it when you crush this trial."
"Does everyone know about the trial except for me?"
"We heard it on the news. Jess, you didn't do anything wrong so how can they convict you?"
I can give them a few reasons. One, I'm already a criminal. Two, I was supposed to assassinate Garcia anyway. Three, Danny – the victim's son – will be testifying against me. I'm doomed.
But I don't tell them that. I can't crush their hopes. I have to stay positive, at least for this last call.
"Let's just hope someone's watching over me tomorrow," I say as cheerfully as I can. "And thank you both, again. You're amazing people and you're gonna make great parents."
"We'll see you soon," says Shane.
"I'll make you a sick Burrito when you get out!" Alice shouts.
Ismile. "Sounds like a plan."
YOU ARE READING
Free as a JailbirdGeneral Fiction
Jess Knight likes her freedom. Despite being in jail for about sixty-five percent of her teenage life, she is in complete control. But there's only one problem: she doesn't know her purpose. One day, everything changes. Her reputation as the younges...