Chapter 2: Jail Crews

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Chapter 2

The first two weeks passed at a snail's pace. Every morning I woke to the sound of buzzer signals and shouting guards and every night I cried myself to sleep.

I didn't belong here with the hardened criminals; the rapists, drug dealers and the thieves, I was no murderer yet here I was incarcerated in a box like all the rest. The justice system had failed me like it had so many others and I didn't know how much more of it I could stand.

 Two weeks I'd been here and I already felt as if I'd been here for years but that's how it was in prison; eventually you'd get used to it...at least that's what Jerry told me. The only somewhat likeable part of my days was going out into the prison yard, I'd go find a corner and sit down with my novel, so far I had two of them which jerry had sent me; he told me he'd send more.

Other times I simply sat and stared up at the sky, regretful that I hadn't taken the opportunity to enjoy it when I'd been a free man. Now I had to take in whatever I could get whenever the lawmen allowed for it.

The place reminded me of school in some ways; a bell directed us on where to go and at what time, we were detained if we did something wrong, there were the bullies and the cliques and loners. Only, these particular cliques were more like gangs each with a leader and each equally as deadly as the next and unlike school we weren't allowed to run home to our parents at the end of the day.

 At the moment I sat with my back against the far wall careful to separate myself from the moving bodies further in. It wasn't a particularly wise move on my part since it made me stand out like a sore thumb but I surmised that the further I was from everyone else then the less likely it would be for me to get myself into trouble.

Jerry of course thought the opposite; he'd urged me to find a 'crew' and stick with them that way I'd be protected, so far I was still searching and so far none of them really interested me...well there was one but I decided that the only reason that particular group interested me was because of one particular member: my cell mate Nathaniel Grayson; the hard-ass who I'd been forced to room with; the man who had yet to utter another word to me since the day I'd arrived.  He'd stuck to his bunk and I'd stuck to mine just the way he liked it.

After all this time and after his barefaced warning I was still attracted to him and more than once I found myself watching him, whether it be in the yard, in the mess hall, during clean up or as we lined up to make our way to the showers.

My mind was never far from him and neither was my gaze. I'd tried to tone it down a bit after I'd caught him glancing my way a few times; I couldn't tell if his looks were of contempt, pity or just plain hatred but I figured not getting caught watching him was a good way to go.

Across the yard on the sparse benches provided he sat with his gang seeming deep in conversation with the seven men. I was so engrossed in his features that I didn't even realize that the book I'd been reading had fallen out of my lap and another inmate was standing beside me until he spoke.

"He aint gonna pick you just cause you're his cellie you know." The voice spoke and I froze, my heart pounding as I glanced up to see who it was.

The voice belonged to a 5ft,4" African American with shoulder length black locks and a missing front tooth. He appraised me with a bored expression while chewing on what I imagined to be a stick of gum.

"E-excuse me?"

He cocked his head indicating Nathaniel then looked back at me, "Your cellie, he aint neva gonna invite you in so you should set your sights on somethin else, you know what a mean?"

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