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He was told there was something special for him today. After being here for a month, Michael would’ve thought that this ‘special’ thing was the piece of news he has been wanting to hear.

Maybe they’re going to tell him how they’re going to execute him or when his execution date is but when they sat him down, in front of a transparent bullet proof glass and sat there is his wife, Michael could barely speak. Let alone pick up the phone that would allow them to communicate.

Looking so beautiful, so fragile, she sat there. Clutching onto the phone and staring back at him with such a broken expression seeing her like this could be the only other thing that would’ve killed him. It took him a while until he picked up the phone too.

“Hello Michael.” She spoke. If Michael had his eyes shut and he heard her speak, he wouldn’t recognise it. Her voice was so broken, he could hear all the pain and the pain he heard just intensified the pain he has.

“Hi.” He finally replied.

“How have you been?” She asked. Michael’s voice went against him and he stayed quiet. How has he been? Even Michael doesn’t know. Mrs. Clifford just became completely expressionless and just looked at her husband, All they both wanted was to hold each other and kiss each other but that was impossible. They were separated by a glass. “I went for an ultrasound yesterday.”

“How was it?” Both of their voices were shaking. Seeing each other again was a little weird. Heart breaking almost. Knowing one of them gets to stay alive while the other was framed and is now serving the sentence for the crimes done by another man.

Michael diverts his eyes away from her for a second, afraid that he would break down and cry. Neither of them wanted to see each other cry but this may be the only time he gets to see her. So he focused back on her, trying to keep string, trying to keep himself together but it was hard.

He ends up biting down on his lips, so hard he could already taste some blood. But he didn’t really care. He’s going to die, right? SO any pain inflicted on him, now, shouldn’t matter. “It was good. I don’t know the gender of the baby. I don’t find out until the fifth month of the pregnancy.” She breaths out. “But if it’s a boy, I can name him Michael, right? Will that be ok with you?”

Slowly Michael nods. His own little boy. But then it hit Michael, he’ll never see his child. He’ll never get to hold the baby, he’ll never teach his own son to ride a bike or play games or swim. None of that is going to happen because Michael is stuck in prison. He’s crushed by the constant concrete walls.

Time was ticking. They only have two minutes left together. Nothing much was said. Just before she left, she whispered the words Michael has been wanting to hear: I love you. Then she broke down. Putting the phone down and running out in tears.

He would’ve gone after her, He would’ve held her in his arms and kiss her but he couldn’t because now the pair were in two different worlds.

Michael stayed sitting for a while. Other officers left while Claxton offered to take Michael back. “Come on Mike.” Officer Claxton places his hand on the shoulder of his friend. Giving him a comfortable pat on the back as he escorted Michael back to his cell. A place he has known to start calling: Death room.

Even though it isn’t the very room he would be executed in. As he heard Claxton lock his cell Michael lied down on his bed. Turning so he was facing the plain concrete walls. Battered with cracks in the walls, showing the age and the past habitants that used to be here. It clicked in Michaels head: every man who has lived here has left dead.

“Before you saw her I talked to her. She told me to give you something.” Michael stood up and went over to the railings. Claxton gave him a small box and smiled at Mike before he walked away. As he walked back to his bed, Michael opened the box and inside was something so recognisable.

An ultrasound picture. He clutches it close to his heart as he cried. Tears just came out of his eyes. He looks at the picture in there and just talks to it.

“Hi baby. It’s daddy. I’m sure your mum will take good care of you. Just remember I love you. But I’m sorry I won’t be there for when you grow up.” Michael is the most caring and loving person ever. He couldn’t have done it. He wouldn’t have. Michael doesn’t even dare to raise his voice. He never dared to even hurt a little life.

He’s been framed. 

But that doesn’t erase the fact that he’s still on Death Row.

Death Row // m.cRead this story for FREE!