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| B E V A N D R E D |
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     It's hot, or at least, Red's bedroom is hot

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It's hot, or at least, Red's bedroom is hot. He reaches out, slamming a hand over his alarm clock, while letting a ragged yawn escape both lips. His alarm clock reads, 3:30. Red couldn't understand when he began to wake up so early, but he was sure it became a habit while in jail.

     He could instinctively remember hearing the same cries at 3:30 a.m. Johnny Lambert would be screaming for sanctuary and safety as Sargent Reynolds sprayed him with a water hose. Reynolds used to say the punishment fit the crime—so, Red didn't ask any questions.

     Esteban used to tell him, don't pay attention to them, and they won't pay attention to you. And don't fuck with anyone. It was his words of wisdom—the only thing that had gotten him out alive.

     And he had Esteban to thank for that. But he couldn't thank Esteban. There was no turning point for him. He'd been locked up for long. Even if he were to get out—where would he go? Home? To who?

     Norma Winchester had been locked up since nineteen-ninety-nine, after she'd given birth to Beverly.

     While in Alcock Jail, Esteban had been Red's only friend, and the two shared life stories from time-to-time. It was the only reason Red even had the slightest clue about who Beverly was; his father.

     I've got a son, he would say, a good boy who's not gonna end like me—or Norma. Esteban had been so determined and peaceful back then. But after years, and years of not seeing his only son, and mother, that loneliness began to eat away at his heart. And soon—his humanity.

     But that wasn't Beverly's fault. He remembers early mornings, when he would hear of crimes on the television during breakfast. Then, he'd ask Gloria if they could go see Esteban—and maybe even Norma.

     But the answer was always, not today, mijo.

     But maybe, today was the day. Maybe it was time to see his father again.

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