Chapter 2

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That first night seemed to drag on for an eternity. Okay, that was probably a little dramatic, it may not have been the longest stretch of time in my short life, but with nothing to do, time seemed to stand still. And as those seconds began to tick into minutes and the minutes ticked into what felt like hours. I felt like I would die of old age before anything happened. When I looked down at my watch, instead of finding the familiar contraption on my wrist, I found bare skin. I closed my eyes and wondered when it went missing?

Clenching a fist, I forced my mind to settle. When it finally calmed down, I cracked my eyes and studied my left wrist. My mind began racing as I tried to remember when I last felt its presence against my skin. I clearly remembered wearing it when I left Dempsey's restaurant. Ever since then, everything began blurring together. As I thought about things, I realized that Dempsey didn't have a reason to steal my watch. The crime lord intended to make me one of his employees, why bother taking my watch?

That left me with only one possibility. Alexis took my watch. I didn't know when he actually swiped it. Though the more I thought about it, the more it confused me. At first, I couldn't think of a valid reason for him to take it. Part of me just wanted to push the thought from my mind, since it didn't do me any good. But another portion of my mind kept trying to figure out why Alexis took my watch. Eventually, even that portion of my mind wanted to run from the question. But by that time, I thought of a very plausible reason for the theft, and my shoulders slumped. Alexis didn't want me to track the passage of time.

Thinking about that, I understood that Alexis didn't have a single reason to liquify my phone. Oh, Dempsey may have tagged it, but now he wanted to lay the groundwork of my sentence. I also realized when my new teacher stole my watch. The only time he could have taken the timepiece was when I passed out helping to forge my body double. And of course, that gave Alexis another valid reason to liberate my watch, to give my double an extra amount of realism. Ultimately I decided that whatever reason he took it didn't matter. For all I knew, I could have slept for a couple of days already. Shaking my head as I realized that made little sense. But the possibility screamed at my toiling mind. I scratched at my head as I understood Alexis's not so subtle point, at least to an extent.

To be locked in this cell would wear down any mind, no matter how disciplined. Toss in the inability to track time's passage, and the degradation would only accelerate. What could I do? Aside from just sitting and waiting for Alexis to grace me with his presence. Glancing down at my clenched fists, I sighed. No, that line of thought would accomplish nothing but to fragment my mind.

Releasing my fists, I forced myself to calm down. I idly began wondering if the dread coursing through my mind, flowed through the minds of criminals during their first night in prison. Probably, not that it did my disposition any good. While I will admit that I have not always been the most legal of people, I can honestly say that I have never left any proof to connect me to those illegal actions. And without any of that laying around, I never worried about sitting in a jail cell.

Back before I knew what I could do, I was forced to spend some time in a couple of juvenile detention facilities. But each time I walked into one of them, I knew my stays would not last. Every child that entered one of those facilities quickly discovered how to handle the situation or got ground down by the system. And I know how to work the system. Providing that you kept your mouth shut and nodded when you need to, they typically let you out in a reasonable amount of time. All the while, thinking that they managed to cure you, at least that's what happened during my stints. But that experience did not compare to this. Back then, I shifted the blame to the guards and managed to make them feel guilty for locking me up.

That first night in Alexis' panic room loomed over me. The secure prison cell dominated my mind as an unbearable weight dropped upon my shoulders. I would have done anything if it allowed me to get out of there. Well almost anything, and I would have done it for the shortest of glimpses of the outside world. Alexis informed me that my actions chose my situation. In fact, he told me that I picked my path. Just because I picked the lesser of two evils, didn't mean anything.

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