Chapter excerpt – The Nightmare

Inside the Forbidden Outside
Chapter excerpt

The Nightmare

In some ways it feels like he’s back at the beginning and opening his eyes for the first time to this nightmare. If he could just go back to sleep and wake up again, maybe he’d be in a different place. Maybe someone’s dream. Anyone else’s dream would do.

“Maybe it did just happened yesterday” Jamie mused.

“Maybe I’ve been been here forever.” he thought, wondering if he’s starting to go crazy. Maybe this was the way crazy started. Crept up on you real slow until it had you by the throat and wouldn’t let go.

“Maybe I’m dead and this is what hell is like.” He laughed, a little crazy this time. If he were dead and this was hell he could probably deal with it better,knowing for sure this was it. He wouldn’t have to think anymore about getting out. All eternity was going to be like this. It felt like an eternity already. 

Besides, maybe outside was the real hell. He had no idea what he was going to do. It scared him. How did he know he was going to be able to take care of himself? He didn’t even know how to do anything to take care of himself. What if he did something without even meaning to and they picked him up again, not even giving him a chance? He knew what it was like out there. Cops didn’t need no reason to pick up blacks and charge them with things and try to make them guilty of something they didn’t even do. He heard the stories. He heard the guys when they were brought back in again because they did something that broke their parole.

Yeah, some of them got into things they shouldn’t so it was their own fault. He wasn’t going to do nothing like that. But the the cops didn’t need a reason. And just like in here where the guards are always right, no matter what happens, he was sure it was the same out there. Cops needed no reason to pick you and put cuffs on you and throw you in jail. He wasn’t going to be like all the others and get picked up and brought back here again. Not on his son’s life he wouldn’t do that.

Crazy thoughts were always shooting through his brain like this. He had way too much time to think. He had trouble remembering a time when he could laugh and smile. It was forever ago, like some repressed dream that came to the surface and he found himself inside a nightmare he couldn’t get out of. 

It sometimes seems as if the movie was something that didn’t happened to him, but instead he walked into a theater into the middle of a movie he never saw the beginning of, and fell asleep before he got to the end. It was the kind of dream where you could feel yourself falling and you knew if you hit the ground you were going to die, and woke up startled and scared and afraid to go back to sleep again.

Sometimes he had this dream over and over. Like it was a premonition of some sort. But there was a hazy part that he just couldn’t see quite clear. He would lay there for hours and think about it, but it was no use. He had to snap himself out of this.

He lived that movie in his head over and over, never knowing if he was going to die at the end. It never felt like it was okay. He never felt any hope, only despair. Every time he went to sleep he was afraid he would see it again and most always, it came. He had no one he could talk to about it and he just got more depressed every day. When he woke he was running. Running so fast. His heart was beating in his heart knowing without doubt that he was in a place so wrong. It was hell. It was hell and he couldn’t change it. So many times he woke up crying. Crying for the loss. Crying for everything. And it was never, ever, going to be over. He was lost forever. It felt like forever. He was never going home. He buried his head and he wept.

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