I lay on my bed and the silence is loud. Sounds stupid I know but everything is just so loud. Life was quiet and still before Harry stormed in looking all cute. What ever it is going on between Harry and me I like it. For the first time since coming to this place I feel actually crazy but I have never been happier. The happy feelings fade as Harry’s tear streaked face comes into view. ‘It hurt so bad Vera.’ The only words either of us exchanged yesterday. I don’t want him to worry anymore. And he won’t have to because I will never tell him or anyone anything of importance. Regardless if I get locked up in solitary, nobody I care about will get hurt because of me.
“Lounge time” Steph tells me. He has been mopping around since early last night. Since we were in Harry’s cell.
Harry is at our table and when he smiles at me I feel nervous. I have to ask him a question I feel like I already know the answer to but I need him to confirm it. Harry stands and holds out his hand.
“Come with me?” He smiles
Harry leads me towards his cell, Steph in toe. The door to Harry’s cell is open and Tom backs out of it with his hand over his mouth. Something is wrong. I rush to see. Harry’s cell is poorly lit and I strain to see. Then I see what Tom saw. Sitting in the corner of Harry’s cell is a body. The body is completely stripped of skin. The smell radiating is terrible. I cannot wrap my head around what I am staring at. I turn to Harry and he looks just a mortified as me. My shock quickly turns to anger.
“You sick bastard,” I yell. “You sick piece of shit, how? Why? And in your own cell? You are more dumb than you look.” I spit. “I can’t believe I actually… the thought was in my head. Boy was I wrong”
“Vera no, I didn’t. I couldn’t”
“This is what you wanted to show me? You sick motherfucker”
Steph and Tom snap out of their trance and cuff Harry.
“NO!” Harry roars
I watch as they take Harry away leaving me alone with the body. The light catches something on their wrist. I lean in and I know who this is. My stomach tightens I feel physically ill.
I stand in the hallway and yell loud enough so I am sure Harry can hear.
“I hope you rot for this”
I sit in Anna’s three days later. I haven’t left my room once. Every time I close my eyes I see Harry in the dark some place skinning the people I love.
“How are you?” Anna asks and she almost sounds sincere. Almost.
“You must be fucking high if you think I will tell you anything”
“You would risk being sent to solitary?” Anna asks
“I fucking welcome it” I spit.
The first day of solitary was fine. It was sort of like being in my room again. The only difference being the toilet was in the same room and I was denied showers. I was feed only once a day so I learned to ration it out by day three. Day four came and passed in a blur. It was day five that hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt myself spiralling into some kind of depression. I would sit in the corner and rock myself to sleep. Day seven and I refused food. All I could think of was Harry and what he did. I remember sitting in her office while she talked. The bracelet was her mothers. I would watch it move about as she spoke with such passion about my illness. She was one of the least deserving people for a death like that. This place will never be the same without her. Without Kelly.
I hated Harry for what he did to her. I will never forgive him. Day ten and I couldn’t take it anymore. I fixed the sheets into rope and rested my neck on it. I stood and thought. I can’t do this without at least saying goodbye to Theo. I love her too much and it would break her. Day fourteen and Lisa opens the door to this other part of hell I hadn’t realised existed.
“Ready to re-join us?” she asks and I nod unable to speak.
I get rushed to the nurse’s station because the cuts I had inflicted on myself on day 8 became infected.
Theo was not there and I wanted to scream. The one constant in my life is gone and I am ready to break.
I lay down on a bed waiting for nurse Katie. I stare at the ceiling and drift off to sleep.
I wake up and Katie still has not seen me. What the hell is she even doing? A patient beside me stirs. I look over at them and am unable to look away. Harry is lying there barely able to move and looks like he is the worst kind of pain. I rush to his side.
“Jesus Christ what did they do to you?” I whisper
“Nothing I can’t handle” he jokes.
Wait a minute what am I doing here beside him? He killed Kelly; he stripped her skin and left her in his cell. Like she was some kind of trophy for him to look at. Sick fuck. But I had to ask and he would tell me the truth because he owes me that much.
“Did you kill Kelly?” I ask slowly
“Why do you ask a question you already know the answer to?” He repeats my words to him in one of our time together.
I start to cry. “I need to hear you say the words”
“No Vera, I never killed anyone”