I thought I was understanding everything everyone was saying in the courtroom. They were all speaking English and using words I understood. So, I should have been able to understand. But I didn’t. All I knew was I was crying. Sobbing really. I couldn’t breathe.

And I didn’t know why.

As soon as Judge Reese said, “There is nothing that I can do except what society expects of me,” I knew where we were heading and my brain stopped being able to absorb the information or translate the sounds into meaningful words. It was just a swirling, garbled mess of groans and moans.

Or maybe that was me.

My best friend is going away for life. I’ve watched him transform right before my eyes into this man that I’ve always been able to see beneath the surface of his façade and this morning, I heard the sentence that condemned him to live behind bars for his entire life.

I cannot compute.

I imagine that, when my brain comes back online, or when my heart starts beating again, or when I start breathing again, or when I am able to string together intelligible thoughts again, I will have more to say. But now… right now… all I have are sobs that are wrenching up from the root of me and crashing out into the universe.

A long, mournful wail. It’s all I’ve got.


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