posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 11:04 PM
She lay awake on her cot, but her eyes remained closed. Joni was imagining that when she finally opened them, the bars that had confined her for the
past several years would be gone and she would again be free. The slamming of the adjacent cell door shattered the dream and she felt the hot tears
burning a trail down her face.
She was only nineteen years old. She had been in this horrid place for more than five years now. She was kept in a solitary cell on the east wing for
her own safety. She would come out of the 6x6 cell for a short time today for her weekly visit with what she affectionately called "the shrink.”
She didn't mind the visits really, it was the only person that she got to talk to." Dr. J" she called her.
Joni heard the key turn in the door and knew that it must be time to go down the dreary hall to the small room for her session. Rising, she made her
way to the tiny table in a small dimly lit room around the corner. There sat Dr. J. A beautiful woman, long dark hair, french braided today, the
intricate weave hanging down the length of her back. Today she wore jeans and a red t- shirt. She knew the casual approach worked the best with Joni.
"Good Morning Joni," she smiled. Joni gave a nod of acknowledgment and took a seat across the table.
"Are you ready to talk to me today? I won't push, but in the years that I have been coming to see you, you really haven't given me much to work
with!" "I know Dr. J, and I am sorry. I have been giving that a lot of thought lately. I know that I am not helping you and I damned sure haven't
done much to help myself. I am ready to try and do better, if that is okay with you?" "Okay,” exclaimed Dr J., that’s wonderful Joni. I am so
happy to hear you say that. I would like to start with the question that I have asked you a thousand times since we met." Joni knew what the
question was and she again felt the tears well in her eyes. She took a deep breath and nodded to Dr. J that she was ready.
"Do you understand why you are here Joni?"
"Yes,” she sobbed. "I do. I. . .I. . . I killed my baby!"
Dr. J didn't say anything, she didn't move to comfort the young woman before her, even though her heart went out to her. The girl needed to get this
out and she in no way wanted to interrupt the emotions that she was finally seeing after all these years of trying to get her to open up.
"I didn't mean to, Joni continued, sobs wracking her thin body. I didn't know what I was doing. I was only 14-years old Dr. J. Just a baby
myself. I didn't know how to take care of a baby. Somebody told me that it would be quick and that it wouldn't feel any pain if It was done right.
My parents didn’t want her and neither did her daddy. So I killed her. I swear I didn’t want to do it!”
“Joni, do you remember how you killed your baby?”, asked Dr J.
“Yes, she replied, still weeping. I went down to the local clinic, my mom and me. I signed some papers and they took me back and gave me a gown. I
remember there were machines of some kind... they took her. I don’t really remember all of it, but they took her, they took my baby! They made me
kill her, I didn’t want to do it!! I didn’t want to do it!!! I would have loved her, I would have taken care of her, nobody wanted her except
me!!! I was just a kid, how was I supposed to fight all those grown ups? What else could I have done? God help me, what else could I have done?”
“ There was nothing else you could do Joni. This wasn’t your fault. You are right, you were just a kid...a baby carrying a baby... its
okay....that baby knows you loved her!
Joni raised her head to look at Dr J.
To her own shock she was staring at herself in the mirror. The long dark braid was hers, the red t-shirt was hers...She was Dr J! The dimly lit room
now looked a little brighter. The cell was gone...she had finally said to herself that it was okay, that she did what she was made to do.... she had
finally forgiven herself.... the self imposed cell was gone and for the first time in a very long time the door to her life was wide open and she
finally had the courage to go and live it again, or perhaps for the first time. She was at last free!