The Prisoner

by Jennifer Maame Prempeh

He sat in the prison van staring outside, watching the life, which he was leaving by. He steals a glance outside the window, watching people as they went on with their daily life. He could see them, feel the vibrant atmosphere of the streets to them he was nonexistent. Unable to sustain the tears any longer he sat down again and buried his head into his palms, the weight of his life outweighing his palms. The two guards paid no attention to his melancholy tears, as they fulfilled their duties, for them it was a job that they did everyday. They left their lives at home and came to work wearing a mask. A masquerade, an imposture, which gave them the key to enter a different realm.

As for the gentleman who sat at the back of the prison van lamenting over the ghost of his former self, to the prison guards he was just another number. For reasons beyond explanation we will only refer to the gentleman by his prison number DH2726. The charges against him are not worth mentioning, to us, he is only charged with negligence, to the flow of his own emotions. For when he was a free man he imprisoned his emotions, which now taunts him like tales from the crypt.

He stood up again to have a peep at the life, which was now slipping through his fingers. The van turned sharply by a familiar street and the prisoner's heart taunted with a suppressed beat. He wished he could tender his offended heart, but his injured heart had no trust in its keeper like a woman scorned. Silently pleading with his heart to have mercy on its keeper. He drifted off to sleep like fetus, as the van rocked side to side trying it's best not to hit the pavement in the streets of London.

The moving van on its voyage to the unknown destination rocked the prisoner's imprisoned memory back to his childhood. Where he sat between his mother and father, as the driver drove them to his boarding school somewhere in the mountains in Ghana. They drove pass a big round about, which had a statue of a great man, he can recall his mother saying something to him about this great man. She said he should always think of this great man on Ghana Independence's Day. Her voice was so soft and soothing. Her breath eloquently soothed his face as he enjoyed the comfort of her lap during the journey. He made a silent promise to himself that when grew up he wanted to become a great man so he could have his statue near a round about, so that everyone who drove around it could admire him.

The drive to the school was nerve-racking, he wanted to plead with his parents not to leave him there by himself. He would be a good boy if they made him stay at home with them. He would even help the houseboy with the washing of the car. He tried to voice out these feelings to his impatient father, but the unspoken words in no doubt would have fallen on deaf ears. Out of fear and anxiety he fell asleep on his mother's lap, as she stroked his hair. In his sleep he dreamt that his parents had died in a car crash and he was left with his mother's evil sister to care for him.

He was awakened to the calming and soothing voice of his mother, as she reassured him that it was okay, it did not matter that he had forgotten and wet himself. Disappointed in himself for being a baby he waved good-bye to his parents as the headmistress ushered him to the school pleased with the fat tip that his father had pressed into her fat palms.

An abrupt stop jerked the prisoner to the present. He stood up and he realized that van had reached its destination. He straightened his wrinkled suit silently wishing that it would still fit his frame when his sentence is complete whenever that will be. He looked down to the front of his trousers and realized that he dream that he had had aroused a familiar nerve in his manhood.

The Prisoner by Jennifer Maame Prempeh

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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