Looking outside my window, I see the innocent pure white snow ignorant to the black scum that will come to ruin it forever: Infect it with an affliction that can't be cured. Once tainted it can't go back to innocence. Once sullied by the lies of the world it can't go back to that innocent mind with pure and virgin thoughts.
Children seem to see these walls as a type of prison; a cage that they can't stand, and appose with all their force. They don't understand that once they are out, return is not an option. They will turn gray with experience or pure black with malice and contempt, never to go back to the pure and innocent creatures they once were. But there is a sadder reality, a reality that not many people know; the reality that sometimes we are not born into the prison we call a mother's concern. Some of us are born straight into the vile hands of life and need to make us suffer regardless of age and gender. Some of us are just not fortunate enough to have a place to call home.
I'm sitting in a chair looking out the window of my cell. It has been two days since I've been outside or have had real contact with people outside of this place. I don't even know where I am, all I know is that I'm in America. Where in America exactly? I don't know. Next question on the line. Why am I in prison? That's simple to answer, because of my career choice. I chose guns and the fast life over men and love. I chose to break the weak stereotypes of women.
"Ms. Altagracia, please listen to me as I speak." I look at the officer. He's tall and muscular, with a soft caring face that seems out of place with his strong, deep voice. "Thank you for your cooperation. Would you prefer English or Spanish?"
"English is fine."
"How old are you?"
"Twenty-Two." He gives me a strange look and peers into a folder and studies my features once again this time an uncomfortable look on his face.
"Twenty-Two?" I nod and give a grin that unnerves him even more and I can't help but chuckle. His caring face turning to one of semi-fear.
"Are you surprised by how many people I've killed?" he coughs and plays with the tie of his monkey suit. I can tell by the strain on his neck he wants to nod, but it's not smart to show weakness in front of the enemy. Wise choice.
"Nina. Call me Nina or La Gata like my clients call me, but not by my mother's name."
"I didn't mean to offend you… Nina" I nod and motion for him to continue his interrogation. "So Nina, how many people have you killed?"
"On official record like the one you have there. Ten… maybe eleven, with the one you're charging me with now. My own record up here." I tap my temple a few times and give him a cynical smirk which I know must have him on his wits end. I continue to say, "I stopped counting at thirty."
The officer coughs and shifts on his chair. He's uncomfortable sitting here with me. He's sweating like the pig he is. He then looks at me and coughs again. "Nina... Tell me how did you get into this life? You're… so young."
I can't help, but laugh at his last statement. He has no idea where I come from or what happens to children there, especially girls. No, he doesn't know what it means to be in poverty. To have a drug addict for a mother, who is willing to sell off her seven year old daughter for half a Kilo of Perico. He doesn't understand the pain of having to do everything and anything the man your own mother sold you to tells you to do. And if you didn't, you'd get beaten within an inch of your life. Oh… and The Goddess forbid you run away.
"Nina? Nina? Are you okay?" the officer touches my hand and I react. Holding his hand with the one he touched, I give him four deep gauges with the nails from my other hand.
"Now you know why they call me La Gata." I glare at him menacingly, "And touch me again and I will eviscerate you" I see his Adams Apple bob up and down as he swallows fearfully and I can't help but imagine myself as a lioness and him a lowly hyena trying to get to my cubs. Then his howl of pain, and my roar of triumph. I can't help the smile that graces my face either.
The door opens and a medic comes in and escorts him out and another officer follows after the medic; a woman in high heels and a fairly short pencil skirt; very sexualized. She gives me a sweet smile but she can't fool me. She's like the other one. A pig.
"Hola Nina, soy Cynthia." She sits across from me her legs crossed and poised like a Barbie.
"I don't feel like speaking Spanish. You're just not worth it." She seems surprised and unfolds her legs.
"No need to be defensive. I understand what you're going through and went through." I hear these words and I see red. This Barbie understands me? Ha, Funny! The stupidity flowing from her mouth is repugnant.
"You understand me? Tell me, I want to know just how much you understand me." My jaw sets as I give her a glare so cold Jack Frost would be envious. She flips through the file the male officer left on the table and I slam my hand down on it and take it from her.
"Are these the lies that they are feeding the staff here?" I look through it and laugh. "Why don't I tell you my story? Yes?" I look at her from above the folder and she is giving me a death glare I've never gotten from anyone before and I can't help but get a shiver up my spine. No, not from fear. Maybe mild respect and excitement, but not fear.
"Then tell me Nina "La Gata" Altagracia how did you come into the world of a hired gun. A world full of dangers more suited for men."I smile at her and throw the file under the table and cross my legs and sit in a proper posture.
"I have lived on the street ever since I was twelve after escaping from the man that held me captive as a slave since I was seven. All thanks to my wonderful mother." I look at my nails and give a sharp exhale through my nose. "The first four years of my living on the street were of me begging and stealing. My city is always full of tourists. To see the architecture and the culture and the foods and the beaches, but they don't stay overnight there. They don't stay to see the women forced to turn a trick. They don't see the violence that runs ramped up and down my streets or the children that sleep on the streets…"
"Nina, I'm not asking for generalizations but about your personal experiences." The officer cuts into my monologue and I growl at her.
"This is my story. My story is the same as hundreds of other girls in that forsaken city. Only I found the strength where not many can find it." I ball my hands, trying not to smack her face into the corner of the steel table and watch her bleed. I lick my lips at the thought.
"Nina?" I focus my eyes on the officer. Cold and set. She seems to notice that I loathe her with a passion so great the Devil would bow at my feet. She swallows and once again crosses her legs setting her hands on her knees.
"As I was saying I found strength where not many people can. In my hatred for the people that praise the vile place I grew up in. When I turned fifteen I killed my first person. The man my beautiful wonderful mother sold me to. After that I killed two more men that bought and used girls like that man did. Soon my skills became known en el bajo mundo. My cat like stealth was and still is prized." I take a deep breath and take a ringlet of hair from my bangs and play with it.
"I see. You became a type of Angel of Justice per say?"
"Yes exactly Officer" I give her a little clever smile.
"But how did you go from killing bad men like that man your mother sold you to. To killing men like let's say… the American ambassador" She sets a picture down in front of me of the American ambassador and then two other pictures. "French ambassador" she points to picture number two "British ambassador" Points to the last picture and I smile up at her.
"Pedophile" I point to the last picture. "Rapist" I point to the seconded picture "and then there's him" I pick up the picture of the American ambassador and rip it in half. "A friend of mine that was being forced into a bad life went to him for help what did he do? Nothing! Looked the other way." I growl and look the officer straight in the eye. "The people she was forced to work for killed her the next day." I sit back on my chair and look at my nails. "Yea the people that contacted me to do this job had other motives in hand. But I only take specific jobs and always do my research. I taught myself English and French for these jobs too."
The female officer taps her fingers on the table and folds her hands. "You know you just confessed to six homicides' just now" I nod. "If you tell us your contractors Gata we can make a deal. Maybe twenty years with chance of parole in fifteen?" she arches her eyebrows at me and I laugh.
"First rule of the street, you squeal you're dead. And I simply have gone through too much to end up dead." I stand up and stretch. "They trust me, so I give them trust."
"You're a very stupid girl Nina." The officer gets up and leaves and another one comes in and cuffs me taking me to the bus outside waiting to take me to the maximum security prison. As I walk, my head is down my hair covering the grin on my face that goes from ear to ear.
The Lights go out.
There's a thud.
The Officer is down.
The engine roars.
And I'm gone.