Aeva stared straight ahead—above the fading faces in the crowd—and fantasized about release as the first woman stepped forward and pivoted gracefully on her heel in the midst of her crimes being read aloud. Soon, the second inmate stepped out.
The emcee called each woman the same way. He began with the holding floor number; then, he called the line position and name initials; and, he ended with the prisoner number—
It was now Aeva’s turn. She stepped forward and pivoted on her heel but not as gracefully as the other two women. She had always been a tad clumsy. As the emcee read her crimes aloud, she stared ahead, directly into the sea of a thousand eyes leering back at her.
For a moment, she thought of her face and her skin, pale with grayish undertones. The cold water couldn’t wash away every smudge … And, she didn’t have any soap—
“Reasons for conviction consist of practiced lesbianism—“
Aeva smirked. Practiced? She never practiced sexuality… She knew exactly what she was feeling each time she was attracted to a person.
“—unlawful abortion, and assaulting an officer.”
Aeva stepped back in line as the fourth woman stepped forward. She couldn’t hear the gasps through the thick glass and the sound-proof walls, but she could see the reactions on faces.
She was being judged openly and without shame for the third time in three years… As the fifth woman stepped back in line and they were all shuffled into another room, Aeva grimly reflected on her fate. She would die in a drafty, grey cell and no one will ever understand why. In their eyes, her actions were unforgivable—explanation or no.
Society had changed drastically from when she was a little girl. Murder, rape, arson, and theft are all forgivable now… but somehow, sexual orientation is a crime—?
“7701583!” Aeva’s ears perked up to the mentioning of her number. “You are to be released into the custody of Mr. Noland Parks! 7216—“
The emcee’s voice droned on monotonously as Aeva processed a thought—wait a second… Someone was giving her a chance?
[t b c...]