Sincerely, Janie

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
I submitted this story to the Annual Writer's Digest Short Short Story contest back in December. A diary of a 23 year old girl in a women's prison.

Submitted: February 08, 2010

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Submitted: February 08, 2010

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Dear Diary,

So much has happened to me in so little time. I never meant to do it. I never did. But it’s too late. I hope you can forgive me.
I got to talk to their families, but they weren’t very happy. They made me feel like trash. I probably looked like it.
These cells aren’t very clean. My cell mate, Gina, has tuberculosis, and everything smells of blood and urine. I don’t know what to do. What if I catch it? She is supposed to see a doctor tomorrow.
An officer came to talk to me yesterday. He brought a shrink and a news reporter. The reporter kept asking me questions. So did the shrink. I didn’t want to answer them.

 

 

Dear Diary,
Today is my eighth day here in the cell. I woke up to the sound of Gina vomiting. She’s getting worse. The doctor prescribed her some medicine, but she can only take it once a day. It’s not working. I don’t think she’ll make it.
Later today I get to see my mommy. I’m so excited. I have not seen her since before what I did…
Oh, I do hope Gina gets better.
Dear Diary,
I saw mommy. She was not happy. She told me I was stupid for getting myself in here. I tried to let her know that I didn’t know what I was thinking. I really regret what I did. She wouldn’t listen. She started yelling and telling me I was a horrible child. I began to cry. The guards finally took her away. I was relieved when they did that. I don’t think I want to see mommy again.

 

 

Dear Diary,
Gina was able to stand on her own today. I think she is getting better. The doctor said it just took a little while for the pill to kick in. Hopefully she will be able to play games with me by the end of the summer. That would be exciting.
The shrink came back today. She told me that it is important that I try to talk with her. What I did was merely a mistake, and she wanted to help me move on. I don’t think I’ll ever move on. I didn’t answer her questions.
 

 

Dear Diary,

When I went outside today, one of the other girls asked me if I wanted to play basketball with them. I didn’t know how to play, but they taught me. I thought it was very fun. Who’d have ever thought that I could have fun at a prison?

Gina hasn’t had too much more improvement, but she talked to me for the first time. She told me she thought I was a good cell mate and hoped she could get to know me. I told her she would because she would get better. She smiled, and then fell asleep.
I checked out a book as well. The librarian said it was her favorite, and when I was done she wanted to know what I thought of it. I smiled. I will start tonight.

 

Dear Diary,
The shrink came once more, but this time, she asked me a new question. She asked me if I’d been checked by a neurologist. I didn’t know what that meant. So I asked her. She said it is a doctor who specializes in the brain. I told her no, and then I asked why. She said to just think about it.
I told Gina about the shrink. She said that it might be a good idea. She said I acted a little young for my age, but that it wasn’t a bad thing. I asked her if she’d ever been. It sounded a little scary to me. She said she had, but because she had headaches as a teenager. She said they are nice.
I don’t know what I will do, but right now, I want Gina to get the attention from the doctors.
Dear Diary,
The guards let me take Gina outside today. I got to show her my friends and I taught her how to play basketball. She watched me play for a little while, too. She said I was good, and I smiled.
After that I took her to the library to meet the nice librarian. While I was there, I asked the librarian if she knew anything about neurologists. She said she would have to look into it more.
When we went back to the cell, Gina and I played Sorry and Monopoly. I beat her in Sorry, but we quit Monopoly after I bought all her houses.

 

Dear Diary,
I got a letter from mommy in the mail today. I didn’t know whether to open it or not. I finally did. It said that she was sorry she yelled at me and she hoped that she could make it up. I’m not sure. She made me feel real bad.
Gina told me that maybe I should give her a second chance. She is my mommy after all. I guess I will think about it.
Dear Diary,
A neurologist came to see me today. He said that I have a slight condition of TBI, which means Traumatic Brain Injury. He said it was making me a little less smart for my age. I got offended until he said that I was the smartest person he had seen with my condition. He also said that he didn’t think I even needed to be cured, because I was getting along just fine. It made me happy.
I just finished reading the first four chapters of the book I checked out. It is about a princess and a funny little man whose name is Rumpelstiltskin. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a name like that.
Gina said that the point of the story is to prove that greed is a bad thing and that you can be kind without expecting something in return. She said I was doing that to her by being her friend. I smiled and told her that she gave me friendship back.
Dear Diary,
I visited mommy again today. She told me that she and daddy were going to go to Las Vegas for the summer and that she would miss me. I was taken back at first, but then I realized that I wasn’t going to see her much either way. She said she’d write me as much as she could. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad right now.
Gina and I played Sorry again. I beat her.
Dear Diary,
The shrink came back, and I told her all about the neurologist appointment. She smiled and said she was glad I told her. I thought for a second and realized that maybe it was time I told her more about me. So I told her about Gina and the librarian and how I like to play basketball with my other friends in a different building. I told her about Rumpelstitskin and how Gina told me that he was greedy, and I told her about mommy. She asked why mommy lost her temper so easily. I thought it was a funny question, but I told her that mommy lost her temper a lot. She scribbled down some notes and then bit her pen. Then she ended our session.
The rest of the night I read more of my book. It is getting good and I realize now how greedy Rumpelstiltskin really is.
Dear Diary,
Gina fell today when she tried to get out of bed. I called the guards really quickly, and they took her out with a stretcher. I’m really scared for her. I hope she’s ok.
Dear Diary,
I finished Rumpelstiltskin. When I was done, I asked the guards if I could call Gina about it, but they told me she wasn’t stable.
Outside, the other girls asked me if I wanted to play basketball with them, but I shook my head and sat down by the fence. I’m not very happy right now and I don’t feel like talking.

 

Dear Diary,
The shrink came back, and I told her about Gina. She asked me if I wanted to talk more about it, but I said no. She went away. 
 
Dear Diary,
Gina died today. The guards told me when I woke up. I cried for about four hours. I never got to say goodbye.
The shrink came again as soon as she heard what happened, but I wouldn’t talk to her. I don’t want to talk to anyone.
The librarian also came. I threw the book at her and told her to get out.
I don’t know what to do now, Diary. I’m scared. Please help me…
Sincerely,
 Janie


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