He was rudely awoken from his dreams by a loud banging; then seconds later he was pulled up from his mat on the cold floor.
“Come with us, “they ordered him.
He followed them through the twisting corridors of the prison, still not 100% awake. Only when he stepped outside, following his guards lead, into the bright sunlight did he remember with horror. It’s my final day alive and I’ve wasted the first few minutes. He planned to relive his life through his memories. He didn’t have much time; he was going to be shot in under an hour. He knew the route he would be taking by heart and therefore knew he had about 3 minutes of walking before he reached the transport he was catching to his death. He was determined not to waste another second, and started to remember.
His first memories were of himself of at secondary school; he had had memories of before then, but then he had forgotten, he hadn’t done anything in that part of his life. There wasn’t much in this part either. Most of the memories were bad, on his first day he had got on the wrong side of the school bullies. Then he had hit a teacher. He was invited to a party, but pushed the host down the stairs, breaking his leg and a few ribs. He was never invited anywhere again. His whole school life was full of misfortune. And the thing was, it wasn’t his fault. He had tripped, that’s why the host had fallen. On his first day he was just trying to make friends. He hadn’t known that the guy he hit was a teacher; he thought it was just a school kid trying to order him around. Looking back on his life he reflected that all he did went wrong. He wished he had known that back then, if he had he might have never tried to do anything.
At 16 he had failed his GCSE’s and had to rewrite them the next year, but he never did. He had been expelled halfway through the year. This was because he had tried to help someone. In fact his only friend at school was in trouble with some of the bullies, he recalled. So he went and threatened them. Somehow the threat had turned into a fight, and he had broken a rib and an arm. He was expelled for that.
Just as he was turning his thoughts to the next part of his life, he was jolted back to reality; by the guards telling him to hurry up and get in the vehicle. So he was at the transport; he had hoped to have done some more remembering by now but it didn’t matter; he had only had a short life; so he still had time to go through it. The vehicle took 8 minutes to travel the 2 miles to the place where he would be shot.
The next stage of his life was where he went off the rails. He remembered that he had no idea what to do with his life after being expelled. He had fallen in with the wrong crowd and become involved with drugs. He himself never took them, but he did become a carrier; that was his only job he ever had he realised sadly. He wasn’t very good at it, and was nearly caught many times. Often he had to dispose of the drugs he was carrying, which meant his boss wasn’t pleased. So he lost his only job, soon after getting it. Yet again with the advantage of hindsight, he actually wished he had been caught. Then he wouldn’t have been here. He lived the next few months on the street, going to a shelter for homeless people. That was where he had met Jennifer, but no he couldn’t think about her now, it was too painful. All he allowed himself to remember was that she was the only person to be kind to him.
Again he was interrupted by people talking to him. He couldn’t focus on what they were saying, but he knew he had to walk a short way, then stand up against the wall and his life would be over.
Now it was time for the final stage of his life to be recalled. He could remember the day vividly. It was raining hard and had been for the whole day. He recalled that he had thought that the weather was like his own life, sad. Because of the rain, he had gone off to the shelter early, but on the way he had heard a gunshot and a single scream. Then he saw people rushing out of a house and disappearing down another road, soon vanishing in the rain. He decided to try and see if he could help, so he went up the stairs and walked in through the open door. He saw a body lying on its side, with a knife sticking out; in the failing light he could still see the blood flowing slowly out of the wound. He knew he had to do something, but what.
As he looked around he saw something that gave him hope, a bottle he recognised from the first aid classes he had done at school. He recalled what it was, painkiller, in a liquid form, but that was all he could remember. He rolled the body over and gave her the whole bottle. As soon as he saw the face he knew who it was, Jennifer. He was so shocked he did nothing but just sit and stare, but then he was jolted back by a flash of lightning. He thought he had better remove the knife, so he did. As he put the knife down on the floor, he heard her moving, brought round by the painkillers. He turned back to her, and saw the flash of recognition as she saw him. She whispered “thank you,” and then there was silence, till the next flash of lighting. Then she asked “what did you give me, I feel great?”
He just picked up the bottle and showed it to her, as she saw it, he was horrified to see her face turn white, she turned to him and said”don’t blame yourself, you didn’t know.” He held her in his arms, 5 minutes later she died, he started to cry and then his memory went. All he could recall was, police coming in, spending the night in a cell, a lawyer talking to him, but the overriding feeling was shock confusion and despair.
At court they could find no evidence of the other people, and the knife had his finger prints. He was still too shocked to defend himself, and was sentenced to death, at the time his only thought was “my only attempted good act and I end up killing someone.” Later on when he was more himself he recalled hearing the words “died of a fatal overdose.”
He could feel the cold wall against his back and knew he had seconds left to live. So he created an image of Jennifer in his head and thought to himself, “I’m sorry, Jennifer, so…