Forgiveness: The Short Story


“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
Catherine Ponder

Indiana Women’s Prison
August 3, 2012

” My name is Christina Rightly of The Indianapolis Herald. This is an authorized recorded session, by the Indiana Department of Corrections, Session number 17 of 20. Please state your name for the record.”
I just stared at her. She had big tits. They looked fake.

“Subject is an African American female, age 36, Height 5’9, Weight 190lbs. Subject was convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death on December 12, 2012. Please state your inmate number for the record.”
I bet she was a whore in college, I thought. I stared at her face. She looked a little retarded around the eyes.
“The Inmate’s prison number is 567-34A-12B, subject’s name is Estelle Unique Porter. Miss Porter has volunteered for 20 interviews. Subject has not responded in the past 16 sessions to any questions and refuses to cooperate.”
I hated her. Pretty, young, white and blonde. Spoiled. Rich. Sheltered.
She turned off the tape.
“Miss Porter we’ve been at this for 8 weeks. If you are not going to talk to me then I’m not coming back. I’m your only chance and to be honest with you, you’re fucking blowing it.”
She started to pack up her things. Miss Ivy-League never cursed before. She sounded like she was speaking a foreign language. I don’t know maybe I was impressed by her gumption to curse at a murderer. In the past 8 weeks she’s only scribbled in that stupid notepad and sighed. We’ve stared at each other and then she would pack up her shit and bounce. But she just keeps coming back. I must be her big break. They probably don’t take pretty girls seriously over there at The Herald.
She pulled a cigarette from an engraved silver case and lit it. She pulled her hair down out of the bun in frustration and took off her, “I’m smarter than you” designer glasses. She looked way too fuckable like that. No wonder the guys at the Herald gave her a shit gig. She was nothing like those other reporters. They were assholes. She stood up against the wall with her head in her hands. She was green.

Gimmie one of those. I snapped.
I know she was surprised that I had finally talked.
“What?” She said, looking at me all astonished like some prom queen getting asked for her first autograph.
Gimmie a god damn cigarette, girl.
“I can’t I mean I’m not supposed to.”
Well you’re not supposed to smoke in here either bitch but it seems like you don’t give a fuck about that rule, so gimmie one. I’ll tell them I forced you.
She took a deep breath, sat down and handed me a ciggie. She started to put her hair back up but I told her not to. I liked it better down. Looked like a banana colored halo around her face through all the smoke.
Where are you from, Twinkie? I said.
“Well, actually my name is Christina and I’m from Hammond.”
Cute. I said back.
“You know that this is the most you’ve said to me in weeks. I was beginning to think that you were catatonic, Miss Porter.”
The cigarette tasted like milk and honey. The ones from outside were always fresher.
What the fuck did she mean I was catatonic? No big college words, I told her. People who like to abuse you use fancy ass words that you can’t understand to do it so they know they’ve got you. I’ve taken enough abuse, and I ain’t taking shit off you, Twinkie.
“Well, that’s why I’m here Miss Porter. To hear your story. I want to know what happened to you.”
She was so full of shit. But she believed herself so I gave her credit for that. She did come up here twice a week faithfully for two months and those other motherfuckers gave up after a few days.

She put her cigarette out and leaned down to get the tape recorder back out of her bag. I could see right down her blouse and with all that shaking, her tits never moved. I had to ask.
Are your tits real there, Twinkie?
Now if she lies, I ain’t telling her shit. Fuck her.
“No. um actually they were an engagement present from my parents. I’m getting married next year.”
Your parents bought you tits for your future husband? Now thats some fucked up shit right there!
” I know. I really didn’t want them.”
I don’t know. I’m normally not mushy. But I had a soft spot for the kid. She was determined. Her face welled up like she was about to start bawling when we started talking about her toy boobs. I’m the one on death row, but I felt sorry for her. She was trying too fucking hard.
Ok Ok, I said, Pipe down don’t start whining and all. They look good ok? Maybe if this reporting gig don’t work out for ya, you can be a stripper. Tell you what, if you don’t start slobbering, I’ll answer your little questions for your paper, ok? Just pull your fucking self together.
I knew she was conning me. She probably got those falsies back in highschool when she got the nose job. White girls and their surgeries. But she was right. If I was gonna talk it was now or never. All I had left was little miss Twinkie. Twinkie would have to be the one to make sure people understood. What could it hurt?
So I stated my name for the record.
” Thank you Miss Porter. I must ask, why did you kill Cougar’s father?”
I didn’t.
” Are you saying that you didn’t kill Jerome Madison Sr?”
No. I killed him.
“Well wasn’t Cougar Madison his son?”

He was. Romie adopted my baby when we got married. But he wasn’t his fucking father so get your facts straight! He’s my son, just mine. And my son is Cougar Porter, not Madison.
“I’m so sorry. Thank you for the correction, Miss Porter, I didn’t mean to insult you. Please tell me, if you and Mr. Madison weren’t living together at the time, why did you kill him?”
We’re not starting there.
“Excuse me?”
Listen Bitch if you want me to tell you what happened, I’ll tell you, but we’re not starting with Romie, ok? That’s not how it began.
” Ok. Let’s just stay calm.”
No you stay calm! I shouted. You motherfuckers think you got me over a barrel because you’re going to murder me in a couple of months? Well guess what, Twinkie, that doesn’t mean shit you hear? I’m already free. I’ve been calm! Now If I’m gonna talk about my fucking freedom I will say it my way, you got that?
She looked scared. I liked that. People are more human when they are scared.
“You’re right this is your story, Miss Porter. Take your time. We can begin whereever you wish.”
That’s more like it. Gonna tell me to stay calm. You don’t know the half of it. Who do you think you are? Hmmpft! Gimmie another one of those squares. I’ll tell you. You just record.

Chapter 1
Forgiving Dr. Humphries
“You can’t undo anything that you have done, but you can face up to it. You can tell the truth. You can seek forgiveness.”
Humphries and Associates Private Physicians and Rehab Clinic
Denver, Colorado
June, 15, 2009
“Come on in Miss Porter, have a seat right there.”
I sat. My ass was bleeding again after the sleep therapy but I sat down anyway. I plopped down like I was comfortable. I smiled strong so it wouldn’t look like I was in pain.
“So how are you feeling, today Miss Porter? Any pains or aches?” Dr. Humphries looked down over his glasses at me. He looked like Alfred Hitchcock. But sleazy.
I feel fine doc. As a matter of fact I’ve never felt better. I’m sure I’m all cured now.
“Is that right, Estelle? Do you really think so?” His office had no windows. No desk. Just two armchairs and a bed in the corner. Not an examining table but a twin bed. And a video camera on a tripod.
Oh absolutely. I feel like I have fully recovered sir and I am ready to go home today.
He scooted his chair closer to me and put his meaty pale hand on my knee.
“Well I am glad that you are so positive Miss Porter, that is an excellent improvement from when you came here. I’d like to hope that you will keep that attitude for the remainder of your time with us.”
Well I’m sure I can be happy for the rest of the day sir. I get to go home and see my son today. I couldn’t feel any better.
He rubbed my knee. Over and over again in circles. Slowly, back and forth, like he was day dreaming about something.
Is there anything that I have to sign Dr. Humphries, like a release form?
“Well you see Estelle, The other doctors and I are in accordance that you simply can not be released just yet, My dear. We don’t want to end your treatments so abruptly and we feel that after another month or two of private sessions, that at this rate, you should be as good as new in no time!”
I smiled harder. I didn’t want to let on that I was furious. I figured if I could talk calmly to the stupid jackass mother fucker that he could see that I was rehabilitated and ready to be released.
But Dr. Humphries, I said softly, you told me that I would be released today. You promised I’d get to be with Cougar on his birthday. He’s turning 8 tomorrow sir. I’m fine, please, don’t you see? I’m just fine.
My ass hurt like hell.
“Yes, Yes Estelle,” He stated, putting his arm around my shoulder, “That was based on our original diagnosis, But unfortunately you still have a few unresolved issues. Like that pesky facial reflex disorder you suffer from. Surely you don’t want your child to see you in this condition. These kinds of problems still need to be addressed young lady before we can send you back out into the world.”
Fat disgusting pig faced Dr. Humphries was standing behind me, massaging my shoulders. It was small, but I could feel his throbbing tiny dick in my back, getting hard. I took a deep breath.
I tried pulling away.I don’t have a reflex disorder doc, really I don’t.
” Oh but you do Estelle,” he said poking my spine with his eleventh finger,”you smile way too much ,and at quite inappropriate times…yes you see like right now, you’ve been given disconcerting news and yet you are grinning like a cheshire cat from ear to ear! This is a sign Estelle, a sign that you can not accept your true emotions. Masking is very dangerous, young lady so… no I don’t think we can release you now. Tell you what, let’s get your examination over with so you can have some lunch ok?”
He started untying my hospital gown. My ass hurt. I was pissed. I couldn’t stop smiling.
Well how long now Dr. Humphries? How long until I get out of here?
“Oh it’s all up to you,” he said, pulling my robe down so that my right breast was exposed. He stood in front of me staring at it. “If you keep taking all of your prescribed medications and complete a few more body sleep therapy treatments, I’m sure you will see Cougar in no time.”
He put the stethoscope pad on my nipple. He stroked my hair.
“Have you been masturbating like I recommended?” He asked.
Something snapped I swear. I couldn’t sit there anymore. I got up and pushed him into the chair.
Listen you fat fuck this is crazy! I’m not insane for starters and you will release me, today! No more fucking treatments you piece of shit, let me out of here!
“Calm down, Estelle,” He whispered, slowly getting up and grabbing my arms. “You see? You are not ready for the stress of the world yet, look at you! Smiling yet foaming at the mouth, you are practically an animal, Estelle! I’m afraid you are still seriously ill. You must learn two things, sweetheart, patience and forgiveness. I’m afraid we are going to have to schedule a sleep therapy treatment for before lunch to get you ocused again. Once you have mastered patience and forgiveness, Estelle, you will be able to keep your emotions in check without masking or lashing out.”
My lungs felt on fire.

“This isn’t fair1″ I screamed.” I didn’t sign up for this bullshit and you promised I would see my son! You promised I would be released and I won’t stay here, I won’t!”
Dr. Humphries took a needle out of his pocket full of the sleeping agent.
“Oh but you will Estelle, you have no choice in the matter. A horse like you has to be tamed and it will either be here or in prison. You remember why you came here right? You volunteered for our therapy to rehabilitate you so you didn’t do any hard time. You’ll never see little black puma or whatever you call him again if you go to prison my dear and you are certainly all of the doctors’ favorite subject. We can help you get your life back.”
He yanked my arm to put in the anesthesia and I pulled back hard enough that the needle fell to the floor.
Let me go I screamed. But no one came. No one cared.
“Have you forgotten you little ingrate, what we have done for you here? You have been abused your whole life and we offered to help you. You’re a thief Estelle and a drug addict! You tried to commit suicide and we have been keeping you alive. This rehab saved your life! We’re trying to make you a better human being!”
He pushed me into the wall. I hit my head and fell. I grabbed the needle.
I know what you bastards have been doing to me in my sleep. And I let you for months! I’ve done what you assholes asked. I will not stay another day here! Either you let me out of here, or…
“Or what?” He said, standing over me. He held out his hand to help me up. “Forgiveness Estelle, and patience. Come here, its all going to be ok…”
As I stood I dropped the gown. I was standing in front of him completely naked. I wasn’t afraid anymore. I knew what had to be done.
I just need someone to hold me. I said. His fat face glistened with excitement. I just need someone like you Dr. Humphries to forgive me. I opened my arms to him, not a muscle shaking, like I wanted a hug. He didn’t see. He didn’t know.
He wrapped his thick sticky fingers around my waist and buried his head into my neck, licking my throat like I was a porkchop.
I am patient Dr. I said. You lie and wait until the people who have hurt you are dead. That’s patience. And I’m forgiving too, you’ll see. Forgiveness is the relief you feel as soon as the person who hurt you crosses over out of this life. And Dr. Humphries, I forgive you.
I lifted his face to mine and jabbed the needle in his eye. I pushed him to the ground and made a thousand little holes in his face neck and arms so that all of the putrid sexist racist disgusting fat could pour out all over the floor.
No one came in. No one cared.
I washed my face and hands with his lap coat as he gurgled- he lay dying on the floor and I put on the teeshirt and jogging pants that were always under the bed.I did need to learn those two skills and suprizingly I felt amazing. I couldn’t have felt any healthier. I felt free. I strolled right out the front doors into the sunshine. All I wanted was to get home. I just wanted to see Cougar. And that was what I was going to do.

Chapter 2
Forgiving Maggie and Elliot Watkins
“To forgive is the most highest beautiful form of love.”
Robert Muller
Eagle Creek, Indiana
June 22, 2009
It took a couple of days but I bummed a couple of bucks from a few people at gas stations and diners to get a Greyhound Bus ticket to Indianapolis. I bought Cougar a toy dinosaur at the station in St. Louis. I was so excited to be almost there. I was sure that they had found Mr. Humphries by now, but I doubted they would come after me. I was sure all the other women they had locked up in that asylum were happy as shit. Since I had been so-called sick my mother and my step father had charge of Cougar. They lived in a big enough apartment and even though my stepfather, Elliot Watkins, was a no good, low down, lying sack of dog shit, my “better than thou” mother was in love with him. No matter how many times he cheated on her or beat her she would never divorce him. They were old now so they didn’t fight as much and mom was always very clean and tidy and religious so I felt Cougar would be safe there. I survived, right? Plus Cougar couldn’t stay with Romie. Romie had gotten locked up for what we did and his other 5 kids had to stay with their real moms and none of them would take a baby that wasn’t theirs. Not to mention that all of their kids lived with me and Romie until he got sent up. Selfish bitches. My god fearing mom though, Mrs. Maggie Porter Watkins, refused to let people at her church know that one of her grandbabies was a ward of the state so she offered to take Cougar until I got home.
I was so excited when I got up to the door. I was hoping that my baby was growing big and tall and strong. When I got to the apartment I was surprized to find the door open and music blaring from the stereo while a trickle of smoke wafted out into the hallway. Something was burning in the kitchen and the house was full of smoke. I ran to turn it off and open the window. I called out to Cougar. My mother, in her sunday best, was sitting in the smoke, choking. I tried to pull her up but she wouldn’t budge.
Mom! Come on,we gotta call the fire department. You need to get out of here. Where is Cougar? Where is Elliot?

My mother started coughing and screaming.
“He’s at it again, Estelle, that bastard is at it again!” I ran around feverishly opening up doors and windows and turning on fans. As the smoke started to clear I could see that my mother was surrounded by empty vodka bottles and half empty vicodin bottles and heroin needles.
She was starting to nod.
Mom! I yelled shaking her. Mom, where’s Coug? Where’s Coug, Mom, wake up!
“He did it to him too so I sent Cougar away you hear me? I sent him down town to get him away from that bastard and now everybody knows. Everybody knows what kind of animal he is. Oh god, please forgive me!”
My heart was racing. I don’t know if I was thinking, or standing there dying.
I asked her what she was talking about. I asked her where my son was.
She started laughing hysterically.
The music was too loud. I turned off her radio so I could hear.
“I used to let him do it just so he wouldn’t leave me. Not all the time, just every once in a while. You needed a man in the house in those days, you understand don’t you Stelle? But now its different, its wrong, it don’t make no sense to do that, and still have those kinds of feelings for kids.”
I could feel pressure in my chest. My freedom was fading.
Just tell me did he hurt Coug? Did he hurt Cougar? Mom, please.
The laughter turned to tears. Her face was hanging from her bones. She just sat on the couch, rocking back and forth staring at her hands.
“I’m just gonna burn us up,Stelle. Burn us right up. We deserve it. I let him hurt you and the baby and all those other kids. Well he ain’t gonna do it no more. No sir. Lord won’t allow it. Just let us burn up Stelle.”
I went into the back walk way of the apartment. He must have been sleeping. If he wasn’t high too, like mom was, he could tell me where Cougar was taken. That’s all I wanted. And I would have never come back again. The smoke was a fog in the room.
Elliot was lying on the bed, passed out. I opened a window. He started coughing and turned over. He had been lying on top of some little girl for so long that her chest was crushed. She couldn’t have been more than 5. His dick was leaking all over her back as he yawned and said, “What the hell is Maggie burning now? That bitch can’t cook for shit.”
It was almost like he didn’t even see me.
“I’ma make a list,” He said to himself out loud, “Of all the fucked up shit she does, and ride her ass tonight for it. Maggie has done got too loose.”
Choking the life out of him wasn’t hard.
For one I had already hated him for my fucked up childhood and that alone gave me strength. For two, he had just murdered someone else’s child and had probably tortured my son the same way he had tortured all of us over the years. And for three the smoke inhalation had nearly killed him anyway. He was stone drunk. I didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t leave there without my son and without my freedom. I had to forgive Elliot until his heart stopped beating once and for all. No one would have responded differently. I know it seemed cruel to leave the baby there underneath him but I felt that when the authorities came they wouldnt be upset that he was gone after what he had done.
I went to go drag Maggie out but again she refused. She was dead weight.
“I’m sorry I didn’t love you enough Stelle. None of yall kids. I knew god would protect you, I knew. God is not a lie. I ain’t sorry of how you got strong, though it wasn’t right. I’m just sorry I didn’t love you enough. But I loved my grandbaby. I couldn’t let him keep hurting my grandbaby.”
I asked her where Cougar was for what seemed like an hour, but it couldn’t have been more than a couple of minutes.
“Cougar’s with Jesus, baby.”
I didn’t understand what she’d said.
” I couldn’t let your father hurt him anymore and I couldn’t get to you and I couldn’t tell nobody so after the last time I just covered his little angel face with a pillow until he went to sleep. He was so beautiful Stelle. You did good.”
I stopped trying to save her. You miserable selfish pompous bitch are you telling me that you killed my child? Are you saying that you suffocated my baby?
She just nodded remorsefully.The drugs kicked in with the smoke and the despair and I watched her disappear right in front of me.
When! Where is he? When?! Don’t you fucking die!
“Lass week or two weeks ago Stelle you know I didn’t love you…” Her voice trailed off. I didn’t even get the chance to forgive her. Paper had flown onto the stove when I opened the window, and the fire began again. Her god did it for me. I couldn’t stop crying. But I could hear the firetruck. I threw a match on the couch and it caught hold of mom’s alcoholic vomit and she went up in flames. She looked grateful to be honest.
I had to leave.Everything I had lived for was gone now. My heart dissolved into nothingness and I never saw it again. It would take up too much space in my body to have a heart with Cougar gone. That worthless scumsucking asshole Elliot was right about one thing. I was going to need a list too. A different kind of list. A list of people who had hurt me or Cougar. Every single one of the no good son’s of bitches was going to have to beg for mercy. I was officially in the patience and forgiveness business from that moment on. I called it my Prayer List. And I was going to prey on them all.

Indiana Women’s Prison
August 5, 2012
” My name is Christina Rightly of The Indianapolis Herald. This is an authorized recorded session, by the Indiana Department of Corrections, Session number 18 of 20. Please state your name for the record.”
Estelle Porter.
“Now Miss Porter, according to public records Humphries’ death was attributed to natural causes. Your parents were both killed in a fire in their homes. Are you confessing now that these accidents were actually murders that you committed?”
What are they gonna do Twinkie? I asked her. Kill me a few more times? Do you want the damn story or not?
” I am really truly sorry about what happened to your son. That must have been devastating for you.”
Don’t you fucking patronize me! I was letting her get too comfortable. Do you love your fiancee, Twinkie? I said.
I could feel her tense up.
“I don’t see how that is relevant.” She said shifting in her wool skirt in her seat.
Well you see Twinkie I need to know right now if you are dumb bitch or not. If you are a dumb bitch then you are marrying this joker for love and I’m sorry, I can’t tell my story to a stupid cow.
“But Miss Porter! These sessions are not about me and my personal life. That information is off limits and I will not continue to sit here and be insulted!”
She sounded mad. But she didn’t move.
Turn the tape off then. Turn it off. Tell me this,Twinkie, do you love him?
She tapped her pencil on the notebook. She knew that if she didn’t play along I’d clam up and what I told her was too good for her to walk away now.
She turned off the recorder.
“We’ve been together a very long time Miss Porter, a long time so I guess I do.”
Does he cheat on you?
“Of course not.”
Smack you around a little bit, when you sass him or stand up for yourself?
“No no, never.”
“Oh I know. He intimidates you doesn’t he? Tells you that you are fat and stupid, right?”
Miss Ivy League’s eyes widened.
“We argue. That’s not unusual. All couples fight. Right? Its normal to sometimes insult each other when you are angry.”
And you always end up apologizing, don’t you Twinkie? You are always the sorry one, right? Trying to make him feel better. I see right through you, girl scout. See what I chose was another motherfucking path. I chose to make myself feel better. Just me, Twinkie and only me. I saved myself. You should think about saving yourself. See a couple of months after my mom died I got a job here in Indy. Some call center shit. I started taking better care of myself, I got off the drugs for good and started working out everyday like a beast. I looked good too girl. I started taking Karate and really centering my shit. I would meditate everyday and I would just let go. I went way back deep into my mind and brought up every prick who had ever fucked me over. Those rehab groups always say you gotta confront your demons. And I was going to. With a .357 Magnum. I saved up all my money and bought her. I named her, Peace of Mind. I made my prayer list, and gave every down right asshole on it a little Peace of Mind. And I think we did a lot of good in the world. Its how I got free. I know you understand what I’m saying you are not a dumb bitch, are you?
She shook her head no.
Go ahead Twinkie, Start the tape…

Chapter 3
Forgiving Deena Dallas
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”
Diamond LakeHouse Club and SteakHouse
Geist Resevoir, Indiana
Dec 15, 2009
I was almost done with my list. And this particular night I was feeling a little frisky. I hadn’t been on a date since I’d been back, and since I had been caught up with so much other stuff, I hadn’t the opportunity to fuck around a little bit. And I need that. A warm body to make me feel something again.
I didn’t have any connects other than chicks from the Call Center gig, and it just turned out that this one little philly, Angelina, was just my speed and she was up for some drinks. I’d been laying low because Indiana isn’t the most progressive place, but since I had been back and everything had fallen apart it didn’t matter to me anymore what anyone thought. If they had something to say they could get added to the list as far as I was concerned.
I had Peace of Mind in my jacket pocket always, whether I intended to engage her or not. She was the most jealous bitch I ever knew and would not allow me in the company of other people, especially females, if she wasn’t present.
Angelina wanted to meet at Diamond LakeHouse because she was one of those kinds of whores, you know broke as hell, but want the fanciest of everything? I wasn’t trying to be her girlfriend, I just wanted someone to sleep with for the night, so it didn’t matter to me that she had fucking self esteem issues.

There were Christmas trees everywhere.
I’m sitting there, in my black leather pants, black cowboy boots, black leather vest, black body suit and sunglasses, waiting.
All these fancy hot to trot people sashaying back and forth smelling like mothballs and money.
And across the room I see Angelina.
She was standing under a misteltoe.
She was short, low cut reddress, clutch bag, cream heels. Hair down. Just right.
But there was a problem.
She didn’t come in alone. She was holding hands with Deena Fucking Dallas.
I took out the list and noticed, Deena was on it, and then scratched off.
She was back on it now.

She waltzed up and kissed me on the cheek. She cut her hair so short that it looked like a greasy scalp. She always dyed her scalp red so it blended in with her face and she looked like a Cherokee Telly Savalas. But skinnier.
“Estelle! How are you? I haven’t seen you in ages!” She waved her fake eyelashes at me.
I hated her a long time ago and it seemed that I was over it until she was standing three feet in front of me, arm wrapped around the waist of my girl.
“You two know each other?” Angelina said, acting like she was surprized and shoving her little puertorican face into her cocktail.
We’re aquainted. I responded.
Little did Angelina know, Deena and I had done some dirt in the late 80’s.
Deena and I had done some dirt in the 90’s as well.
We were never lovers,and we never lived together, but we had stolen drugs, ran card games, shoplifted, hitchhiked and carjacked together.
I loved her, like a sister.
Until Cougar came. Deena wanted to do one last job on this rich mook and fence some jewelry. I was pregnant so I was out. She accused me of being a chickenshit loser, claiming she carried my weight the whole time we’d known each other.
Claiming I’d never make nothing of myself and she was tired of being held back.
I found out a week later that she had tried to throw her pussy at Cougar’s real pops and he turned her down.
Far as I knew, she did the job on the rich guy but fell in love with him and got married. He divorced her when she couldn’t have kids.
She has been living the high life if you want to call it that, as a “kept woman” for Corporate CEOS, Military types, whoever wanted a highclass looking broad on their arm, who really was a dirty low class bald hoe.
You two on a date? I asked her.
Back when we were running together she wouldn’t be caught dead arm in arm with a broad. I guess it was in vogue now.
“Yes, I get so bored with men you know. Could you order us two martinis, Estelle, dirty please?”
I threw a napkin at the bartender and pointed at the girls.
Angelina was pounding drinks and ready to dance.
“You see Estelle, Angelina invited me out tonight and said we should stop by to see one of her little work friends. I had no idea she meant you! You’re still in an entry level position? After all of this time? Poor thing.”
I’ve been a way a while, and I just started so…. I was explaining myself to her.
“Well anyway, how’s that Romie? Are you too still pretending to be married? He is such a flirt. I could have sworn, he was eyeballing my ass a few times, Estelle you better watch him!”
I wanted to drop kick her in the face like I used to when we were girls.
No we’ve both moved on.
I hated explaining my fucking self to anyone.
“Uh, huh” she replied. ” And hows the little man, Cougar right? Oh I’m sure he is almost handsome enough for me by now, I could be his present this year.”
She swirled the olive in her glass and pulled Angelina in close.
Peace of Mind was getting jumpy.
Cougar is dead. I told her finishing off my beer and standing up to leave.
“Oh well he’s probably better off. I always said you weren’t fit for much. I guess I was right.”
I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened.
It sort of went down like a flash from a camera. Holiday portraits.
Snap, I hit the bitch in the face with my beer bottle.
Snap, she was on the ground underneath my boot.
Snap, Peace of Mind kissed her forehead and left red lipstick running down her cheeks.
Her nose was on the barstool.
Her scalp was peeled back.
I could never explain to you the high you get from bumping off a borgeouis bitch around Christmas.
Snap, I was gone.August 5, 2012
” So you just killed her? I mean you just took her life like that?”
Twinkie did not approve.
What was I supposed to do? Be all brave and strong like you Twinkie? You take shit from your bosses I’m sure, and I know you take shit from your crummy ass fiancee and you even took fake tits you didn’t want so that you didn’t disappoint your parents. I don’t think you have room to talk.
“Yes but Miss Porter..”
I think we have been talking long enough Twinkie for you to call me Estelle.
“Um, yes, Estelle…I may be a weakling but, I’ve never killed anyone, for heaven’s sake!”
For heaven’s sake. I laughed. This girl was a classic case of repression. She was a fucking cartoon character to me.
Yeah but you want to. I told her. You want to, real bad, don’t cha?

Chapter 4
Forgiving Kourtney Hastings
“Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that they other person apologize.”
Sara Paddinson

University of Michigan Student Housing
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Jan 1, 2010

I knew I had to get out of Indiana for a while. I hated that corn hole place after losing Cougar. And I knew that someone in Deena’s life might miss her, so it would be best to get the hell out of there and start on my real mission: The Prayer list.
I looked up Kourtney Hastings first. He had become the Director of Housing for the University of Michigan and his international students never left for the Christmas holiday. I knew this because I called the Hall to find out who needed to be there, pretending to be a student. According to some husky voiced chap the only person there over Christmas Break was the Director. I went to the library to check him out on line. He’d made a name for himself locally. Instrumental in his church, contributor to local campaigns and advocate for women’s health.
Women’s health. Yeah, fucking right.
See the Kourtney I knew was a gigolo. Well, not a professional escort like Deena had become but a true asshole user. Back the day, I will admit that when I was into men, I was really only into him. We met at a friend’s party, on that same campus, exactly eight years to the day before Cougar was born. You would have loved him if you had met him back then too.

Everyone did.
Kourtney was a smooth talker, keen dresser, tall, dark and handsome. He was charismatic enough to make sure that every one in the room ,male or female, was enamored with him before he left, and I was no exception.
We never officially dated anywhere other than in my mind. He let me know a thousand times that he loved me, and fucking me was great. Crashing on my sofa when he was in town was even better, but nothing could ever come from it because we were such good friends.
One year, I think it was 2003 he came to visit me in Indianapolis. I don’t know why, but I was determined to change his mind. I was determined to make him love me. What a foolish mistake.
All our friends had gone and we were in my apartment alone. I was wearing the nightee I picked out especially for him, and we were in bed together.
” You look so amazingly beautiful tonight, Estelle” He whispered into my ear, as he lay right next to me.
I curled up into his arm. He smelled like Polo Sport and Irish Spring.
Everytime I was within three feet of him we hugged, we passionately kissed, and he stared at me regardless of who was around. Tonight he stroked my hair.
When are we going to get married? I asked, jokingly.
“When you stop smoking cigarettes for one, you know my wife can not be a smoker.”
I got up and threw my fresh carton of Camels in the trash as a good will gesture. I leaned into the trash so he could see the thong I was wearing from the back and hopefully get excited.
“I like what you have on but I’d like to see it balled up on the floor even more.”What a line! I said, but I couldn’t have been happier.
“We’re getting married when we both turn 30. I’ll be running a campus by then and I’m going to take care of you. We’ll always be together Estee no matter what, you know I love you, don’t you?”
We had sex for hours that night, without condoms. I loved him too, so it didn’t matter.
The next morning, I was wearing his michigan sweatshirt and he was gone.
He left a note on the pillow.
Get checked out. Love, Kourtney
I wasn’t sure what that meant, but after a few days I went to the student clinic.
It was confirmed.
In a way I thought this meant he loved me. I thought it meant that since he knew he was infected, and he purposely infected me, that he was going to be with me forever to deal with this.
I was actually happy believe it or not.
But when he called me to tell me he was coming over, he showed up with my then roommate.
No hug, no passionate kiss, no eye contact.
“Hey kiddo, you look good.” He said and softly punched me on the chin like you would a little kid that finally got an A on their exam.
He followed her into the bedroom.
I never saw either of them again.
Until now.
I buzzed into the student lobby.
“I’m sorry but the dormitories are closed until tomorrow. Please feel free to get a hotel near the Student Union until then. Thank you.” It was Kourtney. He sounded exactly the same. Like butter.
Hey K, its me, Estee…I came to see you!
“Estee? My babygirl, Estee Porter? Really? Well come on up, come on up!”
He buzzed me in.
I felt a quick rush of lust. His body had always been so perfect. He walked like Denzel. But more metro. He was a god to me when I was a girl and when he opened the door to his office slash apartment he looked as distinguished and as handsome as ever in the face.
“I would get up to hug you, but I’m sure that you can see from the wheelchair, I can’t”
I leaned down and kissed him on his perfectly brown forehead.
He still smelled so clean.
He invited me and rolled over to his bar to make us drinks.
“You look good Estee. Real good. I could just eat you alive!” It had turned out that he had been in a motorcycle accident recently that paralyzed him, and had killed his wife.
Who was your wife? I asked.
“She never told you? Geez, I’m surprized Estee you guys were so close. I married your old college roomie, Mena. No wonder you weren’t at the wedding!”
Peace of Mind was talking to me. Whispering it was time to paint peace all over this guy.
Remember when you used to say we’d get married? Remember how you used to tell me that you loved me?
He rolled over to me and cupped my hands over his heart.
” Oh Estee, I can’t believe you remembered that. Those were good times weren’t they? You always tasted so good, from top to bottom. Damn, so sweet. Mena was jealous of you for years. I called your name a couple of times during sex over the years, isn’t that funny?”
Yeah, KK, its hilarious really.
Peace would not be still. I took her out and put her on my leg right in plain sight.
“Did you bring me a present? After all of these years, you remembered even the smallest detail. Today is our anniversary.”
No last night was. New years eve was when you told me all those years ago to get checked. Remember that? So yes this is your present. I’m sending you to be with the woman you really loved, Mena. Tell that bitch she still owes me 500 for the fucking phone bill.
I put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Blew his fucking two timing disease having brains out.
He slumped out of the wheel chair onto the floor.
No one would find him for days because school was out.
He took my health, so I took his. He was forgiven.
Twinkie took notes and looked at me with a furrow in her brow.
I didn’t like it.
What? I asked.
” Do you feel that these murders were righteous acts? I mean how could you do all of this?”
I sighed. It seemed that Miss Ivy League was still not a fan. Not yet.
There are no such things as righteous acts, miss thing- there is only whats right and what you have to do right now. Payback is right. Its what people deserve. All of us. Probably even you.Chapter 5
Forgiving Reverend Willie B. Brownling
“When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.”
Alan Paton
February 10, 2010
Brownling and Angels Fundamentalist Church
Fort Lauderdale, FL

For the past month Peace and I had been on Greyhound buses going south. We’d go as far as a ticket would take us, get off, work at a diner or an autobody shop for a few days, and get back on the Hound. I had already planned my next move, and if I’d had the means, this cocksucker would have been forgiven first.
He mad my life a living hell and didn’t even have the courtesy to say it was his own idea.
He played it all off by blaming it on some invisible man in the sky.
I knew The Reverend had moved he and his wife to Florida when they retired because I saw postcards at mom’s house from them before the place caught fire.
She was probably sending them money up until she caught Elliot for the last time and decided suicide was no longer a sin. Willie B Brownling was a giant turd. He used to be a highschool principal back in Indiana and a part time minister. He had shady eyes. He looked like Burt Reynolds, the greasy fat beady eyed version. Willie used to sell local families dreams back in the 70’s and 80’s.

He used to always say, are you ready for hell?
“Wait a minute.” Twinkie spoke up. She had been wiping her brow and scribbling furiously since I began. She seemed a little less blonde and perky than she was when I started the tale
You’re interrupting my train of thought, girl…what?
” Do you close your eyes?”
What do you mean, you mean, when I was shooting people’s fucking faces off?
She bowed her head and stared at her feet. She was tapping that pencil like she was thinking hard about doing something that felt like revenge.
I cupped her chin in my hand and made her stare at me.
No Christina. I looked. I looked right at everyone of them. I didn’t even blink just like I’m looking through you, right now.
“I’m sorry I shouldn’t have asked.”
It’s ok, I’ll begin again. Hmmpft.
The Jesus movement was big back then, and any asshole with a microphone was cashing in big time. Willie was no different. He was a pimp like any other kind, except he was pimping Christ. There were times my grandmother and father had to go without lights because they refused to not pay all of their money over to Brownling. He called his flock Long Life in the Lord back in those days.
While his slutty daughters and drug addicted sons went to the best schools money could buy, he was hauling all the kids at my school into juvenile halls, and taking every red cent his working congregation had to pay for their salvation, to buy expensive boats and winnebagos. He talked a good game. About turning the other cheek. We would see.
His mega church was having a save a soul revival the week I arrived. I was very familiar with the process. The goal was to bring as many new members into the flock as possible before Brownlings annual property taxes were due. The Elder who brought in the most new souls got to sleep with another Elder’s wife of their choice, without reprocussion. So many of the damn kids in that congregation looked like each other back then, and they still did now. Sick.
My family never got into the swinger part of Jesus’ message because we were the only black family at the damn church. It would have been a little hard to disguise a bunch of half breeds running around. But the bigger issue was that Brownling always preached right to us. And about us. He would always coldly say that since we were Negroes we had extra obstacles. We would all be pregnant before we were 15 or in jail by 16. Nothing we could do about it according to him. Hearing that kind of shit 4 days a week from age 5 to 16 would have a horrifying effect on us mentally. Until little Ava got pregnant.
I could hear him saying are you ready for hell in my mind. Little Ava was my youngest aunt’s oldest daughter and she looked like a grown woman when she was ten. Apparently Brownling thought so too. He and his Elders had their choice of every woman in the congregation but Brownling chose little ass, wide eyed , big tit Ava. Her dumb ass thought she was called of god. Everybody knew what was going on and no one wanted to get kicked out of the fold for exposing the hypocrisy. Fucking chickens. No one wanted to lose their swinger privileges if they spoke up. Damn Bastards. So no one stopped the late night prayer sessions that she had to attend or the trips to Brownling’s cabin with his family. When she had the baby, he looked just like his father, of course which was everyone’s shame right back in their religious faces. Ava promised she had never been with anyone else but him but of course her mom and my mom and my grandmom said she was a liar. Broke her heart.
You know what she did next.She forgave herself.
She killed herself.
Same thing.
And the fucked up part about it was in the very next church meeting he talked about her like she wasn’t shit. How she was going to hell for leaving a bastard child with no parents and how selfish she was for giving up on god’s mercy. It looked like after all these years nothing had changed. He had told his Indiana congregation that he was retiring and they needed to find new church homes. But here he was behind a pulpit with thousands more victims eager to hear what god had to say through a sick pedofile.
I didn’t even hesitate.
My eyes were bloodshot I will have to admit.
I caught up to him at his car before he pulled off.
There was nothing to discuss.
Nothing fancy happened.
He got Peace of Mind.
I’m sure hell was ready.

Indiana Women’s Prison
August 5, 2012
” Well Ms, Porter, I mean Estelle, I guess that is it for tonight, visitor’s hours are over in a few minutes. I apologize for interrupting you earlier, but if I may, I do have one last question for you, to help me put this material in perspective.”
I yawned. I stood up and stretched.
What do you want now?
“I’m just curious, but have you ever been happy? Have you ever had any happiness in your life, at all?”
Oh she was getting good. Miss Ivy League was sitting over there looking like a Barbie with a brain now.
Well, Twinkie, what do you think? Do you think I’ve ever gone to sleep with a goofy looking smile on my face?
“I do actually. I think everyone has.”
Precisely. Happiness is a Happy Meal. It only lasts for the few minutes that you let your guard down to enjoy that shit, and as soon as it is gone, its gone forever. Its gonna turn into shit just like everything else, so why dwell on it?
” I don’t know, and I beg your pardon for assuming but…”
Do you talk like that all of the time?
“Like what?”
Like a 1950’s Stepford Housewife?
“No, I mean, well, I try to speak proper English, I just didn’t…”
Twinkie, say Fuck it.

“Miss Porter, that kind of language may suit you just fine but I couldn’t…”
If you don’t say Fuck it, I won’t tell you anything else. Say Fuck it.
She folded her hands in her lap like she was holding back a dump that she didn’t want to release in a public restroom.
Let it go Twinkie, say Fuck it… and mean it.
Miss Ivy League whispered it into her hands and rolled her eyes.
That will not do.
“This is childish.”
Were all children. That’s people’s problems. Especially people like you. They think that when they get a certain age their emotions and feelings don’t matter anymore. That’s stupid. You never grow up, just grow old. So say Fuck it! Say it loud. Say it like I would say it.
“I can’t miss porter. I just can’t.” She looked like tears were about to spit out of her stupid blue eyes.
The guards ain’t gonna throw you in here with me for doing a little yelling bitch, just say it, say FUCK IT!
She huffed and puffed first, like a big bad wolf and screamed Fuck it at the top of her lungs. You would have thought the bitch had an orgasm.
Thank you very much Miss Rightly for that. I said mocking her. You were my happy meal for the day. See you tomorrow, Twinkie.
I know she just sat there for another twenty minutes after I left.
Maybe I didn’t hate her so much anymore.
Coming clean was good for the both of us.

Chapter 6
Almost Forgiving Octavius
“True forgiveness is not an action after the fact, it is an attitude with which you enter each moment”
David Ridge
Indiana Women’s Prison
August 6, 2012
“I got our sessions extended Miss Porter! I’m very happy with the progress we have made, and my supervisor and the warden said, we could meet 25 times instead of 20. Isn’t that fantastic?”
She plopped a pack of cigarettes on the cold metal table in front of me.
Twinkie had on tweed today. Tweed jacket and skirt.
I took out a smoke and kicked off my shoes. She looked like a store window manniquin.
No its not fantastic, Twinkie. You get excited about the wrong shit. Just because I’m talking to you doesn’t mean I like you. Get that through your skull.
” But I thought…”
I took a well deserved drag. She moved her face just in time, or it would have been clouded in smoke.
Did you think we were friends? Did you think that if I saw you on the street if I was free that you would stop to talk to me since you know me so well?
“I should think so. I mean I would be polite to anyone.”
You wouldn’t, Twinkie. Don’t kid yourself. You’d be a cold bitch like anyone else with something to hide.
“I don’t have anything to hide Miss Porter, I mean, Estelle. I just want people to understand what you have been through. I just wanted to get more time so we could discuss….”What you want to do is feel better about yourself Twinkie. I know this game. And you do have something to hide. We all do. I’m just brave enough to expose mine. Twinkie…where’s your engagement chain?
“I’m sorry I don’t know what you mean?”
Your ring. The chain that proves you’re your fiance’s dog. Where’s your ring?
“Oh getting cleaned is all. Its just getting cleaned.”
Right. Just start the fucking tape.
” My name is Christina Rightly of The Indianapolis Herald. This is an authorized recorded session, by the Indiana Department of Corrections, Session number 19 of 25. Please state your name for the record.”
March 14th, 2010
Atlanta, Georgia
The Underground Mall

There were only three people left on my list. Octavius King, Romie and me. As soon as it was all done I was going to rent myself a cabin in the woods, fill up a bathtub, drink a fifth of gin and bring myself some peace.
I was getting tired and couldn’t recall how many days I had gone without eating or sleeping.
I missed Cougar.
Octavius was on the list because if it wasn’t for him there would have been no Cougar.
I started to believe that if I had never had him, maybe my life would have turned out differently, but I wasn’t stupid enough to think it would have turned out any better.
This was my destiny and I accepted it.
I started to think that if he hadn’t given up on me I could have had a two car garage with him in the Georgia Suburbs.
But he raped her. Or so she said. And I believed her over him.
I was only taking out the trash and nobody worthwhile was going to miss two pedofiles, a slut, a enabler, a disease ridden shit dog, a lying rapist or a con artist.
And no one would miss a murderer.
The mall was crowded and hot. It smelled like caramel popcorn and a thousand cheap colognes. People were marching by like horses, all dressed up in their best designer rags, broke as hell.
Octavius owned a Magic Shop in the center of the mall between the rare bird pet shop and the silk stocking pervert boutique. He had always wanted to work in Las Vegas in one of those big magic shows with his own tigers and all that shit but he just never was brave enough to leave Georgia.He wouldn’t even had been in Georgia if it wasn’t for me.
We both moved there together right after school.
Tavius looked sad, ringing up purchases, to me anyway, outside his store front window looking in. But he was still incredibly handsome, and healthy, heavier by far but in proportion. He looked like Ildris Alba. But Friendlier.
Once he saw me we both got butterflies. Like we used to. Whenever either one of us walked into a room. Butterflies.
I was gonna get him back for raping my friend. That was why I was there. But my feet were stuck. I wasn’t sure if it was popcorn or love. Either way, was no good.
“How you doin, Estelle?”
“Still run out of words when you are around me huh, after all these years? Come here, and give me a hug.”
It was automatic. I had no control over my own limbs.
He invited me out to dinner since he was closing up for the afternoon.
He didn’t comment on my black leather get up. He looked happy to see me. Happier than he looked earlier.
I couldn’t say no. I wanted to say no but no wouldn’t come out. I had said yes. Damn it.
We walked around the corner to a little neighborhood Italian place and he told me all about his life in Georgia since we had been apart. It wasnt bad, but it wasnt good. He had just been surviving. He told me he had talked to my mom a while back about how they both thought he and I would always end up together.
I had nothing to say to that.
Did I mention that Octavius never knew that Cougar was his? He had no idea. As a matter of fact, all those years ago when I was crying on the phone about being pregnant, it never occurred to either of us, that Cougar was his. And he told me I would be fine. That I would make it. I always did. I didn’t have the heart to tell him now. Not considering what I came here to do. And he didn’t need to know. He wouldn’t care anyway.
“So how’s your little boy?” Tavius asked pouring me another glass of water.
Fine. I lied.
Are you married now? I wondered. Damn why did I just blurt that out? Maybe I was hoping there wasn’t any other little cougars running around who would miss him. Maybe I missed him.
“No, I was for a while once, chick named Stella. We got a divorce. Her name was too similar to yours. I couldn’t handle that I’m afraid.”
He reached across the table and touched the back of my hand. I meant to pull away but, again, Stuck. Frozen.
I just need to know one thing. I said. I just need to know about you and my room mate. Years have passed and I am willing to forgive you right now if you tell me the truth Tavius. I have to know. What happened?
“I never hurt that girl. She said all of that shit because she was jealous of you. Listen when you went out of town to visit your family, she came home drunk. She vomited all over the living room floor. I carried her drunk ass to her room and she threw up on me. I took off my shirt and then she jumped on me. I wouldn’t ever make out with any woman who was too drunk to hold her liquor. And you know how I feel about vomit. It was everywhere. I accidentally pushed her off me and it may have been harder than I should have. She hit her own damn face on her chair falling down. I just left her there. Thats what I get for trying to be nice. She told that lie to everyone and said the bruise she got on her face was from me trying to hold her down. I was hurt that you believed her over me, but i understand it. She was pretty convincing. I would have told you all of this a long time ago Estelle, but you wouldn’t speak to me or return my calls.
I never cheated on you the whole time we were together. Never.”
Will you excuse me? I asked getting up from the table and fighting back the tears. I kissed Octavius on the forehead and made my way toward the bathroom. When he wasn’t looking I ducked out of the front door, and sprinted down the street.
Happy Meal.
“So you let him live? Estelle, you fell for that line of crap?”
Did you just say, crap Twinkie? Wow. Miss Ivy League was changing in front of my eyes.
” Well everybody knows he is a no good liar! I mean he ditched you and Cougar and he was probably sleeping with that girl the whole time, and the one time, the one single time that she said no, he wanted to take it from me, and he just kept grabbing at me, and telling me he owns me, pulling my clothes to force me and I am not going to have it anymore, god damn it, not again!”
“I mean I am sick of it!”
Are you ok?
Christina was sweating. She wasn’t talking about me. Her hand was balled so tight around the pencil she was slamming against the table that her knuckles were purple.
So do it. I told her. Crying about it won’t change it, sweetheart.
Do it.
Forgive him.

Chapter 7
Forgiving Jerome Madison Sr.
“Forgive or relive”
Author Unknown
May 4, 2010
Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe
Dallas, Texas

Seeing Octavius again changed me. I had ten or fifteen more people on the prayer list in my mind because shit had gotten rough and just taking out the three final bad guys wasn’t enough.. But after seeing him I took it down to one. There was only one more lousy piece of shit that truly needed my forgiveness and if I didn’t handle it soon, I would never be able to move on. He was going to be the one to set me free.
And because I killed him I ended up right here talking about my life with you.
I got four months left until they inject me with poison and watch me die.
Its ok though.
I accept my forgiveness and I deserve it.
I did the best I could to right the wrongs done to me and mine and if it hurt some other people in the process well, I guess I have to make amends for that.
We all do, you know?
I held my hand out and Twinkie passed me a cigarette.

I realize that we have more sessions Miss Rightly. But I have to lay it all out on the line right now. This is what you came here, for right?
Christina had never taken out her notebook. She didn’t start the tape. She stared at me quite blankly. The smoke didn’t make her blink. Her pink sweater and pink skirt were both creased and stiff like her body as she sat there, watching me.
“Miss Porter. I hope you don’t think I am too out of line for saying this but, you are completely full of shit.”
Well, Twinkie put some Tabasco in her panties this morning. Is that so?
She took a deep breath.
“You’re not a murderer Miss Porter. Not one single bit. You’re a liar, thats what you are.”
I’m a liar because I exposed you? Is that right? You never seemed to get that ring out of the cleaners did you young lady?
“But you said you killed all of those people. Some of them are dead, I checked, but most of them are alive! Why would you tell me all these things?”
Don’t you think I know who you are?
“You probably didn’t even kill Jerome Madison. You probably lied about that too and just didn’t have a good enough lawyer to keep you off death row. You made me believe all of your stories, and for what? For fun?”
I told you what you needed to hear, Christina.
“You don’t even have a son named Cougar! You never did! I couldn’t find a birth certificate anywhere in any state in the Union! What kind of psychopathic bitch are you?”
Wow. You’ve loosened up a lot Twinkie. I guess thats what happens when you become a murderer.Like I told you before, no one would miss a murderer.
“What are you talking about?” Miss Ivy League was startled. It seemed she didn’t really know what this thing was about.
As I was saying there was only one more lousy piece of shit that truly needed my forgiveness and if I didn’t handle it soon, I would never be able to move on. He was going to be the one to set me free.
That lousy piece of dog dung was Jerome Madison Sr.
See I had Romie on a lot of stuff.
The dude he killed in front of me behind the night club over drugs when we were in highschool.
The time he swiped my mom’s credit cards to buy drugs from Georgia and nearly got her arrested for fraud.
All the drug running, all the dope smuggling all of the innocent girls I helped him turn into prostitutes.
There wasn’t anything I couldn’t just turn over to the police.
So I went to see what kind of bullshit he was up to in Dallas.
After I had gotten locked up he shacked up with one of the girls he was secretly fucking when we were together.
See that was his M.O.
When I met him at 15, I didn’t know he already had a live in girl friend. He told me how bad his ex was and how she didnt listen to his hopes and dreams and then he dicked me down so hard and fast and often that I was blind to everything but the lies he told me.
And as soon as I replaced her, in his head I was already a trophy of an elephant’s head on his wall. He was already on to the next one, telling some young slut how I was so horrible to him and would not allow him creative expression.
All this while he still slept in my bed.
He promised me the world, just like he did for all of them , and I had actually gotten away from his web of lies a few times, only to get rejected by a real person, and desperately come crawling back to the warm comfort of his flattery and deception.
He had kids everywhere. Everytime I went back he was either cheating on me with someone, or cheating on someone with me. He used to tell me all the time that he loved me in 99 different ways.
Too bad none of them were the right way.
“I’ve had enough!” Twinkie shouted.
“You expect me to keep recording this baloney Miss Porter? I’m not sure what’s going on but these interviews are over. I know that you are lying and my credibility is at stake here!”
She was sweaty and anxious. I had been keeping her dangling for a while.
Sit down you little snobby bitch and shut up.
This is going to go my way because I’m the one telling the story.
Or is there something you want to confess on tape yourself, dollface?
Everything doesn’t work the way you think is should, does it? And you’re finally realizing that aren’t you? Finally figuring out that noone has the time to give a fuck about you, they are busy with their own shit.
Finally figuring out that there is peace in death, your own or otherwise.
” But you said…”She started.
Yes and you said.
You said you loved your fiancee and you killed him. Didn’t you?
So what if I said things happened a certain way I can say whatever the hell I want to say.
But what did you do Twinkie?
What did you do?
“I won’t interrupt again, I don’t have any idea what you are talking about, just tell me what you have to say about Mr. Madison and I will be on my way…”
Twinkie was trapped. Right where I wanted her.I guess that you know more than you are admitting to Miss Rightly…I banged on the table. It made my hand hurt. But it rattled her. She stared at me at a cold way that she hadn’t before. I should have been afraid.
“I think I do. I think that you wanted to kill Jerome for all of the lies and baloney that he put you through, but I think it made you crazy, stone crazy. Now you’re locked up in here when clearly you should be in a straight jacket! He messed up your mind, but you see I wasn’t going to let that happen to me. No way. I fixed my problem and thats how I know you didn’t. You couldn’t sleep if you had killed all of those people in the grizzly way you described. You couldn’t have!”
Is that because you can’t sleep Twinkie? Is that the real reason you wanted to get my story out there, so you could see how someone else could do it?
“Doesn’t matter why should I trust you now?”
Because who else could you trust? Do you want to tell your boss what happened? Want to explain to your lovely parents why the wedding is off?
“You lied Miss Porter.” Christina said, packing up all of her things.She was shaking and crying. Her eyes were blue puddles draining black rain down her cheeks.
Everyone lies Twinkie. Everyone on earth. But me and you are the same. We lie about murder.”You are no better than he is!” She exclaimed out of breath.
Oh is that right? I said trying to push more from her. Did I rape you? Did I steal your money? Was I living under your house fucking men and anyone I ran across claiming I loved you in public? No. I didn’t slap you. I didn’t treat you like scum. I just told you stories. He changed your truth.
“You’re damn right and I changed his!”
I know you did. Its ok. You can tell me.
And she did.
Every detail of the grizzly murder of her fiancee.
“And that’s how I knew you were a bloody liar, Miss Porter. And you know”…she said laughing hysterically, ” I can’t let you live now either. And since I’m the only real killer in the room, maybe someone ought to be forgiving you right about now.”
Well is that right? I told her. I didn’t know what she would do next.
Well Fuck it.
Didn’t think that would be the last thing I ever said to her.
Didn’t think it would end like this.
Didn’t think.
And that’s when Miss Ivy League, AKA Twinkie, balled up her fist and stormed toward me.
Thats when the Indianapolis Herald Reporter, Miss Christina Rightly took in a whale sized breath and got the courage to hit me in the face.

July 23, 2012
Forgiving Adonna Richter
” Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note. Burned up and torn in two so it can never be shown against one. ”
Henry Ward Beecher
Indianapolis Metro Police Department HQ
“Thank you for coming in Adonna.” Seargeant Summerlane smiled. He looked like Bob Barker. But more muscles.
It’s my pleasure. I said shaking his hand. I wore my best mustard cashmere sweater twin set even though it was 90 degrees outside. It looked good against my brown skin. Matched the mustard crocodile shoes. And the mustard clutch. I smelled amazing. Like peaches and cream. Even my gold earrings shined.
“I take it Detective Madison showed you around headquarters and got you some coffee?”
He did. He was very kind.
“What did he tell you about this case, about what needs to happen?” Sgt. Summerlane sat on the edge of the desk. He was intimidating and friendly at the same time.Well, Sgt Summerlane, Jerome told me that I would need to come up with a story impromptu based on a reporter’s questions in order to get information for the police. He said that supposedly my story was going to help the police department catch a killer.
The Sgt. moved in closer.
“Yes we want to catch a killer. A different kind of killer than you my dear.” His breath smelled like Binaca spray barely covering up the stench of 40 years of old coffee grounds.
“He didn’t provide any details?” The sgt. inquired.
Um, Yes, he said I would not be able to go home is all. Well until the whole thing was complete. So I figured I’d have to stay at a hotel around here until I got the answers he was looking for.
“Adonna, you’re not retarded or anything are you?”
No sir, Of course not.
“Ok, so what is with the innocent act?” TheSgt was getting impatient with me and went over to his desk to make a call.
I could overhear him asking someone, do you think she can do this?
The he said, she seems a little thick I don’t know.
And then he told them, well alright but its your ass and mine if this bullshit doesn’t fly. Remember that.
He came back to where I was, and I decided to finally let go of the breath i had been holding so I wouldn’t die on his chair.
“Miss Richter, did you sleep with Detective Madison? Its ok if you did, but I just need to know how much you have been compromised here.”I gulped. I was extremely embarrased. We had slept together, just the night before, but it honestly wasn’t a big deal. Well, I mean if you could call it sleeping. I went over to his place at 2 am this morning because I was nervous about today and fucked him on his sofa. But I couldn’t flat out just say that to his boss. Especially his boss who thinks I’m a little retarded.
I’ve known Jerome for a very long time sir, we’re more like brother and sister than anything else. I said confidently. We went to summer camp together, did you know that? He is the best at skipping rocks, better than anyone I have seen, sir!
“Good. You can make up bullshit at the drop of a dime. Good. The Sgt laughed. Adonna, this is more than a favor for the police, this is a mission. This is going to change your life and we are going to need a serious commitment from you to pull this off. I don’t really like to put civilians on cases because of the collateral damage it causes so I really need you to understand what is going to happen here so you can be prepared.”
I’m just grateful for the opportunity sir. I know that I should be in jail after that hit and run accident and there is nothing that I wouldn’t do to bring peace to that family after losing their son. Anything that I can do for the police force that will keep me out of jail and help me to help others is a true blessing.
Even my fingernails were painted gold. Looked like mustard. I was hot and trying to be cool.
“Well that sounded genuine. Only one little problem with that sweetheart. You are going to jail.”
Sgt. Summerlane looked like he wanted to fuck me and kill me.
“You see in order for all of this to work, for you to tell these stories, 

you’re going to be behind bars.”
Jerome didn’t say anything about that…
“I’m the boss around here, not him. Maybe you should have pulled your skirt up for me instead or just simply asked more questions, right?” He laughed. He came around the desk and sat next to me.
” Our murderer will come into the prison everyday to interview you. We will create a whole back story for you so that she will think that she is going to get a big break from hearing what you make up everyday. There will be a camera in the corner and Madison will always be there when she is there.”
Will I be in general population?
“No. You’ll be on Death Row, darlin.”
What? Excuse me? Where? I thought I might piss myself. With real killers? Actual Murderers, sir?
“You’re going to be less than three feet from an actual murder during these interviews.”
Yes but I don’t have to sleep, shower and eat with her sir.
“Miss Richter, you are a murderer too. Let’s not forget that.”
I understand that sir, but that is completely different.
“What was that little boy’s name, Cougar Lemmings? And wasn’t he his parents only child?”
Yes sir, but you are asking me to put my life on the line here and I don’t think that its fair.
“Fair? Come on Miss Richter, come on, was it fair for you to get behind the wheel after drinking as much as you had? Was it fair for you to kill that little boy dead and then drive off? Listen, were doing you a favor here too young lady, right?”
I suppose so sir.
“Trust me Miss Richter, Death Row inmates live forever. And they live like kings. They live in a fucking lush palace compared to everyone else. They are more worried about working on appeals and honestly none of them will even notice you. You’re a fly on the wall. Remember you are a killer from here on out, so you’re going to have to toughen up. This is your scared straight moment young lady, do you understand. You do this and you will have redeemed yourself in the eyes of the law of the land. Now. On to bigger issues. Miss Richter, is that a weave that you’re wearing?”
Yes sir.
“Its pretty Miss Richter, really pretty but you’re going to have to take it out tonight and braid your hair up. Can’t have you looking like a College English teacher in there.”
But I am an English Professor sir.
“Were one. Were one.”
I was scared. I didn’t think this all of the way through. I’m not sure now if I can. I stammered.
“I don’t want to be a hard ass, but you really don’t have much of a choice here, now do you? Listen don’t be afraid, nothing will happen to you. Just consider it like several one woman performances at the IRT.”
Yes but the actors in plays, they get to go home every night after a performance, sir and I will still be locked away!
” It’s no biggie, really, you’re trying to make it bigger than it is. Some times I wish I could stay all night over there I really do, my wife gets on my fucking nerves, excuse my language. It probably won’t take more than a few days is what we are estimating, Adonna so try to relax, hon. And no you’re not an English Professor anymore, so get that out of your skull from here on out!”
I am. How could I not be what I am?”Do you honestly think you could teach Miss Richter with a hit and run on your record? Do you? The Sgt was losing his patience with me. You killed a little boy! Jail is where you are supposed to be, god damn it!”
I know sir. I could feel the tears streaming down my face. Tear spots on my mustard blouse.
“Exactly. Soak it in. Feel the remorse you should have felt young lady before you got behind the wheel. Now don’t cry, don’t cry Come on, You’d lose your license in this state and all of the others if anyone finds out about that, and then how will you make a living, Huh? We’re helping you here, ok..” He put his hand on my shoulder to comfort me. But it wasn’t working.
” You’re unknown. You’re a writer. You’re an actress. You can do this. Your record will be expunged if we can catch this murderer. You just fell into our lap at the right time dear. A cop would have been too obvious for this, too easily googled, right. Just lie to her. You can make a difference. Lie to her and to your family. Just for a little while…no one will be able to know you that are doing this.”
I have no family, sir, so that part is not a problem.
“Then it’s settled. Perfect.You will need to report to the Indiana Women’s Prison at 0900 tomorrow. Don’t bring anything. You will have to go through check in like all the other inmates. Your new name will be Estelle Porter so get used to it. You’re doing the state of Indiana a great service Miss Richter. Tell her your story and get her to confess. Thats all, ok. The room is wired so even if she turns off her tape recorder, we’ll still have her. OK?”
I hated the whole world right then.
“You’ll have a few days to work up a character, sound meaner, be harder. Prison will do that to you anyway so pick up their traits. Stay to yourself out there and start coming up with the story. Be prepared for anything.”
I had no choices. Nothing I could do. Anything else sir. I asked.
“You’re going to have to work in a homosexual angle. Apparently her soon to be husband was abusive toward her and also slept with men. She hates gays so she may need to hear you add some of that punch to the character.”
I nodded ok. I felt like I was being drowned. Drowned in my nicest clothes. Drowned. Over and over again. I took a deep breath. But it was all going to be ok, right?
I was going to be forgiven for drinking and driving as soon as I got a real killer to confess. I would be ok. I would be ok. I would be ok….

September 10, 2012
She turned on the tape.
” My name is Candice Allen of The Indianapolis Star. This is an authorized recorded session, by the Indiana Department of Corrections, Session number 1 of 1. Please state your name for the record.”
“Christina Delores Alice Rightly.”
“Subject is an Caucasian female, age 29, Height 5’4, Weight 110lbs. Subject was convicted of murder in the first degree and additional charges of manslaughter. Please state your inmate number for the record.”
“Thank you. Subject confessed in open court to murdering Alan Waterslenge, former fiancee, Norris Devins, Mr. Waterslenge’s lover and Adonna Richter, confidental informant for the Indiana Metropolitian Police Department. Are these charges and convictions correct?”
“You made a special request through your attorney to the Mayor’s office to have several sessions recorded and written into an article about you, is that a fair statement?”
“Might I ask why? What purpose would it serve to continually glorify the destruction and utter disregard of life in the news? Is there something profound that you have to say?”
“Is this room, wired, like the last one?”
“Of course it is.”

“Well I just wanted to say that I used to be a really nice girl.”
“Really? Well speak up. That’s what they all say.”
” I only wanted to get back at Alan, no one else.”
“And if thats the case, then why did you seek out Mr. Devins?”
“Estelle. Estelle told me to.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“No she did. She showed me how. Gave me the courage, y’know? Her stories about her life made me feel, well confident. If she could, I could.”
“But she didn’t.”
” I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I was tricked I tell you, this isn’t fair that you won’t listen!”
” Oh I am listening, but I just don’t want to hear it! There is no “Estelle”, Miss Rightly, you do understand that, I hope. That was a charactermade up by Miss Richter and the Police.”
“Like Estelle said, Its gonna turn into shit just like everything else, so why dwell on it?”
“Estelle was not a person. She was not your friend.”
“I wasn’t going to make it anyway. Just be some pervert’s wife. That’s all. Big special tits for a guy who prefers dicks. Estelle helped me. She helped me say Fuck it. Fuck it all. And Fuck you too, lady if you don’t want to hear the truth.”
” And if that’s the case and truly you believed in her so much then why did you murder, Miss Richter?”
“Miss Richter? I didn’t murder Miss Richter, they said that but I didn’t do it, thats why I wanted you to record this for me, I… I didn’t even know her.”
“Well ok, you killed Estelle then. You killed Miss Porter, then right. Connect the dots here honey, Miss Porter and Miss Richter are the same person, Christina.”
“No, I didn’t kill either of them, god damn you, I was…I was.. her happy meal!”
“What? That makes absolutely no sense.”
“Forgiveness. Please tell everyone that I forgave her. I just forgave her, and thats all! She said that was what she wanted, and she was my friend! I wanted her to be happy forever, don’t you see?”
“No I don’t.”
“You don’t?”
“No. The problem is people like you are really crazy. We spend so much time trying to catch criminals and it turns out they have no evil plan to speak of, they are just loons.”
” I don’t think that its safe for you to talk to me this way, Candice.” “You are clearly stone cold mad. I’m no doctor, but I’d recommend you’d be committed to a psychiatric facility….you’re on my prayer list honey.”
“Just hope you don’t ever get added to mine.”

2 thoughts on “Forgiveness: The Short Story

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