She stood before him, trembling, her whole body warmed with realization. She had finally come to understand, at least somewhat, the situation she was involved in.
"You bastards," he shouted from across the room, at nothing. The mirror that partitioned the two rooms was one-way, he was simply unable to understand his situation, even if he had bothered to obtain all the facts. Henry was the kind of man with a short-temper, especially with those he loved.
One of those men unable to come to terms with loss, that walk around after the death of a loved one, feeling slighted, as if they had gone in spite of him. He lowered his head in shame and said nothing after that, it was useless anyway, nobody could hear him. If they did hear him they would not have done anything, they could not without winding up where he had.
On the other side of the glass, Abigail stood, watching. She was cold with emotion now, and she felt weak, as if she had been drained of life itself. In fact, in a way she had, her soul was taken from her that day. The man on the other side of the partition was Henry, her ex-husband.
An ex-conman who quickly became an ex-ex-conman, as most con men do. He did not cry when he watched the other man be put to death, although he did bow his head in some kind of respect, that was how Henry was, heartless. He could not ever truly love someone, or something for that matter, truly, he could not love anything, because his love was just an extension, just a butt side to his sword of hate.
He looked at the binds that held his wrists, the ones around his upper arms. The shackles around his ankles and a final, large shackle around his waist. They were tight, much tighter than necessary, they dug into his skin and exposed the bones on the side of his wrist. He bled badly from the wounds, but it was of no matter to his captors, they would be done with him soon enough anyway.
"How do you feel Henry?" a booming voice came over the loudspeaker again.
Henry had memorized the voice, its inflections and subtleties, as well as the emotionless way in which he spoke. He had only heard the voice a handful of times, but each time, he heard it more clearly, not clear like a window, clear like a father's words after the situation has resolved.
"Henry, we see you there, what do you have to say for yourself?"
Henry simply hung there in silence, he presumed after what they had been through they would let him go, he realized in this moment that he was being naive then, they would probably never let him out, even if he died, they would let his corpse fester on the floor until someone else was tied up in this sick room. Henry felt a tugging at the shackles, his head lifted quickly in surprise.
"Fine, I feel fine. That's it, let me go," Henry begged with them, although his voice was still strong. At least he could say that, he thought to himself, he was strong.
"Oh, I do not think you are as fine as you say, Henry." It taunted him, trying to break his courage, "Henry, hey, Henry, look, did you want to see who's behind the glass? I bet you thought it was I, all along, that I would enjoy watching game be slaughtered on my farm, but that is not the case. I am disgusted by all of you. You all had the potential to love, you all had the potential to be something, just like me, but instead, you squandered your life. You squandered the only chance you were given, and from there on out begged for another chance. You begged for chances when they were right there in front of you, being offered, but you ignored them, in reality you enjoyed the way things were, the abuse and lies..."
The voice grew angry, he cut himself off at the end, knowing he was beginning to rant.
"Henry, it was all pre-determined at the start of life, that is the way it is, you are given only one choice, and that is who you wanted to be. You made the choice." The man behind the microphone had become so disillusioned with the personal details that he had almost forgotten his big twist. He laughed to himself, off microphone, letting the suspense build in the chamber.
He lifted the glass wall. Henry lifted his head to see his ex-lover standing, trembling on the other side of the glass. She was shaking, her hands quaking violently at her sides. Although to Henry she appeared unharmed and unshackled, she did not move or make a sound. Tears poured down Henry's cheeks for the first time in his life. They had a good reason too, for he had never truly felt pain until that moment. Up until that very moment, Henry has ignored the pain of life, as you see, he was just as stated: one of those men, the kind of man who encased his heart in stone many years ago to protect himself from a cruel world.
There was also another man in the room with them, although he was deceased. The man was Abigail's current husband, the man she had recently cheated on, and was now to leave her. This seemed to follow a pattern however, as Henry had done that very same thing to Abigail, many years earlier, and she had left him.
"Now, when I gave you the choice to die or live, you knew the consequence. You knew who you were killing, and who would be affected. The only thing you did not know is that you would also get to take credit for it." The microphone boomed, Abigail stood, emotionless, she had no tears thick enough for this, no scream loud enough. She had still loved the man she cheated on, in fact, she had not even had the affair, it was just alleged and later stated as a fact. Her husband, however, was a weak man, incapable of moving against the grain, and eventually fell to popular opinion. She stood, incapable of expressing the rage inside her, the sense of loss she felt, she stood silent.
"Now I suppose Henry, that you would like to say something to Abby, after all these years. Let me hold you back for just a moment, however. I would like you to know the whole truth of what happened here. See, years ago when you had your affair, Abigail had a mental breakdown you were unaware of, and just having come out of such a collapse, she found her life in ruins, her husband had loved another woman, her house was dilapidated, and her name was left in ill-repute. So she left the husband that had done her so wrong. She left, and with true strength in her heart, she went off to find the Romeo to her Juliet. Lo and behold, she would find him! A simple German man with the love of all things in his heart. Then, a friend of an ex-lover came to town, someone I believe you know too well Henry. This woman came to town for the sole purpose of ruining the reputation of Abigail, and spent many years planting seeds that grew into a garden of lies.
Those lies, they seemed so harmless until the end, when it became clear what the whole of her plan was. With her name once again in disrepute, Abigail begged her lover not to hear the words, to ignore their existence. However, being a true Romeo at heart, he could not disbelieve forever, and eventually fell to the majority."
The speaker paused for a moment. "You see Henry, it was your fault, everything. You made poor choices with your life, and not only did you ruin life for yourself, you've managed to ruin it for her too, and her husband at that. So, after my little story, what would you like to say?"
For the first time in his life Henry had no words, nothing could express the pain and suffering he felt. His bloody wrist felt numb, his limbs sore from being suspended, but the real pain was in his heart. He felt like it could explode. It was as if with each beat, his heart grew larger until it would explode out of his chest. He wanted to yell out what he was feeling, to the world, but he finally realized that there were no words for something like this, just as there should have been no words when he lied down and betrayed his wife. He should have walked away.
Henry shook his head, he did not have anything to say. Tears welled down his face uncontrollably, but that made him feel happy in a way, because he had finally grown up. He was not a child anymore, he would finally act like an adult. He looked at Abigail, but it felt like the first time they had met, for he finally saw the wrong he had done her, he could see the scars that bore no marks upon the skin.
The man behind the microphone pulled the switch. The chains on Henry's restraint grew shorter and shorter, stretching his muscle and bone until they cracked and popped. The mystery man walked down a set of stairs leading to a hallway, at the end of the hallway, there was a large, metal door. He unlocked the door and opened it. The smell of festering human flesh entered his nose, and he laid eyes upon Abigail, who stood, shackled to the floor. She immediately turned to face him, although her feet stood forward. Her heart thumped loudly in her chest, and her vision was cloudy. The man unshackled her and took her hand. Henry's limbs stretched in the background, but he made no sound. Eventually, his arms would be pulled from their sockets, then from the torso entirely, this would also happen with the ankles, and eventually, the whole lower half would become separated from the torso.
The man held Abigail's hand. She feared him more than death himself, yet she allowed herself to be carted forward, in hope he would set her free. He kept his head high, looking forward, only occasionally looking at her as he intended to care to a wound. They arrived at a large, blood-red door marked, "Do not enter." The man looked at her with compassion in his eyes.
"I know it is hard for you to understand what has happened here, in fact, you may never truly understand, but I do believe you understand enough to hear what I am about to say. When we are born, we are given the choice to do good or to do bad, there is no middle ground. Many people make the choice to be good, many make the choice to be bad. However, those that refuse to make the choice put everyone else's choice in harm's way, and in this way, they have made the choice to be the worst, as they attempt to corrupt those that choose to do good. At birth, Abigail, you chose to be good, and you grew to have a good heart with good things in it.
Those things are still there, buried under piles of bad things you were forced to do by bad people." Abigail stood silent, as she had, but now tears began to stream down her face, tears that came not even of her own will. The man grabbed a tissue and wiped her face. She resisted initially, but eventually allowed him to clean her face of tears. He smiled warmly as he looked down upon her, reached in his pocket and pulled out a key to unlock the door.
"Abigail, you don't know who I am, in fact, very few people do, but I will tell you some of what I do. You see, when I said we all get one choice to do good or bad, I should have said we only get one chance in life to do good or bad, because, in reality, people can be given new life. It's not an easy thing to do, you have to destroy the old life completely. It's not easy to do at all, and sometimes I even think I am a contradiction to myself, having to take life in order to give it. Some people are worth it though, Abigail, some people didn't get to make their choice, truly, it was made for them. That's where we are now Abigail. I ask you to dry your eyes and forgive everything of what has happened until now. I ask you to do this, because I want you to realize what could be, and what a chance you have been given. Yes, Abigail, even forget them if you wish, because from here on out you are an entirely new person, you are born again."