I stretched out on the small metal bed to ponder what to do next. This was one of those times I wished I could pray. Or, had someone to pray to.
I may have drifted off. I'm not sure, but I felt as if I were waking from a deep sleep when I heard a voice call my name. I sat up and saw a tall black man standing outside my cell.
"Hi, son," he said. "It's Christmas eve. I thought you might like a little company."
I stared at him with what I knew must be hate as I walked to the bars where he stood. I could see the word "Chaplain" on a bright red badge attached to the left lapel of his dark blue coat that had the it. My stare didn't faze him. His smile warmed the cell. I didn't care. He was the last person in the world I wanted to talk to. Christmas eve. Hmph. Christmas without Sarah. I'd never have another Christmas with Sarah.
"Didn't you read my booking form?" I said it loud enough for the other inmates to hear. "I wrote atheist on it where it asked about denomination." Atheist might be too strong. Maybe I was an agnostic. Maybe I didn't know. That made me laugh, the not knowing part.
"I read it. Doesn't matter what you wrote, I can see in your heart that you love your Lord and God and always will."
I laughed. "That's funny. If you could look into my heart you might be surprised what you'd see. You might even have to run tell the guards what's in my heart." I turned and walked to the back of the small cell to put distance between us.
"I know, son. That's why I'm here. To help you get beyond your loss so you can feel the love of God once more."
When he said the word 'loss', I turned around quickly to face him. Then it hit me, he was just guessing. He didn't know about Sarah.
I laughed again and sat on the edge of my cot.
"I'm praying for you, son," the black man said. "Here's a Bible for when you're ready for it."
He was silent after that. I couldn't resist looking to see if he had left and when I did he was nowhere in sight. He'd placed the Bible just inside the bars on the floor. I wanted to leave it there and let him find it sitting in the same place after I was out of here. But I couldn't. There was a piece of paper sticking out of one side and it was crooked. Sometimes I hated this obsession of mine for neatness. I wasn't tempted to read the piece of paper, but I couldn't resist straightening it.