Travis did not know his left from his right. Cole’s casual glances and comments had him wondering what he was always thinking when he looked at him. Then in activities he had commented that he looked good and stumbled over an explanation as to what he really meant to say was. Cole was mystery in more ways than one. All that would wait though. They both had stories to tell. Histories to unravel and feelings to express that had no business being explored in front of others.
Travis did not have a watch or windows to know the time of day. He and Cole went over this time and time again. The night shift row guards only rotated who would take row and who would take gate. They could not vary the schedule as much as day shift because of emergency regulations. You could hear them walk the row. Work shoes on squeaky white tile floors. Polished to a shine. The rattle of a secured door, meeting resistance, as it was checked. Sometimes the bored ones whistled, hummed, or heaven forbid sang.
Travis had to count. The rotations were like clockwork. One check an hour. Then every other hour 2 checks. Until something happened. Travis was sure this would be the way they always did it. This pattern never changed in the weeks he counted the rotation. Only the guards. He would bet his life on it, in fact. Rotation 3 ended. Travis was already dressed and knew Cole was in bed waiting for him. Getting up he went to his door and began to pound on it and yell. “LET ME OUT! YOU CAN’T DO THIS! HELP ME!” Yelling , screaming and pounding. It only took the row guard a few seconds to return to his door and as soon as Travis heard the buzz he shoved all his weight against the door. The man was startled but the effect of his flying off his feet and landing a few feet away did not happen. No matter. Travis had plans. While the guard was getting his bearings Travis double punched the guard in the stomach. That made the guard bend over and gasp for air. Then Travis brought a knee up and connected with the guard’s face. The impact whipped the guard’s head back and he yowled in pain. Bone crushed and blood began to spurt and gush down his face. Travis did not take any chances. Taking his knee up again he aimed lower. Bought his heel down. Hard. The guard’s knee joint snapped out of place and he went down, still holding his hands over his nose. The guard’s sobs followed Travis all the way down the hall.
The look of surprise and terror made Travis want to grin. He did not want to glory in having to hurt people. They had hurt him first. He had taken the blood of the row guard and smeared it over his hands and made himself look a mess. “You want to be next?” Travis asked so coldly the other guard just vigorously shook his head. “Open room 2708. Now.” The guard followed his instruction with question. The stink of blood made Travis want to puke but he could not stop to clean up now. He went over to Cole’s room, who was already in the hall and coming towards him. Together they headed towards the exit. Glancing back at the gate guard he nodded. The guard pressed the release button and lock almost soundlessly disengaged.
They did not have much time. They did not have much of anything. Except questions. And each other.