Death row was not a pleasant place.
But i had to do it. I had to go there, ever so often.
The guard dipped his head slightly, acknowledging my presence. "Mornin' Trey."
God, it was way too often. I tried to ignore his smile. Theres no way i was gonna let myself become a regular here. I was gonna make sure i get done with all of this before the year ends.
I had to.
I did not have this in mind, when i passed my bar exam. I did not have this in mind when i decided to pursue law. And i definitely did not have this in mind when i told my dad, "Daddy, I can remember things well."
My brother, on the other hand, was sure from the very beginning.
"I want to be rich!" He gurgled, smiling gleefuly. He slapped his tiny palms together and rocked around in his comfy safety seat. A smile, very much like my own. In fact, we were completely identical.
You see we were born within twenty minutes of each other. He was first though.
He was always first.
First to speak, first to walk, first in class, first in college. Heck he was even first in finishing dinner. The moment he finished college, he was scooped up by a massive corporation, shiny credentials and everything. He was made a partner within 6 years. We all wondered what made him rise up the ladder so fast. He always mumbled something about adapting to the flow etc etc.
Thats my brother, always quiet, head on his shoulders. Always seems to know what hes doing, to the extent that we didn't even have to know the details. To the extent that i would have to ask him what i needed to do to get to where i wanted. To the extent that i felt like he had it all.
And here i was, walking down a dimly lit corridor in the Arizona Death Row facility. A corridor that led to a conference room, where the lawyers met their doomed clients. A corridor that led to where my brother sat, hands and legs, bound.
You see, by massive corporation, i meant, a pharmaceutical company. A company that had the whole board of directors integrated into their very own drug scandal. My brother seemed to have uncovered the insidious web of drug related associations the company had with minor distributors all along the west coast. And being the entrepreneur that he was, he readily 'adapted to the flow'. He was instructed to oversee a large number of their operations and handle the deals. To put it in plain terms. He had become a drug dealer.
And drug dealers, do drug deals. And drug deals, eventually, go bad.
After 6 years of hauling in cash for the company, they deserted him when a meeting with a Cuban 'businessman' turned hostile. He was consequently charged for the murder of 5 men. There was already a pile of incriminating evidence built against him , courtesy of the board, who had made sure to use him as a fall back in case anything ever went wrong with their dealings.
For the first time in the ten years since his passing. I was relieved that dad wasn't around to see this. When i heard about it, everything that i had heard or seen my brother do, seemed to become tainted by the stigma of drugs and murder. It was like seeing your god, dethroned and humiliated, severed from all his heavenly powers and thrust into the pits of Tartarus.
The last rusted door banged shut behind me, pulling me out of my sombre reverie. I glanced around the room, eyes adjusting to the sudden change in light. The dull white lights of the tube-lights were replaced by the natural light from outside. This was probably one of the few rooms in the facility that even had any windows. The softer yellow light from outside filtered through the blinds and illuminated the figure that sat calmly at the end of the table.
My Brother. The class topper. The director. The murderer.
His eyes flitted between the table top and my face before it resumed its gaze at the windows. As if he was absorbing all the sunlight he could before he was back in his cell.
"Mornin' Trey." He said blandly.
"Morning Dom. How have you been."
Dominic peeled his eyes away from the blinds for a second to examine the look on My face. Almost as if he needed to check whether I was serious in asking the question. The pained expression that probably lined my eyes and lips reassured him. He turned back to the light.
"I've been better."
"Everything will be alright Dom."