Just One Night
by Trina G.

516 words(3.5-4 minutes)

     It began the same day it ended. It didn’t take much, he just bothered me. All it took was one day. One long, tedious afternoon. I’m still paying the price. After six years in jail, I’m still paying.

All my life Ron had wanted a little boy to call his own. He wanted to watch him grow up, to teach him the basics. He wanted to be there when he first said “Daddy” and when he took his first step. 20 years we waited until we were old or mature enough to have a baby. Ron and I had our prayers answered on January 3rd, 1994, when our beautiful baby boy came upon the world. We decided to name him Daniel after Ron's brother Erwin. Daniel Erwin Browne junior. Ron and I envisioned our perfect lives with our little blessing.

Those visions were soon ruined by midnight feedings, spitting up, and extra expenses. Ron had to get a second job, leaving me home with the baby, alone, between 11 am and 3 pm. I had no idea how to take care of him.

All it took was one day. I would never blame Ron for what happened, because I understood the stress he was under. But by two o’clock, Daniel was begging for something. He began screaming! I didn’t know what to do! Ron was at work. I tried to contact him, but the manager at his work refused to let me. I tried cradling Daniel, but he was persistent in his shrieking. I was at my wits end! I was going crazy. There was nothing I could do! So, I ripped the little monster into my hands and shook him, screaming “I can’t help you, so just stop it! Stop your crying!”

He did stop. I watched in horror as my baby’s head fell limp in my own hands. I froze. I didn’t know what to do...except call 911. I thought maybe little Daniel still had a chance to live! So, I called. I explained everything to the lady on the other end of the line. The bottles, Ron’s work, the shaking... Two minutes later, the ambulance arrived. They stared at me, disgusted. They took my baby away, although they knew as well as I did, he was dead.

I didn’t have time to react. The police came. They entered through the front doors. Their words came out slowly and clearly. They rang in my head “Evelyn Browne, you are under arrest for manslaughter. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to an attorney...”

You know how that goes. The jury convicted me on the spot. Ron wanted nothing to do with me. He filed for divorce immediately. I don’t blame him. The newspapers, the radio, the TV...they called me a cold-blooded murderer. Everyone was happy to have me locked away. After that, no one treated me human again. I was locked in a tiny, dingy prison cell, with killers, rapists and cannibals. These people aren’t human. I just made a mistake one night.

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