Travis tried to think past the panic he felt. “I don’t panic. I ain’t never panicked in my life.” He gritted his teeth and thought hard. Don’t panic. You’re okay. Get rid of the blade first chance you get and no one will be the wiser. “Just get rid of the blade girl. No blade, no trouble. You’ll finish up your time and you’ll be out, with nothin’ on your record. Juvey records will be sealed and expunged. You’ll be free and no record.”
“Are you sure about that?” whispered that other voice sibilantly. “You know they have it in for you. You’re black, a MIN-OR-IT-Y. You don’t have rights, you have the MAN telling you what to do all day long. You’re a WO-MAN, you don’t count half as much as a man’s. Just think of all the stupidity that we have to put up with. WE can take CONTROL of our lives. The first thing is take care of the biotches that are making your life miserable. Just take it and catch each one alone. Your blade will scare them. you won’t have to take a beating ever again.”
“No, you don’t want to do that. It’ll just lead to more hate and more pain. You know that. You KNOW that.”
The view on the curved wall shifted back to the bed, and shook as the girl got back in the bed, palming the surgical blade in her left hand. She’d just finished as another clatter sounded at the door as it was pushed open by a wheeled tray which had a sandwich and a glass of water. “Here you go, girl. Ham, cheese, and some water to wash it down. You’ll be released today. Looks like the most you got was some good bruises. You got off lucky.” The heavyset nurse continued to talk about the day, and the other inmates in the infirmary while the view followed her so intently that Travis thought the nurse would catch on how nervous the girl was. ‘Interesting situation, isn’t it?’ scrolled in bright orange across the view, temporarily blocking the display.
“Dammit! Get out of the way!” Travis snapped at the letters. “I gotta see what’s going on.”
Travis watched the progress to the bedroom, the door opening, closing, and a shift in perspective as the girl sat down on the edge of the bed. The little blue dresser with the white alarm were no comfort. The blade appeared in the left hand. The view centered on that image for a full minute. Both Travis and the other voice remained silent. Travis wanted her to think it through and toss the blade, but it felt like he was talking to an addict with a ‘fix’ in their hand. No matter how much she wanted to throw it away, she couldn’t make her hand do it.
The hands slid the top drawer open. Socks, t-shirts, bras, and panties lay in neat rows left to right. The left hand opened, then tore the paper of the blade, which gleamed a polished silver under the fluorescent lighting. a pair of blue socks were grabbed by the right, and the blade thrust into them, and put at the far back of the drawer. The socks and the other articles were straightened, then the drawer closed.