In 2006, I posted a challenge to write a short piece from the POV of a character you either hate or just find completely worthless in order to get inside their head and think about their motivations. I picked Diego Alcazar, and had him thinking about Georgie while he was in prison.
Of course, a year later, Diego killed Georgie, which always seemed to be a goddamn cop out. So this story fell off my radar, ended up in my LiveJournal archives, almost completely forgotten.
He dreams about her.
He closes his eyes and blocks out the sounds of the inmates at night. He forces out the grunts, the groans–he forgets about the smell of urine that seems spill out of every crack and corner of the cell block. He puts all of that out of his mind for a few brief visions of what it could be like if things were different.
If he’d chosen to follow a different path, if he’d chosen a different life, could he have been worthy of her? Could he have been the one she’d turned to instead of that spoiled rich boy? If he had grown up with her, known her from the beginning, could she have loved him instead?
He doesn’t think about her in the waking hours–it is a conscious decision. Thoughts of her beauty, of her spirit and her generosity don’t belong in this world, in this place and he wouldn’t soil the things he loves best about her by thinking about her when he’s surrounded by violent and disgusting men–men who make his crimes look ordinary and dull. To think about her while he is in the gym or in the cafeteria or even just playing cards with some of the inmates…it is wrong.
He is playing cards one day and thinking about what he could buy her with the money he wins. A smile crosses his face and one of the inmates crudely asks for details. It is his first and only fight. His knuckles are sore and his nose is broken, but he defended her honor and it makes it all right. He stops thinking about her when he is awake.
But at night, he closes his eyes and sees her smile and pretends it’s for him. He begins to plan in great detail how he will prove himself worthy of her love, how he will earn it. He will make enough money so he can offer the same world her boyfriend can. He will treat her with respect and trust. He will shower flowers and gifts and dress her in silks and satins. He will never make her regret her choice in gifting him with her love and her devotion.
He will make her love him and maybe she can save him. Maybe the dirt, the taint, the sheen of the streets and the things he has done will fade and all that will be left is someone that she deserves. He wants to be someone she deserves. For now, all he can do is plan.