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Illustration by Jillian Wesner (Source: Depositphotos)

I have no perception of time. The days are weeks. The weeks, months.

Twenty-six years. Time is not fair.

I picture time as a never-changing woman with blonde hair and no wrinkles. There is wisdom in her gray, deriding eyes; humor in her crooked smile; her cackle echoing in my ear.

Time is tall and lean, willowy but strong. Her grip is unbreakable. Once she gets you, you're forever in her clutches. She has not been my friend, yet she has a hold on me. With each passing year, her laugh grows louder and louder.

I used to ignore her, this stranger hugging me. To me, she was a stray who wanted to be fed. I was too busy with my own agenda. Maybe I should have befriended her all those moons ago. Maybe if I’d known she could fly, I would have gone with her.

I was 18 years old when she came into my life and stopped right in front of me. No explanation, no introduction. Everyone thinks that life ceases behind these barbed wire fences; but it doesn't, it just changes.

Trapped in her web. This is what happened when they sentenced me to life without parole. This place is a time zone all its own. A year in prison is equal to a couple of days in the free world.

I fault no one but myself.

Do you remember all those yesterdays of the past? When I close my eyes, I see the holidays, the gatherings, the love. We were much younger then.

I admire time as she runs through my life, taking real vivid pictures. Sweet memories. When I wake up and face tomorrow, time will remind me to enjoy this moment. In the blink of an eye, she’ll be gone.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Sarah Allen is a writer incarcerated in Florida.