A flashlight beam swept over both of them, its brilliant light interrupting yet another of their nightly chats. When the beam lingered a bit too long, Keller scowled and flashed his middle finger at the hack. The CO paused long enough to smirk and scoff at the man trapped in the glass pod, then moved on.
"That fucker is always eyeballin' me," he growled.
"Stop provoking him," came the reproachful tone from above.
"Next time he walks by I'll wave at him with my dick."
Toby eased back down onto his pillow. "I'm sure Lopresti will appreciate that."
"He should be jealous." Chris stood and walked to the sink, where he splashed lukewarm water onto his face. He caught Toby watching him in the mirror. "What?"
"You didn't answer the question."
"Before the hack walked by. I wanted to know what you were doing 10 years ago."
"That was a lifetime ago," Chris mumbled, his face in the towel. "I don't remember."
He propped his head up with his hand. "It's not that long ago. I told you all about Harvard Law and starting at the firm."
"That's because it's shit you wanna remember, Tobe. I didn't live that life. I was 26 years old and pissed off at the world."
"Were you in New York?"
He sighed, turning to where Toby lay on his bunk.
Toby reached out, hesitantly tracing the outline of Chris's tattoo. "I just want to...y'know...learn about who you are, Chris. That's all."
He crossed his arms over the other man's thighs and looked at him. "I was selling coke to failed artists and Wall Street wizards with too much money in the Bowery."
"Bet you were good at it."
Chris scowled. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"That you could charm anyone with that smile of yours if you wanted to."
Chris grinned in spite of himself. "Worked on you."
"Don't be so smug. It wasn't just that."
He felt a twinge of guilt, but he hid it. "No?"
"No. It's really the first time someone's actually listened to me."
"Then you must've been a suck-ass lawyer, Tobe."
Toby laughed as expected. "Chris?"
"Do you regret the things you did 10 years ago?"
He scratched the stubble on his chin. "Maybe. I dunno. I don't really think about it that much. I was just doin' what I needed to be doin' to get by."
"And do you still think like that?"
"It doesn't matter how I think, Tobe. All that matters is survivin' in here. No doubts, no second thoughts. You do what you have to. You got no one else."
"What about our families? People on the outside?"
He shrugged. "I hope they remember us."
Toby placed his arm gently over Chris's. "You think 10 years from now they still will?"
Chris reached up and brushed a strand of hair from his eyes. "You don't forget the things you love as long as you take time to remember. And all we got is time, Tobe. All we got is time."