Every night, he holds the golden necklace, closes his eyes, and prays.
He prays for Nathan, he prays for himself, he prays, because the mark the cross leaves on his hand is the only thing that feels real.
He tried them all: dispair, anger, grief.
Now, he doesn't know what to do.
In a vain attempt to keep himself sain, he had decided that he could think about his situation only once a day.
The prayer is over, and Sam is tired.
-If your friend comes here without the stuff, you are dead. You understand?
Sam puffs out the smoke and sighs:
-He won't come empty handed, amigo.
The guy looks inside his bag again, then tucks it under his chair.
Lucky for him, Sam was the one who had spotted him that morning, Gian and his guys would have had no mercy for a drug addict from another gang.
He drops the cigarette butt on top of the others as he hears Marcos talking to the guard. The guy stands up and clutches the bag to his chest, the exchange is brief and the guy runs out of the room as soon as he has his hands on the stuff.
-Toss me a cigarette will ya? Marco asks from across the room.
-You celebrating? Sam smiles and does as asked.
Marcos tosses him the bag.
-Well, I can see why.
Sam nods at the guard when they leave the room, Rico? Paco? He never remembered.
The guard just offers him a cold stare.
Marcos pats him on the shoulder:
-You'll get it someday.
-Nah, I don't think so.
Sam breathes in the good old smell of fresh panamiam jail, that sweet humidity mixed with mold, sweat and other bodily fluids cologne.
They squeeze through the crowd, ignoring the usual looks, turning a blind eye to the bodies on the floor, not responding to the screams and cries echoing through the corridors.
Sam is distracted by a game of cards and by the players impressive ability, but Marcos rolls his eyes and drags him away.
Giulio is waiting for them, he's shuffling cards, sat in the shade, he doesn't look up when they arrive.
Sam sits down in front of him, and takes the cards Giulio is handing to him.
He likes annoying Marcos, and Giulio was so eager to have finally found someone willing to learn the game of "Briscola".
-Guys. We don't have time.
Giulio sushs him:
-The game of cards is sacred Marcos! Next time try to grab some coffee so I can pretend I am home, sat in a bar, and we are not all a bunch of theifs in prison. Sam what are you-
Sam grins and shows him his card.
Colour drains away from Giulio's face.
-Porca di quella miseria!
Sam gladly takes the matches he won and lits a cigarette.
Marcos grabs his arm.
-C'mon guys, we have to get inside before...
Sam stops, briefly considering running, but Marcos hand is keeping him in place.
Giulio steps forward,arms open:
-Gian! What can we do for you?
Giulio is a scrawny guy, all limbs and no muscle, next to Gian he looks like a cihuahua next to a doberman.
Sam stares at the finger pointing at him, and he's sure Marcos is doing one hell of a job at keeping him in place.
Four inmates come out of the shadows and side by their leader.
-I have a job for you.