Meeting

The day after the first hearing ended. I left my office first thing in the morning.

My destination was the detention center. I had to meet with Claudia.

The December morning was cold, and on my first step outside, even though I wore a heavy coat, a piercing cold wind reached my skin.

As a court-appointed lawyer, the country would cover some expenses. But I would only receive my actual pay in a month’s time.
For now, I wanted to economize, so I walked to the center from my office equivalent to a vacant room.
A few hours into my walk, I eventually found the boorish, unapproachable concrete building just as I had left it.

Looking up at the detention center building letting off its usual imposing atmosphere, I noticed today’s sky was a nicely-clear shade of blue.

There was nothing to interrupt the sun. The concrete wall was hit by direct sunlight. But even so, the dark atmosphere lurking in its confines didn’t disappear, and just by taking a step into the center, I felt as if the temperature had dropped a few degrees.

I finished the same paperwork as before, fulfilling my promise of coming to see Claudia.

I was led to the visiting room. It wasn’t as if I didn’t know the way. However, to prevent crime and keep watch, the guards accompanied me there.

The visiting room held a savage air absent of anything. Nothing but a transparent glass wall in the center, a table and some chairs.

Besides the light dangling from the ceiling, there was nothing to illuminate the room.

I lowered myself onto the chair, looking at the door on the other side of the glass.

This side and that one held a different air.

The people on this side lived in the world of humans who followed rules.

Having rules definitely did make it harder to breathe every day. But as long as you followed the rules, you could receive protection from society.

However, society would never vouch for the people on the other side of the glass. For that had broken the rules.

Saving they who had completely been discarded by society was my job.

I think it’s a business of karma. When this was a place supposed to be kept isolated from society as could be, a place to accommodate dangerous humans. Yet I was trying to save those hated existences.

… I heard the sound of a turning doorknob.

It wasn’t on this side. A resident of the other side… Claudia Rheinland entered the visiting room.

When she took her first step into the room, Claudia looked especially frightened. Entering while urged on by guards, she was holding the same sword as yesterday in her hands, her black hair extending to her hips as her blue eyes nervously moved around, keeping wary of the area.

“Take a seat over there.”

The guard just urged her on. But even so, her body twisted for a moment as if something had stabbed at her from behind. “Eek!” She let out a small scream.

“S-sorry.”
After saying that in her obscure, hard-to-catch voice, she took a seat in front of me. There was only a distance of ten centimeters between us.

But because of this thin glass, it felt as if we were ten thousand kilos apart.

 

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