The truth was far from clear.
– I’m going to tell you what to do, Robbie. If they never find it, people will always think I did it, but if they find it, you have to promise me that you will clear my name. Can you promise me, Robbie? I don’t care how long it takes, but you have to clear my name.
– I have the vision that one day my mother and my brothers will be next to my grave, celebrating that I am innocent. What will be great, Robbie?
– Have a big party in the graveyard itself. Invite all my friends, arm her very fat and let everyone know that Donte is innocent. Will you, Robbie?
– I have to go, big man. I don’t know what to say, except that it was an honor for me to be your lawyer. I have believed you from day one, and today I believe you even more. I’ve always known you were innocent, and I hate the sons of bitches who make all of this happen. I’ll keep fighting, Donte. I promise.
They got up and gave each other a long, painful hug that neither of them wanted to end. Ben Jeter waited by the door. In the end, Robbie left the holding cell and went to the other end of the short corridor, where Keith, sitting in a folding chair, was praying fervently. Robbie sat down next to him and started crying.
Ben Jeter asked Donte for the last time if he wanted to see the chaplain. No, I didn’t want to. The corridor began to fill with uniformed guards, tall, healthy men with serious faces and thick arms: reinforcements had arrived, in case the inmate refused to go peacefully to the execution chamber. In a few moments of bustle, everything was full of people.
Keith looked up blankly, not quite sure where he was, certain that his little nightmare would soon be over and he’d wake up in bed, with Dana.
– The director has given his permission. “Another tug.” As the spiritual advisor to the condemned man, you qualify to be a witness.
The discussion amused several of the watchers. Keith was aware of their smiles, but he didn’t care.
“Come on,” Robbie said, dragging the clergyman away. Do it for Donte. What the hell, do it for me. You live in Kansas, one of the states that still has the death penalty. Come see a little democracy in action.
Keith was moving, and everything was blurry.