"Jellal Fernandes, for your horrendous crimes you are sentenced to either life in prison without parole, or death. Honestly, I shouldn't even bother with a choice, but I'm not sure... Something tells me it is the right thing to do to give you a second chance, so what do you choose?" The judge asked.

She was a female judge with scarlet red hair, brown eyes and an aged face, even though she clearly wasn't far past forty. She wore an unadorned black robe and it was easy to tell that she took her work seriously. But something told me that, deep down, she could feel for me. That was why she bothered to give me the option to live, if I chose. She actually looked slightly like an older version of Erza Scarlet, a friend of mine that I grew up with. Yet, somehow, something had possessed me. I had turned on her. I had even tried to kill her.

I stood before the judge as I tried to think over my answer. My head was down and my blue hair covered my eyes. The only distinguishing part of my face that was visible was my tattoo under my right eye. I wore a black and white striped prison uniform. My hands were handcuffed with a special type of cuffs that prevented my use of magic.

The judge could hear me sigh and mutter, "What have I done?" under my breath as a clearly rhetorical question. She has just sentenced me for what I had done. 'Life in prison or death?' Those words continued to play in my head. This was no joke; her words were serious and they cut like a knife. I wished someone would come up to me and say something along the lines of, "Hey, no need to worry we found the right guy, he was using his magic to frame you. You never were responsible for the crimes you were accused of." It would make a lot more sense than living up to a crime that I don't even feel capable of committing. But I know that is a lie. I have done something, and I can commit these crimes.

If I were to be executed then all the pain that everyone had suffered because of me would be gone. I'm sure that there are many people who I hurt that would rather see me dead. To be honest I'd rather I'd be dead myself. But something holds me back, even now. Erza, after I regained my memory, made me promise not to take my own life. I am not about to break that promise. Keeping my promise will be the only thing in my life that feels right. If I were to pick death, it would be just as bad as if I took my own life, wouldn't it?

"I pick life in prison." I said with a sigh of relief, knowing that I made the right choice.

I didn't see why it mattered if I lived or died. I was going to be locked away in a high security prison. After today, I would never get to see Erza – or anyone else, for that matter – again. But something told me that choosing to live is the right choice. Besides, this is one promise to Erza that I will never break.

I looked out at the jury as the guards carried me back to my prison cell. Where was Erza? She wasn't there. She had likely gone back to Fairy Tail, where she belonged. Prison is where I belong. Seeing her face now would only make me tear up anyway. It would bring back a mixture of happy and painful memories. That would be more then I can handle right now. I'm trying to stay strong but I still don't know how long I can do it for. I'm only human after all. I tried to hide it, as visions of being considered a god crossed my mind but I'm going to spend the rest of my life on earth as a human. I am simple man capable of feeling pain, and emotion.

I will never forget how she looks, though; the way her eyes sparkled whenever I looked into them, her smile, and most of all I will never forget her scarlet red hair that gave her the last name of 'Scarlet'. Clear as day, I remembered what I had told her the day I gave her that name. "Such beautiful scarlet hair...Why don't we call you 'Erza Scarlet'? It's the color of your hair, that way, I'll never forget it!" She smiled back at me and accepted that name. She keeps that name even now. It is the only thing that still connects us. I never did forget her. Even when my memory was erased, by amnesia, her name still sounded so familiar. I wish I could just talk to her one last time. This time I would be able to tell her just how I felt about her so many years ago. I could tell her that I loved her. Back then and even now, she was the only person on my mind. I'd wonder if she loved me too. Then again, how could she, after all I'd done to hurt her? How do you justify what I did?

I wish I could go back to when we were just innocent kids. Nothing ever seemed bad. Even though we worked as slaves and lived in poverty, life was simpler only due to the fact that I had Erza with me, as my best friend. A few years passed and Erza ran off to Fairy Tail for the better life – one that she deserved. During that time my personality greatly changed. Even now I'm not even fully sure how or why. Maybe it was all a part of fate. In the past, I had seen life as a game. The people who were once my friends became my slaves, my pawns, in my twisted games. I had been the dictator. I had had no emotions of regret and no need for friendship. I had made them believe false promises of freedom even though I knew that in this world real freedom doesn't exist. It bugs me just how foolish I had been. My only desires had revolved around ultimate power. When I had met back up with Erza I had even tried to kill her to gain more power. I'm so sorry. If I could redo those days, believe me, I surely would, in a heartbeat. But life doesn't work that way... You only have one chance.

Once I lost my memory I had felt so much more cheerful until I learned of just who I really was, or at least who everyone thought I was and who I was supposed to be. The fear in everyone's eyes only confirmed to me that this was real. This is who I am. I was disgusted at myself, at life. I had felt like life wasn't even worth living and I had tried to commit suicide. It was then that I noticed Erza. She was willing to forgive me. Thank you, Erza, for your kindness. It was your words that gave me courage. They became my light that would guide me towards the right path again. Now my greatest fear is that somehow I would find myself going back to my old ways. What if I somehow returned to the road of evil again? I feel that I do not know enough of this world to make myself stay good forever. That's part of the reason why I want to die. If I were to die, things would hopefully be better. I wouldn't have to worry about going back to my old ways. If I did, by chance, fully go back to my old ways then I would know I will be scum and that I deserve to die.

Paradise... Freedom... It was all over before it had even begun. I let those guys take me to this prison. It is my sin for giving in to my own weaknesses. My heart just can't keep up with the gigantic gap between dreams and reality. Fairy Tail could have fought back and saved me but, tempting as that was, I told them not to. I deserve this for my sins. Besides, what would be the point if they fought back? They would be criminals too. But nevertheless, my one wish is to see Erza one last time. To touch her long scarlet red hair, kiss her, tell her I love her and I'm sorry and ask – no, plead – for forgiveness, even though we both know I don't deserve it. I would do everything in my power to correct my wrongs and make them right. So many people have died because of me and I don't feel like I can just let that go. Please, Erza, I'm secretly hoping you visit one last time and help me correct my mistakes. I will be locked up here for the rest of my life. I will be the man who can't be moved.

-phantom130 5 (June 2011)