Gabriel, who grew up in dire circumstances, is doing time for killing a rival gang member as a teenager. Anna is doing her own hard time. First she lost her husband to a heart attack. “A bolt from the blue — no warning sign,” as she describes it. Then she lost her only son — like his father, a police officer — in a shootout with a gas station stickup man.
“Prisons are haunted,” says Gabriel, who begins to go mad 10 years into a life sentence. “Ghosts of the people you hurt. Their dead eyes staring at you.”
“I heard it all,” Anna says. “All the excuses. Hurt people hurt people. Depraved ’cause he was deprived. The impoverished childhood. The absent father. The early exposure to violence and drugs. To which I say, ‘So what?’ You don’t choose the cards you’re dealt. But how you play them — that’s on you.”
And so it goes, dueling monologues from across the divide by two people filled with anger, regret, loss. But in their haunted isolation, for all their differences, victim and perpetrator both experience time as a tool of torture. And then, in a twist I can’t give away, they discover a connection that carries with it a hint of redemption.