Guilty

That might be the hardest word I have ever said. Maybe because it seems so final or maybe because it felt like a lie, it just felt like swallowing poison.

I got a ticket a few months ago for speeding. The thing is though, I don’t feel like I was speeding. I was going the speed of traffic, and I saw the cop on the side of the road. If I thought I was doing something wrong, I wouldn’t have done it knowing the cop was there.

All of that is irrelevant though because today I pled guilty. I pled guilty because they told me to. They said if you’re convicted, you can’t get the ticket off your record. They said they would lower the fine for me. They said that’s what they would do.

And so I said okay. I pled guilty because I had no idea what to do. I had no idea if I had a case because I still don’t fully understand what I did wrong. I just wanted to know for sure if I had done something wrong so I wouldn’t do it again, but I didn’t want to condemn myself by taking the chance that I really was wrong.

It makes me feel for all those people who plead guilty when they haven’t done anything. Mine was just a traffic ticket, nothing big or life changing, but I had no idea what to do and felt like I didn’t really have a choice. How many others feel the same way when it is life changing?

And that word still seems to linger in the air… Guilty.

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