I had been staring at the cracks on the ceiling, once again, when the bell rang, declaring it was lunchtime. I sat up on my bed, hearing the chaos commence outside my cell door. I placed my shoes on and put my jacket on. I ran my fingers through my greasy hair, massaging my flaky scalp, then scraped it all back into a ponytail.
Upon standing up, my stomach let out a growl of hunger, followed by a squirm of excitement about receiving food. My mouth wasn't feeling quite so positive however the screams I had heard during the night had made my oesophagus seal itself shut. But after sleeping through breakfast, I knew my body needed food.
I sufficed the walk through the corridor and the elevator once more, and proceeded into the canteen. I kept my eyes down once more as the queue progressed. And once I had received my tray of boiled carrots and bread I was ready to find a deserted seat.
After sitting down, I immediately began eating the carrots; wanting to get them over with. I had only my bread roll and half a cup of water left to eat when somebody familiar decided it was time to harass me again.
"Oi oi." Big Mel was standing behind me, her warm, sweaty breath curling the skin cells on my back. "Enjoying lunch are we, gorgeous?" She smacked my back.
I looked down, closing my eyes; wanting to be left alone.
"Hmm...." She leaned down and her head rested on my shoulder. "I'll have that!" Her hand swiped my bread roll and she took a large bite out of it. I could hear her crunching in my ear... my eardrums cringed with every chew.
She wiped her mouth and placed the roll in her pocket. Then she moved her mouth closer to my ear, whispering: "So how's about you come outside this afternoon... with the rest of us....That way you and me can get talkin' some more...." She hesitated... smacking her lips together, "And we could get more... familiar."
I moved my eyes to look at her on the side of my face. My eyes then moved to her hand which was slithering its way to my... to my....
"Hey!" A female voice from behind us. "Mel, why don't you ever choose to molest someone your own bloody size?"
Me and Big Mel both turned around to see who the owner of the voice was.
"Well... I can't help it if the tiny, pretty ones catch my eye, Sandra." Big Mel answered.
Sandra rolled her eyes, standing up from her table and making her way closer to me and Big Mel. "Well Mel....." She sighed. "I'm afraid... the tiny, pretty ones don't always want to be caught by 'you'." A few of the other prisoners laughed quietly, while silence began taking over the whole canteen. Every prisoner began observing the current scene.
Sandra was coming closer as Big Mel spat: "It's none of yer business, right?! I know you've always been jealous cos' I never came after you.... it was always your friends that I wanted." Big Mel winked at Sandra and then perused her eyes around at some of the other women, flirtatiously.
Sandra chuckled to herself. "Oh Mel, you've got me so wrong! You know, I can't stand ya." She stopped in her tracks, a meter away from Big Mel. "Now leave her alone."
Big Mel choked a laugh, placing a hand on my shoulder, she yelled. "Whatchu gonna do about it ey' Sandra?!"
Sandra raised an eyebrow, smirking slightly.
It happened like a flash of lightening. Sandra picked up an empty tray and pounded Big Mel around the face with it... throwing her to the floor. I was pulled off my chair by Big Mel's hand which was still on my shoulder. I broke my own fall, and thus I was squatting next to Big Mel's large, unconscious body.
I looked up at Sandra, as she took a roll from another prisoner's tray and placed it back on my tray. She then walked away slowly, but confidently, as two wardens came galloping through the canteen.
"What the fuck happened?" One warden yelled, upon seeing Sandra walking away, he rolled his eyes, bitterly. "Oh not you again! I told you last time. Stay the fuck away from each other!" He bellowed as the other warden began checking on Big Mel.
The shouting warden then looked at me, and his expression turned from anguish to disbelief. "Ain't you the new one?!" He yelled.
I didn't respond as fear took over me and I began shaking uncontrollably.
He shook his head. "Come ere!" He spat as he moved towards me and pulled my arm, forcing me to stand up. "Come on! Come with me." He then proceeded to walk me out of the canteen and back to the elevator, all the way through the corridor and back to my cell door.
He was meddling with a large bunch of keys as we both stood there.
"You're an absolute idiot, getting involved with them!" He continued scolding me. "You've only been here for what? A week? And you've already gotten on the wrong side of Mel." He shook his head, still fidgeting with the keys. "And now you've made her bloody pass out. She'll finish you for fuckin' good now." He groaned.
The realization of what he just said hit me, and my eyes widened... fresh tears flooding them. "But I...." I whimpered.
He appeared to have found the right key and then stared at me. "You what?!" He spat.
A tear took a stroll down my cheek. "Didn't... do... it...." I whispered.
He examined my face for a moment, and with one harsh movement, the palm of his hand smacked my cheek. I moved my hand to my face, which was now tilted to the side. My cheek stung, and more tears emerged.
He put his hand on my chin, and moved my head back to face his. I locked eyes with him. He had bright green eyes which shone like jelly in comparison to his full brown beard and sideburns.
"Isn't that what you all say?" When I didn't respond, he began laughing. "I swear, your lawyers tell you to say it!" He laughed some more, while unlocking my cell door.
He then grabbed my arm and shoved me inside, "Get in there you liar!"
I regained my balance and turned to look at him as he locked my door. He hesitated, as he saw me looking at him. Our eyes met again, and he flashed a dirty smirk at me.
He slammed the door closed and I heard him lock it, and then walk away.
I was left there, my eyes fixated on the cell door. I stood... routed to the spot. Only to be taken aback by my door suddenly being thrust open once more, and Sandra being pushed in.
The other warden from the canteen stood in the doorway, "If you like each other that much! Why don't you share a cell?" The door was then slammed closed again and footsteps were heard as he walked away.
My eyes moved to Sandra, who was picking herself up from the position she had been thrown to on the floor. She was a redhead, with pale skin, a thin pointy nose and a fair few wrinkles around her faded gray eyes.
She stood up straight, sniffed and turned to look at me. I said nothing, and she did the same. She then moved over to my bed, and took a seat on it. I continued to observe her as she placed her head in her hands, as if she had a headache.
I kept watching this woman that was now going to share my cell with me. This woman... that had gotten into trouble... helping me.....
My heart bled for her, as I saw bruises on her arms, bruises that looked fresh. What had they done to her as a punishment....?
I walked over to the bed and took a seat next to her. She didn't respond to my movement, so I pressed further, by saying, "Why......help me?"
She turned her face to look at me, and then gently smiled. "I guess...." She hesitated, looking back down at the floor. "I guess.... I just never liked a bully." She spoke softly, yet darkly.
I continued to examine her, while my mind longed to know the true meaning of what she had just said.
My heart then traced the events of the last 30 minutes, and it bled some more.
I moved my hand to my cheek and upon seeing me do this Sandra spoke: "That warden was Andy....." She observed me. "He slaps a lot." She then moved her head back down and let it rest in her hands.
For the rest of the day, we remained in silence and I continued to observe her behavior. She would randomly lie down, and then get up again and begin pacing the room, restlessly. I wondered how long she had been in prison. I wondered why she was in prison. But more importantly... I wondered why she had chosen to help... me... a complete stranger to her... a person that meant nothing....
I did not think that I would ever come across such behavior... for the remainder of my life.
Susu - Thank you for reading the story and thank you for the compliment. Enjoy the rest of the story.
Lucy - I'm glad, you are asking questions; it helps me to understand what my kind readers want, and perhaps expect. I apologize however as I cannot answer too many questions in fear of the plot being given away. Nevertheless, I'll tell you this much my dear; Korbin is still alive. Thank you for the comment; I hope you continue to read and enjoy it.
Sasha - Thank you for your lovely comment, it really made me smile. I'm glad you feel engaged with the story, as well as Viola herself, as this is the main purpose of the story. To really make you 'feel', instead of just understand. Please continue to comment and I hope you enjoy the story further.
Graceanna - Thank you for asking that question; In chapter 3, Korbin tells Viola that she doesn't need to hide her body from him, and then in a moment of flirtatious passion he picks her up and decides it's time to have a nice bubble bath with her, along with a few other things that our totally 'innocent' minds can think of. It was not meant to come across as 'forcefully done', so I apologize for that. He lifted her into the bathtub, so he could show her in actions how much he loves her. Since she wasn't listening or 'believing' his words - all meant to come across as romantic and loving. Apologies, again. But this is the beauty of writing; every reader may interpret a scene differently. Thank you for the kind words and I hope you continue to enjoy the story.
Kai - You are indeed right; things do seem to be going very badly, don't they? But you never know.... things could pick up? We'll just have to wait and see. I'm honored that this is your favorite; I hope I can uphold that. Thank you for the comment, enjoy the rest of the story.
Sarah - Thank you dear, I appreciate your kind words. Hope you continue to enjoy the story.
Sorry for keeping you waiting on this chapter - If you find that you are waiting a long time for the chapters, it simply means that I am refining them over and over again. Happy reading!