Locked up with the Badboy.

I take a seat on the floor in front of him, "What?"

He combs a hand through his dark hair and sighs, "This is a maximum security prison, the people here have killed babies, shot up schools , killed multiple partners and run crime rings and you, are saying that I'm mean? "

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1. Prison.

Prison, it’s a cold place.

Escorted by a guard and wearing only the thin cotton orange that stock inmates wardrobes I try to walk a little faster to keep my blood flowing. My guard; a stocky Polynesian woman pulls me back, “Slow,” she says so I slow down and turn into an ice block in the process.

At a snails pace we crawl our way past cell after cell, each of the small windows offering up a glimpse into the inmates lives. There’s scowling a plenty, with a few rude gestures added for flavour but because this is a maximum security woman’s prison it’s almost tame.

We reach the D’s as in D1 or D 10, which is scary because it means that we are almost at our destination; my new home.

I start shivering, I can’t help it; stress, fear, cold they’re all working their evil on me. “I’ve never actually been in prison before,” I say, attempting to relieve all the bad feelings flowing through me. My guard grunts, then turns her shoulder in a way that reveals her nametag. Tausa'afia Simpson.

“Ah Hi. Toosa-a fineea.”

“No Talking,” she says as we round yet another corner, I just take a bite out of my lip and hope that I haven’t offended her. I feel the cold again and my shiver increases. I have no idea how … Guard Simpson can stand working in these conditions. Then again, maybe it’s all she has.

“Cell,” she says pointing to a door in front of us. We stop as a unit because Guard Simpson has an arm around me and compared to her I’m a feather.

On the steel door is a little yellow label with a black D69 block lettered into it. Through the window I can’t see much, just a desk, two stools and a bunk bed. As strong as I’m trying to be tears make themselves nuisances “Home?” I ask with a cracked voice.

For the first time in our walk together Guard Simpson smiles, displaying her big black gummy teeth. She nods not unkindly, “Home.”  She presses her hand against a sleek silver keypad and the door opens to an empty room. Warm air rushes out

Taking a deep breath and trying not to be a little baby I step into the room. Almost instantly the door slides shut behind me I peer out the window to see Guard Simpson waddling away, it looks like she’s whistling but I can’t hear a thing apart from my own breathing.

I hang my bag on the designated clothes rail, peer out the window a while longer and try to decide who is more OCD, me or the prison architects. The room is far warmer than the passageway and as my blood begins to unfreeze I use fingers to try figure out where they deliver our food.

Giving up and feeling calmer about my situation I line my prison issue sandals parallel to the wall and decide that I’m going to sleep. Standing up, I scratch my back and try to determine which bunk I want, what with the top one probably being warmer, with better light and the bottom one being cooler and having a boy sitting on it.

“WHAT-THE-HECK AHHH,” I scream, launching myself backwards and colliding with the door.

Mystery boy, gives me a quizzical expression and to my intense displeasure laughs.

Still recovering from the shock of my life, I rub a tender part of my head. “What are you doing in my cell?” I ask/scream/shout.

His green eyes study me a moment before replying, “Well I don’t know really, I’ve only been here for the past six weeks, I guess my guards must have made a mistake.”

I detect sarcasm and definitely not the funny sort, “How come I didn’t see you in here before?”

He spreads his hands out, “I was lying in bed and the only reason I didn’t pop up before is because I didn’t want Mt Simpson to try talk to me.”

Mt Simpson?”

“Yeah, you know the guard.”

I can’t help myself, rather guiltily I start to laugh, “You’re so mean.”

He gets his good old quizzical expression on and again shakes his head, “Seriously?”

Still smiling and surprisingly starting to feel better I take a seat on the floor in front of him, “What?”

He rubbed a hand through his dark hair and sighed, “This is a maximum security prison, the people here have killed babies, shot up schools , killed multiple partners and run crime rings and you, an inmate yourself are saying that I’m mean?”

“Well how would you like it if you were big and… slightly pudgy and someone called you a mountain?”

His eyes narrowed, he held a hand to his thigh and when he spoke his voice was a rumble “What are you doing here?”

I try to size him up, to tell if he’s reliable; he’s pale, which isn’t unusual considering he’s spent the last month under artificial lighting, short well trimmed hazel dark  hair with flecks of light spilling from it.

 His face itself would have been a masterpiece before someone ran a blade of some sort from his forehead across his right eye and socket, while the eye was unharmed it left a cool purple scar that made him appear dangerous.

Down his shoulders to strong, muscled arms that aren’t bulky but look like they could pry steel bars apart and underneath his shirt, a blush appears slightly, I’ll leave that to my imagination.

“Are you going to answer my question, or just stand there drooling?” he says with a snide tone.

As I wipe my mouth on the collar of my shirt and discover to my horror that I was indeed drooling, he picks up a book and begins to read it. Still sitting, I get the distinct sense that I’ve been forgotten about.

****

 Sharing a room with someone is a completely new turnaround for me, my plan had been to get to the room and ball my eyes out at the unfairness of everything but being cooped up with what I assume is a hardened criminal forces me to rethink.

Maybe I should be projecting a really intimidating personality? Puffing my chest up slightly I take a look at him, realise that even through he isn’t the largest guy in the world he’s a whole lot larger then me.

My chest deflates, and feeling rather destitute take another look around our room which has the functionality of a battering ram and the elegance of a pig. In one corner sits the toilet with a a shower curtain, shower-head and sink squeezed on top of one another. projecting from a wall above the door is a rail for our clothes which hang on soft, bendable non-sharpenable coat hangers. The wall in front of our bed has a black television screen imbedded in it and other then that there’s our bunk.

Our bunk, not my bunk; our bunk. 

Giving a sigh, I turn on the television.

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