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Orange is the New Blackwell

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Thunder cracked in the sky and the wind howled around Max. She slowly opened her eyes and looked down at the cold ground beneath her. As everything slowly came into focus, it dawned on her that she was drenched in rain.

‘Wha-- where am I? How did I get here? …and where the fuck is “here”?’

The storm continued to pummel her with rain and debris.

‘I’m trapped in a storm?’

She found her bearings and looked around her. She was in a large field surrounded by a tall chain-link fence. There was barbed wire lining the top of the entire enclosure. In the distance she saw a light. She brought her hand up to wipe the rain out of her eyes and squinted to try to focus through the blinding rain.

It was the revolving beacon of a lighthouse in the distance. It wasn’t too far and anything was better than being a human lightning rod in the middle of an empty field.

‘I’ll be safe if I can make it there… I hope.’

She looked at the fence, searching for any way past it when she came upon a loose section. She pulled at the fence with all her might and it finally lifted just enough for her to squeeze her small frame through.

She ran towards the lighthouse as fast as her waterlogged clothing would let her, glancing back over her shoulder to see the yard she just escaped light up with a flash of lightning. She ran until her lungs screamed and her legs burned… and then she ran some more.

Racing up a hill, she got to the top where the lighthouse sat on a cliff by the ocean. Finally, she could relax… but instead, her breath hitched in her throat as she became transfixed on the scene in front of her.

‘Holy shit!’

It was like something out of a nightmare. A massive swirling vortex was displayed before her in all its petrifying glory. It was heading straight for… Arcadia Bay?

‘I’m back in Arcadia Bay. Oh God! I wanted to leave Arcadia, not see it get destroyed! This can’t be happening!’

Suddenly, the monstrous vortex flung a large piece of debris out of the ocean and towards the lighthouse where she stood frozen in fear. It hit the top of the lighthouse with enough force that the top came crumbling towards her. She let out a final scream then her world faded to black.

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Max shot up in bed, covered in a cold sweat.

‘What was that?! It felt so real…’

The covers shifted slightly as someone rolled over in bed beside her. A lamp turned on. Laying beside her was Warren Graham.

“Max, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”

A couple years after dropping out of high school to move back in with her parents, Warren had found Max on social media. Originally she had tried to ignore him but damn if he wasn’t persistent. She knew he had feeling for her back in high school but they were never reciprocated. He was predictable... boring even. Nothing like Chloe.

After casually talking the last couple years, he asked her out. As tempted as she was to flat out say no, maybe predictable and boring was what she needed in her life. They had now been dating for the past six months or so and things were… nice?

‘You’re happy, you don’t need drama anymore’, she reminded herself.

“Yeah, I’m okay. Just a bad dream.”

She lied. Was she lying? It certainly didn’t feel like a dream, but what was another explanation? She sighed and shook her head in defeat.

Warren noticed her unease and continued his prodding.

“Are you worried about tomorrow? You got nothing to worry about, babe.”

‘Babe? Did he just call me fucking babe…? Sorry Warren. I’m not your “babe”.’ She said internally

About a week ago, she had gotten a subpoena in the mail requesting that she appear at the Arcadia Bay courthouse for a felony charge she had long since forgotten about. How did they even know she was involved? She wasn’t that person anymore. She’d tried damn hard in the past four years to prove that.

Pinching the bridge of her nose in frustration, “I’ve got plenty to worry about Warren! In case you’ve forgotten, I wasn’t always this innocent. Especially if Chloe had a say.”

“Chloe!” he practically yelled, startling me.

“Do you think that bitch had anything to do with this?” He spat.

“Why would she? Why now? We haven’t spoken in years. Not since, you know…”

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Years earlier, when she moved back to Arcadia bay to attend high school, she didn’t know what to expect. She had ditched her best friend for five years to move to Seattle RIGHT after her father had died. To make matters worse, she hadn’t said a single word to her supposed best friend during those five years. Chloe would understandably be pissed.

As she had assumed, Chloe was definitely pissed but forgave her quickly. She mostly just missed her best friend. What Max didn’t assume was how much she had missed Chloe as well.

It was like a void she wasn’t even aware she had was suddenly filled. There was nothing like it and she craved more.

While Max was away, Chloe had hit all of the stages of teenage rebellion; drugs, sex, tattoos, blue hair… she had it all. She was a beautiful disaster. To crank it up a notch, she had Rachel Amber; a girl equally as beautiful and equally as fucked up. They we’re the perfect disastrous duo.

Max thought that she could be a good influence on Chloe. After all, that’s what she had promised Joyce when she came back.

She couldn’t have been more wrong.

She was so drawn in by Chloe’s charm and charisma. Rachel was just as charming. There was never a dull moment. The more time she’d spent with them, the more she started to itch for trouble. She also started to notice just how beautiful Chloe had grown up to be. She was captivating.

It started slowly… they started smoking together. Next, she was getting her nose pierced and dying her hair pink. Before she knew it, they were planning their heist on the Prescott Mansion. If there was a surefire way to get out of Arcadia Bay and into LA, it was with “Press-cock” ‘s money. That was the dream. She never imagined they would get caught until it was too late.

When the alarm sounded, Chloe and Rachel took off one way and Max took off the other. Chloe and Rachel were both caught by Sean Prescott’s security while Max waited by Chloe’s truck she had parked about a block away.

When Chloe and Rachel never made it to the truck, Max knew something had gone horrible wrong. Chloe and Rachel were both charged with armed robbery; Chloe with David’s gun and Rachel with Frank’s switchblade. Max, afraid that Prescott would come after her eventually, packed her bags and headed back to Seattle.

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Max looked forward with tears in her eyes.

She couldn’t believe that she had just ditched her again. What else could she have done? Had she stayed, she’d surely be in the same boat.

“I just can’t believe that after all this time, this is coming back up. Maybe it’s time…” ,she sighed. “I can’t run from it forever.”

‘Or her forever…’ she thought

Warren just sat there in silence. He then leaned over and turned off the lamp beside him.

Whatever would happen tomorrow could wait until tomorrow. For now sleep was more important.

As Max drifted back to sleep, a single name floated through her mind: Chloe…

Chapter Text

- Chapter Two -

 

Morning came sooner than Max would have hoped. Hell, 6:00 a.m. came early for anyone, but waking up from that nightmare, if that’s what she was calling it, had seriously disturbed her sleep schedule and made it so much worse. She’d definitely be grabbing a coffee… or three along the way.

 

 She had a long drive ahead of her; all the way from Seattle to Arcadia Bay, so if she was going to make it on time for her trial, she’d have to leave within the next hour.

 

Warren left as she got ready and headed downstairs to greet her parents. While walking downstairs, she was met by the smell of waffles. Granted, they’d never compare to Joyce’s Belgian waffle, but as far as last meals went, she could do much worse.

 

Although she had yet to tell anyone about her decision, she had decided to plead guilty. She figured the more she cooperated with the Prescott’s and the Arcadia Bay police, the less hell she’d have to pay. Of course, if Sean Prescott had any say in the matter, which he did, she’d still be in prison by the end of the day… but hopefully for less time?  She would discuss her decision over breakfast.

 

She poured herself a cup of coffee, nodding to her parents, and proceeded to the dining room to sit down at the table. From the dining room, she could hear her parents resume a hushed conversation about what she could only assume they would discuss with her once they joined her. From time to time she would hear either of them slightly raise their voice in frustration. This wasn’t going to be an easy morning.

 

After about five minutes, they walked into the dining area and joined her. Her mom carried in a tray of waffles and her dad followed with the syrup. Everyone made their plates and began eating in silence.

 

‘Wellllll this is awkward’, she thought to herself.

 

Ryan clears his throat and looks over at Vanessa who gives him a silent nod of approval.

 

He opens his mouth to speak only to find his daughter speaking instead.

 

“I’ve decided to plead guilty.”

 

Ryan sits there at a loss for words but Vanessa quickly counters.

 

“What?”, she exclaims. “Why the hell would you do that, Maxine? Are you trying to ruin your chance at a normal future?” I swear, I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but if you think for one second that we’re just going to sit idly by and watch you just flush everything you’ve worked for down the toilet, you’ve got another thing coming!”

 

 

When Max first moved back to Seattle, she had no clue as to what she was going to do. She had dropped out of high school and lost her photography scholarship. She had also lost her parents trust somewhere along the way.

 

She eventually fell back into her old reclusive habits and worked towards getting her GED. Once she got that, she started attending a local community college. She eventually earned her degree in photography, despite her previous setbacks, and was now working at a small art/photography studio she had opened with an old friend from high school, Kate Marsh.

 

Kate had moved to Seattle about a year after she graduating to attend the University of Washington. She got a full ride scholarship for their art program. She was always a talented artist, but seeing her work these days, one word: wow. She had really come out of her shell and blossomed after college. When she moved up to Seattle, she contacted Max, wanting to meet for tea. They instantly reconnected and were now best friends.

 

 

Max had worked so hard to get to where she was today. Was she really just about to give it all up?

 

No! Damn it… I’ve thought this through over and over again. There’s no other outcome.’

 

“And just what do you propose, Mother?”, she asked through gritted teeth.

 

“You fight! You fight this tooth and nail! And maybe yo—“

 

“What grounds to I have to fight on?! I’m guilty!”, Max shot back before her Mom could finish. “Do you think that I made this decision on a whim? No! I’m fully aware of what I’m giving up and it fucking sucks!”

 

“Maxine! Language!” , her Mother chided.

 

 Max took in a shaky breath before she continued.

 

 “Do you realize how much worse it will be if I fight this? You know Sean Prescott. I could do a minimum of five years in prison for this but he’s offering me a plea bargain.”

 

Upon hearing this, both parents grew quiet and looked at their daughter in anticipation.

 

“Prescott’s lawyer called me a couple days ago… I’m sorry I didn’t tell you guys sooner, but they’re offering to settle on fifteen months in prison if I plead guilty. That’s only a little over a year compared to half a decade if I’m found guilty. I’d be dumb not to accept the deal…and at least this way it’s somewhat on my terms.”

 

By this point, Vanessa had calmed down and just looked forward at her daughter with concern in her eyes. Ryan chose this moment to speak up.

 

“I think you’ve obviously put a lot of thought into this, and it sounds like the most responsible choice to me. I’m proud of the woman you’ve grown up to be, kiddo. No matter how old you get, you’ll always be my kiddo.”

 

Max gives a slight chuckle, “Thanks Pop.”

 

She lets out a long breath she’s been holding in.

 

“Thank you both for being there for me and loving me, even if I didn’t always deserve it.”

 

Vanessa moves over and embraces her daughter.

 

“Oh Maxine, we’re always going to love you. We just want what’s best for you and the thought of you being somewhere like that terrifies me.” Tears begin to make their way into Vanessa’s eyes.  “…But you make a compelling argument and you are old enough to make your own decisions. If this is what you choose, then I support you 100%.”

 

“We both do.”, Ryan adds.

 

They finish breakfast and Max helps her Mom clear the table and wash dishes.

 

She looks up at the clock and notices it reads 6:56 a.m.

 

“Crap! I’ve gotta go if I’m going to make it to the hearing by 2:00 p.m.!”, Max states in a panicked voice.

 

She wasn’t ready to say goodbye, especially knowing what was coming next.

 

Ryan noticed his daughters shaking and wrapped her in a tight bear hug.

 

“You’re going to be alright, Max. We will ALWAYS be here for you and visit as often as we possibly can. Your Mother and I love you so much.”

 

His voice began to waiver.

 

 “A year will go by before you know it.”, he reassured both her and himself.

Vanessa joined in the embrace and they all cried silent tears.

 

After a moment, they walked their daughter towards the door.

 

Max gave them both one last long embrace.

 

“I love you both so much. I’ll call as soon as I can.”

 

With that, she began walking towards her car. She had to leave while she still had the courage.

 

As she pulled out of the driveway and drove away, Ryan and Vanessa stood by the door, hand in hand, praying for the safety of their daughter.

 

 

It had been a few hours since Max had left the Caulfield residence when she decided it was a good time to stop for gas and her next dose of caffeine. She filled up, grabbed her coffee, and headed back out on the road. It was about 10:00 a.m. now.

 

‘Surely, Kate should be awake by now…’ ,she thought as she picked up her phone and hit Kate’s contact.

 

The phone rang a couple of times before she picked up.

 

“Max! How did it go with your parents?” Kate asked eagerly.

 

“Eh, could have gone better, could have gone worse.” ,she answered truthfully. “By the end of the conversation, they seemed to understand and be on board though.”

 

She let out a long sigh and continued.

 

“At least they finally know. I felt so bad keeping them in the dark. I just didn’t know how to approach the situation.”

 

“I still can’t believe you kept it from them for so long!”, Kate scolds. “Furthermore, I can’t believe my best friend is really going to prison! I’m really going to miss you, Max. Tea time just won’t be the same.”

 

“Aww, Kate.” , Max’s voice waivers slightly. “I’m going to miss you too! I don’t know how I’m going to survive fifteen whole months without my little Marshmallow.”

 

Kate chuckles at the nickname she’s been given.

 

“You’d better miss me! You’re lucky a simple God-fearing Christian such as myself would even entertain the idea of remaining friends with a hardened criminal such as yourself.” She said teasingly.

 

“I’m one lucky gal.” Max said in return as a smile crept upon her face and she rolled her eyes.

 

Kate suddenly remembered, “Speaking of telling people, did you ever tell Warren?”

 

“Warren? Who is this Warren you speak of?” , Max joked.

 

“Maaaaaaaax.”

 

“Fine! No! I invited him over last night for a movie, planning to tell him, but he fell asleep before I could.”

 

It was the truth! ...for the most part, anyway. Sure, she could have told him when they talked in the middle of the night, but at that point, she was still overcoming her nightmare.

 

“I know I should have told him, but maybe it’s better off this way. I just don’t want to hurt his feelings.”

 

Kate was silent for a second as if pondering what to say next.

 

“Max, you can’t just ghost on him and expect him to get the drift.  You do remember how oblivious that poor boy was in high school, don’t you?”

 

“How do you know I was planning on just leaving him hanging?”

 

“Call it the powers of best-friendhood.”

 

“Kate, I just don’t know what to say… I mean Warren is like the nicest guy I’ve ever known and he’s been super patient with me but we just never clicked like that. I figured now was as good a time as any to call it quits.”

 

“Then tell him! What’s the worst that could happen? It’s not like you’ll have to see him for the next fifteen months anyway.”

 

“You’re right; I know you’re right.” , Max let out a long sigh. “I just hate seeing him sad. He’s always been a good friend to me… Even if we couldn’t make it work as more than friends.”

 

“Even more reason to tell him. If you’d like to preserve the friendship, then you have to.”

 

“Alright, alright. You already convinced me Katie. I’ll call him before the trial. I want to keep it as short and sweet as possible.”

 

“Good enough for me.” , she laughed. “Well Max, I have to go open the studio. I promise I’ll keep the place from burning down while you’re away. I still can’t believe you’re leaving me to fin for myself. How selfish can you be?”

 

“I know, I know… I’m incorrigible.” , she paused. “Love you Kate.”

 

“Love you too, Max. You take care of yourself and stay strong.”

 

“I’ll call you as soon as I can once I get settled in.”

 

“You better.” , Kate replied.

 

The phone call ended and Max drove the remaining three hours in silence.

 

 

She arrived at the Arcadia Bay courthouse with about 30 minutes to spare. If she was going to call Warren, she had better make it quick. She didn’t want to chance giving a bad impression, even if she did already know exactly what was going to happen. Being in good standing with court could help with any future cases.

 

She hesitantly dialed his number and the phone rang. She secretly hoped that he wouldn’t answer so she could leave this as a voicemail, but lo and behold, she heard his chipper voice on the line.

 

“Hey Max! I was hoping you’d call. I just wanted to wish you good luck.”

 

‘I guess now is as good a time as any…’

 

“Thanks Warren, but I don’t need any. I’m going to plead guilty.”

 

“W-what? Why? I th-thought you were going to let this play out. You have a good chance of winning.”

 

“No, I really don’t Warren and if I do lose, I go away for years. I was offered a deal that’s too good to pass up. If I plead guilty, I’ll only get fifteen months.”

 

“Wow, Max. That’s still a pretty serious decision. I mean, I see why you’re making it, but still. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you.”

 

“There’s another thing I wanted to talk to you about, Warren.”

 

                                                            He grew quiet.

 

“I don’t think you should wait for me. I think there’s someone far better than me out there for you.”

 

“B-but Max, of course I’m going to wait for you. I lov—“

 

“Warren, I think we should just be friends. I love you… like a brother.”

 

When he didn’t reply, she continued.

 

“I’m so sorry Warren, I didn’t mean to hurt you or lead you on, it’s just you were such great company and I thought that I could someday feel the same the same way as you do for me, but it just never happened.”

 

“I get it Max, I guess I just really hoped…”

 

“I know. I’m so sorry, but I still want to be your friend, Warren. You mean so much to me. …That is, if you still want that to.”

 

He sighed, “I do, but it’s going to take some time for me to get over this. Luckily, it looks like I have the next fifteen months.”

 

“Hey, I knew me going to prison would be good for something!”

 

He laughed light-heartedly.

 

“Sorry Warren, but I gotta let you go now. I want to get to the courtroom a little early and settle in.”

 

“I get you. Good luck, Super Max.”

 

“Thanks, Warren.”

 

 

Max got out of her car and walked up the steps of the courthouse. Each step brought her closer to her fate. Suddenly, her throat felt agonizingly dry and her heart started racing like she had just finished running a full marathon. She reached out a sweaty palm and grabbed the door handle.

 

She crossed the lobby and entered the court room, finding a seat before she collapsed from anxiety.

 

She had started to calm down until she saw Sean Prescott walk in, followed by his lawyer. Sean spotted Max and gave her a devilish grin.

 

He really wasn’t a bad looking man. He looked to be in his late 40’s, early 50’s tops. He stood at 5’11”—ish , had salt and pepper hair, and was pretty physically fit for his age. It wasn’t until you looked at that crooked smile of his that you truly remembered how ugly and corrupt he was.

 

‘Please don’t walk over here, please don’t walk over here…SHIT! He’s walking over here!’

 

“Miss Caulfield, it’s wonderful to see you.” Sean said, flashing her his infamous grin. “Let me make this simple for you and tell you how this is going to go down. You’re either going to take the deal or I will make sure you go away for a very long time.”

 

He said everything so nonchalantly that it took her a moment to recognize the threat. What was he gaining from this deal? He could put her away for years but instead he was offering her a chance at a shortened sentence?

 

She was wracking her brain, until it dawned on her. It was so simple. Sean Prescott wasn’t interested in her going to prison as much as he was interested in demonstrating the power he held over her. It was a power trip for him. That sadistic fuck.

 

She knew he had her cornered, and to his delight, so did he.

 

She went to speak and nothing came out. She cleared her throat and tried again.

 

“I’d like to accept the deal.”, she said in as confident a voice as she could muster.

 

“Good girl. Maybe you aren’t so stupid after all.”

 

‘Asshole…’

 

“Then it’s settled. When the judge arrives, we’ll inform him of your decision, and we’ll be on our way. Or at least I will.”, he snickered as he walked off.

 

After what seemed like a lifetime, the judge entered the courtroom. He walked up to the podium and motioned for us to rise.

 

He turned towards me and spoke. “Miss Caulfield, I presume?”

 

“Y’-yes your honor, sir.”

 

“You have been accused of burglary in the third degree. How do you plead?”

 

“Guilty, your honor.”

 

He opened his mouth to continue but was interrupted.

 

Prescott’s lawyer spoke. “Your honor, the plaintiff and the defendant have come to an agreement I’d like to propose to you.”

 

“Very well then.”

 

The lawyer rose and handed a folder to the judge.

 

The judge opened the folder and looked over the documents inside. He cleared his throat to speak.

 

“This says here that you’ve agreed to fifteen months in Blackwell Minimum Correctional Facility. Is that correct?”

 

“Yes sir, I mean… your honor.”

 

Then, I don’t see anything further to discuss. I find this sentence more than fair. You will both sign the documents in hand and I expect you to report to Blackwell by the end of the day. Court is adjourned.”

 

With that, the judge walked off, leaving me with Sean and his lawyer.

 

“That couldn’t have gone better, if I do say myself.”, he stated like it had been rehearsed. “…All thanks to your cooperation. You know, I wondered for years just who that third person was that broke in to my house that night. Some might even say I obsessed over it, but I got an idea one day. “

 

He paused and handed me a pen.

 

“Do be a dear and sign this for me.”

 

I skimmed over the document, signed it, and handed it back to him.

 

“Wonderful! Now that everything is in order, let me continue… I got an idea. Why not just use one of the other little shits I caught that day for information? I know you’re thinking ‘but they’d never agree to give you information.’ And you’d be right”, he paused for dramatic effect, “…if I hadn’t offered them time off their sentence.” He smiled. “Five years to be exact. So, now you and your buddies should be getting out around the same time.”

I stared at him with a look of complete shock.

 

‘Chloe and Rachel both got ten-year sentences. That must have been terrifying. Dog, I’m such a shitty friend. I knew they got in trouble, but I never expected it to be THAT much. They’ve been in prison this entire time… I’m going to get so much hell when they see me.’

 

“I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. I expected you to be a little more excited about this. Is it too much to ask for a simple ‘Thank you, Sean’?”

 

He stares at me with cold eyes, awaiting a response.

 

I mumble, “T-thank you, Sean…”

 

“What was that?” His crooked grin was ear to ear.

 

“Thank you, Sean” I almost spat at him, but retained my composure.

 

“You’re welcome, Miss Caulfield. I hope you understand that this was not personal. Nobody messes with me and gets away with it. You best hope we don’t meet again.”

 

He closed his briefcase containing the signed documents and swiftly turned and walked out the door.

 

‘Guess it’s time to go to prison…’

 

I opened the doors of the courthouse and breathed in my last breath of freedom for the next year.

 

 

I sat in my car at the prison; hands gripping the steering wheel so hard that my knuckles were now chalk white. This was really happening.

 

‘It’s now or never, Max. Get a grip… or at least release the one you have on the steering wheel.’

 

I turned off the engine and stepped out of the car.

 

‘I’m going to miss you, car… but my parents will be by to pick you up soon.’

 

I shook my head.

 

‘I guess I never did get over my weird tendency to talk to inanimate objects. Speaking of, I need to remind my parents to water Lisa.’

 

I walked in and was greeted by a familiar face.

 

“Max Caulfield. Never in a million years did I expect to see you here.”

 

“David! What are you doing here?

 

David chuckled.

 

“Well, after Chloe got kicked out of high school and got sent here, Joyce and I decided it best that I try to keep an eye on her. At least provide a familiar face to ease her transition. Officer Barry helped me get the job.”

 

“Good for you, David. I’m glad Chloe’s had someone watching her back on the inside. I know she probably didn’t feel the same way….”

 

Since Chloe and I reunited, her and David were always at each other’s throats. In all honestly, I chalked it up to lack of communication. David wasn’t a bad guy, he just had a hard time showing that he cared. That, combined with Chloe’s grieving instantly spelled disaster. David and I had always gotten along though… Mostly due to Joyce’s constant praise.

 

“It’s certainly been a long, hard road for Chloe and I, but I think we’re finally starting to get one another. She was mad that I got the job at first but she came around to the idea when she realized the benefits of having a Step-Father for a CO.”, David said with a smile.

 

“That sounds like Chloe.”, I smiled back.

 

“As nice as it is to catch up, I’m afraid it’s time to get down to business. Sorry to do this, Max, but I’m going to need you to surrender any personal items.”

 

I took out my cell phone and wallet and handed them over to David.

 

“I didn’t bring much. Kind of knew what to expect when I left Seattle.”, I explained.

 

He nodded in understanding.

 

“Look forward for me for just a sec, Max.”

 

He repositioned the camera sitting beside him and snapped a quick photo.

 

“If you’ll just step through here”, he motioned to the large metal detector, “I can grab you your uniform and show you to your bunk.”

 

I stepped through to the other side with no issues.

 

“One last thing… and I’m sorry, it’s not the most comfortable thing. I have to search you.”

 

“I understand, David. Just do what you have to do.”

 

He patted me down, trying to be as respectful as possible.

 

He let out a sharp breath, glad to be done.

 

“Alright, Here’s your uniform. I assume you wear small?”

 

“Yep.”,I reply.

 

“Annnnnnd here’s your ID.”

 

He handed me a plastic ID with the picture he had just taken.

 

‘At least this picture matches my mood. Total shit.’

 

“Let me show you to your bunk.”

 

We walked down the hallway, passing multiple inmates along the way. They all seemed to stare at me like I was fresh meat. Maybe it was in my head. We crossed a corridor and arrived at the bunks.

 

“Bunk 14, this is you. You’ll have one bunkmate. Consider this lucky. Some people are bunked with three to four other people. It can get rough.”

 

David turned to leave but I stopped him.

 

“Wait! David, is there anything you can tell me about the person I’m sharing a room with for the next fifteen months? I-I’m just a little scared. What if they did something really bad.”

 

He looked at me with concern and understanding.

 

“I get it, Max. You’re first day here can be quite an adjustment. If you ever feel scared, you can talk to me. Joyce has always thought of you as a daughter so I guess that kind of makes me your Step-Dad too. I don’t think you have anything to worry about in this situation though. Looks like your bunkmate is here for… tax evasion. So, unless you want them to file your taxes, I think you’re good.”

 

I laughed at David’s attempt at joking. He was strangely calming when he wanted to be.

 

“I’ll see you soon, Max. Try to stay out of trouble.”

 

He turned and left, leaving me to settle in my bunk.

 

I laid down and closed my eyes, thinking over the events that had occurred in the past 24 hours.

 

I was starting to drift to sleep when I was startled awake by another voice from my past.

 

“Well, if it isn’t the selfie hoe of Blackwell.”

 

‘Oh fuck.’

 

 

To be continued….