“You don’t look good in orange,” Cheryl said while peering into the glass at her girlfriend.
A sly smirk appeared on her chapped lips, “That’s rude.”
“No! Not like that! I meant,” she sighed as she pressed the receiver of the phone close to her mouth, “you don’t look good in that orange.”
Toni looked down at her bright orange jumpsuit with her slightly curly pink hair covering her prisoner ID. She looked back to Cheryl with sadness in her eyes. “I know what you mean.”
There was a moment of just eye contact between them. No words had to be spoken. They loved each other, it was simple. They weren’t married, and probably won’t be for a while, but Cheryl Blossom, no matter how impatient she’s been in the past for what she wanted, was going to wait for Toni Topaz.
“My court hearing is in two weeks, babe. I heard they’ve been letting a lot of people out, the ones who have been on good behavior of course.”
“And you’ve been good?” Cheryl raised a singular manicured eyebrow.
Toni smiled and rolled her eyes. “Do you expect less from me?”
The redhead just shrugged and kept a cute smile on her face.
"Listen, I got sentenced for one ounce of weed and I’m not lookin’ to get more time. I wanna be home... with you. I can’t tell you how much it kills me to not be able to even hold your hand, feel you in my bed in the morning, kiss you goodnight. I messed up and I’m sorry.”
“TT, every time I come here, I feel like you’re always apologizing.” Cheryl felt tears sting at her eyes but she didn’t want to cry in front of Toni. She wanted Toni to feel anything but guilty.
“I should be apologizing. I fucked up our perfect life.”
“No, babe, it wasn’t you. It was the Southside.” Hearing this, Toni tried to defend her home, but Cheryl held up a finger signaling for her to wait. “I love the Southside, okay? I’m not saying anything bad about it but it is easier to get drugs from there and to get caught. The Southside is clearly targeted by the police.”
“It would have been the same on the Northside. I’m a Serpent and not to turn this into a political issue, but... do you see the color I am?” Toni kept her voice at a whisper.
Cheryl sighed and looked down at the glass. She dragged her nail across the glass distractedly and cradled the phone to her ear with her other hand. “I just wish I could actually touch you.”
Toni placed her finger against the glass and mirrored Cheryl’s own finger. “I know, baby.”
“Why couldn’t you have been put in one of those prisons where visitation is out in the open?” Their eyes met.
“Wasn’t in the cards,” Toni half-smiled. In this situation, Toni would typically grab Cheryl’s hand. Right now, all she could do was look at it. Even after a year of incarceration, her old habits never died.
“Visitation ends in one minute! One minute, inmates!” A hardy voice rang from behind Toni. Her shoulders tensed instinctually.
“Jesus, ten minutes two days a week is fucking ridiculous. Prison is supposed to rehabilitate you so you’ll be ready to be put back into society. If you want to return to how life was you need to spend time with your loved ones. How the hell do they expect you to be ready by the end of your sentence if I’m not spending time with you?”
Cheryl was pissed and Toni was loving it. She likes when the redhead is angry at anything, besides her obviously. Especially because Toni is also mad at the situation she is in but it appears Cheryl is even angrier. Toni was just smiling at her with every ounce of love in her eyes.
“You’re seriously so cute.” Toni bit her lip to prevent a bigger smile from growing.
“That’s impossible to do at the moment.” Cheryl cocked her head to the side and narrowed her eyes.
“Ten seconds and you’re outta here!”
“Okay, I love you, baby. I’ll be home soon.”
“I love you too. I’ll start planning your ‘Welcome Home’ party.” Cheryl kissed her fingers and placed her hand on the glass. Toni did the same.
“I swear sometimes I just don’t deserve you.”
“Yes, you do.”
“Let’s go, inmates!” The gravelly voice yelled.
“Alright. I have to go, baby,” Toni took her hand away and stood up slowly.
“I love you.” Cheryl smiled slightly.
“I love you.” Toni repeated and hung up the phone before being placed into a line of other criminals. She looked back to her girlfriend one last time and gave her a wink.
Cheryl hung up the phone before being told by a policeman that it was time to leave. Before leaving the room, the Blossom heir blew a kiss to her girlfriend.
Toni smiled as the buzzer went off and the visitation door opened. Three guards escorted the ten inmates. One holding the door, one behind the incarcerated, and one in the hall they would be going through. The guard directed them to start moving and the line started out the door. Toni was the fourth person out of seven. All of the jumpsuit-clad women shuffled on their way back to their cell, which they spend most of their time in. Toni’s cell number was 316. Third tier out of five, sixteenth cell out of twenty-one in her row.
It takes an hour and a half into visitation hours for Toni to see Cheryl. Visitation begins at nine in the morning. Seven inmates are then taken to the visiting room if they have someone to see, otherwise they stay in their cell. Toni always had someone to see. Her someone.
After the annoying and tedious three unnecessary minutes wasted to make sure Toni gets back in her cell as if she isn’t the most well-behaved inmate in this damned place, she slumped onto her bed, the bottom bunk, and began writing her letter addressed to Sweet Pea, Fangs, and Jughead. Considering they were all from the Southside and all well-known Serpents, Toni didn’t want them to risk their freedom by visiting her. The cops were already suspicious enough of the boys and Toni would never be able to forgive herself if they were arrested on their way to see her. She told them to stay where they belong and that she will write to them on occasion. Turns out ‘on occasion’ meant three times a week.
Toni’s cellmate was sitting on their toilet and using their counter as a desk. She was an extremely talented artist, the Topaz girl thought, and made sure to let her know that.
“What’re you workin’ on?” Toni’s curiosity peaked as she lifted her head after signing her name.
“Yeah, it seems like you’ve been doing a lot of black and white,” Toni laughed and the other girl let a smile slip.
“Hard to see color in here.”
Her name was Tricia Miller and she had just turned nineteen. Life had put her on the wrong path and she was living out on the street since fifteen. She dropped out of school, or rather, just stopped going. She didn’t have time to learn when she needed to keep up with the bills because her mother spent most of their money on her precious crystal meth. She still doesn’t know where her mother is. Tricia got on drugs herself but she overcame her addiction since her sentencing of four years. She’s doing time for drug charges and theft from when she stole food on a night that people felt less generous. “Hey, how’s your girl?”
“Misses me. Same as the last time you asked,” Toni leaned her head against the wall and looked up at the bottom-side of the bunk above her. She let out a long sigh, “I just wish my dumbass didn’t buy that ounce as one of her anniversary gifts.”
“She a druggie?”
“Depends on what it is. Usually does the safe stuff. I know she did jingle jangle a few times and we used to smoke a lot but that’s it for her.”
“That’s not it for you?”
“I’ve done a few more things that I’d like to admit to her to be honest.”
Tricia nodded. She was usually respectful towards things that seemed to sadden a person. She didn’t care if you didn’t want to tell her, she figured it wasn’t her business and didn’t pry for information.
“When’s Mercy coming to visit?”
Mercy was Tricia’s girlfriend who was released from prison a month prior. She promised to visit once she was settled in with her relatives but she hasn’t called since.
“Should be next weekend. She, uh, sent a letter. Look,” Tricia always got all giddy whenever anything about Mercy was mentioned. She pulled an envelope from the counter’s small, broken drawer and passed it to Toni. The Serpent carefully pulled it from the envelope and began reading.
Being free is fucking weird. I swear everything turned upside-down while I was in there. I’m living with my aunt in New York now but I’m going to take the train over to come see you this weekend. I just got a job at a supermarket, stocking shelves. It’s not much but I’m trying to turn my life around. I can’t wait until you get out of there and we can get a place together.
“Sweet, huh?” Tricia smiled as Toni handed her back the letter.
“Definitely Shakespeare-worthy,” Toni leaned back onto her pillows and shut her eyes. It’s better to sleep to pass the time.
“Hey, you’re gettin’ out soon, right?”
“Should be. I’m talking to the court in two weeks so they’ll see if I’ve been good here, which I have, and then I can go the fuck home.”
“Do you think you could get Mercy a bunch of flowers for me? Like as a surprise. I’ll find out her address and everything. Just so she doesn’t forget I’m still here.”
Toni looked over at Tricia with a smile. She swears they’re too young for this place. “Sure, Miller,” she closed her eyes again.