Leona Baxter scrunched herself into the corner of her cot, leaning into the cement wall, she scratched a tiny mark into the dirty prison cell surrounding her. Three months, two days and six hours, she got it to that far anyway - she lay back. Juve Hall was a prison for underage girls, but it was prison. Leona had pleaded guilty, pressured by her shitty lawyer Rob Parker, just graduated from law school and wanting brownie points, he was assigned to her from the Court since she had no money. 'It was a crime of passion.' She led herself to believe, not having any experience with such strong emotion or any bad behaviour in the past. She was going down the rabbit hole again, right now, while the other cell mates were about to come in for the night. How she hated this place, the rancid smells of the showers and toilets, they made her scrub for her first few weeks.
"Your a newbie, you have to scrub." Said Roxanne, the prison guard with the bib boobs that Leona always wondered how she could even get a shirt to fit them. "And clean them good, or no food." The guard told her as she bit her bottom lip, Leona was scared here. The other girls were mean, tougher than anyone she had ever known. Butch, a teen who was half Mexican, was the top dog - she barked orders and her cronies followed suit. Once, at breakfast, they took her tray, dumped the food on Butch's, and said "If you tel, we will cut your tits off." said Cally, a blond girl who looked like she had been here most of her life. Leona just left the dining area, and would try to avoid them, all of them, 'she wasnt like that', she would tell herself, and hold herself tight as if to melt somehow away. "If I had one more chance to get out of here.....", she would dream, but the windows were heavily barred with the ugly cast iron. Every doorway had alarms, and the security camera's, it would take precision plannng and immaculate timing to escape here, and then what? "Nowhere to go." she'd laugh the idea out at that point. She wasnt in here for long, another week, and two days she was out.
"Ha, now you think you're gonna get outta here? My, my what a little princess we have here.", chimed Cassy one day while they sat in tv lounge. Of course, Butch always watched what she wanted. She had connections too, she somehow got cigarettes and pills from the outside, or inside, god knew what she had to do for them. Her ugly tattoo's of naked bodies or skull's with blood dripping showed her less than prissy side. Butch turned to her, "Honey, we all think we are gonna get outta this stinkin' shit-hole, shut up so we can watch some tv." the glare Leona got was enough for her to sink back into the worn out fake leather covered seats from 1902 vintage church basement.
She had hope, she had her marks, the tiny little scratches that she put every night, they kept her going. She'd remember her life when she was little, how her mom took her to the park, and they would swing and laugh. She would eat ice cream cones after, and her mom tucked her in at night, and then her mom would disappear for awhile, and come back late smelling of cheap perfume and sweat of men. Leona only knew later, after she heard stories from the girls at school that her mom did tricks to support her. The came the children's Aid people, who took her away and fostered her out. Fortunately, she got lucky and had a nice woman who took care of her now, but Francine worked as a doctor's secretary, she couldnt afford a fancy lawyer for her when she got charged. She'd cried and cried, Leona told her "It was a crime of passion, I didnt mean to hurt anyone." She'd pleaded to no avail. Her crappy lawyer made her plea bargain. "Look, its your first offence, you will get out soon. I cant do anything else for you. Your lucky he only got a few stitches, young lady." He'd scolded her, she wanted to stick a knife at him. "It was a crime of passion, I didnt know what to do, I was upset, he was cheating." Leona tearfully replied, begging him not to let her go to jail.
She'd crawled out of her bedroom window that night, she wanted to see her Benny, his good looks and blond locks made her drool. She was in love with him, and he made her laugh. And then she saw them, the bitch kissing him in the corner of his mom's house. They hadn't heard her come in through the open front door. Outside the wind howled into the darkness of the trees. Leona's mind went blank, she'd grabbed the knife from the kitchen, and went.........
Now, here she was, in this hell hole, with more bitches, and she counted, scratching every night a tiny little mark, her mark of hope. But that night, it was October 15th, she went to put a mark and noticed something different. Leona looked twice, then behind her as if she was afraid she would get caught, but not that she'd had ever been caught so far, the marks were so small only she knew they were there anyway. Really - now they were gone, scrubbed and cleaned, the whole cell smelled of cleaner, now that she'd noticed. This room hadnt been cleaned or the walls washed since she'd been here, "Hmph, maybe a cockroach crawled around and someone complained." She'd laughed at the thought. It wouldnt have surprised her, she'd seen a few more than she would have liked. And she shrugged then, getting ready for bed, it didnt matter, she knew how long she had left - she didnt need the marks anymore. Leona got into her prison assigned gown, torn and oversized and went to bed on the crappy cot.