Big Boo was a shameless flirt with everyone, and danger was no exception. So when Nichols needed a way to transport Vee's entire drug stash from the laundry room, Boo opted to get up close and personal with the load. It took some convincing, of course. Arguing, poking, prodding, mocking and bribery. But eventually each little baggie found its way down Boo's trousers, one by one.
"Relax," Nichols teased as she slipped a baggie into a particularly tight spot. "You try to get into everyone else's pants. See how it feels."
"Feels expensive," Boo barked. She demanded fifty percent of any potential profit, which was the only reason she'd agreed to help.
Truth be told, Nichols was planning to flush every bit of it down the toilet as soon as she got the chance. She could never become a drug dealer – not after Tricia's death, not after her own near-relapse. But she couldn't tell that to Boo.
For now, the priority was to find a safe hiding place, or rather, a bunch of places. The plan was to break up the stash and spread it far and wide since a smaller amount meant a lesser punishment if they ever got caught.
Big Boo was the perfect mule. Besides the fact that she looked and acted like an ass, her shift on the cleaning crew allowed her to roam all over the prison. Under the cover of buffing floors, she discovered the best possible hiding place – electrical outlets. They were small and inconspicuous, and they were everywhere. Boo could easily get in and out with her trusty screwdriver, but no other inmates could. Within a couple of days, the drugs were hidden in plain sight inside the outlets.
Parked outside the chapel with the floor buffer, Big Boo considered her genius and how much she deserved a reward. She had agreed to be a lookout for a couple of inmates in return for a bottle of hooch, which put her in the empty hallway right across from an electrical outlet, with plenty of time to think.
She whipped out her screwdriver, promising herself to only sniff a little. Just enough to make the afternoon go by faster.
Her grin was wide as she loosened the screw and let it fall to the floor. She could feel her pulse quicken as she slipped the screwdriver into the top of the outlet and tried to pry it loose. This was fun, like digging up treasure. But the outlet seemed to stick.
Typically, you would turn the electricity off before jamming a screwdriver into an outlet. But Big Boo didn't have access to the fuse box, and she really wanted those drugs. So, she went for it.
She howled in pain as sparks flew and the lights went out with a flicker.
It was pitch black inside the chapel. You couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Couldn't see anybody else looking at you, judging. Didn't have to see her eyes wide like saucers staring, willing, and wanting things from you, accusing you of lying on your feelings. Didn't have to watch her bottom lip tremble and vacillate between wanting to kiss and bite or sock her in the mouth. Didn't have to think about how positively small she was, like a child, and how wrong you two must have looked together, how her love was so big it enveloped you and made you crazy because it didn't line up with anything else. Didn't have to feel ashamed of wanting her tiny hands to touch you, to wrap around your great big curves and pull you in. In the darkness, you fit together like puzzle pieces.
In the dimness, the shadows were long and harsh and ugly. It wasn't peaceful like everybody said. It damn sure wasn't romantic. You could see things, but just enough to make you hate what you saw.
But in the darkness, you didn't see anything but what was inside. There were no words to corrupt the space between you, the smell of her body, the rise and fall of her chest and the sound of her heartbeat reminding you that this is real.
The darkness was better. It covered and cradled you. It made you free to be more of yourself.
It could have been minutes or hours that passed. But however long it took, it was enough.
In the darkness, Poussey felt Taystee's hand. Heard her breath coming out in quick spurts that sounded like fear. Fear of the dark, or of what would happen next, Poussey didn't know. But as they came together, fingers interlocking in the silence, fear subsided and something else took over.
A wave of relief came over Poussey like rushing water. She'd spent every moment leading up to this one choked by her emotions, terrified that she might always live with the restlessness of someone who could not find what she needed. But now suddenly, here it was.
Now they were the spring. They were the cherry trees.