Franky had made the rounds of the prison three times without any sign of Bridget. She started to think that maybe she had imagined seeing the blonde at all. A trick of the mind, perhaps. She’d given up hope and went back to her normal routine. It wasn’t until days later that Allie had appeared at her cell looking like she’d seen a ghost.
“You need to come with me.”
“What, why? I’m not on garden detail today.” She glanced up from her book.
“Franky. Now.” Was all she said before disappearing back out of the doorway. Franky followed. She knew Allie well enough to know that she wouldn’t be so pushy unless absolutely necessary. She led her down the hallway until they reached Allie’s old unit where Kaz was on the sofa waiting for her. She stood when she saw the two enter.
“Did you know about this?” Kaz asked in a low voice.
“About what?” Silently, the blonde tossed her head in the direction of the open cell door. Inside Franky could see Bridget with her head buried in her hands as her shoulders shook with the effort of her tears. It was then that Franky realized that two vastly different parts of herself were now thrust together. Her stomach turned at the thought. What would the women think at how soft she’d gone? What would they do to Bridget if they found out that the rumors turned out to be true?
“I saw her getting booked a few days ago, but hadn’t seen her since. Why the fuck isn’t she in protection?” Franky shook her head in disbelief.
“Governor says she refused to go. I’m under direct orders that she isn’t left alone, but we can’t keep this up forever. Once the other women get wind of this, she’ll be crucified.”
“So what do you want me to do about it?” Franky was torn. She wanted to protect the woman she had fallen so hopelessly in love with, but her chest still throbbed with the heartache that she had caused. Did she really want to place her hand right back on that open flame?
“You need to convince her to go into protection.” Franky suddenly understood why she was there. Just another pawn in the Top Dog’s endless game.
“What makes you think she’ll listen to me?”
“Don’t play games, Doyle. We know that there was more between you two than just a few therapy sessions,” Kaz smiled.
“Who the fuck told you that?” Franky glared at Allie with a furrowed brow. She immediately regretting confiding in the blonde. She stepped forward ready to pounce.
“It doesn’t matter how I know, but I do,” Kaz said while stepping in between them. Now do you want to be the one mopping her blood up off the floor?” She leaned in and lowered her voice ensuring that Bridget could not hear the morbid words.
“Of course not.” Franky spat back under her breath.
“So do something about it before the Freak finds out.” Franky’s mind suddenly exploded with realization. Fuck. If Ferguson found out that Bridget was doing time, she would see to it that the psychologist’s life would end at her hand. She stepped over towards the open cell and knocked softly. Bridget looked up through sad red eyes. Franky then noticed she was dressed from head to toe in teals. Her heart dropped into her stomach. The uniform change meant that she wasn’t just passing through. Bridget would be serving time, but why? There was no way her girl was stupid enough to pull a Kim so that they could be together.
“What do you want?” Bridget mumbled before burying her head back in her hands. Her head had been throbbing since she’d been released from the concrete block she’d spent the last three days retching the poison in her gut. She wasn’t sure how long she expected to avoid the unavoidable conversation. Once she’d sobered up, she realized the gravity of her situation.
“Can I come in?” Franky asked from her spot in the doorway until she received the brief shrug of Bridget’s shoulders. She entered slowly and sat on the edge of the cot beside her. “What happened? What did you do?” Franky whispered softly.
“I fucked up. I’ll spare you the gritty details.”
“You were drunk driving weren’t you? But why did they book you here? Why are you in teals?” Franky’s questions only made Bridget’s already spinning head turn faster like a top. She remained silent, unwilling to answer a single one of them. She couldn’t bear to see the look on Franky’s face when she realized that she wasn’t the put together woman that she thought that she was. “Have you been pulled over before?” Franky connected the dots slowly. “It wasn’t your first offense,” she finally whispered. “Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“And see how disappointed you were in me? I could bear the thought.” Honesty was better late than never, right?
“I, of all people, would not be disappointed in you. How long is your sentence?” Franky held her breath as she waited for the response.
“Six months to a year.” The words solidified the horrible truth.
“Fuck. Gidge, you need to go into protection.”
“Not you too.” Bright rolled her eyes and flicked Franky away with her delicate wrist. Franky had seen the action a dozen times towards others, but she’d never been on the receiving end. She felt like something worthless; a piece of junk even.
“Listen to me. You may not have been in a uniform, but you still were a screw in their eyes. These women are not quick to forget that. They are going to try and rip you to bits the first opportunity they get.” Franky prayed her words would get through.
“After everything I’ve done, maybe I deserve it.”
“That’s bullshit. Don’t put yourself at risk just to sabotage your life.” Had the universe been flipped upside down?
“You’d know all about that, wouldn’t you?” Bridget finally fired back. Franky couldn’t stop the shocked laughter that escaped her mouth. Had she really just? She’d taken a page out of the Franky Doyle play book and used it against her. Her heart stung at the unexpected attack.
“Fuck off, you know what? Do whatever you want, see if I care. But don’t come crying to me when they come for you. And they will.” Franky stood and held her hands up in defeat. She slammed the door behind herself, leaving Bridget to cry herself to sleep. Her heart grew heavy at the weight of the words that she had just lobbed at Franky. Although she was happy that her words proved enough to push her love away. At least she didn’t resort to the physical, like Franky had. She couldn’t imagine the heavy burden she must feel.