Three pairs of white underwear.
Three white bras.
Three white button up shirts.
Three pairs of jeans, not black.
One pair of shoes, not black.
Three pairs of white socks.
One white dress.
One white skirt.
"I'm guessing they don't take kindly to blacks, huh?"
Her sister just looked at her while she continued to pack her bag.
Hygiene products will be supplied.
"Do they mean pads? What about hair brushes? I can't kill myself with a hairbrush, can I?" She thought about it for a second. "No, wait. I guess I could..."
Please refrain from bringing any type of personal items, including pictures of family members.
Not that she had any pictures to bring.
"So, do they allow conjugal visits?"
Her sister handed her the white canvas bag with a glare and a loud sigh. "John is waiting downstairs. He'll take you to the airport."
Isabelle didn't blame her sister for not wanting to talk to her. She wondered if she could sneak in an ipod in her pants.
Teddy walked out of the room, without a single extra glance at Isabelle. A moment later a door slammed shut somewhere in the house.
Isabelle clunkered down the stairs in her new uniform. She felt kind of stupid. She wasn't allowed to wear makeup or jewelry, so her face, neck and wrists were all bare. She felt exposed. In the living room stood John, Teddy’s exhubby. He'd left her for reasons that had never really been explained to her. Teddy didn't want Isabelle in her business and Isabelle never really cared to know. John was an attractive older guy. Though she had never really bothered to ask she guessed him to be around 30-35ish. Kinda already balding and going gray because of stress. He ran a couple of restaurants downtown that were really nice. That's how he had met her sister, who was a chef.
"Hey there, buddy. You ready?" He was also kind of adorable.
"Not really, I hate planes." She shrugged.
"So do I. That's why I brought this." He shook a little prescription bottle at her. Two little pills rattled inside.
"Alright then, you gonna share?" He shook his head at her. She nodded. Of course not. The whole no drugs thing was also part of the plan. Not that she abused drugs or anything like that but according to the judge she did.
"Oh, this is going to be terrible." She decided out loud.
Isabelle had never been on a plane before.
Actually she had but only as a scared child. Never in her adult life had she been on a plane.
The stories were the things that really scared her. The idea really scared her. Being trapped inside of a metal casket thousands of feet above the ground that could at any instant spontaneously combust or fly into a bird, that just really didn't seem appealing to her.
Luckily for her, though, John had been lying.
As soon as the plane started to take off, she felt the effects of the pills. She fell into a deep sleep, curled up in her seat, her head resting slightly on John's sleeping, balding head.
In order to get to their destination, they had to go on a ferry. Yes, the place was on a fucking island. Of course it was. John and Teddy had failed to mention this, but probably for a good reason. Had she known that it was a real prison she probably would've ran away. No, not probably. Definitely.
They were sitting inside of a car John had rented. He had the music on softly in the background. It was some sluggish sounding alternative music, something she would've normally enjoyed.
"Johnny?" She said, turning to look at him.
He had a bit of a beard now. He was a hairy little beast.
"How long do I have to stay in this place?" She played with her bandages. She was still sore.
"I don't know. It varies case by case. They said the minimum was three months."
She looked boldly into his boring brown eyes.
"Give me a kiss? To last me at least another three months?" Had she ever really cared, or not cared enough, she would have slept with John. Whether it was because she hated her sister, herself, John or their mother. She would've done it while intoxicated, or sober. She just would've. Now, though, she would not. But a kiss never hurt.
His lips were soft and warm and tasted slightly of exhaustion. It was the only physical contact she had had in quite a long time. It was enjoyable, but only in the way kisses could be. It felt deeper than what it should have been, like it had some unexplored feelings or meanings that should be explored. Her hands were exploring. One pressing his blondish brown hair closer to her, to the point where his teeth were almost digging in, the other in places that caused him to pull her hand away. It curled around hers, digging her nails into her palm.
She wished she knew the name of the song that was playing. She would probably enjoy its soft melody. It matched the melody of John's tongue on hers. She wished she knew it.
They pulled away. The ride was over. A man walked up to their window and gave that obvious throat clearing that meant he had seen the makeout session.
"Are you guys on your way to the Island Institution?" He asked. He had an accent that sounded rather native.
John nodded awkwardly, not making eye contact. A manly throat clearing broke his silence.
"OK. I need you to stay on the boat; someone will come by to pick you two up." He placed a pink paper under the windshield wipers.
Isabelle got out of the car in a swift, sudden motion.
"Where are you going?" John asked in a panicky voice.
"Chill, I have to pee." She pointed at the upper level of the boat, where the restroom signs hung dangerously. He nodded and leaned his frame against the car. He slowly pulled out a pack of B&H menthols, her cigarettes. She headed towards the bathroom.
As she walked up the stairs, a girl not much older than her came out of the upper level. She had white blonde straight hair that fell past her shoulders. She was wearing the same uniform, just a different variation. Instead of Isabelle's pale skinny jeans and glittery red flats, she wore a knee length silky looking skirt and a pair of pristine red keds. Her pale blue eyes met Isabelle's and she smiled knowingly after surveying her own uniform. Despite not wearing makeup, the girl's face was flawless and beautiful.
They passed each other without saying a word.
Isabelle opened the door and was met with a horrifying scene.
Hidden upstairs was an entire crowd of white shirted individuals. All standing awkwardly with family members, avoiding each other's glances. They all glanced at her, but looked away. Only a few kept on staring.
A man-boy stood against the wall opposite to the door. What looked like a clove cigarette hung unlit between two puffy pink lips. He wore the white button up, free from the waistband of his jeans. A small canvas backpack propped up against his converse'd feet. Despite the distance between them, she could tell his eyes were a haunting dead black. She instantly felt shivers go up her spine.
She really had to pee.