ABBY had barely got to sleep, since she came into Montagne Posée Prisons in Victoria City.
The day Abby was admitted into the facility, she’d put up her best conduct when she met with the inmates she’d be sharing the cell with.
Abby had earlier resolved to meet her fellow inmates with a humble and kind disposition.
But the day the young woman arrived… when that day eventually dusked into night, Abby was beaten and battered. And left broken.
Abby Camille was just setting her bed to sleep that first night. And a cell mate walked up to her, pulled her by the hair, and smashed a wide handed slap over her spotless face.
Abby yelled out a sudden scream. She staggered back in a lightheaded daze, and dropped to the floor right then.
But as Abby parted her blood shot eyes open, and tried to make sense of the situation, the young lady saw the rest of the inmates rushed down to her, as though following a cue. And in their grips was a wide blanket.
In the next moment, Abby was held down under the blanket by the brazen women, and was pounded into a tiny bundle with several hard blows.
That day, Abby was faced with the rude fact that she hadn’t come into a party of sympathetic sisters, like she’d anticipated.
She feared now that she’d simply crashed into a pack of stone-cold women.
Yet in two to three days the bullying went more severe. And Abby thought to talk to the nicer looking inmates for once. The young lady tried to reason with them to understand why they were bullying her.
But Abby’s soft spoken words only courted more flames of temper from her bullies.
At this point the 24 year old realised there wasn’t going to be a reasonable conversation between her cell mates and her. And so she decided she was going to fight back. And fight hard.
Abby began to keep awake all night. And she fought back with every muscle of strength she’d got in her. To guard her feeble body from being battered by five hardened cell mates.
Yet Abby’s tough resistance wasn’t enough to stop the cruel battering. But it at least went as far as making the fight quite a hectic deal for her bullies.
One sunny afternoon, however, the young woman sat in the prison yard during their recess, and she ruminated on how she could escape the nightly assaults.
As Abby sat and brainstormed, her ears caught up with some random rumours in an idle chatter behind her. And those rumours the breezes blew to her ears now, were what made Abby stop her brainstorming altogether.
Two inmates stood in a safe distance behind and talked about one Madame Annie Augustine. One of the top warden officers.
Madame Annie, as she was fondly called, was the Mother Theresa of Montagne Posée.
The inmates usually talked of Annie as a soul too good and a heart too kind for these wretched prisoners here. She was meant to be for the entire Seychelles, the prisoners felt.
And these was the beautiful image one of the two inmates gave about Madame Annie. And she stressed that anyone who goes to the warden for help returned with a smile.
Abby’s ears tingled when she heard that.
‘I’ve found help now!’ she told herself. ‘This is it!’ she said.
Abby repeated the warden’s name to herself. And as many times as she needed to memorise the name.
She mumbled the golden words. ‘Madame Annie… Annie Augustine… Annie Augustine.’
OUT 1ST OF JULY!
Abby began to take note of the name tags on all the wardens’ uniform. So she could easily spot the helper she desired to meet.
The Mother Teresa of Montagne Posée.
◙ ◙ ◙
Abby Camille’s eyes had combed through all corners and corridors of the prison facility during recess periods.
But still Madame Annie was nowhere to be found.
Until one Saturday morning when the young lady’s roaming eyes fell on one comely woman’s nametag. And there she was, her Mother Teresa.
That morning the horn sounded again after breakfast, and the prisoners were directed to converge at the central hall.
A small evangelical group had come visiting, with the mission of sharing messages of hope and redemption with the prisoners.
But Abby had always found the idea of evangelism boring.
She usually joked that the best way to sentence someone to lifetime boredom, is to make the person join an evangelism team. Or at least, make the person sit down and listen to some long evangelical sermon.
But that very day it was something different for Abby. The few days she’d spent in prison seemed like a long decade already.
In fact, the new inmate now preferred being alone in detention to being with those bullies she’d got for cell mates.
As a matter of fact, that small detention cell now seemed even freer and more spacious in Abby’s head than this entire prison facility here.
Abby had earlier thought she’d make new friends here in prison and be taught better schemes to use in dealing with Prisca and Emma, her enemies forever.
Abby had thought she would learn the ropes of the heartless game of revenge from the prisoners in Montagne Posée.
But now she admitted she wasn’t as bad as the hardened folks she was forced to stay with. She admitted she was no criminal at all.
I’m only a victim of circumstance, Abby said to herself. These people are criminals from birth. I’m only a victim of circumstance.
She burst out, frustrated and disgusted. ‘Unremorseful criminals!’ she blurted. ‘Murderers, chain smokers… ugh!! Why will I even need them as allies in the first place?!
‘I know the daughter of who I am! At least if I don’t think of anything else, I value where I come from! I am Camille! I am Abby Camille… I can’t stoop lower than low!!’
So right then Abby chose the loner path. And boredom became a companion in her walk.
And so when the evangelical group arrived that Saturday morning, for the first time Abby was more than eager to hear them. The idea she had always mocked was now the window she was willing to open.
At least to see the world out there.
So Abby found herself a comfortable seat midway into the long, large hall. And she sat at an edge that looked just against the window.
For the young woman wanted to relish in this visit along with the influx of the morning breeze blowing her way.
For the young woman wouldn’t know how soon she’d get to see the outside world again. Through the eyes of visitors.
So soon enough the group’s speaker mounted the stage.
And it was a young boy in his mid-teens. He called his name Carmel.
And Abby Camille’s attention was entirely caught.
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