Chapter - 6
“It is his capacity for self-improvement and self-redemption which most distinguishes man from the mere brute.” - AUNG SAN SUU KYI
“Wake up, bitch!”
Alicia sat straight when cold water splashed on her, soaking her to the bones.
She bit down the curse right on time as the brunette fellow prisoner came into view. Eleanor wasn’t the one to be messed with. A few prisoners warned her out of goodwill and Alicia clamped her mouth shut, wondering what surprises her new day held.
“You are scrubbing the toilets today,” Eleanor informed before exiting the cell and Alicia scrambled to her feet, slightly wobbling.
Her eyes and body begged her to lay down and go back to sleep for a little longer, even though the mattress was nowhere near as comfortable. Her mind longed for the plush comfort, she missed waking up with.
“Don’t waste time, Alicia. You don’t want to piss Eleanor,” Rebecca, her neighbor warned.
“I never scrubbed toilets in my life.” Disgust coated her voice as Alicia scrunched her nose. She’d been avoiding the toilets as much as possible in the past two days.
“You are no longer in the comfort of your home. If you want to survive here, do as you are told.” Rebecca replied with annoyance. “And, don’t talk back.”
Alicia watched as Rebecca left her room and followed with a ‘humph’. Despite the discomfort, she was glad that they allowed her to stay in her cell and wallow in self-pity. It was her third day here and Rebecca had already told her that she’d be expected to work here, only she wasn’t expecting it this soon.
Her stomach squeezed in discomfort. She hadn’t relieved herself yet and her head reeled noticing the long queue on the toilet. “Wait for your turn!” Someone yelled.
Alicia didn’t look up to see who it was. Her mind was already reminding her of how she started her day for the past twenty-eight years. She hated the loafers that replaced her usual fluffy flats.
The floors here didn’t hold plush carpets of her favorite colors and the air did not smell good. When it was her turn, she walked in and closed the door behind her.
Bile rose in her throat as the putrid stench of urine and stool invaded her senses. Someone farted loudly in the nearby cabin and it took every drop of her willpower not to throw up.
Her stomach clenched again. Alicia’s face twisted as she held her breath and spread the paper towels on the toilet seat.
“Make it quick, Princess. You ain’t got all day!”
A loud knock accompanied the yelling, making Alicia jump on her seat. Can’t a girl use the toilet in peace?
“I am done,” she announced with disdain and finished up.
She went to the common shower room, which had multiple shower rooms with half covered doors. But, there was no modesty among the prisoners. Some didn’t bother to close the door as they took showers and changed.
Alicia tried to stop remembering the long baths and the lavish shower stall she was used to.
“What are you doing here? I thought I told you to scrub the toilets.” Eleanor was standing behind her, glaring holes in her head.
“Ah, the toilet was busy.”
“Of course, it will be busy. Go and wait until everyone’s done. You can find the cleaning supplies in the cabinet near the washing area,” Eleanor dismissed her and Alicia had to exit the shower room.
The toilets were nearly empty and a few prisoners stood chatting while she found the cabinet Eleanor told about. She pulled out the supplies, containing different solutions and brushes of different sizes.
She tried to read the descriptions of the bottles to figure out what was its purpose. She had never been in the same room as her maid before and wondered how she was going to clean them.