It seemed as if everything might actually work out for John Bennett. He'd taken Daya's advice and stopped being a pussy and confessed. He didn't get sent to prison. And he got to stay with Daya and the baby. Miracle.
"I still can't believe you're still here," Daya murmured as Bennett kissed her neck one morning outside by the tobacco shack.
"I know," he said, "and the best part of Caputo knowing: I asked if I can bring in those vitamins you wanted and actual real food for you and he said I can do what I want, as long as no one knows and I leave him out of it." He smiled at the look of surprise that bloomed across her face.
"Wait, really? You gotta get me some of that Mexican dark chocolate they sell in the city, baby. Oh, and pineapple juice and honey mustard with pickles to dip in it. Also, funfetti cupcakes, but with no frosting, just almond butter."
"Anything else?" he asked, a slightly disgusted look on his face.
She thought for a moment. "A watermelon."
He laughed and said, "I'll do my best," and then, "You're pretty lucky, you know. I bet you're the only pregnant woman in prison who's ever had a CO bring her chocolate." He touched her hair absentmindedly.
"Oh yeah, I'm so lucky," she said sarcastically, "Who wouldn't want to be pregnant in prison?"
"You know, I got arrested once," He said, changing the subject.
"You?" She gave him a funny look.
"Yeah," He laughed a little at the memory, "I was fifteen, and I was pissed off at my dad so I decided to sneak out at like three in the morning, climb over the fence into my neighbor's yard and have a hot tub party with three friends. The lady who lived there heard us and called the cops. My dad refused to pick me up until the morning, so I spent the night in the town jail cell."
"Wow, one night in the town jail cell. Must have been so hard for you," She rolled her eyes affectionately.
"Come on, I was fifteen. It was terrifying."
"When I was fifteen, I watched my mom and her sugar daddy bag heroin at the kitchen table while I ate my cereal every morning." She crossed her arms and cocked her head to the side.
"Okay, you win."
Smiling, she bit her lip and stepped closer to him, wrapping her arms around his neck. "What's my prize?"
Two weeks had passed since Bennett's confrontation with Joe Caputo, but the older, mustached man still couldn't shake the feeling of paranoia over the idea of screwing up so soon after his promotion.
"Alright people, listen up," Caputo's wilted voice rang throughout the cafeteria at lunch that day, "Apparently, upon the resignation of Natalie Figueroa," he paused for a brief moment to smile to himself, "and the promotion of yours truly, Litchfield has yet again attracted the attention of the media. Some documentary filmmaker, for reasons I'll never understand, wants to do a story on the wonders of prison life. What she gets out of it is a mystery to me, but for us, it's a perfect opportunity to demonstrate what a fine establishment this place is," he looked around the room as several murmurs broke out, "And she's paying us a generous amount for our time, so if everyone cooperates, I'm sure that money will be used in your best interests," he clasped his hands together, "This being said, when the film crew arrives two days from now, you're all going to behave; you're going to be civil. No one is going to attack anyone," he made eye contact with Chapman, "no one is going to start a political protest," his eyes shifted to Soso and Yoga Jones, "and no one is going to engage in inappropriate sexual activity." For this one, he just had to look at everyone. "What you are going to do, is speak highly of the administration, and make the audience believe there's no better place on earth to be incarcerated. Can you do that? Good. Have a nice lunch."
Over at Daya's table, Aleida asked her daughter how she was feeling.
Daya shrugged. "Fine, I guess," then her eyes lit up, "But I'll be better soon. John's gonna sneak in food for me. He's bringing me chocolate and pineapple juice and anything I crave."
"Santa's back," said Gonzales with a devious grin, "Hey, tell him to get me-"
"No," Daya cut her off, shaking her head, "He made a deal with Caputo to only bring in what I need for the baby. Vitamins and shit. Not porn or ipods or whatever you made him get for you before."
"Don't they give you prenatal vitamins at the clinic? I'm pretty sure Maria got them when she was knocked up." Maritza took a bite of her sandwich.
"You think the government cares about that shit?" Aleida cut in, "When I had Daya the state gave me all kinds of stuff: baby food, diapers...but no vitamins; they don't give a fuck if you healthy or not. Plus, I think it's all bullshit anyway. Tons of people smoke and drink when they're pregnant and their kids turn out fine."
Daya rolled her eyes for what seemed like the hundredth time that day, "And that's exactly why I'm not taking advice from you."
March 3rd, 2008
"I miss women," sighed Lewis, earning collective nods from Moore and Jackson. "What about you, Bennett? You got a girl waiting for you back home?"
Bennett just shook his head and continued to clean his M39 rifle. "No, I don't," he said eventually.
"I've got a fiance back in Florida," smiled Moore, gazing out the bunk window, "Eileen." He took a folded piece of paper out of the front pocket of his utility jacket. "This came from her yesterday morning. She told me she's pregnant," his smile broadened.
All the guys slapped him on the back and Bennett said, "Congrats, man," then turned back to polishing his gun.
Daya walked along the crowded streets of the South Bronx with two of her little sisters, one on either side of her, clutching her hands tightly.
"Alright, spell...curtain," she said to Lucy.
"C-U-R-T-A-I-N," the little girl said proudly, holding on to the strap of her Hello Kitty backpack with her free hand.
"Now Eva, what's four plus seven?"
She waited as her sister counted on her fingers, then announced, "Eleven."
This had been Daya's everyday routine since her mom was arrested. She'd walk Eva and Lucy to and from school, get things done while all the kids were gone, then help them with their homework before putting them to bed.
She'd allowed Christina and Emiliano to ride the bus to school since they were older, but she didn't feel comfortable letting the others; she remembered the fights that would break out on buses when she was in school.
Every day, while they walked the four blocks between their apartment and Robertson Elementary School, Daya would quiz the girls on what ever they were learning currently. She felt it was her job to make sure they had a better chance at life than she did, make sure they didn't end up in prison like their mother.
Bennett was scheduled to work fourteen hours the day the film crew was to arrive; Caputo had all hands on deck to see that everything went smoothly, although, Bennet knew that wasn't likely to happen given Litchfield's track record.
After breakfast, a blue van pulled up outside the front doors, followed by a black Honda Accord. Bennett was waiting outside, along with Caputo and O'Neil ready to greet everyone.
Two men and one woman got out of the van and started unloading equiptment. Then, from the black car, out stepped a thin, blonde woman who made her way around to where the guards stood. Bennett squinted at her through the sunlight, then felt his insides freeze up.
"Oh shit," he muttered.
Caputo glanced at him, "What? What's the matter with you?"
"John Bennett?" The woman took off her sunglasses and stopped in front of him.
"Hi Claire," he said flatly, with a quick glance at Caputo.
"You two know each other?" asked O'Neil.
Bennett sighed. "Meet Claire Reynolds. My ex."