I wake up from a very real night terror. Dreams from work and training. I haven’t had one of those for a while. Compounding the sheer anxiety was the fact they were working on the air-conditioning, so our cell was dead silent with no air movement. Add in the heat of Oklahoma with the humidity and it made for very bad dreams for Challen Miller. I woke up breathing very hard, drenched in sweat, and trembling. I need to compose myself. Then country comes in the room, all chipper and happy. She can see from the look on my face I’m not in a good place at all. I tell her I need to shower and compose myself and she advises me she has already reserved my shower. I step into my shower and noticed a critical detail-there is an extra set of clean close in there. That aren’t mine. I’m not in the mood for early morning shower shenanigans, but it happens anyways. I’m trying to still get my eyes back from the thousand yard stare and control my own hands from trembling and breathing hard. The shower ends and lunch is served. The rest of the day is the usual, mundane routine filled with playing cards, holding hands, a stolen kiss here and there, working out, drinking coffee, and avoiding the glare of the D0 who has an eagle eye for inappropriate behavior.
At 30 minutes to lockdown, the power goes out in the pod is dark and silent as a tomb. We’re sitting right in the middle of the day room in full view of the cameras. Once the power goes out, I realize that the cameras are out, or if they aren’t, it will take the infrared diodes about 10 seconds to adjust to the dark before it is working again in night vision mode. I say to myself “Challen Miller, go for it!” So I reach over and grab her hair and still a passionate kiss, right in front of the cameras, 85 inmates and the DO, who has been trying to catch us all day. The lights come back on and not a single person in the entire pod, except Country, has any idea what has just transpired right in front of them. Country’s pupil is blown on her right side-twice as big as the left. I’ve learned by observation that her right pupil gets larger than the left when she is raging angry and/or turned on (or both). When she is in beast mode and about to destroy something or someone, her eyes twitch horizontally slightly. At times, knowing how to read eyes intimately is much better than hearing words. Later we are born while sitting out on the yard holding hands, that DO Lark is asking around “what’s up with country and Challen Miller? They are a little too close for comfort.” So we toned down the PDA a bit on her watch. If she gets in anymore trouble, she will be housed in the SHU (special housing unit aka Segregation) and/or I will be moved off the pod. Neither of us wants this since I think I’m falling for her and she is already declared she is falling for me.