Alan writes in his diary…
It is 4am in the morning and the prison guards on duty use their batons to wake the inmates. They hit the metal cage-like doors, and there is deafening noise.
We see Alan Wahome waking up and pulling his blanket over his head before he gets out of bed. He stands tall at 6 ft 4”. He stands at the door and peers sleepily outside at the guards who are having fun.
His cellmate ‘Cabbage’, 29 tries to cover his ears with his hands…and curses under his breath.
Back to Alan and his diary- Alan tells about Cabbage and the reason that he is behind bars. He also explains that this is a maximum security prison for the hardest prisoners.
The prisoners are lined up for roll call. They are teased and pushed and insulted by the guards.
In his diary; Alan tells about the prisoners. The wing he is on houses the most dangerous criminals in the prison. Dangerous mainly because they have all been found guilty of committing the most hideous crimes and are serving the longest sentences. They are kept in their cages all day and let out only when they have to go and do some hard labour somewhere.
One of the inmates tries to fight back and is subdued. There is anger in the other prisoners’ faces but none of them tries to help him as he is lead away.
Alan tells about himself and how he came to be behind bars.
“After roll call, breakfast will be served and today I think I am going to eat some of that cold porridge. I missed supper yesterday because I was on punishment cleaning the warden’s office and I am starving. I have to go now, if I do not get dressed in a hurry, these guys will lose no time in getting us out naked into the freezing cold.”
Alan Wahome is a 35 year old rugged looking man, stands taller than most inmates. He has been incarcerated for the past 20 years and he walks around the prison like he owns it. He is respected by most of the prisoner and the guards will not harm him. He is polite to all and calls the guards ‘sir’ like any of the other prisoners. Alan has a refined look about him behind all the prison clothes and rugged looking face- he walks with swag and authority.
He is the oldest of five children, and his siblings visit him often with their kids. He is seeing one of the guards and she makes his life a lot easier and does him a lot of favors. He falls in love with his old time childhood friend and that friendship drives him to dream again and want to get out.
Kevin Ochan “Cabbage”, is 30 years old. Kevin is Alan’s cell mate and he has also been in jail since he was a teenager found guilty of murder. He respects Alan but will not take shit from him. He has been hardened over the years and he often walks around with Alan.
His family has abandoned him behind bars and will not come and see him anymore. Kevin has lots of pen pals who write him and that is what keeps him going.
Annette Atieno, is the beautiful 26 year old that makes Alan happy from time to time. She is a toughie and is secretly sleeping with Alan and giving him favors that are not allowed the prisoners- like specially home cooked meals and milk. She protects Alan when she can and will not let him do hard chores on her shift.
Annette is in love with Alan and she wants to keep him all to herself. She has prevented him from being transferred to another prison several times. She likes to control him and often threatens to cut him off all her favours if he does not do as she pleases.
There is a new threat to their romance called Lisa Karanja who is two years older than Annette. Lisa is Alan’s childhood friend and she comes back into his life after meeting with one of his sisters. She works with an NGO in town and she is doing well for herself. She has just gotten out of a bad relationship and Alan gives her lots of advice on how to go about life from his perspective.
She starts to fall in love with Alan even as she maintains her life on the outside. She comes to see him briefly and she wants to help him get out in whatever way she can.
Alan has a younger sister, Angela Wahome who has just turned 30. She is his youngest sister and she will do anything to make Alan’s life in prison easier. She is a medical doctor and married with two children. She is very beautiful and her husband is overly protective of her. She is constantly complaining to Alan. She seeks Alan’s advice on everything in her life and she visits him often and brings her kids.
In his prison diary, Alan tells his story from how he got to prison and what is presently happening in his life and in the lives of the people around him. We get to see him at his best and his worst.