I'm in Love with a Man in Prison
He was right there in front of me the whole time
No, I'm not one of "those women" who are addicted to helpless men or turned on by the bad boy. Quite the contrary. The man I love isn't even my boyfriend, nor will I visit him, I refuse to wait here dangling in the wind until he returns, so I decided to live my life. And I have some advice for those who are already judging me- go ahead, but first let me give you some background.
We met at work. Both servers at a sportsbar in Raleigh,at literal and figurative crossroads in our lives. His future was an unknown prison sentence, mine a future in Japan teaching English. I had just graduated from an extended absence from James Madison, and it seemed as though the world was mine.He started working a few weeks after me, and from the time we laid eyes on each other, it was pure disdain. While I paraded around with a hot 21 year old, he went through some of the less appealing girls at work. This went on for over a year, then we both hit rock bottom; Mine was in the form of a horrific car accident breaking my neck and chest, his was a DUI while on bail so back to jail he went.
I judged him from the time we met. He told me about his past and what he was looking at after it was all said and done... Prison? Ew. I immediately wanted nothing to do with him. I sat there on my high horse and looked down on him- boy was that a long, hard fall off that saddle!
The point of this piece is not "look at my life;" it's that life leads you down these twists and turns, and if you have a mentality that you're better than someone else- well you could be missing out on the most meaningful friendship and love there has ever been.
After he made bail (again) and had no license I ended up driving him to and from work. It turned out he was actually smart, kind, considerate, how was this even possible? Had I really never given him a chance, even as a human being? The answer was obvious, no I hadn't. I was so shocked at his intelligence and compassion, it took me by surprise.
The first time:
The first time we kissed, it was so strange. Both of us were drunk, on his couch and he just leaned over. We made out for what seemed like hours and then fell asleep cuddling on the couch. I was still "miss perfect" in my mind, so I was immediately perplexed and terrified. Why, how, what did this mean? I just brushed it off and said it can't happened again. He agreed, but had a very strange grin on his face, like "ohhhh ok, we'll see about that."
I fought it; us. Him and I together just seemed like a horrible decision. Fast forward 2 months and we were so in love it was actually sickening, to everyone else of course. We were smitten, almost too happy, except we both knew at some point he'd leave me (everyone really) and had no idea when he'd come back. I kept it in my mind but after all, he'd been just continuing his case so I assumed "there's still time" to figure out everything. Well, you know my track record so far, I was wrong again. As soon as we fell madly in love, BOOM- he was gone.
It's been five months:
It's been five full, long months since I saw him last. I have a bag of letters from him, yes a bag. I'm sure he has a locker full of mine too. Our love has grown stronger, and although it's not easy and I don't recommend finding someone about to get locked up- the whole point is not to have a predisposition based on someone's circumstances. I would have never found my soul mate, my best-friend, my perfect other half if I had kept my "judgey" ways.
He is hands down the sweetest, most caring man I've ever met. As in my whole life, I have never met someone who loves me and cares about me the way he does- ever. It's quite shocking, to have true love; to stumble upon it, after thinking you know everything. There is such a beauty in our hate, then love story because it transformed both of us in so many positive ways. I've learned so much, not just about love but about respect, and caring and figuring out I don't know it all! (...wait does that mean I DO know it all?)
I'm so happy I gave him a chance in the first place because true love only comes rarely in one's life in ever at all, so with that I'll keep holding on. I hope somehow you can open your eyes and see what you've been missing out on, whether it be true love, friendship, or even a a funny joke from the weird neighbor, just remember- you can't win the lottery if you don't play the numbers.