But He’s In Prison

I used to kick it with this dude that I met while in the military from ’97-’98. We met right after basic training. In our squadron, there was a little hangout area where we could watch t.v. and group movies on the weekends, play pool. It was pretty much a recreation room that a lot of us Airmen would hang out in once duty hours were over.

A few days after being new to the squadron, I wandered over to the section that the rec room was located to get away from my overly-annoying roommate (night after night I’d awaken to her blasting heavy rock music while polishing her boots @ like two in the morning when we had to be up less than three hours later for roll call…I couldn’t understand how a black chick could put another black chick through that kind of torture.). I had to get over my shyness before I put a hurtin’ on somebody.

There was this guy in my flight who I had taken a liking to. We had both arrived to the squadron the same day, did our in-processing together. He was this Puerto Rican (Cruz) from New York who had a nice swagger with an oh-so-sexy raspy voice that I was definitely diggin’. He was feeling me just the same. We would kick it on the patio of the rec room in the evenings, looking up at the stars, getting to know each other, the usual. Things were going good. We were headed in a relationship direction.

Well, on this one particular night, Cruz wasn’t outside just yet so I wandered inside. I looked around and found a room where there were some folks playing spades and watching videos on BET. I entered and kinda kept to myself (still trying to get over my shyness), laughing here and there at the jokes that were going around. These people seemed pretty cool. Instead of meeting up with Cruz the next couple of nights, I went straight to the spades room after showering and getting all girlified.

A guy named Bruce now had my undivided attention. He wasn’t attractive to me. His skin was full of acne, but homeboy could dress and he made me laugh like there was no tomorrow. I loved to laugh. So one night he asked me to meet him in the morning for breakfast. I was like okay, especially since I didn’t think he was serious. Sure enough, that next morning he was right outside the gate waiting on me. That became our morning ritual while Cruz became a faded memory.

A couple of weeks later, there was a party on the base. Luckily for me, I had done detail that day and got upgraded to the phase that would allow me to wear civilian clothes and stay out a little later. That night at the party, Bruce and I danced the night away.

From that point on, we were inseparable. That boy was wild and had me doing things I probably could’ve gotten kicked out the military for. I loved his enthusiasm, his spunk, but those same things made me raise my eyebrows. He was always getting into something. Him and a few of his buddies went AWOL one night which resulted in the whole squadron having to come out of our rooms for accountability.

Bruce had not choice but to get out of the military. He moved to Oklahoma. I ended being relocated 45 minutes outside of where he was. We still kicked it. We were an undefined couple, though. I wanted Bruce to grow up some and tame his wild ways. By the time he decided that he was ready to get serious, I had moved on to a serious relationship and was actually living with the person. Bruce came to visit anyway. I could tell that he had not grown much. He had rode Greyhound down to Florida from Oklahoma. Instead of riding the bus for less than two more hours, he called me to come pick him up from a station that I had to drive an hour to get to. I told his butt to stay on the bus.

When he finally made it, I picked him up and dropped his butt off at base lodging. I really didn’t want to see him. Mainly because I was still attracted to him and had different hopes for us. He stayed for a few days and it was back to the bus station he went. While visiting he expressed his feelings but I pretty much didn’t want to hear it. I felt bad when I dropped him back off at the bus station. There was a couple kissing while we waited for his bus. He said, “That’s supposed to be us.”

A few years later after my relationship that I was in when Bruce came to visit ended, I looked Bruce up. I found his parent’s info and called. His mother remembered me and everything. She told me that Bruce had a son (after doing some calculations, his son was conceived right around the same time he left from visiting me). She also informed me that Bruce was in jail. She did a lot of rambling that I didn’t quite understand. Basically it boiled down to him hanging with the wrong crowd. But what dropped my jaw was that he had a life sentence. WTH!

What went from trying to reconcile turned into being a pen pal. That was almost six years ago. Bruce and I have continued to write each other since I got off the phone with his mother that day. It hasn’t always been consistent. I have gone almost two years without communicating with him. What gets me is the fact that we still have the same bond that we had years ago…only it’s much deeper and better this time. Prison has a way of maturing folks and getting them to realize that life is too short for the nonsense. Unfortunately for him, he is serving a life sentence for a crime he did not commit. There was evidence proving this fact, but his public defender had about 12 other cases at the time. He didn’t even remember Bruce’s name. His family is working with another lawyer and Bruce has also been in contact with a not-for-profit agency that helps the wrongly accused.

Bruce has a couple of strikes against him that would prevent me from dating him again. I just wish I could tell my feelings that.

Is loving a man in prison so wrong?

What’s a girl to do???

And no, I am NOT planning any conjugal visits!

Blessings & Prosperity!

This is Jewells signing out…

Perspectives

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