Prison Break Love


One of the endless number of satellite channels we have access to, typically offering quantity instead of quality, showed the story of a good looking granny who fell for a dangerous South African criminal serving a life sentence.


Despite the general suspicion that he could be preparing soft ground for an appeal, the priest who recently performed the wedding ceremony does regard their love as real. (Days will come when machines read feelings and lie detector tests are recommended before weddings…)


I know a few jail love stories, one of them still unfolding these days and told to me by a lady I talk with from time to time. These lovers never physically met, once they both are in prison. It just happened that they suddenly knew about each other, starting to write and send all kind of messages.


At a certain point, he asked for her photo, but she had doubts. She knew how prisons are, the lack of privacy and all the bad stuff going on. She had taken wanton decisions before and, because of that, she wouldn’t like more mistakes – though she also liked very much to know things about him. She had so many questions to be answered! One can be in jail for various reasons, not necessarily for being a vicious criminal. Her case, for instance. While pregnant, she was abandoned by the only man she trusted. Soon after her son was born, she took him to her mother.


“Take good care of him,” she urged with all the meaningfulness only a mother talking to another mother can understand.


That same day she killed the father of her baby, and only the idea of the infant left with her mother avoided the ultimate gesture. Shortly afterwards, while already behind bars, she was able to kill him inside her heart for good.


Very early on in her new love affair, she felt that he wanted a lot more from her than what he was willing to give. Why should she do as he asked, if she knew so little about him?


And then, by accident, she learned who he was. She didn’t expected to find out that he was not the private person she suspected (and liked) him to be. Actually, everybody seemed to know about him, except for her. He was openly telling to anyone what she, as a woman in love, would like so much to know.


Her shock was immense. For days she couldn’t even think straight. Dismally, she had to admit to herself that he had been mocking her. And she wasn’t the type of woman to let it go just like that. She realized the following:


“If he is paradoxically giving to any what he refused to me, I am going to do what I would never dare to do. Maybe doing like so I’ll be able to hurt him, make him go away and kill this new love growing in my heart.”


And so she did. Without thinking of the consequences, without even being capable of stopping at evident obstacles, she gave form to her dauntless plan.


Have you ever heard about people being swallowed by their own machinations? That was what happened to her. Quite suddenly, an idea born of vengeance became just an idea and then merely another way to maintain her contact with him.


And when the opportunity of breaking the chains and having a millionaire profit on the run appeared, she automatically decided to include him in the deal too. Favourable winds seemed to be bringing all she ever wanted: freedom, love and money. She lived a couple of days dreaming that it all would be easy and possible: breakout, love and gold. The risks, minimum.


The second day reality dimmed all her enthusiasm. What did she wanted freedom and money for, if she couldn’t be sure about his role in her life? All she could be sure was of his silence and of his ambivalent attitude towards her. She gave up all her dreams and decided to stay in prison. “Happiness is only for others…” she firmly decided.


Over the following months I was told that this new turn in her life almost killed her. One early morning she was found delirious with fever. On the tenth day, fever gave her a break. By nightfall she wrote a few words to him:


“I’m back,” started she. “Not sheepishly, because that it’s not me. Not full of hope, as before, because time for hope is long gone. If I have to live, I prefer to live with you – even knowing that sometimes I’m just being used.”


In fact, prison life without love must be inconceivable. The worst.