” Jen come on, make me understand this, you mean you went all the way to Kabwe, kidnapped a mad man, who you have no idea who he is and where he comes from, keeps him in your house and later on took him for prayers” my brother scolded me as he sat opposite me in the prison visiting room.
I was detained for 3 weeks then as I waited my final trial. life in prison was so disheartening I felt my mind losing it. Sleeping on some itch blanket and a thin mattress was really so hard than one would ever imagine.
I had never at any moment in my life thought of ever getting in prison.
Here I was now, paying for the crime for falling in love with a man, the craziest of it all was, l had to pick him myself without anyone forcing me. The circumstances I was surrounded by were so meaningless to the people out there. I heard a lot of talk on social media even radio stations where people discussed my life like I was some kind of a freak.
Here I was facing my eldest brother , the only family member that had shown concern about my well-being and at least he came visiting me.
I heard others never wanted anything to do with me. With some people claiming I was a psycho who needed to be taken to the hospital and not prison.
” Stop crying dammit! Crying will not take you out of prison” my brother yelled at me as I kept crying in front of him.
” What do you want me to tell you brother? I fall in love, call me crazy I don’t care. I had no idea this will happen to me all l did was follow my heart and Ben is a wonderful person l don’t regret falling for him. He makes me happy and that matters to me more than the rumours people are spreading about me” I defended myself and my brother pulled my hand gripping it so hard I felt pain.
” Will you stop with this nonsense Jen! I lost a sister and am not ready to lose another one soon. You can’t be saying all that when all that man has brought in your life is trouble. Look at you, you are in prison for crying out loud and where is he huh?” He paused scoffing
” He’s out there doing God knows what. You just had to pick a mad man with a crazy wife who won’t stop at anything until you go down.” He added now letting my hand go and I winced in pain.
I knew my brother was hurting and I couldn’t blame him. I just lost my entire life because of falling in love with a man. I had less hope for the coming day. I knew so well Ben was fighting hard to see me out of Prison. He was suffering as much as I was and I knew God willing I wouldn’t get a life sentence like a lot of people were anticipating. I was defenceless, with Clara taking advantage of my situation publishing a lot of fake stories on the social media making my life the topic of the month.
” I will try and find a good lawyer for you my sister. I know you can never hurt anyone and you are innocent. It’s unfortunately our legal system is too corrupt I have no idea how to but I promise to try get you out” my brother said softly this time I could bet he felt pity with the way I was shedding tears.
” Be strong baby sister and know that I will fight with everything I got to get you out of here” he gently caressed my fingers.
” Thank you brother. Am sorry for putting you through this. I swear it wasn’t what I had in mind when I went on the mission to save Benjamin” I sniffed and he kept shaking his head.
” Now listen to me sister,when you are out of here. I don’t want to hear a thing about that man. It is over do you get that? Forget that man, you are still young and beautiful you derseve a good man by your side and you will fall in love again” he said whilst standing to leave.
I just nodded my head knowing I wasn’t going to stop loving Ben. I was more into him now I wasn’t going to let him go. But ofcourse I wouldn’t upset my sweet brother further by telling him that, so I faked a smile as he gave me a quick hug and left me.
I was taken back to the prison cells by a female warder, as soon as my brother turned his back to leave.
“Crazy woman!” Some other inmates shouted as I passed along the corridors to my cell. The shocking and hurting part was that even in prison people talked about me like l was crazy. Every time the news on radio was about my case, Everyone looked at me with so much hate and disgust. It was like l was not one of them, I felt I never belonged anywhere.
The outside world was crucifying me labbeling me a psychopath , a witch, a husband snatcher and murderer. Now the people I expected to understand me given the fact that some of them where wrongly accused and jailed too, but no, as it was I had the worst story of all.
I lay on my back in the bed that had now become my home. In 3 weeks I stayed inside I had lost so much weight, all my curves were gone.
My shaggy hair which was unkept now looked more like that of a mad person for sure. I felt my self slip away and the only comfort I had was the love of Benjamin and my brother. They were the two people that I was so sure would stand by me till the end.
If I had not embraced the word of God I could have committed suicide, but every time I did think of it, I felt the spirit giving me all the reasons I had to stay alive. For my family and for Ben, for the long life that I had ahead of me and for letting the world know that weeping can last for a night, but joy comes in the morning..
I recall the priest who always visited me too and brought books of the gospel for me to be reading through everyday, told me in his encouraging manner..
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” My child, when it is the darkest hour of the day, then we know that morning is close. Your morning sunshine is pulling up the sky and when it arises no man nor spirit will be able to quench the brightening sun of your life” he smiled at me.
” Thank you Father am always glad to see you here” I told him honestly.
The following day I was just from cleaning the toilets and took a bath cladding myself in the prison uniform.
I sat outside watching some women who were doing different activities. My eyes were set on a certain woman who l learnt killed her husband because he was unfaithful. She was so beautiful one could see even after spending 5 years in prison her looks were intact. I wondered what went wrong with her obviously sweet marriage before the odeal happened. I shook my head as I watched her wash her Uniform in the little washing paste I figured she received from the well wishers.
I went on looking at other women. A heavily pregnant prisoner sat on the floor dozing, I wondered how some men could be so heartless as to sleep with a woman who was in prison when they had wives and other woman out there. “Some prison warders can be cruel” I murmered in my head.
I was still taking my time analysing the women when the prisoner warder called my name.
” Jennifer! Come out. There’s some one here to see you” she announced and I quickly stood up following her.
” My love!” Ben exclaimed as I walked towards him.
” Hey !” I sighed as he held my hand greeting as the warder on duty that day wouldn’t allow touching and hugging of prisoners.
” I missed you, he tried to smile but it only lasted a second.
” Yeah you have no idea how much I think about you in here. You are the only thought that keeps me sane” I shook my head as I felt my eyes filing up again.
” I know babe and am so sorry you are going through all this. You have no idea how much each day and night I wish I could take your place.” He sighed wiping his own tears.
” Am not going to rest until that woman pays for her deeds. Don’t worry I sold the house and am putting all the money in ensuring you get out of this place.” He smiled comforting me.
” You did what!” I asked him surprised.
” That house was the only tangible thing you had Ben, did you have to sell it?” I asked him.
” lf l had to sell my own life to see you out of here, believe me I would. The house means nothing more than your life and freedom does my love” he added seriously. I knew his love for me was as priceless as mine was for him.
He told me how he hired some secret investigator to help find his sister’s and son.
He told me how his friend was helping him find something to corner Clara with and that before the trial he was optimistic something good would have come up.
” She will make a mistake my love don’t worry. Let her get all excited and do all the worst she wants but l can assure you her days are numbered.” He giggled.
” All I want is for you to remain strong and believe in me and in God more. I will get you out of here.”
” I know Ben, am so proud of you and I don’t care what people are saying. If only they knew how happy you make me” I smiled wiping a tear from the corner of my eye.
” I love you so much always know that” he squeezed my hand.
“I sleep with a bunch of your clothes in my bed every night just to feel you close to me” he laughed softly displaying his honest passion.
” And I love you” I smiled back squeezing his hands too.
” The lawyer said the prosecuting officers have no strong evidence against you. If only we can get the killer before the trial, then you will be out of here soon enough my love. Just promise you won’t be crying and will eat. I will always bring you food I don’t want to hold a borny woman in a few weeks time.” He teased making a lustful face at me.
” Look at you, am a woman clad in this pathetic uniform and all you can think of is making love to me” I let a small laugh and he nodded his head.
” ln fact I think you are the hottest prisoner I have ever seen. That uniform looks so mmmmmmmm on you” he laughed making me laugh with him too.
” Time up people!” The voice of the warder shouted cutting short our laughter.
” Mmmm it’s 30 minutes already” he looked at his watch.
” I can’t wait to have you so close to myself the whole day my love. For now am going to work on having your realease ” he smiled now standing.
” Thank you for coming” I whispered to him.
” I love you Jennifer, stay strong okey?” He responded and walked out his front still facing me as he walked backwards bumping into the grill door making me smile.
To be continued…