Being in a relationship with a man in prison was hard, as you can imagine. There were no dinner dates, cuddling and most importantly there was no sex. So why do it you ask? Because I loved him, because at the time he was the only one I wanted to give my attention too, and honestly I thought it would be easy.
Let's rewind back to 2006 the beginning. We were in college and he (we will call him Donovan*) sat next to me in African-American History. I never really paid attention to this dark 6'5 young man until we were paired together to do a class project. That's how we met.
That class project turned into late night talks on AIM for weeks. Those AIM chats turned into BBQ's dinner and movie dates. That's how we became a couple.
One year later as I was running for a connecting flight from Atlanta I got a AIM message from a friend of Donovan.
ThatFlyGuy: Hey u dont kno me we met 1x b4 but Donovan wanted me to tell u that he got arrested last night.
MissBritt8705: Wat???? Where? Is he ok?
ThatFlyGuy: it would be easier 4 me 2 call you Donovan gave me ur # if u dont mind me callin
After our 2 minute phone conversation I found out that Donovan was at the wrong place at the wrong time and with all the wrong people on a Friday night. He was arrested and had to spend a weekend in Riker's Island. If he didn't get bailed out he would be sent upstate until his court date which was unannounced at the time. That's how he got arrested (For legal reasons I can not go into too much detail)
20 year old me was drenched in sweat rushing to a flight that actually wasn't boarding for another 2 hours. My head was spinning, I was scared for his life. He had never been arrested before, he was accused of badly assaulting a police officer, and worst of all the police shot at him (thank God he missed). A black man + a police office = not a great mix even in 2009.
Monday came he went before a judge and was given a $100,000 bail. That nearly broke his family in half. I was sick, knowing his family situation, how in the world could they come up with that kind of money? For selfish reasons I missed the hell out of him. I went on vacation for a week and had not seen him a week before that. With donations from the church, pulling from their savings and a bail bondsman Donovan's family was able to post bail. The slow legal system delayed his release it took two weeks before he was able to leave. But that wasn't the end of it. For two years Donovan fought his charges but was unsuccessful in the cold winter he was sentenced to 3-5 years to a minimum security prison. That is how it began.
What would you do if your man was locked up? Would you stay?
** All names & screen names have been changed expect mine.