Well this is my home for the next six months.
My cell is small and dark with a bunk bed on one side and sink and urinal on the other.
My cell mate is a man named Ewin Middleton. He is a computer genius and was arrested for hacking.
Every day we get a couple of hours to spend outside in the yard. Often times Ewin and I spend that time playing chess. I have played often in the past with my family as well as Angie and always thought I was pretty good. But Ewin is amazing. I have yet to beat him.
I have also been assigned to the prison laundry so I spend a number of hours there each day.
The prison also has a library with some computers. A few of the inmates are working on getting their degree online. All the inmates are allowed an hour of computer time each day. Well all of the inmates beside Ewin. Being a hacker he isn’t allowed access to the computer.
Once a month we have a visitation day were friends and family are allowed to come and visit. Angie always comes. The visits are kind of bittersweet because as great as it is seeing her it is also harder and harder to say good bye each time.
The third month I was in Angie seemed really nervous during the visit. As she was leaving she said, “Gavin, there is something I need to tell you. I’m pregnant and based on the due date the doctor gave me I must have conceived just before you were arrested.”
Let’s just say I was shocked.
But also thrilled. I can’t believe I am going to be a father. I am just sorry that I am missing so much of Angie’s pregnancy. At least I will be out before the baby is born.
While other inmates got into fights I worked to be a model citizen. There was no way I was going to do anything that could get my stay extended.
I focused on my job in the laundry and playing chess with Ewin.
I also scoured the library looking for books on parenting. Unfortunately those were not the types of books we had. One day inmate Matthew Douglas came up to me. He is a former CEO who was arrested for insider trading and running a ponzi scheme.
“Hey kid, what you looking for?”
“I just found out my girl is pregnant. I can’t be with her until I get out but I thought I could maybe read up on parenting. I mean I have been getting some stuff from the internet when we are allowed on the computers but books we can take back to our cells. I thought maybe I could take back some books to read up on the subject. I don’t know anything about raising a baby.”
“Well you have come to the right place. Me and the missus have six kids and over 15 grand-kids. What do you want to know?”
After that whenever I could I would spend time with Matthew asking him all sorts of questions. I am sure he got tired of me.
Angie continued to visit me each month and it was fascinating to see her body change from month to month.
Being pregnant has made Angie a little more emotional than usual and at the end of each visit she breaks down and sobs in my arms. I keep reminding her that I will be out soon and we can start our life together.
One day I was surprised when the guard came up to me and handed me a cell phone. We usually do not have phone privileges.
“Gavin, it’s your mom.”
I immediately felt my eyes tear up. I hadn’t heard her voice in years. I had been upset with my parents for putting me in military school so had not kept in touch over the years. But she was still my mom and I had missed her. I am sure my going to jail upset her.
“Mom, it’s good to hear from you.”
“Honey, I hope you are ok. Are you getting enough to eat? Everyone treating you ok?”
“Yes mom I am fine.”
“That’s good, um well I just called to let you know your father passed away last night.”
I couldn’t believe it. My dad was gone. I was never going to get to see him again. Ask him for advice. I felt like I had missed so much time. I promised myself that I would never let anything come between my child and me.
Finally the day came. I was out of prison. Angie picked me up and we went and grabbed a late supper. I couldn’t wait another moment. I dropped to one knee and said:
“Angela Salvadore, I have loved you from the moment I spotted you in the Prosper Room back in Bridgeport. That week we spent there was the best week of my life. I was lost when you left. Finding you here in Lucky Palms was a sign that we are meant to be together. Please say you will be my wife.”
“Yes of course I will marry you. I love you so much Gavin.”
The next morning Mr. Salvadore asked to see me.
“You wanted to see me sir?”
“Yes, I understand that you are responsible for my daughter’s condition.”
“Yes sir I am.”
“Well what do you intend to do about it.”
“I am planning to marry her.”
“Are you asking my permission?”
“No sir, I love your daughter more than anything. Nothing could prevent me from marrying her. Nothing except of course if she were to have refused me as I would never force her to do anything. I do hope I have your blessing.”
“Well I could never deny my baby girl anything she wanted and she has informed me that she wants you. Plus I figure I owe you one for not selling me out to the cops. I do have one request though. There are some things coming down the pipeline here in Lucky Palms. I want you to take my daughter out of here. This is no place for you to raise your family.”
“Of course. I still have my apartment back in Bridgeport. It is a large two bedroom, perfect for our growing family.”
“Well actually I was thinking that you should take her back to Appaloosa Plains. Out of all the limelight and gossip.”
“I am heir to family legacy back there. My father just past and my mother is getting older. Maybe it is time for me to return.”