This is a story of a friendship.
This friendship has been through ups and downs like all of them do. Even when one was ready to give up, the other would not allow it. I've never known anyone to fight for me like this friend has done.
My friend committed a crime. It was horrendous, unforgivable. He will be spending time behind bars for it. He's not running from what he did, but incorporating it into his plans. That is commendable.
He tells me that he has a book to help him prepare. He seems to have realistic views of what to expect, and the book he has is helping him plan. I am glad that he still has things to hold on to.
He has a book that's helping him learn what to expect, how to deal with it. I've searched. There is no such book for me. Where do I turn when I need help to deal with it, to deal with the reality that my friend is a criminal? How do I prepare for him, who I could always count on to be there when I needed him, to spend the next decade or so behind bars?
And, how do I deal with myself? I know a little of his crime, that it was unspeakably horrid. I know the villagers demand a hanging. I am with the villagers. Many people in his life are. Still, he relies on me, and I don't know exactly what is causing me to not write him off now.
But, I'm not. In the vast world of knowledge that is out there, I'm finding nothing to help me deal with this. There is no guidebook for the families and friends of people who are going to prison.
I'm hoping this story will help me, and maybe others who find themselves in the same conundrum, deal with this turn of life that no one on either side should ever have to deal with. But, people do. My friend does. I do.
The crime was not against me. It may well have been. So close is this friend to me, what happens to him affects me, as it affects everyone he knows. We share his Shackled Life.