...continued from previous page
Be among the first to know when I post new chapters, to new books!

Click Here
Keep up-to-date on all the announcements and website news!

Subscribe today!

My policy is to follow the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12); I hate spam too, and will never sell or give away your email address.
"If you don't mind," said Dick, "I'd like to talk to you, first."

"Me?" asked Abby, in surprise.

"Actually, I'm here at Jake's request. He wanted me to explain something to you," said Dick.

"I'll be heading back, Dick," said Sheriff Peterson. "Just give me a jingle when you're done here."

Abby was sober, and had quite forgotten the fish that were still occasionally tugging at her hookless fly.

"When I first met Jake," began Dick, "I saw him in the prison hospital. He had just attempted suicide, and had nearly succeeded. Jake had lost so much blood, that his heart stopped beating twice on the operating table. When he was in recovery, I witnessed to him, and had the great blessing of seeing him come to Jesus. He had a new beginning, but the past had taken a deep toll on him."

"What do you mean?" asked Abby.

"Have you ever heard of the term, 'prison rape'?" asked Dick, carefully.

Abby shook her head, "no." She didn't like the direction this conversation was going.

"It's when one inmate forces himself upon another," said Dick. "Unfortunately, it's commonplace in our prisons, and it's the ones who are young looking, small, or nonviolent offenders that become the most targeted. When Jake was first sent to prison, he was fifteen. At fifteen, Jake was small for his age, and even though he had been convicted of a violent offense, his small frame and youthful face made him a target from day one. For seven years, this went on, until Jake decided he couldn't take it any longer, and tried to take his own life. When he came to Christ, I placed him in solitary confinement for his own protection, and that is where he stayed for the last two years until his parole."

Abby looked out over the bay and sighed heavily. This answered a lot of questions she had concerning some of the statements Jake had made during his flashbacks.

"Why didn't he tell me this, himself?" she asked.

"He's too ashamed," replied Dick. "Jake has endured unspeakable acts of cruelty at the hands of other inmates, and it's very hard for him to talk about it. But, he wanted you to know about this part of his past, so he asked me to tell you."

"Why?" asked Abby, curiously. "I didn't have to know."

"I think this is Jake's way of warning you not to fall in love with him," the warden replied, candidly.

"Love?!" exclaimed Abby, in surprise. "Who said anything about love? I'm just trying to help him!"

"I'm only fulfilling my promise," said Dick, backing away.

"Please, wait a minute!" asked Abby. "Does Jake have AIDS?"

"Miraculously, he doesn't," answered Dick. "I know of others like Jake that are already dead or dying from the multitude of diseases they picked up after being raped in prison. But Jake has never tested positive for AIDS, or any other sexually transmitted disease."

"Uncle Terry says Jake suffers from flashbacks," continued Abby.

"Yes, I know," said Dick. "It's called PTSD-- post traumatic stress disorder."

"That's what Uncle Terry thought," she sighed. "Ever since the beginning, trying to be friends with Jake has been a daunting undertaking. He doesn't really trust me, you know."

"He's coming as close to it as I've seen in a long time," replied Dick. "Here's my phone number. If you want to talk to me, just call."

"Why are you going out of your way to help him?" wondered Abby.

"Why are you?" asked Dick.

"I'm trying to make a difference-- hopefully, for the better," she answered.

"As a prison warden, I see a lot of men who have given up trying to be 'the good guy,'" he reflected. "Jake is trying."

Dick went inside the little yellow house to talk to the parolee, who had been watching the entire time from a window, but could not hear what was being said.

An hour later, Jake appeared, smoking a cigarette and watching Abby cast, just as he had done on the day they first set eyes on each other.

"Do you hate me?" he wondered out loud. "I wouldn't blame you, if you did."

"Of course not!" exclaimed Abby, rather angrily. "Never ask me that, again."

She reeled in her line a little and executed another double haul, while Jake remained thoughtfully silent.

"Do you want to hold the fly rod for awhile?" she asked. "It's hookless."

Jake accepted the pole from Abby, and the two quietly watched the whitecaps in the bay, while the clouds lazily drifted overhead.

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."
~ Galations 6:2 ~

"The servant of the Lord must... be gentle unto all men."
~ 2 Timothy 2:24 ~

"And of some have compassion, making a difference."
~ Jude 22 ~

end of chapter
<< Love Stories Last PageLove Stories Next Page >>
Spread the Love
One of my longtime readers, Myra Valcourt, has created a Facebook group just for you! "The Works of Judith Bronte" offers a forum to discuss the stories and characters, and a way to get to know other readers. I hope to see you there!