Monday, August 25, 2014

chapter 13 in jail

The three prisoners were loaded onto a Huey military helicopter. On either side of Henry were soldiers. The pilot and the co-pilot were in front. Several other soldiers were in the back with two other prisoners. It was a beautiful clear day. The doors were open during the flight. Henry figured if he was quick enough, he could jump out. His head was spinning. In all the shame, it would be a glorious ending. News headlines would be, “Enrique Sardina, drug smuggler, would not let himself be taken.”

Instead he discovered he did not have the courage. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t even generate enough will to lift his rear end off the seat. An overwhelming sense of despair came over him. He had nothing left. He hated his life. He knew it had all been his own doing. He would rather die than live. But he couldn’t even take his own life.

As he jumped down from the helicopter onto the runway in Nassau, it was like the weight of the universe was on his shoulders. Heat rose up from the tarmac. He thought, “My heart is so heavy. I needed a wheelbarrow to carry it.”

Henry was put into a holding cell. The stench was vile. Several of the prisoners were hollering. It was a concrete cell six feet by nine feet. Eleven men were already in there. Most were drunks. None of them had been fed. After 48 hours, one of the guards came for Henry. Henry had some money hidden on him and he took $50 of it and gave to the guard. “I need to make a phone call,” he said. The guard brought him to a phone. “You don’t have much time,” he told Henry.

He tried to call one of his friends in Miami. Nobody answered. He tried calling his parents. His mother answered. He told her what was happening. Then he heard Lisa’s voice on the phone. When Henry heard her voice, it was glorious. Henry told her what had happened. He said she had to get a hold of one of his business associates and that he had to find a way to get him out of jail and back to Miami. He very expressively let her know how urgent it was that she do this immediately..

He didn’t know how long he had been talking when he heard weeping on the other end of the line. He thought, “She loves me.” He was so thankful, so grateful. How could she be such a forgiving person? He remembered back to a Bible study he and Lisa had been in together. They were looking at the passage where Jesus had said that in the Resurrection there was not marriage but that the people there would be like the angels. Lisa had cried after they left the Bible study. She said to him then, “If you and I aren’t going to be married in heaven, then I’m not sure I want to go there.” Henry kept thinking, “How can she still love me? How can anyone love me, much less this woman who really knows me; this woman I have hurt so deeply.”

Henry was taken back to the cell. This call had a powerful effect on him. While he had been in his cell, Henry had cried out, “God, I can’t take this anymore.” But after he heard Lisa’s weeping, he reawakened to what a wealthy man that he had been. He was amazed at himself that he had fallen into such darkness. He had loving parents. And his children. They were such beautiful children. “What is wrong with me?” he wondered. “What is this lust in me that could never be satisfied? Why did I insist on filling my life with so much vice? How could I have wasted everything?”

Once again he vowed to reform himself. “If I ever get out of here, I will never never again go back to what I’ve been. If I ever get out of here, Lisa will have a man for a husband. My children will be blessed with a good father, a loving father, a father who takes care of them.” Hope began to creep back into Henry’s heart.

All this was going on with Henry while he was standing in a stinking crowded cell in Nassau. He would watch as prisoners were taken out of the cell and then he would hear cries, “Don’t hit. Please stop. Don’t hit me.” The guards didn’t hit Henry. He was an American. A drug smuggler.

Lisa had also been praying out to God. Her prayer was equally desperate—she also couldn’t take it anymore. When she heard Henry tell her what had happened, she wept because she believed her prayer had been answered. At least for now her nightmare with Henry was finally over. There would be no appearances of Henry in the middle of the night. At least for now she wouldn’t be seeing him —maybe for a long long time. Maybe never!

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