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I’m a self-titled hopeless romantic. I see love as the most exhilarating thing any person can experience.

Jonquil, 36
Incarcerated: 13 years
Housed: San Quentin State Prison

I’m a self-titled hopeless romantic. I see love as the most exhilarating thing any person can experience. Throughout my 36 years of orbit on this blue marble we call home, I’ve rode the roller coaster known as love. In past relationships, I’ve given all of me only to be handed the muddy end of the stick, time and time again. Women who claimed they wanted honesty, loyalty, and love – proved they preferred men labeled as “dogs.” By 24, after one heartbreak too many, I was on the brink of being jaded. I figured if I went down to the level of “dog” then I could have a woman stay loyal and truthful. I struggled with myself for the first three months of incarceration. The stain of incarceration does not make it easy to be looked upon as a candidate for love. Most women who learned of my incarceration assumed that I wanted them to take care of me; this was furthest from the truth. I was looking for someone to spend the rest of my natural life with, and as a Muslim, I wanted a wife that could help me complete half of my religion. It took 11 years of supplicating to Allah to provide me with my rib, and my prayers were answered. A beautiful and gentle soul that I knew, appeared after 13 years, and we’ve been stuck like glue ever since. Sure there are ups and downs because we’re human, but our love grows stronger daily. It took both of us to go through failed relationships to appreciate when true love is given. I thought I could slide over to the “darkside,” when I realized that it wasn’t me and I couldn’t allow a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. And look what Allah did – he gave me my equal!

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