“But Daddy I Love Him” by Amira Sheikh

What can you do if you fall in love with a person with whom you can start a life only when your life is about to end? What can you do when your heart doesn’t understand the language of law and justice? What can you do if the love of your life is a criminal? Well not just because he stole my heart, but because he was accused of being involved in a murder and looting a bank or two. 

My father, Lieutenant Fredrick Carter was the head of the maximum security prison after serving 8 years in the military. He always made me build interest in his work and trained me like I was one of the soldiers in his army. His apathy and harsh nature towards me always reminded me that I was not his son.
I was 25 when my dad took me to his work place, prison. That was when I met him.
On the 2nd floor, outside cell number 134, behind the bars, I studied the face of a man in his late forties, dressed shabbily in a dark blue prison jump suit, a heavy, built figure and anxious grey eyes. His toned arms hardly visible behind the scary tattoos. He looked at me and smiled. That was it. I guess this is why they called him a killer. He was beautiful, or maybe my aesthetic sense didn’t know it’s boundaries.
I started meeting him every week. After a few weeks I met him almost every day. My dad was happy about me being so dedicated to his work. I told him about my life and he told me about his. I was a skeptic when he told me about why he was a prisoner. After knowing his story and what he had been through, for me he was innocent and even if he wasn’t, he was a better person now and imprisonment for twenty years wasn’t the right punishment for him. I was ready to do anything to get him out of there. Even if it was against the law.
I helped him plan a prison break, or let’s say he helped me plan the prison break. As I knew each and every corner of the prison and I was an astute observer, I decided the time, the day and how will it happen. I had my access to the main power room. I told the officers I was making an observation about how everything is controlled there and I asked them to tell me about the main power source. They gave me the smallest details about all the buzzers and switches and also told me about the main lever which when pulled down, there will be a black out and all the bars and gates will be unlocked automatically.
One night after 12, when most of the guards are off duty, I reached the main power room, held my breath and with the image of his grey eyes and crooked smirk in my eyes, I fearlessly pulled down that lever. Within a split of a second everything was dark and I could hear the convicts yelling and fighting. With a flash light in my hand, I ran to the second floor, entered his cell quickly, held his tight wrists and ran towards the last exit gate which led us to the forest. My heart pounding, my legs shivering and my mind telling me to stop. It was 2 in the morning and I was in the dark forest running with an escaped prisoner who broke out of the maximum security prison with the help of the daughter of the owner of the prison. Love surely is unconditional.
We ran for two hours after which we finally sat under a huge tree as it seemed like we were in the safe zone. I rested my head on his stone hard chest and we both fell asleep. It was the first time I was this close to the person I love, without any iron bars separating us. I could touch him, I could feel his heart beat, I could hear him breathe but only if I knew that it was the last time, I wouldn’t spend that transient moment sleeping.
We woke up with the sound of choppers right above our heads, surrounded by my dad and various other officers pointing guns towards us. As we tried to move we could see and hear bullets in the air. He caught my neck with his left arm and his other arm grabbed my stomach. “Let her go at the count of three!” My dad commanded.
The sound of me yelling, “But Daddy I love him!” was suppressed under the noise of the gun-shot which went straight through the middle of his head.

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