Inspired Writer Contest Finalist

How a Felon Showed Me What Love Is

“Ben led me to the instant family I was imagining.”

Ramona Mead
Inspired Writer
Published in
8 min readJul 25, 2020

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Photo by Alfaz Sayed on Unsplash

Ben found me on Facebook the day he got out of prison. His message wasn’t expected, yet it didn’t come as a surprise. I hadn’t heard from him in almost four years.Though he couldn’t have known, Ben’s release from prison coincided perfectly with my desperate search for a romantic partner.

I was thirty years old, four years post-divorce, living alone in a basement apartment with a Shar Pei I considered to be my soul mate. I’d recently made a big move to be closer to my mother and step-dad, in an effort to heal our strained relationship. I was hit hard by how much they’d aged while I was away. An only child, estranged from extended family, I was processing the painful realization that when they passed away, I would be alone.

We met in middle school, on our bus ride home my first day on that route. He was cute despite a case of acne and a homemade bowl cut, because he was funny and friendly. I’ve always felt certain I’d loved him since that afternoon.

Later, he was one of the cool kids at the back of the bus who smoked cigarettes and bragged about sexual conquests. Where Ben sat made a statement. When he sat with me, I was visible. I was different…

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Ramona Mead
Inspired Writer

Avid reader, writer of true stories, book hoarder, eternal optimist