Waiting on 'freedom'! - Woman counts down the days to wed as fiancé completes prison term
As Yvonne Green waited to be escorted across the street and through the metal gates of the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in Kingston, the 46-year-old, unlike most other persons visiting the prison, sported a gleeful smirk two Tuesday's ago.
In one month, the woman, who has for the last three years been braving the elements to take supplies to her fiancé, will be reunited with him and, hopefully, get the chance to finally marry the man she has loved for years.
"We going to get married as him come out; as soon as him come out," said Green, breaking into laughter outside the waiting area packed with mostly women who had come to visit their incarcerated loved ones.
Green lived with her fiancé for more than six years and was engaged prior to his incarceration, although the union is yet to produce a child.
Now the intimacy they enjoyed has been replaced by an empty space in her bed but, according to Green, she has become accustomed to sleeping alone, and the empty space no longer bothers her as it did in the early stages of his incarceration.
"Me have to just know that is the system, you know. Him soon come. Is only next month before him come, so I just have to know that it is the system," she said, laughing.
"Every time me visit, him ... tell me what him going to do to me if me give it away." But she said being unfaithful has never been considered.
"No, sah! That never cross my mind. Me faithful to him the entire three years. I don't put that on my head."
Unlike some of the other visitors, who, during The Sunday Gleaner's visit, came into confrontation with the correctional officers overseeing the process, Green remained calm, attributing her peaceful demeanour to her years of visiting the prison.
She is not quick to defend her fiancé, who was convicted on gun-related charges, but says she makes every effort to ensure he is taken care of, especially these days, as both of them count down to his freedom.
"I have been coming here three years now. He has his parents who support him, but they are abroad. Whenever them come here, they visit him, but on a day-to-day, it's me," said Green, clutching a paper bag with supplies for her incarcerated other half.
"I don't have any special time to come. I come as often as I can, but my regular visits are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Wednesday is food day," said Green as she noted that her fiancé usually looks forward to her cooking on those days.
"Today, I carry tissue, soap, white T-shirt, merino, underpants and so on. The T-shirts must be white and the pants khaki. The underpants dem can be any colour, so I buy any colour for him.
"They give them (prisoners) soap, but, normally, I bring body wash for him. The body wash that him have don't finish yet, but me have to carry soap for him to wash him clothes and so on."
According to Green, her fiancé provided financial assistance before he was sent to prison, and now that he is behind bars, it is a bit of a struggle to provide the care items he needs, but she gets help from his family members who are overseas.
Now that his release date draws close, Green is filled with constant worry as she prays for the best, as she is aware of the poor treatment reportedly meted out to some inmates inside the prison.
The committed Green has started making preliminary wedding plans for December, but she does not necessarily want a large wedding. All she wants is a wedding where both sets of relatives can come and enjoy their union and his freedom.