"Arthur Reardon, You have been found guilty of aggravated mayhem by a jury of your peers. You are hereby sentenced to ten years imprisonment, that, to be served in an institution to be determined by the appropriate agency of the State Bureau of Prisons," said the judge.
The gavel sounded and I was a convict. I was stood up, cuffed to a waist chain, and my ankles shackled. I glanced back at Rhena, my wife, who stood but a few feet behind me in the first row. Her face was ashen. She mouthed some words at me.
"I'm sorry, Arthur. I am so very sorry." As well she might have been.
Her lover, Brad Kursk, her boss at the Kursk Insurance Agency (KIA), had spent a good three months in the hospital: the result of me catching her with him in our bed and the fight that had ensued. It might not have been so bad for me, had I not kept pounding on him after he was essentially done. Well, I was angry—really really angry.
My lawyer had tried to sell the jury on the fact that I'd lost it, was temporarily insane; but, in the end the photographs of the cheating bastard in traction did me in. Too bad I didn't have photos of him banging her in my marital bed; that would have been more than a mitigating circumstance in my opinion.
Rhena and I had met and dated in high school, were separated when we graduated and went our separate ways to college: she to State University majoring in Business, me to Hardin Industrial Institute to be an electrician. We returned to Clark City, Mizzou, some thirteen months apart, and as fate would have it, reignited our relationship at a concert held at our old high school and fisponsored by the school's parent teacher organization. We were married eighteen months later. She was twenty-five, me twenty-six.
We set up housekeeping in a small three bedroom place in town that her grandma had left her, and we were off and running in the race of life.
She had signed on at KIA almost immediately after having graduated from college. I, on the other hand, had had to work freelance for a little while until a buddy of mine got me hooked up with a union shop in town, Halstead Construction. But all's well that ends well, and once employed I made really good bucks working mostly on highrise projects that required pretty sophisticated wiring and related security stuff.
We were happy, the both of us. No doubt about that. But happy people seem to draw a lot of flies and wannabes who aren't themselves satisfied with their situations.
Money evidently had not been enough for Brad Kursk, and he had plenty of that. He was known to have tasted the sexual favors of any number of married or committed women and been responsible for at least three divorces—and—rumor had it, one suicide as a result of his proclivities.
Good 'ole Brad, as I later discovered, had the hots for Rhena and had expended some significant energy in trying to seduce her. But, as indicated, I had had not a clue until the three of us had run into each other at a public auction were Rhena and I were looking to find ourselves a newer model car at bargain basement prices. Fortuitously, as I thought at the time, Brad was at the auction not to buy, but to sell. You guessed it, two newer model cars.
Discovering our reason for being where we were, he put but one of his cars up for auction. His other vehicle, a 2008 Ford one ton, he virtually gave to us. We paid a total of three thousand dollars including costs. I was ecstatic. Brad was even more ecstatic. He was more than certain that, what amounted to his largesse, was naught but a free pass into my wife's pants. It turned out that he was right to be confident. So why was a ladies man of Brad's obvious talents so interested in my wife? Well, the obvious of course.
Rhena wasn't good looking, oh no, she was shockingly good looking. Five-nine, slim, flaming red hair, the bright freckled complexion of a teenager, 34Bs, a bubble butt, and a personality that commanded not only the attention but the obedience of any male she deigned to cast her glance upon. Oh no, she was born to be the target of men like Brad Kursk.
And what about me? Well, I sure as hell ain't chopped liver. Five-ten, one-seventy; most of my hair still with me; athlete in high school, football (defensive back); and college, boxing, where I was state middleweight champion in my junior year. My dad had been a pug, did a lot of club stuff, and I almost went the same route; but he, my dad, wasn't having any of that; so, my second love, electronics, became my passion. Well, I was good at it.
Rhena did visit me once while I was in county. She cried a little and then told me that she wouldn't be coming up to see me anymore. Her reason? She couldn't stand to see me like that. I didn't protest. I figured the marriage was toast anyway. She didn't love me. She couldn't have doing what she been doing with that guy.
"Arthur, I love you, no matter what you think," she said. "Please try to understand. Kursk is not replacing you in my heart. He was just a mistake. Just a guy I made a mistake with. I take full responsibility for what happened. But, again, I just can't come here and see you like this. I just can't."
"Whatever, Rhena, Don't be frettin' yourself. I did the crime so I'll do the time. I don't blame you for that. I do blame you though for not being faithful to our marriage, your vows. I'll be a long time gettin' over that," I said. She cried at my words.
"I'm sorry, Arthur, really I am," she said. I nodded.
"Yeah, well, whatever," I said.
We talked a little longer; then, she was gone. It would be a long time before I would see her again, and that, having not heard from her even once during that long time.
The trip up to the penitentiary was a long one. I had a chance to meditate on how I'd ended up behind bars; and, I made plans as to how I would deal with my current situation. What I might do when I got out, I had not a clue. Realistically, I figured that that, getting out, would be in about six or seven years with good behavior. That'd make me thirty-six or thirty-seven years old. I'd still be young enough to make a life for myself. I sighed. A half dozen years—if I were lucky!
My first couple of days at state were mainly orientation, vaccination, uniform distribution, and an interview with a psychologist. Then, it was off to my place of residence for the next several years.
My cellmate, Demetrius Untalan, was a black man. And, no, he wasn't any three-hundred pound gorilla; he was about my size—five-nine or ten and one-seventy. And, as it turned out, he was in for the same thing I was: messing up the guy doing his wife, damn near killed him was the way Dem told it. Oh, and he didn't have a lot of remorse. But, maybe oddly, he didn't really blame the guy; he blamed her. He beat the shit out of the guy, but that was just a case of him taking out on him what he just couldn't bring himself to do to her. I figured he and I would have a lot to talk about as time went on.
The first day or two after orientation and processing went okay. Well, as okay as it would ever get. The nights were bad. All I thought about was Rhena. I needed the cheating bitch; I needed her bad. And, in the deepest darkest part of the night, I cried. I didn't make any noise. No one had to tell me to shut up. I just suffered mentally and alone.
On day four, I had the second of the two showers I would get each week. I also had the snot beat outta me by big Ben Whitcomb and two of his associates, all of them twice my size. I got a few shots in, but not nearly enough to slow down the group of them. After which, I sucked his cock. I was told to expect to have to do it whenever the mood struck him. Tell the guards? Demetrius informed me that doing so would find me impaled on some guy's shiv. Ratting out the baddies and the bullies was unacceptable at state.
Over the next several months I was raped twice, forced to suck Ben Whitcomb's cock a dozen times at least, and generally degraded and humiliated beyond anything I'd ever read or heard of. My thoughts of my wife and her lover turned acidic: I hated them. I blamed them for everything. Yeah, yeah, I know, I shoulda just dumped her cheating ass and built myself a new life when I discovered them, but I didn't.
But, then, a few months and a couple more rapes later, it stopped; the sexual assaults on me by Whitcomb stopped, and not because of anything I did or said.
Sean Riley, a huge six-six, and easily three-fifty Irishman and ex pug himself, saved me. Sean was, as it turned out, ultra-religious. He led a small, but physically large, cadre of fellow godly types—maybe a dozen men. Their mission was to put an end the worst of the inmate-on-inmate-brutality in our block. I joined their group and finally my fists and speed became useful: I backed up our crew any number of times and was able to give a good enough account of myself. As a result, I more or less became Sean's right hand man. I swore that someday I'd pay him back for his help.
Time passed, and again, true to her word, I never saw or heard from my wife. She hadn't divorced me. I knew that, or I would have gotten the bad news—I guess it would have been bad news—that I had been. I was into year five when something happened that gave purpose to my existence.
At meals I invariably sat near Sean and the others—self-preservation being what it was. Same for Demetrius, who I'd been able to bring into crew membership. Over time I got Sean's story. He was in for attempted murder. Some druggie had hooked his wife and his preteen kid—there'd also been a six year old. His wife ended up fucking the man for product though Sean didn't know that at the time.
.... There is more of this story ...