PenPal Ch. 01


Dear 12076548,

I've never done anything like this before but I hope that you'll be patient with me. I read your personal ad on the jail website. I don't know what struck me more, your picture or what you'd written. You have beautiful eyes, so deep and blue, but they were so very sad. My heart felt as if someone had squeezed it when I gazed at your picture.

Your words were something else entirely. I think it was the first time I'd ever read the insides of someone's soul before. To know that you came right out and let everyone know what your crime was and the reasons you did it was exemplary but to scrape the layers away and reveal your hopes, dreams and failures ... I must have cried for fifteen minutes. I felt as if I'd let you down, as if you'd reached out for my help and I had turned away. I know that sounds strange, but it's true. Your honest words have captured my heart and the distress in your eyes has captured my soul.

My name is Paul and I'm an architect in the area. I've spent most of my time pursuing my career and have yet to find a significant someone to call my own. I guess I'm looking for my knight in shining armor and it's awfully tough to find him. Maybe that's why your eyes attracted me so much and why I feel so much for you, so deeply and so quickly. You remind me of Lancelot, cursed with the talent to best anyone whom he fought against but weighted with the loneliness that came with that gift.

Well, I am going to make this short. I will wait for your response before I reveal any more about myself. I hope to hear from you soon.


Paul Renbow re-read the letter and set it on the desk, his heart thundering in his chest. Maybe this was wrong. Maybe he shouldn't send a letter to someone who was serving time in a federal prison. He wasn't a hardened criminal but still, he had cheated people out of their hard-earned money with a Ponzi scheme. He had made full restitution, had written letters of apology to the victims and seemed to be a model prisoner, according to the information he had been able to glean from the Internet.

But it was his eyes that had caught and held his attention. Prisoner number 12076548, white male, 6'2", black hair, blue eyes, the personal ad had read. Looking For Love. I'm looking for a life mate, someone that can help me grow and become a better man. Someone who enjoys the finer intellectual things in life and someone who can forgive me for the crimes I've committed ...

Paul couldn't read the ad again. His heart just twisted in his chest. He wasn't stupid or gullible and he knew that his friends would probably think he was crazy and try to talk him out of it, but he couldn't help it. He had never been so affected by someone's words. I'm looking for a love to mold me. I'm looking for someone to give my life to. He was lonely like he was, looking for the cog to fit his wheel, the peg to fit his hole.

He lifted the letter again and read over it, hoping that the sincerity in his words and heart came through. That whoever this man was would be able to read his feelings and would know that he was real, just as Paul sensed he was. This letter represented a possible future. Either, he would find out that prisoner number 12076548 was a scammer, con artist and true criminal or he would find out that prisoner number 12076548 was his best friend and the love of his life. The response to his letter would tell the tale.

Carefully, he folded the sandy linen paper, including a stamp for the return letter and slid it in the envelope. Just as he was going to lick the flap, the phone rang and Sharon, the receptionist from Alcanth and Green Architects, was on the other end.

"So, when are you coming back?"

"I haven't decided." His fingers traced the outlines of the envelope in front of him. I wonder what his name is.

"Oh, Paul, you aren't still angry, are you?"

"Of course I am, Sharon. Wouldn't you be upset if your boss told the client that you were gay?"

"I'm sure he had a reason."

Yes, I'm sure he did. Paul thought about a meeting that they'd had the night before, when Lawrence Alcanth had taken his dick out of his pants and all but begged him to suck him off. "I haven't made a decision yet, Sharon. When I do, you will be the first to know."

"Paul ... "


Paul hung up the phone and took the envelope in his hands again, lovingly smoothing his fingers across the address. Please, Lord. If you're up there, please bring me my true love. With a lick and a seal, he closed the envelope and took it out to the mailbox, his prayer floating up to the heavens.

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