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Photo by Bankim Desai on Unsplash

There was a time
A time when I lived it up
I thought I had it made
That I had it all
So I lived it up
I was fiddle-footed
Footloose and fancy-free
The ladies’ man
The quintessential lady-killer
A true Shiekh indeed
I had it made
Because I had it all at my beck and call
Women, money, fame, family
A comfortable, lucrative career
A frequent-flyer jetsetter
Frequently criss-crossed the Atlantic
But unbeknownst to me
It was all a lie
I was living a lie
And still hanging on to the apron strings
The apron strings of my salad days
Days of my youthful inexperience
Indiscretion, self-aggrandizement
Days when I was egocentric
And green in judgement
Was an ivory-towered jitterbug
Chasing the mighty dollar

Then something happened
Something unexpected, unprecedented happened
Something that changed the trajectory of my life
I was arrested, tried, and sent to prison
And I lost it all

Then it dawned on me
I had not made it all
I did not have it all
I was not living it up
But all along, I’d only been in a cocoon
Just a cocoon, a pupa, a chrysalis
In a protective covering
In a sheltered state of growth
Awaiting release to truly live
And that release was for the taking
At the foot of the cross
At the foot of calvary’s cross
Where Christ died for me
Where Christ shed his precious blood for me

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Ewallor Ngaaje is a writer incarcerated in California.