“They’re back on lockdown. They let them go to yard. After that, there were too many cases. So they put them on lockdown. With no yard.”
Name: Melly Rios
“My husband says he’s doing good.”
She says husband but they’re not married. Not yet. In her mind, they’re a team. It’s not a ring. It’s not a dress. It’s not a fancy party. It’s a mindset, this is how you love someone on the inside.
Husband: Benny Donjuán Rios
Sentence: 45 Years
Time Served: 18 Years
“Just to show how much we take life for granted, right. He called me and he’s like baby I’m so happy! I’m so excited! And I’m like what happened? Tell me. He’s like it’s been a really great day. Guess what? And I’m like what? And he’s like, I ate a lime. He was that excited because he ate a lime.”
When life deals you lemons, make lemonade. Right? That’s common knowledge. But who ever heard when life deals you limes, brag about it to the woman you love.
It’s not really bragging, is it? It’s more like a confession of love, opening up about a small thing, a seemingly small thing, when in fact it’s the opposite, it’s the biggest thing because it wakes up joy, it tastes like hope.
“You know how many limes I throw away? And I’m like baby that’s so good. I’m not gonna tell him, oh a lime? That would bring his whole mood down.”
That’s the thing about love. Sometimes it’s tangy. Sometimes it’s tart. But sharing your life, what could be sweeter?
Benny Donjuán Rios is incarcerated at Stateville.
He has a home waiting for him with Melly.