4 years ago


In January 2013, 4 years ago, I went to my very first visit at the prison Sean was housed at, Calipatria. I hadn’t seen him since high school but we had been pen pals for the previous 5 years or so and had gotten to know each other again through our letters, which had grown increasingly more frequent. I felt something when I saw him. We both did. He was in a serious situation and I knew that it could be a long time before he would get out. I fought off my feelings for him for a very long time because of that, but I also had no idea if a relationship of that nature could  be enough to feel fulfilled or withstand the test of time. Neither of us had any idea how much 4 years could change us and how much would happen since that first visit.


I wrote about meeting Sean again and expressed myself with the following words:


We are the minorities, sitting in regular sized chairs around low tables, sunken to knee cap height. I feel hunched. The dry air presses down on me. Harsh sunshine beats down through the open door and wide windows. Bright.

“What happens if you go out that door?” I ask

“You get shot”

He smiles. A row of perfect teeth. They must have very good dentists here.  A painted red line marks the floor, the no-go zone. The red line tells the inmates where not to go. I place his food in the microwave for him, serve him waitress style. “Here, sir, is your spork.”

Behind it is the silent wish that there was more I could do for him. Hold him, protect him, love him. Those kids of words do not exist in this colorless place. He stares at me. We play Scrabble, it makes me feel dumb. When visit hours are over I leave reluctantly.

Not Afraid

There is life beyond those walls, can you see it?

Bold and daring daffodils bright in the February cold

Frost skating across the roof, glistening wildly

A baby’s rosy cheeks, wide open milk tooth grin

I will you to see this, take a picture by blinking

The slender body of a cat slinking along a window’s ledge

City smoke carried by a current

This is my world, now show me yours

I’m not afraid


my secrets, my scars- there are no words- we’re not allowed them- there’s only longing- and smiles- his secrets, his scars- I press my finger to his lips- hush- we don’t need words- to survive


last night in my dream

you were there

hunkered down in a dark tunnel

reluctant to come out

so I came to you

“it’s me” I said

you whispered things

in my ear

I understood

lay my head on you

until it was time to go

we kissed quickly

 a meeting of shy lips

they pulled you from me

I watched until you were



written in 2013 by Emelia


About Sean & Eiam

Sean O'Brien was wrongfully convicted in adult court in El Dorado County, California and sentenced to Life Without Parole at the age of 16 without a shred of physical evidence tying him to the crime for which he was convicted. Sean and I have been friends since grade school and we were married in 2017. We live and grow together in love with the knowledge of his innocence, our faith, and hope for our future. We embrace this journey, wherever it may take us, cherishing each moment we have together and staying true to our hearts. This blog is about the past we share, our life together and our fight for justice. Thank you for reading. God bless.
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