Jack Jenk Shouts Love. Part 9 (the Conclusion)

April 12, 2021


Boy holding sign, facing away from reader.

Read part 8 here.

Voices on the Wind

It was a dry, windy day at the Nuevo Sueno prison. Tumbled newspapers and scraps of trash blew about the dusty exercise yard. Guards barked now and then at the little inmates to keep quiet. Emilio Garcia stood clenching the wire mesh of the north prison fence, staring vacantly at the sky.

That’s when he heard it.

A chorus of voices on the wind.

Telling him he was loved.

For the first time in months, he smiled.

Once love has broken through, it becomes unstoppable.

That Saturday, love was an avalanche. It gathered power as it rolled south and by the time it reached Rio Sueno, it crashed like a thunderstorm quenching a thirsty desert.

At the same time, the nation’s capital was so flooded in letters for justice and voices of love that the president instantly set all the prisoners free and reunited all the broken-apart families.

A loving nation welcomed them in.

That night, Emilio Garcia and his parents stayed in the home of a Nuevo Sueno prison guard. After dinner, they watched the news and saw Jack Jenk and Keisha Thompson and the people of New Oslo, Minnesota, eating beef stew and holding pictures of him and crying and shouting because he’d been set free.

The TV reporter pointed a microphone at a large pale boy and asked him if he had anything he wanted to say.

The boy tapped his pocket and said simply, “I love you, Emilio Garcia.”

Then the news moved on. A scandal involving the prime minister of Japan. A nationwide strike in Italy. Protests in Afghanistan, where a girl named Ilhan Mohammed had been sent to jail just because she wanted to go to school. A volcano erupting in Indonesia.

Sunday, Emilio Garcia, his parents, and the prison guard walked to Nuevo Sueno Town Square. Emilio carried a poster with a picture of a girl’s face.

At noon, the little group faced east, toward Afghanistan, and together shouted three times.

“We love you Ilhan Mohammed!”

“We love you Ilhan Mohammed!”

“We love you Ilhan Mohammed!”

Love was just getting started.

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