In the midst of life and at the point of real happiness in the South of Spain, I am being separated unexpectedly in the cruelest way from my son and this dream life. A trip to Brazil ends in a nightmare of prison with my arrest due to a trap I ran into. For months, I live in a state of shock and cannot cope with the terrible prison conditions. I find out that I had been betrayed and have to realize that I have lost my son forever. My boyfriend Luciano lets me down as well as my own family. Only my father is full of grief, he passes away because his heart breaks knowing me being in prison. My pleadings not to tell him anything are being ignored. I decide to end my life, which is not a dignified life anymore in this hell of a prison where I am locked up in a small space with about 160 other women crowded together. My entire life passes before me once again....
Unexpectedly Rita survives, building a strong will to stay alive. With help of some inmates she can make it through the hell of Aruja. But the grief over her son keeps throwing her into deep depressions. Her soul is ill and so becomes her body. Even though it is the living hell she learns real friendship and people caring for one another. Then new hope arises by the transfer to the State prison of Säo Paulo where she has the opportunity to work and study. But first she has to stay with all other new inmates in the Estágio, the isolation from other prisoners. Here Rita learns that this place is not like Aruja and has to cope with terror, jealousy and hatred of others. Constant bad news about her son are bringing her more down than she already is. After moving to another cell she begins to work but it is not what she expected. Beside her work she has to cope now with every day terror inside the cell. Soon she realizes that nothing here is better than Aruja, contrary, it is far worse....
Rita gets into the crossfire of the Mega-Riot in Säo Paulo in 2006, tries again and again to proof she is innocent and finally when released has to realize that it is practically impossible to return to a normal life...
with many issues and situations described in the two books one or the other might find him- or herself again. Those books will take you under a spell to read until you finished both. It will make people laugh and cry. In general it is a very tragic story without Happy end.
In silence we make our way back to El Palo. There I invite Michael to his favorite dish, crepes. While we eat I tell him for the first time about Luciano and that I wish they get to know each other and – so I hope – will be friends. "Mom, you must know what you're doing. But I don´t want to see you sad again if this doesn´t work out.” is Michael's commentary. I explain that to me everything is fine at the moment and I am very happy with Luciano: "Michael there is no guarantee for a relationship lasting a lifetime. Should we break up one day, I am prepared to take the pain of separation, because I think it's worth it." I show Michael the photos I took of Luciano and stored in my digital camera. Michael admits: "Well, as long as you are happy, it´s ok with me." I hug my son and give him a kiss he tries to ward off in embarrassment. While we talk I take a few photos of Michael. I have the feeling that he is relieved the issue of Brazil is off the table finally and thanks to Luciano the Jefferson chapter as well. A short while later I set Michael off at Miguel’s place. Once again, I hug my son, he remarks with a grin: "You act as if you're going away for a whole year, man, this is not the first time you went away without me." He gets out the car, waves at me briefly, changes the roadside and disappears into the front yard of the house where Miguel lives and where we have stayed about two years before we moved into the house on the beach at El Palo. This is the last time I see my son.
Saturday morning, I am still tempted to ‘forget’ the bed-quilts in the hotel. But out of fear for Michael, I reject this idea again. I take a taxi to the airport, where I pack my luggage on a trolley and do my best to appear outwardly calm. Internally, my nerves are strained to a tearing point. I am joining the line for the business-class check-in. When my turn comes and my luggage is already partially loaded onto the conveyor belt, I hear a man's voice beside me, muttering something unintelligible which I understand as "Polish?" I answer: "No, I am not polish.” Then this - as I only now register - unsympathetic man repeats what he had said before and this time I understand clearly: "Police, can I ask to examine your luggage?" - "This cannot be true," I just think as everything around me begins to turn. But I pull myself together with all the strength and struggle to maintain my composure. As calmly as possible, I say: "Please!" The lady from the check-in desk gives me a strange look and hands out my suitcase to the police. He now speaks low, but with a threatening undertone: "I've been waiting for you. We received a phone call and were informed when you want to leave, with an accurate description of you." He now has loaded all my luggage back again onto the baggage car and asks me to follow him.
We enter a room where the policeman opens the suitcase again and immediately with a knife, cuts open the package of sheets. For me it's all so absurd, so surreal as if I would watch a bad movie. It is as if I stand by and watch it and it is not really concerning me. The cocaine trickles out of the box and I am being placed in front to take photographs. Then handcuffs are clicking. I let everything happen to me totally passively in my state of shock. Then something in my head says to me: "You must do something! Do not let it happen just like that!" So I explain that I knew nothing of the cocaine. Meanwhile I am surrounded by policemen. Also, I notice a woman, a cleaner or so, which - as they tell me – is acting as a witness. Other female travelers are led into the room and their luggage is superficially examined but everybody is sent to go. It occurs to me one of these women, who has an almost empty suitcase, the police touching up the bottom, changing looks, whispering to each other and after asking the woman whether she always travels with an empty suitcase, they send her away also. It is obvious that she was hiding drugs in the bottom of the suitcase, but the policemen are only focused on me and the rest of my luggage. Finally they give me a list of my personal belongings to be signed: 400 Euro, 30 Reais, a digital camera and a mobile phone. I'm much too shocked to realize this is only a small part of my luggage. When my mind finally registers this is not a bad movie or a horrible nightmare but the bitter reality, I burst into sobs of despair. But it doesn´t help me. I am led in handcuffs through the lobby of the airport to the police car feeling the glances of other passengers and I feel so humiliated as never before in my life.
Gitti came for me early in the morning. Silently, I sat beside her in the car until we arrived at the clinic where a lively back and forth was going on; most women were here for the same reason as I was. The ones that already brought everything behind them were pushed on a stretcher in a quiet room until they awoke from the anesthesia. Then it was my turn and I was called into the consulting office. Gitti pressed my hand: "I'm here, waiting for you, ok. You are not alone, don´t forget that."
The doctor was more than distasteful, and treated me very gruffly and unfriendly. First he did an ultrasound. Initially I couldn´t see anything on the monitor. But then I realized in horror that in my stomach was an already finished baby. I felt like screaming, biting my lip not to do it. The doctor pointed to a spot on the monitor and said coldly: "This is your son! Just look at it down there: you can see his penis." I just sobbed. That was too much for me. Why did this doctor do this to me? "And, are you sticking to your decision?" Sobbing, I nodded my head, but I would have preferred to jump up and run out. What on earth was I doing here?
When I awoke from the anesthesia, Gitti was sitting beside me, caressing my hair and my arm. "It's over, Rita. It is best as it is, believe me. You did the right thing." But my first clear thought was that nothing was over. I had killed my child, and thus also a part of me had died. I couldn´t cry anymore and I also felt nothing. I was told to lie down and rest for two days if possible. A young woman who also just woke up from anesthesia, asked: "Well, was it bad for you? For me it was already the third time," I couldn´t say anything, only shook my head in disgust. In Gitti´s house, I just looked at Cathy who came to meet me happily, then pushed her aside. Gitti's mother rushed to explain to her: "Your mother is sick, she must rest." Gitti packed a few things for herself and her parents helped me into the car. Back home, I just stared into space. I had lost Tony and my child too.