1991, Bedfordshire, England. A couple have just become parents to a baby boy, and named him Craig. That baby boy is me, the first of three boy's. Myself and my two younger brothers grew up in a little village where we all spent most of our childhood outdoors in the surrounding farms and woodlands. My parents raised us with a healthy dose of discipline and most of the time fairness. When I turned 13 I joined the Air Training Corps (A British cadet service as part of the Royal Air Force) which further drilled into me the likes of discipline and team work. I loved every minute of my time in the Air Training Corps right up until my end of cadet service when I turned 16 which was also the year I had finished my last year of school, which I hated with a passion and didn't put much care into my exams. After leaving school and the Air Training Corps I got and apprenticeship in I.T communications. It was good at times, to be honest the only good times were all the traveling i did around the country doing work on railway stations. Sometimes I would be catching up to 10-12 trains a day and I used to love to be able to look out the window at the scenery with my music playing and just let my imaginations run wild, and as a teenager I'd often be thinking about random topics like the girls I liked or asking myself questions like "what's the meaning of life". But all that mattered to me was enjoying my own time even on the busiest of trains. After 2 1/2 years on the apprenticeship I come to a point in my life were I had no motivation and for some bizarre reason I quit the apprenticeship. After quitting the apprenticeship I started working in an ASDA logistics warehouse, picking and packing items for supermarkets in a chilled/freezer warehouse. I only spent 4 months in there when an old friend of my dad's said they had vacancies at an Immigration detention center just outside of my home village. I had no idea what the job was about but our friend was in a high position and secured e an interview, needless to say I still done allot of researching before going to the interview. I started my training in February 2010 at the age of 18, turning 19 during my officer training. Once I finished training and started the job as a detention custody officer I was open minded and very curious about the people I was working with and also the residents were looking after. Coming from a little village in England and suddenly being put in such a place with such diversity was a bit of a culture shock, I was looking after and sometimes confronting people from countries and walks of life I had never even heard of before, but i adapted quickly and instantly loved the job I was doing. I started to learn languages and one day took it upon myself to learn mandarin Chinese, it helped with my job and it also helped allot of residents by making their time in detention easier to cope with and providing information they would have sometimes missed if there was no one to translate. After making friends and improving on my mandarin I looked at going to china for a holiday, started making plans and saving money. But then in may 2011 I had a terrible motorbike accident that left me hospitalized for a month with internal damage and external skin damage, all of which fully healed, but it meant taking allot of time off work.
1990, Kigali, Rwanda (east Africa). A young girl was born into a Rwandan military family, though I will not at this time reveal her name due to current circumstances, I will refer to her by her
nickname "gee" (pronounced "jee"). The couple who had given birth to "gee" also had two sons in the next few years to come. By 1994 Gee had two younger brothers and her parents were getting ready
to celebrate Gee's 4th birthday when news came through of wide spread killings in various Rwandan villages. Gee's father who was in the military was suddenly called away to work, leaving the
mother, Gee and the two younger brothers. By the time the Rwandan government had realized they were dealing with a Genocide the killings had started on mass scale in the capital city, where
Gee and her family were residing. Military officials came to their household to offer good and bad news, good news that their is a church nearby with military guards taking citizens in and offering
them protection, but the then came the bad news, the father had been killed whilst trying to protect a village from the Hutu genocide. Hearing the news the mother did not tell Gee or her two
brothers immediately, instead rushed to get them all ready to go to the safety of the nearby church. Just before they reached the church the mother gave Gee her youngest brother who was only but a
few months old at the current time. The mother, who had hold of Gee's other brother, said to her "If we get separated for any reason and anyone asks why you are here, you tell them that you
just followed the crowd of people and that you cam by yourself". Allot for a four year old to remember but nevertheless Gee stayed strong and just nodded. After the military had a list of everyone
who had arrived and who was present they locked the church and settled in for the night. As morning came about there was commotion be heard outside the church. Then soon came the sound of gunfire,
panic broke and all of a sudden the doors opened and 20 or so hutu's ran into the church picking out all the men held in the church, once they had the men they wanted they were taken outside
to be executed. Gee's mother instantly knew of where she could get help from. Picking Gee up who still had her youngest brother tied up to her back and the mother having Gee's other brother on her
back she made a run for safety out of the church, she had managed to escape the church and once she had turned a corner and out of site from the church she placed Gee down on the side of a street
near a shop and said "wait for me at this shop". Gee once again nodded but as her mother, along with her other brother, ran into the distance Gee decided to start walking in the same direction as
her mother was running, as Gee was trying to follow her mother a pickup truck came out of nowhere and kidnapped the mother and the brother. Upon seeing this Gee sat down in the road and started
crying whilst still holding onto to her youngest brother. Then along came a gang of hutu's who started asking the reason for Gee being out in the middle of the road with no one around, Gee
repeated "I just followed the crowds". One hutu recognized her and knew of her father's importance in the military and he was quick to say "she is just a child, let's just leave her, there's more
important people to kill" on doing so he winked at Gee and the hutu's disappeared into the distance. From this day forth Gee and her younger brother grew up in an orphanage, when Gee came of age
she started working so she could pay for herself and her brother to go to school. Once being able to get into school she learnt languages (English and French) with those qualifications she got a
job in marketing for a huge telecoms company, with this job Gee was able to pay rent on a house which herself, her brother and a friend lived in together. Once reaching the age of 20 Gee had got
herself a visa to study in Belgium. With that visa she traveled to Belgium and started studying a degree in business management. A dream come true. Her brother stayed with friends in Rwanda to
finish off his school years. One year into her course the Rwandan government and stopped the payment to the university for Gee's degree. In fear of this being an act of the government trying to get
Gee to come back to Rwanda (due to the families importance in the military and relatives still connected with the military) Gee's uncle and auntie, who were residing in the UK, immediately got hold
of Gee telling her to come to the UK as soon as possible. Gee panicking and using any means necessary got over to the UK and in the safety of her relatives. But in the doing so she had entered the
A few months of Gee being in the UK she was arrested and taking into detention. She was sent from one detentions center to another, day after day. Once even receiving a notice of a flight back to Belgium as her last port of call. But Gee's auntie got solicitor's so stop the flight. After doing so she got transferred to a detention center in Bedfordshire, England. On her arrival she was shy and nervous. But soon made friends with residents and officers. One lunch time in the dinning hall some happy singing and dancing broke out, and noticed officers smiling and laughing at one officer in particular. Gee saw this officer walk into the dinning hall with residents and officers welcoming him back to work after some time off due to injuries. She then saw this officer speaking with Chinese ladies in their native tongue and was immediately intrigued as to what was happening and who this officer was. She felt her heart race as she fell in love with the joy and presence this officer had brought into the room. That officer was me.
A couple of weeks went by of being shy and hiding her feelings towards this officer but she couldn't help it and told other residents "I think I'm in love that Craig officer" other residents would gossip about this and eventually I found out about Gee's crush on me and from then on I realized she had the same feelings as I had for her the first time we had set eye on each other. Though relationships were strictly forbidden so not much communication happened between us at first. But one day Gee informed me that she had been given a flight back to Belgium and was being removed from the UK. To which I immediately wrote down her e-mail address and hid it in a pair of cycling gloves I had on my. There was no goodbye, she left on the flight back to Belgium. We stayed in contact via e-mail, and made plans to meet up in Belgium but of course had to keep it all secret, as I would have been sacked and had black marks against my name on government clearances just for finding love. After Christmas 2011 I was finally on my way to go and see the woman I had fallen in love with, We had only spoke, not even hugged or shared a kiss as of yet. I was on my way to a country I had never been before, didn't know my way around, knew no one there, and didn't know the local language. But due to the sheer amount of love I had for this woman I trusted her to meet me at the other end and I chased my dreams to be with this woman. We spent new year's together, and at present it was the best 9 days of my life. To and from Belgium I went for the months following whilst still working in the detention center we had met in. I was living a secret life abroad with the love of my life. The day came when we had a date to move in with each other in Belgium and i could leave immigration. But one week before this date I was caught out by managers of the detention center. Luckily I had heard about it from someone whom I trusted who was working along side the managers within the detention center. With the information provided I was able to know not to turn up to work, and instead went straight to Belgium where I met with Gee who was worried about the whole situation. But at this present time the danger was over, our dreams of a life together had started and we were the happiest couple in the world. We went through everything together, we had been held at gun point by French armed police whilst on a holiday in Paris, we had been accidentally locked up together in a Belgian refugee camp and at times got desperate and had to survive off of poker winning I was bringing in. This caused arguments on a large scale and we both knew it would be for the best if I were to return to the UK and get a stable job again for us to live on, we would sort Gee's immigration situation out after I'd got the job. Returning to the Uk meant going under investigation from immigration. But I didn't care, I would do what ever it took to provide myself and my woman with a stable life we could both live on. The day of my investigation I was prepared to answer all questions and to be honest with my story. I did exactly that and because of my friend informing me of when to get out I got away with no marks against my name, and I walked away extremely happy knowing exactly what I would do with this result.
I knew that what I had done was because of love, and I done everything I could of because I would do whatever it took to provide the woman I love with the stability of a good life that she had never experienced before. Because of my result from immigration and my passion for making this still on going dream of a family and a house together with my soul mate Gee, there was only one job option that was clear to me and would not only help me achieve my dreams with my love but also fulfill a child hood dream. So I went to the Army careers office and started an application to join the British army. At around the same time Gee had been nominated to compete in a beauty pageant show MISS Supranational Rwanda. A big event which on the day of the show and after months of rehearsals, she tried to quit it. But I gave her a call and filled her confidence and the following day I woke up to a text reading "hey you little cutie wake up, your wife is now MISS Rwanda" (we called each other husband and wife because boyfriend and girlfriend didn't sound right to each other). I couldn't believe it she had won the pageant show. Two days later I passed my first of many army entry tests. It was finally beginning to look like things are coming back together for the better.
At present I am on my last stages of selection into the British Army and Gee has a temporary modeling contract with a Belgian fashion company. And currently have plans on moving in together and getting married over here in the UK once I start my new job in the army. The message I hope this story gives to it's reader's is one of hope, no matter who you are and where you come from, love and happiness will enter your life in due time. Be patient but be prepared to really work hard for something or someone you feel passionate for. Listen to advice but you don't always have to take it, your life is yours to live and experience for yourself, don't let others put you off of anything you want to do. You can do anything you want and get anything you want if you're willing to sacrifice and more importantly to do what it takes!
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