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……..I followed him round and he opened the door to the office, inside were three very senior screws. The most senior one went, “where have you been?” and I told him I’d been playing badminton. He looked me up and down and then repeated in a firmer tone of voice, “where have you been Pierce?” Finding it hard to get my words out I stuttered that I’d played badminton first and then went and had a cup of tea in my room (cell). I was thinking, shit, they know I’m high! Trouble is, when you’re high all you can think at the time is the worst, you start imagining that your eyes are giving them a clue that you’re off your face, so I was thinking, its just a matter of time before they realise…….oh shit I’m sooooooooo fucked!!!!

This large senior officer sat back in his chair, looked me up and down and then made a noise like “mmmmmm” as if he was assessing me. He then lent forward and pushed this piece of paper towards me, it said in words to this effect:

Dear Mr Pierce (actually called me by my surname on not my prison number), Further to our detailed inquiries and lack of evidence to support the accusations, you are hereby released as of this moment.

At first I thought it was a joke and then, well, I have to be honest, tears started streaming down my face. I wanted to hug the officers…..I restrained myself, I just couldn’t believe it, I was free to go home, HOME, woohoo!!! This was the best day of my life so far, the absolute best day. Now it was around 4pm and I had to get home, remember I’m up in Norfolk which is at least three hours drive away from where I was going back to.

Obviously the Officer let me use his phone to arrange getting home, so I called my Mum, this was back in the day when mobile phones were not as popular as they are now, so I could only ring her at home. The phone just rang and rang so I tried calling my brother, answerphone……funny thing was, the Prison said I can’t stay another day and I had to go, today!

I called everyone that I could possibly think of to see if they could come and collect me, well almost everyone. Remember Joanna, the stewardess I’d met back in my 20s, well years later when she read this book she said why didn’t you call me, I’d have come…….(but more of her later!!)

As I said I called everyone, answer phones, no answer, not in, I couldn’t believe it. Finally I managed to get hold of James and he said, I’ll be there in about 3-4 hours, what a great guy he is, he’s always been there when I needed someone, best friend Jim……I was so relieved , finally I was going home!!!

I walked back round to my cell and there was Terry and Nick. Terry looked at me and said, you alright mate? With tears in my eye, I said to him, “they piss tested me Tel” The look in his eyes was as if to say, it’s my fault that you’re going to be here longer! I promptly handed him the letter and his eyes darted along the sentences…….he looked up at me and said in disbelief “you’re going home”…….. “Yes I’m fucking going home!!” I screamed. We hugged and jumped up and down for ages, I just can’t explain in words that feeling, it was one of the best that I’ve ever had in my life……well that and waking up after being in a coma, I’ve got to say that that was a pretty special feeling too!

You can’t understand this feeling unless you’ve experienced it – nothing I write will ever let you understand just how great this feeling is, sadly! So how about this, imagine a similar experience that you’ve had and then try to picture just how I felt at these ecstatic moments in my life……close your eyes and try. Can I suggest that whenever you are feeling down in life, try to get that feeling of euphoria back…….the power of  positive thinking is amazing……try it some day!

Anyway, I got released just after 8.45pm, the Officers said it was the latest that anyone had ever been released, usually you leave at 10am in the morning. I remember that evening when it came to being banged up in my cell for the night, they let me have my cell door open, well I was a free man now, just had to wait for James to come and collect me. I walked up and down the wing saying good bye to the friends that I had made. Good riddance I thought to jail but not to the friends I’d made there, I’d made a couple of really good mates, mates that I wouldn’t forget ever.

My last memory of that place was this screw Hamburger taking me down to the main gate for release and he looked at me and said “you may have got away with it this time Pierce but you’ll be back” I looked at him and said, “I think you’ll find that I won’t, EVER be back”…..then I smiled at him and walked away……. oh if only I’d known. (but more of that later!!!)

I never thought I’d meet anyone who said they had a good time in jail but I’ve been and I’ve got to say, it was great fun. Don’t get me wrong, I never want to go back but you do have to make the best of a bad situation in life and that’s exactly what I did….much to the annoyance of most of the Prison officers that I’d met along my jail time journey.

My girlfriend Sophie was doing an acting course in London and towards the end of my sentence she told me she’d met this guy on the course and was dating him. I didn’t mind, I collected my stuff and moved into my sisters boyfriends apartment….the way I looked at it was, if its right it’s right and if it’s not it’s not……you can do one of 2 things, walk away or stay and try to fix it. This poor girl was just being strung along, you see I didn’t feel anything for her,  I didn’t know what I wanted but I just knew it wasn’t her – and I knew this long before she met this other chap. Anyone could have made her happier than I could and I just hoped things worked out for her and her new partner.

I remember turning up at my parents home late that evening, ringing the door bell and waiting…… father opened the door, I said “Hello Dad” and he looked at me and said “Have you escaped?” Hahaha, that’ll stay etched in my mind forever………well, they weren’t expecting me due to the fact that I’d had that extra time added onto my sentence…….but did he honestly think I would escape?? Suppose that was how he viewed me back then…..

Now I’d met this guy called Nick (not his real name) in jail, he was in there for stealing Porsche’s. In fact, he had a warehouse full of them when the police got a tip off and raided it. Now Nick, he was a proper wide boy and of course he came from Essex, Canvey Island to be exact. I hope people from Essex don’t take offence because I absolutely love Essex, full of fun and life and I’ve always found the people from there great fun. Anyway, Nick was a good lad, when we were locked up he told me that he would never keep in contact with anyone from jail as, they are all a bunch of losers but he we did in fact keep in touch and that was how I met my next girlfriend Fiona.

Fiona wasn’t my typical type of girlfriend, if you want a visual reference in your head I’d say she looked and had the build of Amanda Redman (look her up on Google), she was more voluptuous than the other girls I’d been out with. Don’t get me wrong she was gorgeous looking and was a few years old than me, I usually went out with younger girls, she was my first older girlfriend. I met her round at Nicks house one evening, a home that he shared with his girlfriend, Fiona worked with her and just by chance, had popped round to see her on the day that I happened to be there too.

I can’t remember the evening that we spent round at Nick’s, there was a lot of banter going on, we pretty much hit it off straight away. I do remember her giving me her telephone number, of which I obviously called her and invited her up to mine in London for dinner a few days later.

When she came we carried it on from where we had left it at Nicks a few days earlier and then she ended up staying with me for the next 4 days, we pretty much spent the whole time in bed – fri/sat/sun and then came Monday. She ignored work calling and then comes Tuesday. Her phone started ringing quite early on in the morning and I remember her looking at the number going, shit its work again…..and then making more excuses for not being in work yesterday.

She was so unlike any other girl I’d been out with before, she had a mind of her own, a very high up position in the company she worked for, her own life, own set of friends and completely independent – completely different to the needy girls I’d been out with before… be honest, I was hooked.

Now the strange thing was, as the relationship started moving along she’d keep ending the relationship. Now, I really wanted to be with her and I’d never been dumped before, all I can liken it too was being addicted to a drug, I just wanted her more the more she ended it. We were doing a lot of cocaine at the time, something that I’d never really done a lot of until I’d gone to jail. Fiona would end our relationship and I’d think to myself, OK well that’s it, it’s over and then a few days later she’d call me and we’d get back together, it was very confusing! The trouble was, every time we’d split I just kept meeting other women, it was if I had a sign on my head that said ‘cute baby needs home’ because and I have to be honest, I’d never had so many women come onto me than when we’d split up! It was weird but I didn’t want to be alone when we were apart so I’d find comfort in other women…….It’s a poor excuse but I was young. I remember Fiona saying to me, if you loved me so much, how can you sleep with other women so soon after we break up…….she had a point, if I did love her as much as I said I did, then how could I……

Sadly it was at great cost to me and I learnt a very hard lesson, in fact I ended up in a place that I never want to go to again ever, it was a very valuable lesson though. It was one of the lowest points in my life, it’s a lesson that is etched into my head as a place that, as I said before, I never want to sink to ever again. Me personally, I think you need to visit this dark place once in your life because, I worked out that,  if you ever go to that place again, you’re an idiot!! I learnt that you should never take people for granted, especially if you love them, because you can end up in a really bad place like I did. To be honest, I didn’t think I could live without this girl in my life.

One day, when I was standing at the train station to get to work and feeling emotionally drained after a heavy weekend, we’d split up again and I ended up staying with a mate, well the trains were rushing past as I stood close to the edge of the platform and I thought, I’m going to end it and just jump in front of the next train. For the first and only time in my life, I honestly felt for a moment that I didn’t want to go on with life anymore……..

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