If you didn't know better you'd think
they were newlyweds, but Mark and Mia have been together for years. What's
different now is that they're finally, actually together.
Mark added, “A long hiatus.”
The story of their separation is so defining, Mark has every moment of it tattooed on his arm -- 26 years, 11 months, 4 days, 20 hours, 26 minutes, and 8 seconds -- and all of it -- "4 nothing."
Here's what happened. In 1986, about a
year after they met, Mark was arrested, convicted and sentenced to life without
parole for a murder we now know he didn't commit.
Three months later, the hugs still haven't stopped as Mark and Mia continue to celebrate -- not only his vindication, but her dedication.
Mia said, "I never gave up, never."
"They got me for
27 years,” Mark said, “but I got Mia."
Mia, who works at a beauty parlor, says she knew he was innocent and she was pregnant with his child at the time. So she stayed with him, drove five hours round-trip every week to visit.
Asked why he didn’t tell her to move on, Mark said, “I did. I said, ‘I think you deserve better than this. This is not a normal life. It's not a normal setting’."
Mia recalled, “I didn't need to seek out nowhere else because my heart was where it was supposed to be."
Once Mark realized Mia wasn't going anywhere, he proposed. They got married in the visiting room. Mia raised their son alone and helped raise his two other boys from previous relationships. The woman is clearly a saint.
Mia joked that she knows Mark owes her
big time. So what does she want? A double oven. “He knows I like to cook,”
she said. “That's all I need. He's home. That's all I ever wanted. That's all I ever wanted from him."
Mark said to Mia, “Come here, what's the matter with you?"
But that was the thing, for the first
time in 27 years, absolutely nothing was wrong.
To contact On the Road, or to send us a story idea, email us.