Axel's Revenge

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Epilogue

~Alicia

“What the fuck are you staring at?”

Alicia almost jumped out of her skin hearing the voice that haunted her dreams. “I-I,” she stuttered.

“You ain’t got all day. You have ten minutes to complete the task and get your ass out of there,” Erika, a fellow inmate warned in her high-pitched yet threatening voice.

Alicia nodded as she picked up the brush and scrubbed the toilet floor. It was hard to keep the breakfast down. She gagged several times and held her nose with her free hand. They charged her not only for her association with Valtini and her active role in Kaufman’s case. They also filed other charges against her, accusing her of trying to change her appearance by shaving her head and ruining her flawless skin.

She still hasn’t discovered what went wrong in her usual spa routine. The court held her responsible for the death of Francis Kaufman. The men once used and discarded by her all appeared before the court giving their confessions, which only cemented her fate.

Alicia had screamed on top of her lungs when the judge sentenced her to prison. Seemus had divorced her mother and never once looked back. Alana lost everything when Seemus proved her adultery in front of the court. The daughter she birthed was not even his, to begin with. There was nothing she could argue or reason with.

Alana had never once visited her in the prison that became her living hell for the past couple of months. She’d written several letters asking for her mother to visit her once in the prison. Most went unanswered and the last few returned to her as Alana had moved out of her temporary housing.

Alicia sobbed as she looked at her once manicured hands. Her nails had broken, and she wasn’t allowed to grow new nails. The inmates, who knew of her past bullied her at every chance they got.

The prison guards turned blind eyes as the senior inmates treated her like a servant. When one guard asked them to stop their bullying, they’d enlightened the guard about her past and the guard never spoke up for her again. They made her do most of the hard chores and when she didn’t, they punished her by starving her. She gagged every time she took a bite of the food they served in the prison. They were nothing close to the gourmet food she’d gotten used to.

Alicia remembered all the food she’d thrown in the garbage just because she was full or because it didn’t meet her standards. She’d remembered the incidents where she threw the dishes on the waiter’s face just because it arrived late.

“Are you done yet?”

“Y-yes,” Alicia called back in an urgent tone as she hurried to the next toilet cubicle. She’d never once cleaned a toilet before.

After cleaning the toilets she went to clean the bathing stalls. The huge room held a mirror and wash basin on one side of the wall and several bathing stalls on the other side.

She looked in the clean mirror, remembering all the beauty routine she used to carry out. Her skin has healed well and tiny strands hairs had sprouted all over her head. Black circles and the small bags in her eyes served as a proof of her restless nights in the prison.

It would be months before it grew back to her usual length. Tears welled her eyes as she remembered how she used to style her hair every month. The dead skin had accumulated on her skin and they forced her into a freaking orange jumpsuit like everyone else.

She hated orange.

With a defeated sigh, she went to each stall scrubbing and cleaning them spotless. Her hands and back ached. At first, when she started she didn’t know which brush was used to clean which place.

She’d learned to do the chores in a hard way and cursed her mother for her upbringing. One inmate warmed up to her in the past month and the only thing she looked forward to was talking with her during their free time.

Soon it was lunchtime and Alicia sat at the corner of the table. She breathed a sigh of relief when her new friend Rebecca took a seat next to her. Alicia spooned the boiled vegetables and grimaced as she thought how it would taste in her mouth with no sauce or cheese dressings to go with.

Rebecca nudged her in the ribs and she soon swallowed the food without bothering to chew it. That was how she ate most of her food these days. She couldn’t stomach it if she chewed it.

After lunch, she spent time with Rebecca in her cell. The hard mattress and the small room she was confined with, brought out several other memories. With a heavy sigh, she pushed the thoughts aside and stared at the ceiling.

This had become her life now. She would wake up early in the morning, do the chores, eat her food, talk to Rebecca as they discussed what they wanted to do after going out and then, she would stare at the ceiling as she fought with her memories. Sometimes she went to the prison library to read the newspapers.

It was one such a time she read about the high-profile wedding of Axel and Samantha. They both looked so happy and full of love for each other. She’d left the library, unable to stand it.

Did Samantha carry out her threat?

Alicia didn’t care. She wouldn’t be caught if she hadn’t associated herself with Valtini. She loved the danger and the thrill it brought with it.

A lone tear leaked from her eyes as she thought about her life. She didn’t know whom to blame. The cops were after Valtini and had she kept to herself she wouldn’t be in trouble. The pure look of disgust in Valtini’s eyes when they once met on the court made her realize that she was nothing without her beauty or money.

Alicia didn’t know how she would survive once she got out of the prison. She didn’t even bother to graduate from the University. She wondered if it was her upbringing or her wrong choices, and she already knew the answer.

Every time she dumped a guy, she felt stronger. The control it gave her over their hearts brought a pleasure like no other. But, when she saw the same men giving their words against her in the court the pain she’d caused them was clear. She’d left a scar.

Alicia didn’t know if she should feel sorry for them or angry that they went against her. She was thankful to Rebecca for making her see things from a different perspective.

“You should apologize to them,” Rebecca had said during one of their heartfelt talks.

Alicia contemplated her words for weeks before she wrote her first apology to Mr. and Mrs. Kaufman. Rebecca had told her regret should come from her heart else there was no point of her seeking redemption. She’d been writing the letter for about five days before she could post. While she got no reply from them, she wrote letters to the others.

One letter at a time.

She still had much to go and as Rebecca insisted she decided that she’d try to become a better person. She lay on the hard mattress and let the sleep, embrace her for the rest of the night.

∞∞∞

~Alana

“One more mistake and consider you’re fired!”

Alana stood admiring her shoe clad feet as the restaurant manager continued to yell at her for being late. She’d gone clubbing once again last night and was late to work.

“I won’t repeat the mistake, Mr. Henderson,” she pleaded in a soft voice.

“This is your last warning.” Mr. Henderson walked away without another word and Alana sighed in relief.

She had to get hold of her life. This was her seventh job in the past couple of months and she couldn’t afford to lose it. The divorce had hit her hard and left her bankrupt.

There was nothing she didn’t face in the past months. She got thrown out if her apartment twice and she needed this job to pay her bills. Getting a well-paid job was difficult, considering that most companies blacklisted her name after the scandal.

And then, she knew no other works. Waiting for the tables seemed easy, but she’d only learned how hard it was to walk around all day and clean the tables. She’d met with many customers during her time here. A few gave her tips, some would yell at her for being clumsy and some would complain about her incapability of being a waitress.

Alana picked up the trays filled with food and walked to the table assigned to her. Her colleague had taken the orders on her behalf as she was running late again.

Alana’s legs came to a halt when she noticed, her customers. Her ex-husband Seemus sat there with a beautiful woman in her late thirties or early forties. Alana envied the woman’s flawless beauty and branded clothes.

Seemus’ eyes held no recognition or acknowledgment as she stood there like a statue.

“What are you doing there? Serve them and get on with the work,” the sound of her restaurant manager had her move.

And soon she was back to the kitchen, serving another table. She spied her ex-husband’s table the entire time they dined there. Both looked happy and kept brushing each other’s hand as they laughed and ate.

She watched them leave in her father’s car and her stomach burned with fury. This was all supposed to be hers. He was living her life. She hated her father with all the passion. If that old snail hadn’t given everything off to Seemus, she wouldn’t be here.

When no one was looking she downed a glass of wine to put off the fire burning deep in her chest. Seemus had got a restraining order against her after the divorce as she went back and fought with him, throwing many insults at him for ruining her life.

Her legs ached from wearing the five-inch heels all day and her back felt as if it was on fire due to her standing all day. She sauntered through the tables, taking orders and serving the customers as the day progressed.

The restaurant was crowded, and the tables were full considering it was the weekend. She served many couples and a few happy families with children. Alana couldn’t wait for the day to get over and hit a club to let loose. She’d consumed at least three glasses of wine while no one was looking and that wasn’t enough.

Alana couldn’t forget or let go of the life she had lived. Her father tried to fix her by taking her to rehabilitation centers and her hatred only grew. She needed alcohol and sex like she needed a breath.

People who knew about her stayed away from her. These days she’d hit random clubs that served people like her and went with anyone, who was ready to take her to their room or somewhere private. Last night she found herself in one of the shady parts of the town with two naked men beside her.

They’d even given her their numbers, and she contemplated if she wanted to call them again. The sex was good, and they stacked booze everywhere.

By the end of the day, she’d hurried to her apartment and after a quick shower wore one of her best clothes. She’d kept her clothes and Alicia’s when the court cases were over. The clothes came handy when she hit the clubs every night.

After so of thought, she’d called the guys again, and she grinned from ear to ear as a red Maserati picked her up a few minutes later, not realizing what she was getting herself into.Her legs ached from wearing the four-inch heels all day and her back felt as if it was on fire due to her standing all day. She sauntered through the tables, taking orders and serving the customers as the day progressed.

The restaurant was crowded, and the tables were full considering it was the weekend. She served many couples and a few happy families with children. Alana couldn’t wait for the day to get over and hit a club to let loose. She’d consumed at least three glasses of wine while no one was looking and that wasn’t enough.

Alana couldn’t forget or let go of the life she had lived. Her father tried to fix her by taking her to rehabilitation centers and her hatred only grew. She needed alcohol and sex like she needed a breath.

People who knew about her stayed away from her. These days she’d hit random clubs that served people like her and went with anyone, who was ready to take her to their room or somewhere private. Last night she found herself in one of the shady parts of the town with two naked men beside her.

They’d even given her their numbers and she contemplated if she wanted to call them again. The sex was great plus they stacked booze everywhere.

By the end of the day, she’d hurried to her apartment and after a quick shower wore one of her best clothes. She’d managed to keep her clothes and Alicia’s when the court cases were over. The clothes came handy when she hit the clubs every night.

After so of thought, she’d called the guys again and she grinned from ear to ear as a red Maserati picked her up a few minutes later, not realizing what she was getting herself into.

∞∞∞

~Samantha & Axel

A few years later...

Axel greeted his guests with a huge grin on his face. Flowers, balloons, and lights decorated his mansion. They were celebrating the birthday of his little angel, Hailey Alexis Finlayson, who turned five on this wonderful day.

He looked around him to see the entire garden area lit up and buzzed with joy and energy. His eyes landed on his grandfather Rodriguez, who played with the children as if he was one of them.

Hailey was a ball of energy as she ran around in her new frock with her best friends. Amelia, Gracie, Naina and Andrea’s children were of the same age and always attached to their hips just like their parents. Though they lived in different countries, every year they made it a tradition to take a break from their works for a month and travel to spend time with their families.

Naina’s children were six and four. A daughter she named after Sara and a son, Rowan. Xander was now one of the A-listers in the Hollywood. Andrea’s children Waylon and Matias were five and three. She’d become a homemaker after childbirth.

Amelia and Eric had two sons, Zander named after his grandfather and Noel, six and four. Gracie too birthed a boy named Devin, who just turned six and was now pregnant with her second baby.

Keith and Gabriela got married three years ago and were expecting their first baby together. Keith looked after their family business in Spain. Antonio moved to New York so Gracie could be close to her best friends Amelia and Samantha.

Looking back at his life, not everything was great. They had to cope with a few losses that devastated the families.

Grandpa Joaquin passed away in his sleep two years ago and Rodriguez moved to New York to spend time with his first daughter, and to make up for all the years he’d lost with her due to his stubbornness. Their family endured another loss last year when Grandma Vaishali passed away.

Gregory was diagnosed with a heart disease and since retired from the business.

However, Axel realized that no matter how many hardships they faced, they stuck together and grew strong as a family. Axel didn’t think he could be any happier. The newspapers no longer portrayed him as the cold, heartless or arrogant. Those days were just a faded memory. His wife had given him so many good memories to replace them and he didn’t look back after their wedding.

Axel took his two-year-old son from his mother and kissed him, making the toddler laugh out loud.

“You shouldn’t be doing all this by yourself,” he scolded her before taking the tray filled with refreshments from her hand.

“Axel, they are not even that heavy.” Samantha pouted rubbing her swollen belly. His features softened as his eyes caught the simple gesture of love.

He’d been on cloud nine when he found out she was expecting and never missed a day of their child’s growth. He’d been there at every doctor appointment and during their birth.

Samantha insisted that she wanted another child while he didn’t want to put her through all that pain. She wanted a big family just like hers. Sara and Henry spoiled the little children to the core simultaneously teaching them about life. His children never once complained if they ate in a small diner or a five-star restaurant. Axel was grateful that he had everything he wanted in his life.

Three years ago, they received a letter from Alicia, who asked for his forgiveness for everything she did to him. At first, he didn’t want to do anything with her. But, Samantha encouraged him to forgive and let go of the bitter feelings he still harbored to some extent in his heart.

He’d written a simple letter which held three words.

“I forgive you.”

When Samantha learned about Alicia’s situation she sent her greeting cards and small gifts for her birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She’d told him that every person deserved a second chance.

Alicia wrote to Samantha now and then, telling her about her life in prison and about the new friend she’d made. Thanking her for the gifts and kindness, how she didn’t deserve them in the first place for every sin she’d committed.

Axel could only feel sorry for Alicia and wished that she’d lived true to her words. Alana got arrested a few months ago for associating with local criminals, for robbery, assault, and murder. He was distracted from his thoughts by the last guest to arrive at the function.

His old principal Seemus Weston. They’d stayed in touch and did several projects together. Axel tried to return the ten percent share he purchased earlier. However, Seemus didn’t agree and thanked Axel for everything he did. Seemus married Genesis Harlow, a cancer survivor and since adopted three children from Africa, who became the closest members of Hailey’s friend’s circle.

Hailey squealed as her new friends arrived with their parents.

Axel walked hand in hand with Samantha as the families gathered together to celebrate the young ones special day.

Fireworks lit up the sky as Hailey cut the cake and made a wish. She wished that her family always stayed close, safe and happy as they all sung her the birthday song in unison.

The End.

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