Chapter - 16 | The End
“Redemption is the consummation of love; other gifts are only as mites from the Divine Treasury; but redemption opens all the stores of indulgence and grace.” - GEORGE WINFRED HERVEY
Time and tide waited for no one. Alicia resumed her education through an online course and worked hard every day.
She no longer grimaced to do the chores. She volunteered to do them and had made several friends. Her life, though in a prison had become good. She was content for the first time in years.
Her mind no longer wandered for sparkly things. She knew everything had a price and hers came with a prison sentence. She’d read in a newspaper that Valtini was served with a death penalty and felt bad for him.
At least he cleared her name and saved her from spending ten years in prison. Her initial fifteen years were reduced to five after his confession. There was no news about her mother and she didn’t bother to ask anyone.
Samantha and Mrs. Kaufman wrote to her regularly. The letter from Mrs. Kaufman often accompanied photographs and scribbles from her son. She’d treasured each of them.
It was during the spring she received news that shocked her to the core. Alana and her boyfriend Danny were shot and killed in one of the fights between two groups. Alana was caught in crossfire and was announced dead on arrival.
Sorrow clogged her throat and her mind numbed. She was allowed to attend her mother’s funeral for an hour. Alicia breathed in and out as nervousness settled in. Her eyes scanned the city that hadn’t changed much in her absence.
Alana lay on her casket with a peaceful look on her face. Alicia wished her mother’s life was this serene. Sadly the woman was never content with anything she had. She’d ruined her own life.
There was no one except herself, Seemus and his new family. Seemus introduced her to his wife Genesis Harlow, who smiled warmly at her. His three children hid behind their mother.
Alicia hugged and congratulated him. At least he would have a proper family that would love him. When she returned to her cell, there was still a heaviness in her heart.
She didn’t cry. She couldn’t. She wondered if she ever loved her mother. She didn’t know. The love as she came to experience was different from what she felt for her mother earlier.
She curled up in her bed and rocked herself to sleep when she couldn’t take it anymore.
Alicia’s life was good. She anticipated her release and counted each day.
Her son wrote to her almost every week about his new adventures and she laughed reading at them. Though it was only scribbled with many spelling mistakes, those were precious to her. No amount of money could give her that happiness before.
She still believed that she didn’t deserve to be addressed as his mother, but the boy had a huge heart.
Harris had come to visit her in prison on his sixth birthday with his adopted parents. It took every drop of her strong will not bang at the glass partition to let her out so she could hold her son.
“Mommy... when will you come home?”
That was her son’s first question and she broke down into tears. Alicia realized that moment it was love. She liked the mixture or overwhelming happiness that was laced with pain.
“I’ll come soon,” she’d promised to her son.
She would only be a small part of his life, but that part wouldn’t stay unworthy of his love. Alicia pushed herself even harder to gain good grades in her academics.
Redemption is when guilt leads to good. She’d carry the guilt of her past with her as long as she lived. She’d learned from her mistakes and would never repeat them again. She thanked her lucky stars for giving her another chance at life. This time she vowed herself to be better.
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