When Alexander traveled to Hendrick to visit his Miriam and Shaliste, Miriam refused to let him in. Whatever love she had harbored for Alexander seemed to be gone.
Among many other yellings, Miriam had declared that Alexander was the worst father Shaliste could ever have. She told Alexander that if dared to so much as hold his baby girl, he would pay a heavy price. Never once did Miriam blame Alexander for her own problems, but she made sure he recognized his own.
All Alexander's bridges had been burned. And when Miriam came sobbing to Alexander's door, apologizing for her behavior, Alexander had pushed her aside.
He didn't deserve anyone. He didn't deserve to see his daughter. He was a condemned sinner who only deserved the worst of hellfire.
Depressed, the next few weeks were spent traveling from town to town, drowning sorrow in taverns and caving in to every desire that presented itself to Alexander. Eve had been right: though she was dead, her declaration that "you will never escape me" was utterly true. Though Alexander did not consider himself a murderer for killing Eve, he would always bear the consequences of all she'd done to him.
A twenty-seven year old Alexander woke up in a cold sweat from his nightmare, breathing heavily and trying to calm his ferociously beating heart. Reaching over to his nightstand, where he always kept a bottle of liquor ready, he looked across the room at the moonlight drifting lazily in. Cursing himself - something that had become a rather frequent habit - Alexander took a long, satisfying swig before standing and lighting a candle. There was no way he would be able to sleep after the nightmare.
It had been a portrayal of that terrible confession...almost every night, Alexander reexperienced that morning at church, when he'd confessed his sin for all his town to see. But every time the nightmare recurred, it got worse and worse until Alexander couldn't tell how the actual event had happened. In his mind, it was hundreds of times worse than it actually had been.
Alexander's bills were skyrocketing. How long had it been since he'd left home? He couldn't even remember. The only cure to his agony was to drink until everything was alright. But the problem with drinking was...it cost money.
Lots of it.
But Alexander did what he had to do in order to survive. The only thing that kept him from committing suicide was the intense fear of hell. There was no way he would be able to reconcile himself with God now; his only hope was to live as long as he could and avoid hell. But secretly, everytime Alexander drifted off to sleep - whether he was by himself or not - he hoped he wouldn't wake up.
Fool! Failure! You're a damned idiot - that is what you are, Alexander Marcus Hale! Curse God and die! You don't deserve to live! God hates you! There is no hope!
And that was another thing: the constant voices of damnation never stopped any longer. Every second of every day, condemnation lingered in the back of Alexander's mind. And the more he heard, the more he believed.
It had become a game to see how many hearts Alexander could break. Of course, he never even tried to romance the innocent, sweet girls - to do so would only cause him to despise himself more. But Alexander was determined to hurt others as he himself had been hurt.
And in the back of Alexander's mind, there was a plan forming. A plan that had never been thought of before.
It had to do with confessions.