The next six months were spent planning and perfecting the perfect crime. Granted, it was also spent in drinking and all those other sins that had become Alexander's first nature, but there was a purpose to Alexander's existence now, albeit it a dastardly purpose...
Throughout the years, Miriam had sent Alexander letters, begging him to return to her and her daughter. She was the only one who knew where to send the letters; Alexander had told her his destination and had made her swear not to tell anyone else.
All along, Alexander wondered why Miriam wasn't coming to visit him herself. After all, if she really wanted to see him, why didn't she arrive at his doorstep? It made sense, anyways.
But when Alexander received that fateful letter, he understood why Miriam hadn't come to visit.
To Mr. Alexander Hale,
I regret to inform you that Miss Miriam Fletcher has passed away from an infection caused from her daughter's birth. For a year, she clung to life, but the infection had weakened her so much that she died of a fever a week ago. The baby was soon to follow.
Miriam's last words were for you. She said that she forgave you. There was a light in her eyes as she told me all the reasons she has loved you all these years.
But most of all, she wanted to tell you six words:
"Alexander Marcus Hale, there is hope."
P.S. Should you ever visit Hendrick, I know that many people would welcome you with open arms - myself included. Do not hesitate to visit or ask for help. Not all your bridges are burned.
Unable to cope with the news he had just received, Alexander stared at the letter, mind whirling. How could it be true? Was Miriam really gone from the world?
There was only one way to deal with the pain. Hating himself for it, Alexander reached to pour himself a cup of alcohol before setting his eyes on a piece of paper he'd left out when he'd been planning the day before.
I used to write to relieve my pain.
Reaching out slowly, Alexander dipped his pen in ink and began to write on the piece of paper. He wrote the words he would have said, had he been there at Miriam's deathbed.
And then, tears overtook Alexander. The love of his life was gone. Dead. Miriam - beautiful, gentle Miriam Fletcher! - had passed on! There was nothing holding him back now. He had no reason do doubt his mission. He didn't know if he would be able to begin his final crime as of yet, since the pain was still so fresh.
Alexander had to yield to the inevitable. Beautiful, toxic oblivion.
There is nothing left for me anymore, Alexander thought, rubbing his tired eyes and raising the cup to his lips. The stuff burned his throat on the way down, but he'd long since grown accustomed to it. What had once made him cough and choke was practically as easy to drink as water.
Six months passed.
Summeridge seemed like a good town to start with.