Topping it off
“Alice,” Keith whispered as he bent down to her to read the letter, “Look at me.”
Alice’s gaze was locked onto that letter, why and how is this possible? Who the hell on earth would start anything like this? No one knew how much Alice needed the closure, needed the truth...
“What do you have there?” Keith had gently taken the letter out of Alice’s hands and read through it carefully, looking for any flaws that may indicate that it was a fake letter, but in the end, it wasn’t a fake letter, it was a real letter, written by Alice’s mother.
“I’m sorry Alice,” he said softly towards her, “It’s real.”
She whispered softly, “I know it is. Keith, do you think... think she meant for all this to happen? I mean, meant for all these lies and disgusting details to crawl out of the shadows when Anna and I were old enough?”
He kept staring at her, he didn’t know how to respond to her, didn’t know what to say, and what to not say. But, he tried his best, “Alice, nothing is for sure. I can’t be the one to say that she meant for all this to happen, because you know as well as I do, I’m not her.”
“I know Keith... I just... just wish all this wasn’t true, it’s so hard to understand it all,” Alice had said quietly.
Keith turned her around and wrapped his arms tightly around her, comforting her, knowing how much this hurt her, finding out the truth, and wondering why it’s like this. “Alice,” Keith whispered, “you need to be strong. That’s all you need to be, nothing more. Look at me.” She had tilted her head up at him, and stared into his eyes, “No matter what happens Alice, be strong, and you’ll make it through, I believe in you.”
“Keith... I just don’t know how I’m going to survive all this... it’s so tough.” Alice whispered hoarsely, “life’s so tough...”
Keith smiled gently at her, “Life isn’t supposed to be easy, Alice. It’s supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to have obstacles and you’re also supposed to overcome those obstacles. Alice, look at me, you’re one of the strongest that I’ve ever known... You need to be strong, that’s all. You hear me?”
“Yes... Keith, I do.” She lied to him; she couldn’t be strong, how? How could she be strong at a time like this? When everyone’s turning on her, and she’s losing everyone she holds dear to herself?
“Alice, I’ve got to ask you a question, you mind answering it?”
Alice was worried, what could he want to ask? “Sure.” The hesitation in her voice was obviously heard.
Keith softened his tone, “I found this poem of yours earlier this morning, why didn’t you show the professors it? It’s brilliant.”
Alice felt her face radiant red, “how could you search through my things?”
“Search? I didn’t. It was on the floor, and I had simply mistakenly stumbled upon it. I’m sorry, it’s amazing though.”
Keith smiled at her, “this one,” he handed her a piece of paper, and it read:
Clenching my jaws,
Fists closed tightly,
As I stare into a world of hatred.
Shadowed by disguise,
Like a hallow tree,
We’re too blind to see it.
Holding a deep breath down,
I exhale slowly,
Feeling my heart beat rapidly in my chest,
Thinking to myself,
The world is a disgust.
Masked by revenge and destruction.
We’re all too ignorant to realize it.
Eyes straining for control,
Staring at a world that no longer cares,
Turns me bitter,
Lies turn me cold,
Hatred turns me into a monster,
Ignorance turns me cross.
Tears sweep from my eyes,
Realization of the world hits me hard,
The pain was no longer a thud,
But a loud crashing upon my heart,
Thinking this wouldn’t end,
My heart races frantically as I pull the glock from my belt,
The trigger goes and I have finally found peace at last.
“Keith, I wrote that a long time ago. It doesn’t even matter now.”
“Actually, it does. How can we keep your mind off of things for a while until everything settles down? Hey, why don’t we garden? You used to love doing that with your grandma, didn’t you?”
She chuckled lightly, “nothing could possibly take this off of my mind. I killed a man, Keith. You have no idea what the feeling is like.”
“No,” Keith agreed, “I don’t. But you could help me to understand. Please Alice; I’m only here to help you, and no one else.”
“I feel like a monster myself Keith, the feeling of knowing I took a soul from this world has cut me deep, and then seeing my sister lying there dead... I don’t know what to say or do. Who’s going to believe that I only did it for self defence?”
Keith knew exactly what Alice was saying: What if the community thinks she killed Anna, and then that man happened to notice and he tried to intervene, but got himself killed, too?
“Alice, we don’t know what anyone is going to think, but we have to trust our instincts... and you’ve got to trust me, too. I’ll stand by you no matter what happens, I love you with my whole heart, I always have, and I won’t leave you like your nothing. Because you’re everything to me.”
“I just don’t know what to-” Alice’s sentence was cut off by a loud banging on the front door.
“Stay here.” Keith said aggressively.
Alice watched Keith disappear around the corner and she heard the front door open. The moment the man who was banging on the old wooden door spoke, her heart turned into ice.
“This is the state police; we’ve got a warrant for the arrest of Alice Jane Greenbay!”
Without waiting for Keith to call her, Alice walked to the front door and said softly, “take me in. I’ve got no reason to fight you. A warrant wasn’t necessary.”
With that, the police handcuffed her, and read Alice her rights. The police then had taken Alice and put her in the back of their blue cruiser. Alice looked out the window, Keith was leaning on the door frame, his knuckles white from clenching his fists closed, and before she looked away, she could swear she saw tears in Keith’s eyes; she knew she didn’t deserve this treatment, but she had no reason to run or fight this.
She was innocent.