The Handkerchief Part III
Amare sat tapping the table nervously. His lawyer walked in surprised by the phone call. “I am ready to turn this in, but on one condition.” Mr. Jefferson looked at the book Amare had at the edge of the table.
Silence is golden, but it was not easy for Amare to learn. Amare was thirsty as he dug his thirteenth hole in the open field. He made the mistake of stopping and asking for more water. The old man slapped him across his face. “Do what I say and do not stop,” the old man ordered. The holes were done in record time today, Amare’s face stinging more than his hands. His ego stinging more than his face. Every time Amare did something wrong, the punishments got worse and more creative until Amare became who he was, silent and obedient. For most of the time…
“What is your condition?” Mr. Jefferson asked. Amare looked at the guards timidly.
“Everything you need is in the book, as well as what I need. I am taking a leap of faith that you will help me even with me giving you my only bargaining chip.”
Amare pushed the book to Mr. Jefferson. He took it putting it in his briefcase. Mr. Jefferson signaled to the guard they were done. He stood shaking hands with Amare heading out.
Another guard came over escorting Amare out. Amare watched the book leave with the handkerchief inside it.
At sixteen years old, Amare came home early with his backpack full of money. He had gotten more for this job. He came home proud that the old man finally trusted Amare to do something on his own. Amare walked up to the old lady’s door with a package. He bounced on the porch full of excitement as he wait for the door to open. The look on the woman’s face brought his mood down. She had been crying. “Are you alright, ma’am?” he asked. She sniffled. “Do I need to sign?” she asked. Caught off guard by the question, Amare stuttered, “No. Have a nice day.” He handed the package leaving. She closed the door behind her taking the package inside. Amare walked to the corner where a jogger stopped him handing him an envelope full of money. It was five hundred dollars. “Nice,” Amare said with a smile. As he walked home, police cars passed him in the direction he was walking from. Amare was on cloud nine. Mother would be happy with the money he earned.
Amare laid in his bed reluctant now about his book being given away. He wanted to write out his feelings and emotions. Instead, he did the next best thing, he went to the gym. Amare pushed himself passed his limit, and he still did not feel better. He put his head in his hands trying to regain his composure when new footsteps entered the gym.
He wiped his face with his shirt putting it back on before heading out. The door was shut which was unusual for free time. He tried opening it, but it was locked. There was no lockdown happening, and even if there was, this was not procedure. There were no guards in there either which was unusual. Amare sat down on one of the machines just waiting to see what will happen. He watched the other prisoners working out before zoning into his own mind. It was better to keep his eyes down in here. He had no grudges and stayed out of trouble. The other prisoners knew he would not talk to them no matter how much they tried. The one time someone tried to fight them, he stopped them in seconds. Neither of them were hurt.
After he got home with the new earned five hundred dollars, Amare went to get his homework to do. He did not slack in any part of his life. The old man made sure of that. His mother should have been home by now, but Amare figured she was running late. When he finished his homework, he checked the fridge for food to make for her. Nothing was there, per usual. He sighed. Another pizza night it will be then.
One of the prisoners slammed a weight down.
The door slammed announcing his mother’s arrival. She came in with a busted lip. Her eyes were cast down, as she grabbed a bottle of alcohol from the top shelf. Taking a swig of it, she went to bed. Amare was going to ask what happened, but he already knew. She disobeyed her pimp.
Footsteps approached him.
Later that night, Amare found out from his mother crying that she was trying to get out. “It’s horrible, mi amore. There is only one way out.” Amare screamed as she plunged the knife into her stomach.
“There is only one way out,” a man said. Amare snapped from the memory looked at him seeing the shank in the man’s hand.
Amare looked at him nodding. The pain overtook him in his stomach after the third stab. Darkness consumed him as the guards rushed in.
Amare woke later to Riley sitting in the chair twisting a handkerchief. He smiled seeing her safe.
“Good,” he said smiling at her. She looked up surprised as the darkness took him from the Earth.
15 Years Later
“Marten! Clean up this mess! I am your mother, not your maid,” Riley called to her ten year old son.
Marten came down the stairs seeing the spill on the table. Riley sat weakly on the chair waiting fondly for her son.
“Mommy, I didn’t spill this,” Marten said looking at her pouting. She smiled. “This should help you cleaning it up,” she said handing him a box covered with paper. Marten’s face lit up at the present.
He opened it seeing the handkerchief. “It’s a tissue,” he said with disdain. Riley smiled, “That handkerchief saved my life and it will help you too soon.”
Riley only had days left. Cancer has finally beaten her, and she knew she had to pass along what saved her to her only child.
Marten will continue living with his father until eventually he will marry his high school sweetheart having a daughter, Mary, after Amare, the same man Marten was named after.
Only with love can Mary find her new life.
We are at the end, so time for Writer's Workshop.
This story was put on hold, but it was easy to pick up years later because of the hints put into the story in the beginning. Knowing and understanding the other stories helped with connecting the dots for this story on where it was meant to go.
This story was different because this story had another story occurring at the same time without much insight. I already had Riley in my head as a character, but I had to write her point of view to continue Amare's story.
It was very interesting for me to delve into his story and show how he ended up in the woods with Riley the first time in "The Red Deer." Riley's story never felt over, so I wanted to finish her story from a different point of view.
I grew up Catholic and guilt has been a major part of my belief growing up. I wanted to explore the guilt part of these stories. The other stories rely on love and faith, but not everyone believes that way. Amare does get there at the end, the very end.
The names in the story are not new. The writer's workshop for "The Red Deer" still apply. I wanted to keep the Old Man a mystery. The only new name was Blaze, but that is not Blaze's true name.
The symbols from the other stories are what shaped this story, but I do not want to give them away. That takes the fun away from reading!
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© 2018 HL Keeley