As soon as Alissa arrived home, she got in the shower. Reaction set in as the water poured over her body. Although the water was hot, she began to shiver uncontrollably.
She wasn’t sorry that she had killed Anthony. It had really been self defense. There was no telling what he’d have done to her if she had not pulled the trigger.
“Mommy really loves you!”
“Sharlee, do you need any help?”
“I didn’t know you were home, Mommy! No, I don’t need any help. I’m almost finished.”
Sharlee told her about a new author she had discovered. She loved to read. She was so much like Dale that it was hard to believe that she wasn’t naturally his.
Even though Dale had just left that morning, Alissa felt such a strong longing to be with him. Tears came to her eyes. She blinked them away rapidly and left Sharlee to finish her homework.
“Alex, I don’t know why you are here in town, but thank you!”
“I’m sorry, Alissa. I wasn’t thinking!”
“No, it’s okay, Alex. It’s me! I know you wouldn’t hurt me.”
He hated seeing her this way. He noticed how she was dressed. Of course, she was still beautiful, but she had on loose fitting baggy clothes. Her hair was in a pony tail. Her eyes had lost their sparkle. She looked haunted and frightened.
“I went to kill the man who killed my baby! The man who killed me! At the last moment, I wasn’t going to do it, but then he tried to grab me and I shot him! I killed another man, Alex. I’m not sorry he’s dead, but I’m sorry that I killed him. What am I becoming?”
Alissa couldn’t believe it! They were both dead. The relief slowly seeped through her body. She changed visibly. The tension in her limbs lessened and the frightened look left her eyes. The sadness was still there, but the fear was gone.
As Dale walked through the front door, he frowned when he heard Alex’s voice. So that was why she was so eager to have him go to the conference. Under the circumstances, he had felt uncomfortable being there and had asked to conduct all of his lectures that first day. The organizers didn’t want to lose him, and so they had rearranged the program. As soon as he was finished, he had caught the first plane back home.
When Dale entered the living room Alissa jumped off the sofa and flew into his arms. From her happy reaction at his appearance, he knew that whatever Alex’s reasons for being there, it wasn’t for a romantic reunion with Alissa.
He looked at Alex and saw the jealousy written all across his face. He knew for sure now, that he and Alex would never again have the close relationship they once had. It surprised him that it no longer bothered him. Alissa was between them. Dale was her husband, her lover and he intended to keep it that way!
Alex couldn’t keep himself from the rush of jealousy that he felt at Alissa’s reaction to Dale’s arrival. When he had tried to hold her, she had recoiled in fear. He knew that he should be happy that she had someone with whom she felt comfortable. Dale was her husband after all, but reminding himself of that didn’t help at all.
He stood up.
“Dale, I was just so furious! If the police really wanted to catch them, they’d have done it! Crystal told me where they might be, and so I went there. I was tired of being afraid, and I wanted to see the fear in the eyes of the monster who killed our baby!”
“After I shot him, I just felt like giving up. I turned the gun on myself, but then I remembered the pain in your eyes when you told me how you felt about losing me. I thought about the children, and then I couldn’t do it.
I didn’t trust the local police and so I called Alex. I didn’t know that he was already in town to find those two animals! Do you understand at all how I felt? I am so very sorry, Dale!”
“I understand! I wanted to kill them myself, but Alissa, please, please promise me that you will stop doing things that risk your life! It’s not just me who would be devastated. You’re the mother of three children! I didn’t go after them myself because of you and the children!”
“The hospital isn’t expecting me back to work until Tuesday of next week. That gives me a whole week free! Why don’t we take the kids and go back to France?”
“I would love to Dale, but I was telling you the truth about Crystal. She’s expecting me to come and see her.”
“You also have another session with Sammi. I tell you what, let’s see if Sammi can work you in tomorrow. Then we’ll go to see Crystal and catch a flight out tomorrow night. We’re going to have to make a decision about Crystal soon. She and Sharlee do not like each other. That’s one thing that Sammi learned in Sharlee’s therapy session. So, I don’t think that having her live with us is an option. Maybe we can try and find Crystal’s father!”
“Yes. We can do that. Let’s not discuss it with her yet. I don’t want her to get discouraged.” Alissa agreed.
“It’s definite now Matthew. Devra did tell those guys to rape Alissa in exchange for a fix!”
“Thanks for letting me know, Dale. I’ll take care of it! Have the police arrested them yet?”
“No, but they have been take care of!”
Matthew didn’t ask any questions. He was just relieved that Alissa was safe. “Is she doing any better?”
“I think she will be better. I’m taking her and the children to France for a few days.”
“A change of scene will do her a world of good. It’ll be good for you both. Give her my love Dale and take care of her!”
“I will. Goodbye, Matthew.”
Dale quietly left the bed without disturbing Alissa. He found Sammi’s number and called her. He told Sammi about Alissa’s failed attempt to commit suicide. Of course, he mentioned nothing about the two men.
“Sammi what scares me is that the next time, she might not think of me or the children. She might really go through with it.” Dale couldn’t even imagine how he would feel if he had to lose Alissa in that way!
“Dale, I’m afraid that we are going to have to commit her for inpatient treatment at the hospital. She’ll have to remain there for at least a month, and then we’ll see how she is progressing. Do you think she’ll go willingly?”
“Alright. Thank you, Sammi, goodnight.”
Thank you, Karima for fixing Alissa’s hand in the first picture!
I just had to share this picture of Cara.