Once they got home from their honeymoon, things started to get back to normal. They wanted to start a family as soon as Alexandria finished college, but after two years went by their beautiful Amelia came into the world. She had Alexandria’s blue eyes and dark wavy hair, and Cash’s olive-toned skin color. Her beauty astonished them every day. After she was born, Cash’s nightmares stopped, and he slept peacefully for a while. He ended up starting his own construction company and Alexandria finished college with a Master’s degree in Education. But eventually, Cash’s nightmares came back and started to destroy him. There were some nights when he didn’t sleep at all and it hurt her to see him like that. She finally convinced him to see a doctor. That made things so much easier for both of them until Leona made it her business to extinguish their marriage.
“We are now boarding for Topeka, Kansas,” the announcer informs the bus station.
With frazzled nerves, Alexandria walks over to the bus and hands the man her ticket while being careful not to make eye contact. She’s not sure if her face is plastered all over the news yet, so she hops on and goes straight to the back and slumps down in her seat. When the last passenger walks on and takes his seat, the driver closes the door. Alexandria finally starts to feel relieved, and closes her eyes for a snooze.
“We have arrived in Topeka, Kansas, our final destination,” the bus driver broadcasts, pulling Alexandria out of her dream.
She leans her head back on the seat and exhales. “I made it, thank God,” she whispers. Once I’m off this bus, I’ll be free. The doors slide open. People begin to stir like ants as they grab their belongings. When most of the passengers have filed out, she gets up and stretches while blending in with a few stragglers. The warmth of the sun and the fresh air greet her as she steps onto the pavement. She misses Amelia more than words could describe, but she knows Amelia would want her to lay low for a while and to be safe. When reality sets in, she realizes she’s in unfamiliar territory.
She nervously glances around the bus station and repeatedly crosses and uncrosses her arms, finding it hard to stop fidgeting. A single strand of hair continues to bother her as she keeps tucking it behind her ear. With nowhere to go, she quickly walks over to the payphones to call a cab. After she hangs up, she starts to worry. Am I in over my head? What am I doing? While pacing back and forth her armpits begin to perspire. Paranoia sinks in, making her feel like a crazy person. She strolls over to the side of the building to hide while she waits for the cab. After about ten minutes it finally arrives. She tells the cab driver to take her to the cheapest motel he knows, hoping it’ll be discreet enough. He drops her off at the Best Stop Inn. From the outside it looks old and low-key, but in an eerie kind of way.