Alexandria keeps her head down the whole time. The reporter follows them up the steps toward the police station. “Do you have anything to say to your daughter? Where is she now?”
For the first time Alexandria looks up and stares into the camera. Her once vibrant blue eyes are now dull. Tears run down Amelia’s face as she waits for a response. “Amelia, I love you honey. I’ll talk to you soon.”
A police officer takes Alexandria’s arm and ushers her into the building. There must be ten to fifteen reporters and news trucks surrounding them. Amelia rises off the couch and walks over to the stairs. Her mind and body slowly become disconnected from one another. The last thing she remembers is seeing the worried look on her tearful mother’s face.
Leona, Eli, and Navid are standing over Amelia with worried looks on their faces. Have I died and gone to hell? She sits up and rubs her temples as her head throbs with retaliation. They seem relieved that she’s okay, but she can’t figure out why she’s sitting on the living room floor.
“What happened?” she asks, still groggy.
“Well, after you saw your mother being captured on TV, you fainted,” Leona explains with a half-smile.
Remembering the event brings her to tears. She imagines her mother going into that horrible police station and being treated like a criminal. But the real criminal is standing right in front of her. It pains her that the damage Leona has caused will haunt them forever.
“She doesn’t deserve this!” Amelia sobs.
Leona rolls her eyes and goes into the kitchen. Amelia runs upstairs to her room and slams the door. She no longer cares about the perfect house or her fake truce with Leona. She can’t let herself forget that Leona’s the reason her life is destroyed. She grabs her cell phone and dials the number on the card that Nurse Jolene gave her.
“Stillwater Medical Center, may I help you?” a lady answers.
She clears her throat and inhales deeply, hoping to sound like an adult. “Yes, may I speak with Jolene please?”
There’s a three-second pause and a sigh on the other end.
“May I ask who is calling?” the woman says. Who is she the phone police?
“My name is Amelia Waters. I just want to know how my father is doing,” she responds with annoyance.
“Oh, okay, just a minute.” The lady puts her on hold and classical music starts playing. Finally, the music stops.
“This is Jolene.”
“Hi, Jolene, I’m Amelia Waters. You gave me your card yesterday, and I was just calling to check on my father, Cashesegra Waters. How is he?”
“Oh yes, Amelia, how are you, honey? I thought about you and wondered if you were okay.”
“Well, I’m hanging in there, just taking it one day at a time.” She cradles the phone against her shoulder and bites her nails, hoping Jolene has good news.
“I saw the news regarding your mother, and I am so sorry you have to go through this. I’m glad you called, but sadly your father hasn’t shown any improvement thus far. I know you’re disappointed, but miracles do happen. Just know that at any given day he could wake up and surprise us all. Just keep praying, okay, sweetie?”