Chapter 22:

It has been six months since I have been here at Jasper E. Conrad Arkansas Reformatory for Girls at Bolton, Arkansas. Today I leave this filthy, horrible lifestyle and go on my long-awaited journey. I pick up Anton's ring and hold on to it tightly when I here Mrs. Laud coming around the corner. "Excuse Me, Miss Bergen, but why aren't you at chapel? Just because you are leaving today does not mean you can skip your daily jobs and duties."

"Sorry, Mrs. Laud, But I have told you many times, that I will not go to Chapel. The Minister keeps talking bad about my religion. I will not sit and listen to that nonsense." Mrs. Laud's face turns from mad to angry in a matter if seconds. Her face flushes red and I can see the vein about her unibrow quiver. I am in deep trouble. The girls say if you see the vein above Mrs. Laud's unibrow quiver, you are going to be sorry.

"Now you listen to me young lady. Since when do you get to decide what you will do and don't? As long as you are under this roof you will follow the rules like the other girls. Now off to Chapel before I will escort you there myself."

I get up quickly and make my way toward Chapel. As soon I am out of sight from Mrs. Laud I run straight to my hiding spot. I found this place many months ago when I was forced to go to chapel. I go outside behind the school and head towards the dumpster. Behind the dumpster, there is a hole in the wall that has enough room to fit me inside. I climb in and put wood over the opening so no one can see me. I go here all most every chance I get. It gives me time to think and have some alone time. I grab Anton's ring from my pocket and recall the memory where I first met Anton. It was in my parent's store where he was the translator for the POW prisoners. I sob quietly and drift to sleep. I wake up suddenly when I hear the girls coming back from chapel. I climb out of my hiding spot and join them so Mrs. Laud won't have any suspicions.

"Patricia Bergen." said a manly voice. I rapidly turn around and see Mr. Pierce. The cold-hearted murder who killed my Anton. I make my way over to Pierce, my mood changed from happy to angry in a matter of seconds.

"Yes?" I say with little emotion as possible.

"Your time here is done. Your parents have requested to have you back living in Jenkinsville." Mr. Pierce said ignoring my tone.

I double take. What? My Parents want me back? Is that what Ruth meant when she said things were changing? Can they possibly love me? No, I cannot get ahead of myself. For all I know, they need me to be the new "housekeeper". The silence between Mr. Pierce and I, is making me sick.

"Okay." My voice barley audible.

"If you would please follow me. Your baggage and belongings are already in the car." Mr. Pierce said.

I made my way to the brown chevy and hop in the backseat, dreading going back to Jenkinsville.

Chapter 23:

For what seemed like days, we finally pulled into Jenkinsville. As we pass my Father's store, I notice all the damages that I have heard of that occurred there months ago no longer seem to be visible. The townspeople who made such a big deal when I left either gave faces of disgust or completely ignore me. Mr. Pierce stops in front of my house. I grab my baggage and head towards the door. My heart pumping rapidly.

I walk through the door.

"Hello. Father? Mother? Sharon?"

"My mother walks around the corner. No sign of joy or happiness in her face. Rather a look of repugnance.

"Ohh. It's you. Why, didn't the Reformatory teach you anything about beauty or appearance?"

"No." Was all I could say. Being back at this place was worse as it could possibly get.

"Oh, we'll your father will be home in a few minutes. He wants to see you right away! Why don't you change into something nicer that's in your closet and fix that hair."

"Okay.... It's nice to see you again."

"Yeah. It's nice to see you too." Her voice obvious of falsehood.

As I trudge to my room, I notice that none of my stuff is here. All of Sharon's stuff is here instead.

"Mother, why is Sharon's stuff is in my room?" I ask annoyed.

"We'll since you were gone. Sharon wanted a bigger room so we gave her yours. Your room now is Sharon's old room. Hope you don't mind."

I was on the verge of breakdown. My life couldn't get any worse. That was until the front door opened and my father stepped in.

"Patty? You around here?"

"Yes, father. I am right here." My voice quiet.

"Oh, I see. We'll don't bother changing. Meet me out in the back."

Uhoh. That is usually where father gives his worse beatings. What did I do this time? Is he still angry about the whole thing that happened this summer?

I slowly make my way towards my father. His face unresponsive.

"Look me in the eye!" My father said. I slowly raise my head to look my father in the eyes.

"Give me the ring."

"NO! Officer Caldwell said you had to answer to him if you wanted the ring!"





WHACK. His bare hand whacks me hard and I fall down on the ground. The pain doesn't stop as he kicks, hits and beats me. I scream and scream, hoping the pain will stop.

After what seems like eternity the beating finally stops and my father leaves me to lay here in pain. The pain stings. I get up slowly. I limp, with a blood trail following. I don't care where I go from here, but I have to get out. I come to this meadow, distant from my parent's house. I gaze out in the distance. I see a familiar figure. No, it can't be. I must be seeing things. That cannot be Anton. He slowly makes his way toward me. Hands outstretched.

"Patty, come to me. Please come!" Anton shouts.

It is him!

"Ohhh Anton!" I limp towards Anton. I give him a bear hug. But he vanishes into thin air. As he vanishes he manages to say "I love you."

"NOOO! I love you too" I collapse to the ground tears flowing down my face. I lay there. Never waking up.