Epilogue

In the days since Alex's attack, Alex/James Eeyam/Mayee was put into custody and charged with first degree murder for Bob Tanner, and attempted murder for Faith Woods. Witson, Leverl, and a few other ACSI employees were charged with similar association crimes, and needless to say, the ACSI was shut down. Some employees admitted that the ACSI was also rich from selling and transporting drugs, and many other people around America were arrested for dealing with drugs in association with the ACSI.

The AM case was closed then, with Faith living safely in her home, dating Stephen and happy for the first time in a long time. Today, Stephen was over at her house, and she was sitting in his lap, her sketchbook in one hand, explaining to him what her memories had revealed to her. She had bought a new sketchbook just for the occasion, for her past. Now that she remembered, she decided that it was time to stop running, and to face her problems. Putting it all on paper was the best way she could think of to deal with it. Talking about it was the second best.

"This is Cole." Faith said, pointing to a happy man on the first page. "He was my mom's high school sweetheart, but after grad her life went downhill when she met Darth, and he sold her drugs. Cole found them one day, and he broke things off, but then he found out that she was pregnant, and he was constantly checking up on her. Cole is my father." Faith looked up at Stephen. "He was around some of the time, but he had to work, and my mom married Darth, and everything went wrong after that. Darth," Faith flipped to the next page, which showed a thin, gaunt, pale-faced man who obviously had a drug problem. "beat me and my mom. That night, he came home stoned and drunk, and started beating me. Maryanne tried to stop him, so he took it out on her. Then Cole came over to check up on Maryanne, because he still cared about her. He saw what was happening, and he saw Maryanne stab Darth. He wasn't supposed to be over there, he had a restraining order on him, and when he heard the police sirens, he ran. He knew that Darth was involved in the ACU, and so he tracked down records and things and wrote them all into a journal over a five year period." Faith flipped the next page, which showed an old, green notebook. "He gave these to Isabella, who was going to tell the police, but then her 'accident' happened."

The next page was Isabella, nearly identical to Faith in every way except their eyes. "The ACU has many people in all areas and social status, so when we found out that we were going to live with a man and his family, because they wanted to possibly us, we were happy. Turns out, he was working for ACU and was supposed to keep an eye on us. When Isabella got the notebook in the mail, the next day she was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. Someone left the car running in the garage, with all the doors closed, while she was organizing the recycling and she died.

"Throughout all this, we were also in intensive therapy. The therapists were working for ACU, big surprise, and forced us to believe the story they made up. We didn't know a man named Cole, our mother was a Christian, and Darth beat us. In reality, Cole was a Christian, mom and dad were druggies and abused us- Darth more physically and Maryanne just didn't care about us, she was too far under. So, over time, we forgot about what had really happened, and the truth got shoved deep down in our heads, ready to explode."

The next pages showed a hospital bed with Faith lying on a white table, back bloody and scarred; a pale, blue room with ugly, orange couches where Faith sat across from two angry looking men in white; Faith and Isabella hiding under the covers of an orphanage's bed at night; Isabella, dead in the garage.

"My back was the only part that they couldn't fix, so I have these scars for a lifetime. Darth used to lock me up in the wooden shed behind our house whenever I cried for food or attention; he would hit me until I shut up, and Isabella soon learned where he kept me and would sneak me food through the cracks. Darth liked Isabella, but for some reason he hated me. We were both Cole's kids, we looked the same, but for some reason I pissed him off and Isabella didn't. I was only five; I was too young to understand that if I didn't cry, then he wouldn't hit me, so I just kept doing the same things over and over again."

Faith shook her head, and kept flipping through the pages, a bit too quickly, passing through all scenes of violence, tears and reprimanding therapists. She sighed when the page turned to a tall building protected by an iron wrought gate, the words 'St. Marie's Home for Unfortunate Youth' stenciled across the front.

"This was my favorite orphanage. We got to go to real school, live a somewhat normal life, and they were the ones who made me become an artist. They had this program where you wrote a test to figure out what kind of 'smart' you were. I was visually smart, so I showed them my sketchbook, and they brought in a teacher every week to teach me art techniques, and signed me up for an art school in San Fran. Before I even left the home, they were selling some of my paintings and putting the money away for me in a special savings account, so when I left I would have enough money to survive on my own."

She flipped through a few more pages, and ended on a page of her saying goodbye to a group of kids in front of St. Marie's. Her last day at the Home.

Faith turned to look up at Stephen, who had remained silent thus far. "You know the rest, that's the gist of it…"

Stephen nodded; he did know. He had told her everything that he had discovered about unreachable parts of her past by looking through old case files. When her parents were killed, all the drugs that the police found were stamped with ACU. Police traced them down, but they got away, and resurfaced twelve years later, back in Cassey, under a new name: ACSI. Cole was killed sometime after Isabella in a hit and run that never went anywhere. And Faith was left alone to deal with this, passed back and forth between orphanages. No one ever wanted to adopt her; she was too unstable and scarred. Before Isabella died, adopting just one of the twins was never an option, and after she died, Faith was so messed up that whenever she got sent to a Jolly Rancher, she would throw tantrums and fits because she was terrified that they were going to kill her, or she would die in some freak accident.

Because of the painting that she sold, that Witson assumed meant that she now remembered Cole, Tanner was sent to question her about the green notebook, then kill her. That was why he was poking around her couches with his gun- he was trying to find the notebook. Witson changed tactics once he failed and decided to just watch her and figure out where it was in a more subtle manner. In reality, Faith had no idea where the journal was. She still didn't. Isabella had put it somewhere before she died, and its secrets were now lost forever.

"It's all over now, Faith." Stephen said and reached up to push a piece of her hair away from her face, his eyes swimming in emotion. He kissed her forehead, and she leaned her head against his chest. After fighting to survive for nineteen years, being abandoned and thrown around from house to house, it was finally over. She was finally home.

The End.