The detective came back. As the doctors were discharging me, she walked through the doors, a kind smile on her face. She asked me if I wanted to take a ride with her. As I am not from country, I am apprehension of her intention. Law enforcement tend to exile people in my situation. She tries to make conversation in the car, but I am too concerned as to where we are going to pay much attention to what she is saying. We stopped in front of a building. I believe it's a police department.
"Arina, once I take you in there you have two options." She clears her throat, a deliberate move in order to buy herself more time as she chose her words. "We can help send you home, provide travel and per diem for the trip but after that you're on your own. The United States is hands off once she touch soil in your country."
I turn my attention to her, unblinking as I process her words.
"But I…" I begin to say, only to be cut off.
"I'm not finished. There is option two. We can help get you citizenship; first a green card, then some classes, before you take a citizenship exam. If all goes well, you can stay here for the rest of your life if you chose. Not just Boston, anywhere your heart desires. The choice is yours."
"But how? I am not from here, I never chose to be here. I have no passport, nothing."
"We can get you identification, well, they can." She pointed toward the front doors of the precinct where two men in dark blazers stood.
"They're with immigration. We spoke to them this morning and they agreed to leave the decision to you. Arina, you may have been through hell to get to this country, although it was against your will, but your fate is in your hands. Wherever you choose, that's where your heart is. We won't hold you back."
I sigh and look at the men by the doors, then back at her. So much to decide in such little time. I take a deep breath, and get out of the car.
"Thank you." Is all I say to the detective as she smiles and nods in response. Collecting as much composure as I can, I walk toward the men, toward my future.
One Year Later
I sit in the meadow, the cool early summer breeze blowing through the grass and causing a beautiful sight in the hours before night. I can smell the salt from the sea in the short distance and turn my attention to the gentle waves as they hit against rocks. Maine really is a wonderful place.
I had decided to stay, and much to the detective and her companions delight, I passed my exam to become a citizen with flying colors. There are days that I miss the old country, the few friends and cousins that I had. But not today, not here in this wonderful place with its pretty colors and views. Like a postcard from when I was a girl that my uncle had sent when he decided to make a new life here.
I make to stand, taking in one last moment of beauty before I walk toward the small house. I am a librarian for this small town; I make enough to live comfortably in my mind. Being able to afford real food is a wonderful thing and I remember to thank the heavens every time I eat my evening supper.
Every day I see others take advantage of this country, of its spoils. I take everything in stride, grateful for the chance to live somewhere that I am not a target for those terrible things, the things of my past that have brought me to this point.
This truly is the land of the free.
AN: I know this is short, but I wanted to have some sort of conclusion for this story. I'm actually surprised I completed it to be honest. Thanks to those who stayed with me on this one and for the support. I'm sorry I took so long to finish this. Stay tuned for more stories!