Tuesday, January 4, 2011

DaSample - Second Chances by Valerie Maarten

Premise: After 20 years of the pain and suffering from the loss of a loved one, Dain and Kadi must confront the ghosts that haunt their past, present and future. Will they, in turn, be able to embrace their Second Chances?

The set-up: Kadi needed to see her father after his release from prison for murder. Although she remembered little about that horrid time, she still remembered the man that loved and cherished her. Now, after all these years, she must confront her beloved father and ask him if he’s the monster all of society labeled him to be.

Kadi stood at her father’s door. This was further than where she had gotten yesterday. “Here goes nothing,” she said under her breath. She took in a deep breath. She held it for a moment then blew out. She knocked.

She didn’t hear anything at first. Suddenly a calm washed over her. Relief. Maybe he wasn’t here. Maybe she didn’t have to face him and…. The door opened and she stood still, unable to breathe and incapable of moving.

For a long while, they both just stood in the doorway. No one said a word. The flood of emotions and the endless barrage of questions seemed to be barreling ahead, blinding them for a moment. Then he cleared his throat. His voice sounded raspy and hoarse, like he hadn’t used his voice to speak in years. “Kadi?”

Tears began to well up in her eyes and she couldn’t stop them from flowing. Her throat constricted, preventing her words from coming out. She simply nodded.
The look of complete pain and joy took over his aging face. He didn’t know how to react, just stood there with his hands to his side and waited for her to give him permission…a sign that it was all right to embrace, to hold her and tell her how much he loved and missed her.

The permission he sought was written all over her face. He cautiously took her into his bony arms. She could tell that underneath his shirt he was frail, just skin and bones. But she didn’t care. He was here, right now…holding her.
“Papa, I’m so glad to see you,” she managed to eke out after a long while.
“I’ve missed you, Angel. I’ve missed you so much.” He gave her a tight squeeze and let her cry on his shoulder.

They spent the next few hours talking and crying and catching up as best they could on each other’s lives. It didn’t take long for Kadi to realize that their lives were not that dissimilar. In a sense, she had also been imprisoned for the last 20 years. She didn’t realize until talking to her father that she hadn’t begun to live, until this moment.

Her reunion with her father was more than she had dreamed about over the years. For the life of her, she couldn’t remember what she was so apprehensive about. She learned, by talking to him, that he had quite the sense of humor. She couldn’t say what type of wherewithal a person would need to possess in order to retain some of life’s precious gifts, like humor and hope. But whatever it was, you had to be strong. And she learned that he was that…he was strong.

After the pleasantries of becoming reacquainted were over, she knew she had to ask the hard questions. She simply couldn’t leave without having done so. In this moment of clarity she realized that no matter what her father told her today, she would still love him the same. She may be sorely disappointed or maybe even appalled, but she would never stop loving him, as he had never stopped loving her.
“Papa,” her voice was soft and unsure, “…are you….did you kill Hanna?”

He didn’t flinch. His eyes stared off, but he didn’t blink. Kadi could feel her heart pounding up in her throat. She steeled herself as she waited for his response. And silently she prayed. Her heart was ripping from her chest and her mouth turned dry.



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1 comment:

  1. Excellent excerpt! A lot of tension and emotion. Great last lines, too. I really liked it.