Because of You I Am by Sandy Hogarth

Because of You I Am

Because of You I Am by Sandy Hogarth
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.4 MB

‘Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run…’
When Alice was ten, she shot rabbits with her father. Thirty five years later, she’s after bigger prey.

Life hasn’t been kind to Alice. Abandoned by her father at fourteen, she ran away two years later to 60s London, embracing all the darkness it had to offer when hopes of finding her father are lost. But that was the past and at thirty-seven she meets and marries Jake. They have a son, Adam, and life is perfection. But when he is killed in an accident six years later, her entire life comes crashing down.

Buried under the weight of grief and guilt, Alice sets out on a path for revenge on the mother who killed her child. Teetering on the brink of sanity, she refuses to acknowledge the truth: what really happened on the way through the park on the day Adam died? The dominoes fall, sending Alice into dark places. Does forgiveness wait for her on the other side or will she never find her way back to the light?

What had I done? Stitch by stitch, I had unpicked myself.

Pee in my pants: wet, warm.

A forty-six-year-old woman. Afraid. Locked in a small box in a moving vehicle.

I opened my eyes, raised a finger to each teared cheek.

I was someone else, an observer. Then the observer vanished too, took my life with them.

No matter.

A road unknown: London to somewhere.

Gates clanged, the sweatbox shuddered, stopped.

Voices, laughter, cigarette smoke.

Hot, too hot. I slammed the toe of my shoe against the door. Pain. Slumped back into the unforgiving seat. Shut my eyes.

Cuffed and led to the steps and down. Gates opened and locked and pushed into a large room.

Uniforms, searches, orders.

An automaton.

Escorted down the long corridors, keys on the officer’s belt locking and unlocking; banging. Eyes examining me as if a piece of dog shit. The whispers had started.

‘Yours, Oldfield, your new home.’ The screw placed her hand on the small of my back and pushed. She was young, a mother perhaps.

I clutched the regulation plastic bowl, cutlery and mug, roll of toilet paper, sickly-smelling soap, blankets, sheets and one towel, to my breast. Arms too short.

A plastic sack sprawled on the floor, spewing out my few belongings.

Behind me, the door banged shut. I jumped, shouted out.

The lock turned. Laughter.

Soon the corridor echoed with emptiness.

Same routine, different prison. Months at the other place had almost taught me subservience, to keep my head down, choose my friends carefully, be someone else. I knew the rules, had been a fighter. Once.

That is what got me here.

My cell: small, fetid, stinking of bleach, body odour and worse. An iron bed with skinny mattress and pillow, both stained; a small table and chair and, at the far end, a stainless steel sink with toilet attached.

I stood, minutes. Maybe hours, unmoving.

Four years, the man in the wig had gifted me, for a premeditated act of revenge.

The other sentence was forever.

I emptied my arms onto the table, onto the floor, and climbed, fully clothed, onto the bed, dragging one of the blankets over me.

Sometime later – minutes, hours – I opened my eyes, threw off the blanket, swung my legs over the side of the bed and slumped over my knees. The sun slipped in through the high cell window, timid, finding its way onto the opposite wall, oddly split by parallel black lines.

I scrabbled through the plastic sacks on the floor and found the photograph and the drawing.

A door slammed. Footsteps; the flap in my door flung open.

Eyes.

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