What a smile can do

Erika, this is probably not my favorite one. Truthfully, this was my first one after my book, and I just needed something to get myself going again, but I have to say, I still care for it, and I wanted to share it, regardless. Hopefully you can see where I was going with this one. lol 🙂

 

 

Meredith sat in her stiff, unforgiving bed, staring at the cold wall. She imagined herself outside of it, away from the hate and bigotry, the lies and deceit… from the violence… She wanted nothing more than to see herself again among her friends and family. What would life be like once she was released? Would her family welcome her back and forget the things she had done to them? No. Probably not, she thought to herself. Still, it didn’t stop her from imagining a life where they could forgive her and move on. Meredith had moved on; she had learned to cope with her anger and bitterness. She thought back to that moment of clarity she had merely three years before. She had been sitting as she currently was, only filled with anger, plotting on how to avenge her mother’s betrayal (as she had seen it) when a sweet and gentle voice came through the prison bars. “It’s almost lights out, Meredith.”
. It was unusual to hear such sweetness from anyone in prison, let alone from a guard! “What’s your point?” Meredith had no intentions of making friends there, especially not from the people locking her up! There was silence as the woman studied her. “Are you alright?” Meredith sat up abruptly, brushing her hair back crudely, as if attempting to intimidate her guard. “I’m in fucking jail, bitch! You think I’m happy?!” The woman hadn’t flinched at Meredith’s crude and vulgar manner. In fact, she just smiled humbly at her. “Prison can do things to people. I’ve seen it myself. The trick is to rise above it.” Meredith laughed mockingly at her, her eyes rolling in disbelief. “Oh, you here to save me or somethin’? To bring me back to Jesus?!” Meredith mocked her even more, exaggerating her facial expression as she flipped her hands to the air. “Not really. Just back to you.” For some reason, it took her by surprise. “What?” The woman placed her hand on the bars, looking through to Meredith, through her eyes and into her soul. “I hope you find her someday, she seems like a great person.” As the woman walked away, Meredith rushed to the bars, grasping them feverishly. “What’s your name anyhow?” The woman didn’t stop; she simply turned her head slightly, speaking loudly so that she could hear her, “My name is Cathleen.”
From that moment on, Meredith had started talking to Cathleen every shift she had and quickly found out what Cathleen meant; As soon as Meredith had started admitting things to herself, not just of her own misdoings, but of others’ misdoings towards her, she was able to start feeling that weight lift from her shoulders. Meredith even began to meditate, concentrating solely on getting to know herself as she was meant to be. It lifted Meredith’s spirits so that she the realization that the hatred and pain that surrounded the prison was toxic, making it harder to stay in her happy place. She was ready to leave. She was ready to see the outside, to smell the fresh air. “Meredith Stevenson, it’s time. Let’s go.” The doors slid open, a sense of freedom sweeping over her as the air twisted an moved around her. Before long, she stood alone in front of the gates, nothing more than baggy clothes that no longer fit her and a nearly empty purse, but she was free. “You want me to take you somewhere, lady?” A man stood beside his aging cab, matching the man in roughness. “Yeah, I guess so.” As soon as the words left her lips, she turned to see a small car bustling down the road, leaving a trail of dust behind it. “Who the hell could that be?” the car was unfamiliar, although that wasn’t surprising as she was locked up for almost 5 years. As the car came to a halt in front of her, the mystery person made her almost jump for joy. “Cathleen?!”  Cathleen smiled brightly at her friend as she rounded the car to hug her. “Oh, Meredith, I’m so happy for you! You made it!” They hugged tightly for a moment, relishing in the feeling of each others’ arms. “Where have you been?! I haven’t seen you in almost a year!” Cathleen pulled away from her, her smile growing even larger. “I’m so sorry that I had to leave that way, but, it was an emergency, and as I said in my letters, you would know soon enough!” Secretly, Meredith had thought she would never see her friend again. As close as she felt to Cathleen, she feared that Cathleen hadn’t felt the same way, or worse; that she saw her as just another criminal. Meredith pushed her fears away, her concentration back to her friend.  “I am so glad to see you! So, tell me, what’s new with you?” Before Cathleen could utter the words, a small cry came from the small compact car. In seconds, Meredith had ran to the window, looking in on the smallest, most beautiful bundle of joy she had ever seen! “Oh Cathleen, she’s beautiful!” Meredith turned to her, curiosity swelling over her. “How old are you?” Cathleen’s smiled softened, knowing why she had asked. “I’m 42 years old. And…” She went to the car to look in on her daughter. “There’s not a thing wrong with her!” Meredith was so very happy for her! It was all she had to not start crying. “Would you like to know her name?” Meredith smiled and nodded, her words failing briefly. Cathleen walked to her friend, placing her hands upon her shoulders. “Her name is Meredith Elizabeth Paulsey.”
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