For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.
Location: Remains of the former United States of America, California Island
I stand in the pouring rain. It falls down steadily around me, my clothes are soaking wet and my hair is plastered to my face. I look down at the grave in front of me. The flowers I had set there are now covered in mud. I set them there on the grave hours ago, since dawn had broken through the night. I have come here every year and stood at this grave for a day to honor and remember those who were responsible for getting me to this day. I slowly sucked in a deep breath as I looked skyward. I sighed heavily again and as I had done every year prior to this I thought back to why I really was standing here. The memories flooded my senses and they consumed me before I could stop them. I had no choice but to succumb to the memories of my past once again.
L.A. Summer 2000
"I'd like to make a confession," I told the blonde cop as she came into the station with Angel in handcuffs. I was placed into a cell to await my trial and my sentencing. I sat alone in that jail cell, leaning back against the wall as everything I had ever done wrong was slowly coming back to me.
Elsewhere Wesley and Angel talked as Faith settled into her cell.
"I hope she is strong enough to make it. Peace is not an easy thing to find," Wesley says to Angel.
"She has a chance," Angel responds.
Peace. Peace was all I had ever wanted. I was finally alone with my memories to try to figure out where exactly I had gone wrong. I had wanted this, I had asked for this, so why was it harder than I thought that it would be? I used to give Angel such hell for being "soul boy" but he had it harder than any one of us. He lives each day knowing what destruction he caused and yet each day he makes it through to see the next night knowing that he was the cause of so many innocent deaths. I only killed a few, nothing compared to the numbers Angelus had, but one or a million, the guilt is still there. I took a human life and I reveled in it. I got off on killing; I told B that once before, but I never thought that it would ever apply to a human being. So here in this cell I sit and everyday relive each experience of every person I have beaten, tortured, and ultimately killed. Sometimes I just want to escape and go back to the way it was before I let Angel talk some sense in me – it was simpler then. But then Angel comes to visit me and all those thoughts of fleeing leave my mind. I concentrate on everything he has to say to me. I memorize the entire conversation so I can replay it over and over again when I need that extra strength that I have yet to find in myself. I walk away from my meetings with Angel feeling stronger than the last. I realize now as I sit in my cell that I am finally healing, finally acknowledging and accepting what I did, and I think that I might actually have a chance at redemption.
L.A. Spring 2001
Angel had better pray that he is dead or else when I get my hands on him he is going to wish it with everything he has in him. He hasn't been in to see me for months now. I have no idea what I did to him for him to decide not to come back. The last time he came in here he was telling me how he was singing karaoke, "Mandy" of all songs, so some fortune teller type demon could tell him his future. I personally found Angel singing "Mandy" beyond amusing, but I give it to him. He does what he has to do to make sure that he gets the job done. I just wish someone would come in to visit. In the future I need to be more careful what I wish for.