Judy was a simple woman. She managed every day one at a time. Right now that was all she could handle. She went to the mirror and studied her badly beaten face. One eye was varying shades of black and blue and was slowly coming back to its normal size. There was a deep gash just above her right eyebrow. Her left arm hung in a sling and she still limped on her left leg. Curse that Steven Marks! She thought. How dare he lay a hand to me? I hope he rots in that prison!
With a stamp of ink, Steven Marks was a free man. He had been granted bail and he was free to go. He knew the first place he had to visit. Of course, he knew that she would never allow him in the house. No woman in her right mind would do such a thing, but if she would only hear him out, he might have a chance to redeem himself. Or find redemption.
A knock sounded at the door. She looked out the peephole. Shivers ran up and down her spine as she tried to hold back the bile that threatened to rise in her throat.
“Go away, Steven! You should know better than to be here. I could have you arrested again!”
Dang, he must have got out on bail. Now what?
“I just want to talk to you. You don’t even have to let me inside. I just want to apologize and ask your forgiveness. That’s all.”
He wants to apologize? This was something new. Her father had never apologized for anything in his life.
“Go away, Steven! I’m warning you! I will call the police right now!”
“My daughter, I love you.”
Her heart sank. Never in all the years she’s known him has he ever called her “daughter”. He was a bitter, angry old man and had been all her life. She stopped calling him daddy long ago, long before he took his anger out on her for the last time. Now he was here, calling her daughter and begging forgiveness, or at least getting ready to beg. What had that prison done to him?
Cautiously she opened the door. “You have five minutes.”
He proceeded to tell her about his two week stay in prison. She listened intently, no longer caring about the time. There was something very different about this man. It seemed that all the anger he unleashed on her over and over again had completely dissipated. There was a peace about his eyes that she couldn’t understand and knew she probably wasn’t going to. There was also gentleness in his voice that seemed absolutely foreign to her. So changed was he in his spirit that she simply didn’t recognize this new creature that she had feared for so long.
“What did they do to you in prison? You are unrecognizable to me. For so long I hated you and I thought you were the most hideous creature I had ever seen. Now I don’t even know who you are.”
She knew she was never going to fully trust him again, but standing there and looking in his eyes, she knew that to deny him his request would be denying her chance for redemption too. With a final glance over her childhood she surrendered. With a shudder she released her anger and allowed forgiveness to wash away her pain. For the first time, her father was beautiful to her.
“Yes, Daddy. I forgive you.”
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