Ashley's Story: THE LAST CHAPTER

Ashley’s Story:

The Last Chapter

 

 

 

 

 

Cherie Briggins

 

Ashley’s
Story: The Last Chapter

Copyright
2016 by Cherie Briggins

Published by
Cherie Briggins Presents...

All rights
reserved

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places,
and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales or, is
entirely coincidental.

No portion of this book may be used or reproduced in any
manner whatsoever without writer permission except in the case of brief
quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

Prologue

There’s no need for me to turn around and look at Choice
,
Ashley thought to herself. If she were to do so, it wouldn’t turn out well for
her. She wanted to run right out of the same doors Choice just walked through.
She wanted to do it so badly.

Ashley knew, without a doubt, she would be tackled to the
floor or even worse, shot if she even tried to run. She wasn’t willing to take
that chance. Her life was fucked up right now, but to her, it was better than
dying.

Ashley had to suck it up and deal with it like a grown
woman. That was easier said than done. In jail, there was no Choice and
Supreme. Tears fell from her eyes from that realization. There wouldn’t be
anyone to have her back or to clean up her messes. She was indeed all alone.

It was funny because, despite being in jail, Ashley didn’t
regret taking their lives. Seeing the look of fear and remorse in the girls’
eyes before she pulled the trigger would always be embedded in her memory. In a
strange sort of way, seeing their fear gave Ashley a sense of relief.

“Call me,” Choice hollered.

Without looking back at Choice, Ashley threw up the deuces
before being led behind the bars and out of Choice’s sight. Not wanting another
inmate to see her shed tears, Ashley wiped away her tears quickly.

The tears that fell from her eyes were tears of loneliness.
She had to deal with the loss of Petey and her child all by herself. There were
no shoulders to cry on. Knowing that she wouldn’t get to talk to her mother on
a daily basis or see her face pained her to the core. While Ashley walked
beside the guard, she made herself some rules.

Her first rule was never let anyone see her shed tears.
Tears were a sign of weakness and she couldn’t have them thinking that she was
weak. Her second rule was not to trust anyone. Finally, her third rule was to
keep to herself as much as possible.

Ashley closed her eyes briefly and said a silent prayer. God
would be the only one able to get her through the solitude that she felt
because she was sure that it was going to get worse. She took a deep breath
before opening her eyes.

Ashley was already tired of looking at the place and she’d
only been there for a couple of weeks. She couldn’t complain too much,
especially when she thought back to her sentencing. Instead of getting life
like she and her mother thought she would. The state of Florida charged her with
voluntary manslaughter which carried a sentence up to ten years in state
prison. The judge had given her the max with the chance for parole after five.
Ashley had miscarried her child and her boyfriend had been murdered. Any woman
would’ve snapped in those circumstances.

“Come on; pick up the pace, new meat. You’re walking too
slow,” the guard acknowledged as she nudged Ashley forward before gripping her
arm tightly.

“I can walk find by myself. I don’t need assistance. Nudging
me isn’t going to make me walk any faster if I don’t want to, so keep your
fuckin’ hands off me,” Ashley mumbled through greeted teeth.

The guard chuckled. “I’ll let you get that one off since
you’re new up in this bitch. But, let me be the first to tell you that your fly
mouth will not work in here. You’re not intimidating. That shit might work on
the inmates but not me. The next time you curse at me, I’m going to say you
tried to attack me and then I’m going to throw your yellow ass in solitary
confinement for about a week. Then we’ll see how much you like that shit.”

Ashley looked over at the guard. This was the first time
she’d ever seen her and she didn’t like her. She made sure to bite her tongue
to stop herself from responding because there was no need to. She was sure the
guard would do as she promised. The guard unlocked Ashley’s cell then pushed
her inside roughly causing her to fall on her ass.

“Damn G, you didn’t have to push her like that,” Ashley’s
cellmate, Royce, spoke with a high pitch in her voice.

“Bitch, shut your ass up and mind your fuckin’ business,”
the guard barked.

Royce glared at the guard then gave her the middle finger
before walking over to Ashley to help her up off of the cold cement floor.

“You two bitches got smart ass mouths. Now get over here so
I can take them damn cuffs off,” the guard instructed. .

Ashley struggled to her feet with Royce’s help before
sticking her hands through the bars so the guard could free them. With a
menacing look, Ashley looked up at the older woman. She was an albino woman,
with striking blue eyes and hair the same color as her white skin. Ashley
wanted to cause the woman harm for putting her hands on her. Not being able to
do as she wanted had her blood boiling with anger.

Once her hands were free and the cuffs were off, Ashley
rubbed on her sore wrists before running her hands down her face in
frustration.

“I hate this fuckin' place, on everything I love!” Ashley
screamed at the top of her lungs.

She put both of her hands on top of her head. So many waves
of emotions hit her all at once that Ashley didn’t know what to do with
herself. She rocked from side to side as she tried to calm her temper.

“I feel like a fuckin’ animal,” Ashley said heatedly as she
closed her eyes briefly, “When she opened her eyes, she walked over to the top
bunk to pick up her ink pen so she could cross out the date on the calendar
that hung above the toilet. Ashley had been crossing out every day since she’d
been in there and she was going to continue to do so until her time was up.

“I got one thousand and twenty six days to go.”

“Damn, that sounds like forever,” Royce said looking up at
Ashley while lying on the bottom bunk. “It’s going to continue to sound like
forever as long as you continue to mark that calendar every day.”

Ashley nodded her head without saying anything as she
climbed on the top bunk to lie down. Royce was right. As long as she continued
to mark the calendar, it would seem like forever.

Thoughts of Petey and their child ran through her mind like
they did every day. A lone tear fell from her eyes. Ashley wiped it away before
resting her eyes on the ceiling. A bug crawled back and forth.

The bug was probably trying to find freedom, trying to find
its way out of the cell. Ashley smirked because she could relate. She couldn’t
be free physically but there was a way to have a sense of freedom and she was
about to embark on it in her dreams.

She yawned as sleep began to take her over. Ashley was
grateful. Sleep was going to become her favorite pastime. As long as sleep
came, she could be anywhere in the world she wanted to be, with whomever. In
her dreams, she would be with the two people she wanted to be with the most,
Petey and their unborn child. Ashley was sure it would be a dream she wouldn’t
want to wake up from.

Chapter One
Five Years Later

Ashley followed behind the guard as she was led out of the
penitentiary. A big smile rested on her face once she stepped foot out of the
disgusting building. She closed her eyes and inhaled the warm air. She had been
outside plenty of times during her five-year incarceration. She had even
inhaled the air deeply during those times. However, it was just something about
today’s air that smelled different to her. Even the beaming sun felt foreign
against her skin.

Ashley looked around the huge fence that surrounded the pen
with glee as she continued walking to freedom. She’d looked at the fence many
times throughout the years and always envisioned herself walking on the other
side as a free woman. Now the time was finally here. This was the day she dreamed
of since she walked in. Ashley could honestly say she felt like a better person
walking out of the pen than she had been when she walked in.

When she thought about the way she felt five years ago,
tears of joy slipped from her eyes as she walked closer to the exit. She was so
broken. She never wanted to feel that way again. Ashley would be a liar if she
said she felt a hundred percent better because she still didn’t. She still
thought about Petey every waking moment.

The soothing tone of his voice when speaking to her.

The wet kisses he delivered to the nape of her neck.

His smile. The way his dreads used to smell after being
washed.

 She missed him; even the moments they shared that weren’t
so pleasant. Ashley was sure she would be able to deal with now, if only she
could have him back. . Everything about him was embedded into her soul. She
would cherish the memories of him for as long as she lived. Ashley thanked God
for bringing Petey into her life. She felt honored to have truly known him
inside and out. She thought that Petey was her soul mate.

If someone had asked her if she and Petey would grow old
together, she would’ve bet her last dollar that they would have. That wasn’t in
their cards. Ashley knew it but it still didn’t stop her from questioning God.
How could God rip her heart out and still expect her heart to beat. How did God
expect for her to go on living without the love of her life?

One day, she’d finally figured it out. Petey wasn’t destined
to make it. She was supposed to go through all of these trials and tribulations
by herself. She was sure there were more to come. But this time there would be
no Petey. She and Petey’s story had already been written way before they were
born. She loved him with all of her heart but he wasn’t her soul mate. She
wasn’t supposed to grow old with him.

Some people are placed in your life temporarily and Petey
was one of those people.

The guard barked, “Don’t come back here.”

Without saying anything, she looked up at the guard and
smiled. She knew she wouldn’t be back. When Ashley stepped out of the fence,
she automatically felt free. She could finally do what she wanted whenever she
wanted to.

‘Damn, you would’ve thought she would’ve been on time,”
Ashley muttered as she looked from her left and right for her mother’s car.

She sat down on the curb while tapping her foot against the
gravel. Ten minutes passed and there were still no signs of her mother
anywhere.

“She can’t ever be on time,” Ashley huffed.

She stood up and wiped the dirt off her butt then put the
bag with her outfit and the rest of her belongings she had worn into prison
over her shoulder.

“If she thinks I’m going to just stand here and wait, she
got me fucked up,” she mumbled to herself.

Ashley had looked at the jail for way too many years. Now she
wanted to be as far away as she could. If she had to walk then so be it.

Deciding to go right instead of left, Ashley walked down the
street at a slow pace. She had no idea if she was even going in the right
direction. She didn’t care at that point.

All she needed was to run into a payphone and then she could
call her mom. Fifteen minutes later, Ashley was a good distance away from the
prison.

Beads of sweat began to roll down the sides of her face just
as she started to become thirsty. Ashley stopped walking then dropped the bag
on the concrete before wiping the sweat from her forehead. She blew out a
frustrated breath. To say that she was angry at that very moment would’ve been
an understatement. Ashley picked her bag up just as a black Aston Martin rolled
down the street slowly before pulling over to the curb and stopping abruptly.

There weren’t too many cars that drove down the street
because of the prison so Ashley’s guard was up. She looked over at the luxury
car with dark tint. It was hard to see who was behind the wheel of the car.
Ashley looked at the car once more before turning around and walking faster.
She was on a mission to get home and she wasn’t in the mood to talk to niggas.
Dudes were the last thing on her mind so if it was a dude trying to holler, she
was sure to shut his ass down before he even had a chance to open his mouth to
speak.

Ashley kept walking. She waited for the car to pass by her
but it never did. Whoever was driving the car had turned it off. She rolled her
eyes as she continued to walk at a decent pace.

All kinds of horrible things began to pop up in her head
causing her to become nervous. Ashley didn’t know who was in the car. If they
were to get out and try something, she had nothing on her to defend herself
with. Ashley looked around frantically for something she could use to defend
herself with if she needed to.

‘So, you’re going to keep on walking?”

Without turning around, she stopped walking.

“Thank God I wasn’t a nigga. If I was my feelings would’ve
been hurt.”

 Ashley knew who the voice belonged to like she knew the
back of her hand. She turned around just in time to see Choice step out of the
car. Even with lots of distance between the two, she still recognized her
friend. It had been a while since Ashley had last seen her but she still looked
as she did five years ago.

“Hey boo,” Choice squealed with a smile on her face.

Ashley took two steps then stopped. Tears blurred her vision
before they began to fall from her eyes. Ashley ran to Choice as fast as she
could. They both embraced each other. Their reunion was long overdue.

They hadn’t seen each other but the love they had for each
other was still there. Their friendship was something you only read about as if
they were bonded for life. She and Choice had sent letters to each other and
Ashley had called as much as possible. Doing only those two simple things did
wonders for the two.

Neither of them had missed a thing in each other’s lives. It
was as if they were always there with each other, just not physically. Ashley
and Choice pulled back from each other so they could look at one another. With
smiles on both of their faces, they studied each other. Ashley was the first to
speak.

“This right here is a fuckin’ surprise. I had no idea you
were coming to pick me up. I didn’t even know you were here. I talked to my mom
yesterday and she told me she and Mr. Charlie were going to pick me up.”

Choice nodded her head. “She didn’t know I was coming. Mr.
Charlie was the only one that knew. I talked with him a week ago. I told him
not to tell your mom because I wanted to surprise her. Fuck you think? I wasn’t
going to be here?” Choice asked with arched eyebrows.

“Well yeah,” Ashley confirmed with a shrug of the shoulder.
“You’re all the way out in a whole other state. Plus you got Supreme and my
godson. I really didn’t expect for you to be here right now. I’m real happy you
are though,” Ashley said with a smile.

Choice shook her head from side to side. “I wouldn’t miss
your homecoming. Besides Legend is too busy following around his daddy. By the
time he notices I’m gone, I’ll be on my way back to him. He and Supreme
would’ve come but Nana is feeling a little under the weather.”

“Oh no! I hope it isn’t anything serious,” Ashley replied. .

“Nah, Supreme called an hour ago and told me that she was
doing better. He’ll be keeping me updated on her condition while I’m here for
the next two days. It’s your homecoming, boo! So let’s turn up,” Choice
giggled.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better homecoming,” Ashley
smiled as she ran her fingers through her fuzzy cornrows that now reached the
middle of her back. “I have a list of shit I want to do and it’s going to be
even better now that you’re here.”

“I know you’re anxious to hit up all the stores to get the
latest trends,” Choice added. .

“You know I am! Ain’t nothing changed,” Ashley answered.

Choice looked down at the watch on her wrist. “I promised
your mom and Mr. Charlie that I would have you at their house on time for
dinner. I can’t believe our parents are married,” Choice admitted. .

“Me either, but I knew it was going to happen.”

“I have our whole night planned, Ash. After we have dinner,
we’ll go back to your place and rest before going out to the club. It wouldn’t
be right if we didn’t hit up King of Diamonds,” Choice smiled as she tossed
Ashley the keys to the Aston Martin Vanquish.

“Happy homecoming, boo, from me and Supreme.”

“You gotta be fucking kidding me!” Ashley shrieked with her
mouth wide open. “Tell me you’re kidding! This ain’t my car.”

Choice smiled from ear to ear. “Then whose car is it? I told
you it was yours. It’s your homecoming present.”

Clapping her hands together with excitement, Ashley eyes
roamed all over the car as tears escaped her eyes once again. She looked down
at the tattered bag that held her belongings then back at her beautiful car.
Like hell if she would have the dirty bag in her new ride. She took her wallet
and her release papers out then dropped the bag on the ground.

Choice smiled then walked over to the passenger’s side and
got in. It felt so good to see her friend so happy and Choice prayed for many
more days like this one.

“I’m going to call Supreme and thank him,” Ashley stated as
she looked around at every detail inside the beautiful car in awe.

Choice’s phone began to ring. She took her phone out of her
purse to see who was calling her. She smiled when she looked at the caller’s
identity.

“As a matter of fact, Ash, why wait? Supreme is calling
now,” Choice smiled as she held the phone out to Ashley.

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