Extra Chapter: Released!
(Alcatraz, San Francisco)
“Congratulations, you’re being released today.”
At Missouri’s words, Isaac smiled a little embarrassedly. “Ah, you know, I feel sorta bad that you’re always taking such good care of me.”
“…you’re one of three people for whom I personally processed entry and release procedures. The other two only had their entry procedures done, but they haven’t been let out yet.”
“That’s awesome! I’m the only one! Well, I suppose I’m not that awesome for being caught and sent to jail…it’s the Chief Warden who’s awesome!”
Missouri seemed to be getting somewhat mixed up by what Isaac was saying. “Well…I’m not the Chief Warden…but yes…Warden Johnston really is fantastic…and it’s rare for inmates to leave after so short a time, other than as dead bodies…of course, in prison you have been compensating for the crimes you’ve committed, but whether you continue to make up for them after you rejoin society is the most important thing. From now on, you must turn over a new leaf – for society, for America, and for the ones you love.”
“Right! I’ll do my best!”
Missouri sighed at Isaac’s childlike enthusiasm, then reached into his breast pocket and took out an envelope.
“Um...I never thought I’d say this, but here is your salary for this month’s labour. It’s yours by right. There’s also a little from me, as send-off gift.”
Isaac took the envelope, smiled, and thanked Missouri for the third time. “Woo, thanks! This makes me real happy, Mr. Chief Warden!”
“Oh Isaac, didn’t I already say that I wasn’t…?”
“Okay, so you’re an even bigger boss?”
“…..Oh, never mind. Well, I suppose that has a nice ring to it.”
Isaac left the ruefully smiling Missouri behind him and left the office. He got off the island the same way as he arrived, under guard.
The island view was something he’d seem many times already, but the cliffs were bathed in the setting sun, and –
He remembered his past, everything that happened until now, but even the desire for freedom couldn’t compare with the desire to see Miria again.
“Oh man, what a headache. All this won’t even get me to New York.”
He had to go through all sorts of procedures at the office before he could really go. Normally, prisoners of Alcatraz had to be transferred to another prison for a period of time, but since Isaac wasn’t convicted under the ordinary procedures, he was let go right away.
Originally, he was supposed to have a meeting with Victor, but because there was trouble in New York, Isaac met with the man who was supposed to Victor’s superior.
The city was filled with news of what happened in Chicago, but Isaac paid it no attention.
When he got back the clothes that he was wearing on the day he was arrested, he added the money in his bag to what he had just received, and set off for the train station.
He wanted nothing but to see Miria as early as possible.
But no matter which route he took, it wasn’t enough for him to take the transcontinental train back to New York. Prison wages were meagre, and he had only been working for a month. Even with what Missouri gave him, he would only get halfway.
As things stood, a thought occurred to Isaac that he should rob a bad guy one last time. But then he remembered what Missouri said about turning over a new leaf for the people he loved and so forth, and stopped himself.
“If they catch me, it might even be a death sentence this time…”
Isaac mulled things over a while longer, and finally settled on making a phone call.
Through the operator, and to the Alveare.
Saina answered the phone, then passed it to Ronnie, and then Isaac called the location that Ronnie had directed him to.
This time the operator put him through to a familiar voice – the voice of a young man with a tattoo on his face.
This is great, Jacuzzi cried. And then –
The voice of the one he most missed.
The voice he most wanted to hear.
The voice was filled with tears and filled with joy, and Isaac felt a smile appear on his face.
He had been worried because he didn’t quite know what to say and where to begin. But suddenly, he remembered something and burst out, “I’m sorry, Miria! My wallet was actually in my pocket.”
It wasn’t because he couldn’t think of anything to say, and it wasn’t just a perfunctory apology. Isaac simply felt that he must apologize. But Miria’s voice came already from the other end of the line. “Oh, no worries!”
Isaac felt much better at this. But then he had to raise a topic he didn’t really want to raise. “Actually, I don’t have enough money over here…I don’t want to bother you, Miria, but can you find my savings tin and get my train money and send it over?”
Miria’s voice was filled with determination to go meet him. But Isaac was worried that it might be too hard for her to come so far, and decided that it would be better if he travelled part of the way himself.
He scanned the train time table and the cost of tickets, and recognized a stop that he had passed through before.
It was where he and Miria had dressed up as baseball stars and totally blew the local crime family.
“So…what about Chicago? I can at least make it there.” With Miria’s energetic voice spurring him on, he began to envision his return journey. “All right, Chicago it is. I’ll be catching the train soon. Hey, where should we meet?”
He wrote down the time and place, and felt his heart fill with hope for tomorrow.
The sun was in the west now, and hope was in the east.
Isaac, filled with a sense of freedom, decidedly said one sentence into the phone.
There was nothing else to think about except meeting Miria again. This single-minded energy was in his voice, and it gave her peace of mind.
“All right! See you in Chicago!”
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