The lesson goes on.  “However, the whole scene turned into a buffet of irony.  During this traffic stop, we were staring at possible freedom, but we knew better than to try anything.  We kept our eyes to the floor, as instructed beforehand, but the officer at the driver’s window recognized our cooperation as a bad sign and asked the boys to pull over.  This was a sick joke to me.  Either we’d get to see another chance of freedom robbed from us, or our salvation was finally here…a full year very much too late.  William sped away, choosing to risk a chase over getting caught.  However, he didn’t get away from all of his foes, for he had four angry women in the car who would take it no longer.  Our rage from earlier had us all ready to stand up for ourselves, and with the numbers in our favor, we attacked Yugo and the other foe in the back, taking their weapons.

    “In the chaos, William takes a turn too sharply and flips the van.  After the worst ride of my life, we four girls crawled out of the vehicle.  The boys were dealt with, so we just needed to get away as we could smell something burning.  Nellie fell as we ran.  I had to go back.  She had broken her leg in the crash, so I had to help her get away.  As we hobbled together, the van started to catch fire, and that’s when I heard a voice calling from the flames.  ‘Sugar, Sugar, you can’t let me die.’

    “It was William.  He had survived but was unable to crawl out by himself.  Nellie spit on the ground and wished him well, but I was not so brave.  I couldn’t.  I’m sorry, but I couldn’t.  After a year of conditioning, I was his little pet.  Even in this moment of triumph, he owned every portion of my soul.  I put Nellie down and went back to my master.  Nellie screamed and called me an idiot.  I agreed.  That was all I was good for.  I crawled into the fiery wreckage.  I pulled out my William.  I watched him stand as I knelt in obedience, never daring to look at his face.  I told him I loved him, how I was glad he was okay.  He ignored me and asked where the traitors were.  Because I had saved him, he promised to go easy on me, but the others had to be punished.  That’s when I told him, I just had to tell him.

    “‘I love you, William,’ I said to him as pointed as I could.  I didn’t care if I interrupted him.  I had to let him know.  ‘Did you just interrupt me, Sugar?’  Now, I had his attention.

     “I begged him.  Yes, I knew I was interrupting, but I just had to tell him.  He obliged.  I just had to tell him what I liked best about him.  Do you want to know what about William I loved the most?  The thing I loved most…was the right side of his belt.  Yes, that was my favorite part.  I loved the right side of his belt, and when he looked in horror to what I loved most about him, I was pointing his own gun in his face, like he had done to me, threatening so many times.  I was finally going to have what I had wanted for a full year.  I wasn’t going back for my William.  I crawled into the burning flames…only to get his gun.  I did not kill him, or at least on the outside.  ‘Whose are you, William?’ I asked him.  He said he was mine.  I asked who he belonged to, made him say he was nothing.  I made him say all those horrible things about himself that I had said about myself hundreds of times.  He would die feeling my pain.

    “Nelly was torn between cheering for me and scolding me, finally choosing the latter.  She told me to stop acting like a moron and knock him out, or shoot him if I had to.  I had one more demand of William.  ‘What’s my name?’ I asked him. ‘S-sugar, it’s Sugar,’ was his pitiful guess.

    “I tauntingly reminded him my name wasn’t Sugar.  It never had been.  I kissed his cheek and threw the gun to the side.  Oh, Nelly was having a heart attack.  As William cracked his knuckles and said other insults, I said to him, ‘I am Alice Avia Baylor, and right now, it’s just you and me, exactly how I wanted it.’  I was going to beat him up, like I would have done the year before, had I been given the fair chance with this weakling coward.  But I think you know what happened next.  My pride, my anger, I was wrong for thinking such wicked thoughts and doing such evil things.  My arrogance got me the beating of my life.  However, mercy was shown me.  As William praised me, missing the spirit he had crushed long ago, my strength renewed and what happened next was told to me later by Nelly.  She said my eyes glowed like the noonday sun and I spoke as if I were two women.  I lifted William off as if he only weighed three pounds and would have ripped him into pieces, if not for the police.”

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