Chapter 12: This is Life Now

It's been a year since her mother's arrest and Thea was walking into the courthouse to hear the jury's decision of her mom's fate. The whole case has been a hastle for her and Sean both. They were both called the stand to testify and her mother's lawyers were ruthless. They didn't spare any prisoners even though it was their client's own daughter. They kept bringing up the same fact that Thea or Sean never saw the person who killed Mr. Dawson and there was still no weapon. The prosecution kept saying the same answer for every one of the defenses' arguments. It was in inside job that was why there was no weapon and why the killer wasn't seen. Kyle was the killer but he committed suicide before even being questioned. Mrs. Dawson was the only one with motive and power to get Kyle to carry out the crime. She wanted her husband dead so she could start a new life with her lover.

"It's almost over," Thea whispered taking Sean's hand.

He nodded and gave her hand a comforting squeeze. They sat in the first row behind the prosecution table. Charles joined them, sitting beside his son. After ten minutes of waiting Thea's mom, handcuffed and being escorted by two sheriff deputies, walked in taking her seat at the defense table. No one paid her bond leaving her in jail 'til the trial. Her hair looked greasy, her usual attire consisting of Chanel or Dolce and Gabbana was replaced by a bright orange county jail jumpsuit, no make-up and with the most evil look in her eyes. Thea was shocked of the scene of her mom making her look down. Mrs. Dawson saw her daughter and Sean and narrowed her eyes before taking her seat.

"All rise," a bailiff called.

Everyone stood as Judge Brown entered the courtroom. After he gave the signal for everyone to sit he looked toward the jury through the thick lenses of his glasses.

"Members of the jury, have you reached a verdict?" He asked.

"Yes your honor," one woman said standing from her seat. "'We the jury in the case of Mayor Lawrence Dawson find Catherine Dawson…guilty of the charge of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder."

The verdict was a relief to Thea's ears but with a bittersweet feeling. Sure her father had retribution but her mother was going away to prison possible forever if the jury saw fit. After everyone cleared the courtroom Thea stayed behind to see if she could say anything to her mom.

"Excuse me, is there any way I can talk to her?" She asked the judge.

Judge Brown looked at her for a minute before he called to Deputy Calhoun. He whispered something before turning back to Thea. "I don't see how speaking to her will do you any good but Calhoun will see to it you have a chance to speak to your mom."

"Thank you," Thea whispered.

The deputy told Thea to follow him. Thea turned back to Sean who looked confused; she gave him a nod before following Calhoun into the jail. She saw a couple deputies locking her mom in an iron bar cell.

"You have ten minutes," Calhoun said before walking away.

Thea face her mom and said, "I'm sorry."

"Why are you even here?" Mrs. Dawson spat. "Shouldn't you be away celebrating with that boy? I don't even know what he sees in you."

"He loves me, something I thought you did for dad." Thea snapped.

"I did love your father; we just hit a point where it was too much to bear."

Thea looked down, her eyes starting to cloud up. "So you just decide to kill him? Oh wait, you didn't kill him. You just got Kyle to do your dirty work for you."

"Thea I…"

"Whatever, I can't believe that you would plot and scheme your way just to get out of a marriage. Now I have neither of my parents thanks to you."

"Thea you still have me." She whispered.

Thea's tears spilled over. "No, the way I see it the day you planned to have my dad murdered you died too. My real mother would never plan something like that."

Thea walked away from the cell ignored the sound of her mother's sob. She walked out of the courthouse to see Sean and Charles waiting for her. She ran into Sean's arms finding the comfort she had never felt before him. This was the way her life needs to be; calm, and with the one she needs the most.

A couple months later Sean and Thea graduated from high school. After the trail they both had to double up on classes to catch up. With the drama going on they had fell so far behind both were worried about graduating but after several sleepless nights they earned their diplomas. Thea was accepted to the University of North Carolina while Sean opted for a career in the military. With all his training he was the perfect candidate for the Navy Seals. Sean and Thea kept their relationship strong; when Sean was deployed Thea would write him letters to make sure he knew she thought about him every day. Three years after graduation Sean finally got up the nerve to propose. It was funny, a trained Navy Seal, who had seen plenty of battles and seemed fearless couldn't do a marriage proposal.

Sean planned every detail. He convinced Thea to take a midnight walk with him to the lake. A meteor shower was happening and he remembered how Thea explained she had never been able to watch one. They found their favorite spot next to the lake to lay down a blanket and watched the sky. Thea's eyes widened at the beauty of the meteors. Sean barely watched as he kept thinking of what to say. After an hour of silent star-gazing Sean decided it was now or never.

"Thea?" He whispered.

"Hmm," she hummed her eyes still facing the sky.

"I brought you here for another reason," Sean said.

"What?" Thea asked finally turning to face him.

He propped up from their blanket to look at her better. "I don't know how to say this. There should be a certain way for a guy to say this."

Thea interrupted his babbling. "Hey, you can tell me anything. What is it?"

Sean looked at her bright blue eyes that shined even brighter under the moonlight. "I wanted to ask you if you would be mine forever." He paused to pull out a small dark blue box. "Thea Dawson, will you marry me?"

Thea's mouth fell open. Her eyes were glued to the diamond ring that sparkled when the light hit it just right. "Oh my God, Sean, are you serious?"

He nodded his head. "I want to be with you for the rest of my life. With you by my side I feel unstoppable. You have given me something I haven't felt since my mom died."

Thea's eyes filled with tears. Sean was wondering if he had made the right decision of doing this that night. Finally he had to ask. "Are you going to answer?"

"Oh my God, I'm sorry," She laughed. "Of course, I'll marry you."

After releasing the breath he had been holding in for the past five minutes, Sean slipped the ring onto Thea's finger. She hugged him tightly, both forgetting about the meteor shower. For once in their lives both felt complete. As corny as it sounds, and how everyone says there are no such things as fairy tales, Thea and Sean had their happy ending. It just took many speed bumps and pain before they reached it.