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    "Your appointment is ready, Mr. Jacobs," the voice of a prison tender suddenly called after 30 minutes of non-action waiting. My dad nodded, and together we go up and walked over to the visiting room. My mom was sitting behind a glass, a pitiful look on her face as we walked over to her.

    "Go to the waiting room," he told me, shooing me away. "I--want to speak privately." Oh, great. More waiting.

    I sat back down next to an old lady, who suddenly looked at me and asked,

    "So, what are you here for today?" I didn't answered and looked at the clock.

    "Oh, that's all right," she said, turning away and holding onto her purse which sat on her lap. "I'm all for privacy."

    "I'm not supposed to talk to strangers," I suddenly said, trying to think of some way to reply.

    "You know," ignoring what I had just said completely, "don't be so hateful towards the person you're visiting. You should learn how to forgive and forget." I shook my head, and muttered,

    "My mom's not the one who's giong to be difficult to forgive."


    Five minutes later, dad came out, and he looked so ashamed and so penitent that even I couldn't help but feel a little pity on him.

    After noticing me, he signaled me to say that mom was ready for me. And as I walked in the visiting room, I wasn't sure if I had just interpeted wrong, or if dad had a weird idea of prepared, because mom was certainly not prepared. She was crying puddles over her little desk, pounding her fist against the glass. The security guard actually had to walk over to her, take her wrists, and force them to the desk, cooing as he did so,

    "Now, calm down, miss. Calm down. Deep breaths..." Her lip quivered, but then came the deep breath in, followed by the inevitable deep breath out. The security guard let go of her and backed off, leaving us alone. I sat down on the chair, as she smiled weakly and asked,

    "So, Tom, how's school been going?" I gave her a solemn look, and said,

    "I didn't come here to discuss my grades. I came here to talk about dad..." Mom looked down as I said that, and she replied,

    "Tom...your dad just told me everything. He told me how he was Mary's father before, how you were Mary's step-brother, and how he started to cheat on me...and Mary's mother."

    "I'll never forgive him," came out of my mouth, though I'm not sure why.

    "Tom!" my mom suddenly snapped. "How could you say such a thing?"

    "Dad has lied all of his life," I replied. "He didn't even ever have a job. He told me all the money he got was from gambling."

    "He must've been one lucky duck," my mom said under her breath, though I heard it loud and clear. Then, to me, she said, "Sometimes, we spend half our life doing something wrong, and the next half wishing we could take it back."

    "Dad said something along those lines," I replied. "I'm still not forgiving him."

    "Look," she continued, for some reason still trying to defend dad. "I remember at Mary's funeral when you talked about how you felt as though if you could take everything back that you did to her, than Mary wouldn't have died. Do you ever wonder how dad feels?" I didn't answer, and she continued,

    "I'm sure dad feels the same way you did. Give him another chance." Immediately, I stood up, flailing my arms in the air as I said very accented,

    "He doesn't deserve a second chance!"

    "Do you deserve a second chance?" my mom then asked. "Do you think that you deserve a second chance?" I sat back down, and shook my head "no", whispering along with it,

    "No...no I don't."

    "Tom," she went on, "none of us deserve a second chance more or less than another. You don't...I don't...and neither does he." I nodded, and, because I couldn't really think of anything to say that would carry on the conversation, I finished sincerely,

    "Thanks, mom..." I got back up, and started to the door, as I heard mom's voice from behind call,

    "Oh, and no more punching people in the face, even for me. I don't want to hear any more about you getting suspended!" Oh, great. Dad snitched on me, and mom's still liable to reprimand me. But I just smiled and replied,

    "Yeah, you can count on me."

    "I love you, Tom," she added quickly.

    "I love you too...mom." And with that, I was out, my dad immediately greeting me,

    "So, how'd it go?" My eyes suddenly went into a blur of tears, and I ran up to my dad and hugged him.

    "Dad..." I cried, my cheeks red and wet with tears. "I--I forgive you. And I--I love you." My dad seemed shocked, but simply smiled back at me and replied,

    "I love you too..." And then, after a touching and heart breaking twist of events, we walked to the car, and were together off on our way home.