Diamonds & Pearls

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CHAPTER THIRTY FOUR-Her Name is Me

             Each day, new information was revealed about the files that Badriyah had released. On the second day, it was revealed that Alayna, Cole's mother, was arrested for being involved with the murder of Clayne Brackson. According to the news, there was solid evidence that she and howards plotted together to take Brackson's money. Ha! I'd known that for months. The saddest part of Alayna being arrested was the image of Cole and his siblings in the background. He was holding Clover who had huge tears in her eyes. She didn't understand what was happening. Kale and Rode stayed close to Cole's side. They looked confused but at ease being at their big brother's side. Aiken stood tall at Cole's side with a supportive hand on his shoulder. It looked right to see them all together again. Cole needed Aiken and it was heartwarming to see him there. The news anchor went to Cole.

             "I know you must be going through a lot of emotions right now. Did you know that your parents were murderers?" The news anchor asked. I was appalled at the phrasing of her question. Cole held back his aggravation at Howards being called his parent. Aiken narrowed his eyebrows in disdain but stayed silent. He was allowing Cole to be his own man.

               "My siblings and I have been through a lot. I have always known that Howards was a horrible human being. As you've seen in the videos, I've been...abused by him countless times. My mother...I never thought she was capable of something like this. What she's done to our family is unforgivable. My father was a good man. She didn't deserve him." Cole's words were harsh and I thought after everything he would look relieved but his shoulders sagged and his eyes were sad. This was my first time seeing his face since that time in the hospital. I felt a pang in my heart. His mother had broken his heart and so had I.

                 On the third day, Aiken came forward. After that, all hell broke loose. He told the world the story of how he had to run for his life for years and how his stepfather had been out to kill him for his inheritance. Badriyah stood by him the whole time. "I am Aiken Brackson, Alayna Howards' eldest son. I've been running for two years and in hiding for one. My mother never reported me missing because she had things at stake that were more important to her than me. My mother Alayna Howards and stepfather Jim Howards ruined my life and more importantly those of my younger siblings. I am sure that they are more broken than I will ever be. I stand in front of you now to say this. This is a large scale issue. Jim Howards has not only hurt my family; he's also hurt Daleela Lewis' family and ruined thousands of kids' lives to drug addiction. To let him get away with all that he's done would be a shameful day for America. Do not let this man poison our streets. Do not let this man poison our minds. Do not allow him to hurt anyone else. I'm begging you all to stand for justice. It is on us to take on injustice every chance we get. People only want justice when it suits them but we are supposed to be a country united. At least that is what my father, Clayne Brackson, instilled in me."

               I sat, curled up on the sofa, watching Aiken speak. He looked like the hero that the media would listen to. "And to the girl who suffered at the hands of Jim Howards and was crucified by the media for it; Daleela, I pray that God heals you and your family. I apologize for the evil things that have been done and said to you. I can't fix what happened but I want you to know that I stand with you as any true American and human being should."

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