Six months later, Cole hobbles down the sidewalk away from the hospital. He doesn't have full use of his right arm and he has a lot of limps and pains; Garvey walks next to him.
Cole is being escorted back to the detention center where he's supposed to serve the rest of his sentence.
His father doesn't visit him once in the hospital. No, not as a continuation of his jerky ways—it's because the police arrested him and charged him with child abuse.
The reason that he was charged is because Garvey convinced Cole's mother to speak up against her husband and press charges. Thank goodness for Garvey.
Cole's mother visits him a lot and always tells him that she loves him so much. This is pretty awkward for him, especially since he's always thought that she doesn't care. He still doesn't know how to feel about her.
When they drop Cole off at the detention center, his mom hugs him and says that she'll visit him tomorrow. Then she starts to cry.
Cole walks into his room at the detention center and sits down on the bed. He starts thinking about the island and all that happened to him.
Garvey stops by the next day and explains to Cole that there will be another Circle Justice meeting soon and he should be prepared for them to relinquish authority to the courts.
Cole says that he wishes he hadn't blown his chance on the island, and that he wants to go back someday to see Spirit Bear again. He realizes now that the bear didn't want to hurt him—it was just protecting itself from his attack.
Over the week, Garvey and Cole's mother both stop by every day to see him (go team). He notices that his mother looks happier and more sure of herself now that she's not living with his abusive father. She also says that she's stopped drinking.
When Cole asks her why, she says that when she saw her husband beating Cole, she couldn't cope with it. And instead of getting a divorce or standing up to him, she spent many years drinking to forget the problem.
She asks for his forgiveness, and Cole tells her that it's okay and hugs her back. He tries not to show that he's crying.
Then one week later, Garvey announces that it's time for his Circle Justice meeting; they're going to drive over together.
The elders all say that they're disappointed in Cole for the way he handled his banishment, and that they want to send him to jail, but then Edwin walks in, surprising them all.