I took my affirmation and waited standing in a daze until the judge spoke,
‘You may sit if you wish’
I thankfully sank down into the seat and tried to stop my gaze from going a little to the right where M was sat staring at me.
First up was the prosecution, they are on my side and are trying to prove M’s guilt. I had meet her earlier and all I could think was she hasn’t told me what I can’t say just that I might not be able to say somethings.
As it happened she skillfully questioned me about my early relationship with M and how it had turned controlling and violent without going into too much detail, she then asked about what happened when I left him that final time in March 2012.
I took a deep breathe and started to talk, she asked questions here and there to move me along the time line and limiting detail on the bits she felt I should not mention.
I couldn’t avoid talking about the cards or the website though and tears ran down my cheeks as I felt them burn with shame all over again. I took a sip of the water they had provided to me and it tasted stale.
I was reliving some of the worst moments of my life and as I gazed out at the room I saw the jury and wondered do they look bored or are they just concentrating?
I was brought back to my reason for begin there and asked about the day and night in question, I answered truthfully, simply stating the facts that I had run home I was training for a marathon, I had cooked dinner, spoken to my boyfriend on the phone and watched TV before turning into bed at 10.20pm.
No I don’t drink often, why is that? She asked. I stuttered as I tried to explain that I do not like the feeling of not being in control that drinking causes and besides training for a marathon didn’t leave room for alcohol, it sort of defeated the object of training.
With that I was told,
‘no further questions.’
The judge looked at the time and called the court to order and to break for lunch. I was lead out where I saw my mum with red eyes she had been crying too, and I burst into tears. I couldn’t hold back any longer I felt sick and dizzy and my mum and T took a hand each and lead me to the lifts. Without noticing where I was going I was sat down in a chair in the witness suite.
A glass of water was placed gently into my hands and my mum sat down beside me.
‘Well done you were brilliant, first bit done now, you are almost there.’
I tried to smile and it came out wrong so instead I reached for a tissue and blew my nose.
The next hour both flew by and crawled by it was so odd, once again I forced myself to eat the lunch I had prepared whilst Mum and T made conversation. Once the food was eaten we went back to the puzzle, it really was an excellent choice of distraction I should tell them that I thought.
The at 2.05pm I was called again, I walked knowing that this time it would be worse. That the defense was going to try and prove I was a lair and that I had in fact broken into M’s house as M claimed, drunk out of my mind and trashed it.
I sat in the little cold room, and saw the court clerk open the door and beckoning me to enter the court, the sounds of the court dimmed as I walked in and took my seat in the stand once again. I kept my face forward and tried not to look a little to my right.
Then the defense lawyer stood up and started his questioning.
Time and time again I said no to his accusations, as he lead the jury through the allegation M had made, no I did not break in, no I did not access the house through that window, no through that door, no through the garden….
No I did not hack his Skype account, no I did not message anyone, no I did not tear up wedding invites, no I did not smash a photo frame.
No I was not drunk, No I did not get into M’s bed, No I did not see him and No I did not stay there the night.
No I did not slip and get drunk to drown my sorrows that Tuesday night, No I do not drink, nor did I have any drinks that evening.
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO……..
He went on and on again and again asking the same questions a different way, saying ‘Isn’t in true that you…’ Isn’t it correct that…’
I felt exhausted and my throat hurt, I could only answer with the truth no.
Lastly he asked,
‘Isn’t it true that you dislike, even hate M, that you would like to see him back in prison.’
I looked at the jury for what seemed like ages and took a deep breathe,
‘I do hate M for what he has done to me and all that he has put me through. But I am also terrified of him, I have done everything I can to hide myself away from him, to stop him from hurting me further and I would never willingly put myself in a room with him, I would never go near him or step into a place I have known him to frequent. I never want to see him again in my life that is all I want.
He should go to prison for what he has done, but that’s not my choice or my doing, it is his.’
I waited thinking that’s it he will pounce on me because I said I hate M, but I was under oath I do Hate M. But he will try to twist my words into revenge or malice.
A full minute passed as the defense lawyer looked at his papers and then he cleared his throat and I braced myself,
‘No further questions, my lord.’
I blinked at him in surprise, what???
‘You are free to go c, please follow the clerk out.’
‘Thank you.’ I mumbled.
I stood up too quickly and my head swam, I located the clerk and followed him out, as I turned I saw M smiling mouthing something to me.
I have no idea what I can’t lip read.