The doorbell chime filled the anxiety spilt air. Clemency and I both exchanged nervous looks. We both knew who it was.
I walked up to the door while she arranged a few drinks.
“Oh Welcome Mr Wright. Please take a seat.” I greeted the young man. He was wearing a blue suit and tie, left parted hair and a shaved beard. Mr Wright sat comfortably on the foam, glaring at the drinks in front of him, but did not dare to have one.
“So you’re Clemency Cook?” He asked, cocking a brow towards me.
I left a foolish chuckle and pointed at Clemency “No, she is.”
The lawyer’s balls danced from me to Clemency’s face while she stood near the dining table, trying hard not to blush. After all, Mr Wright was a handsome youth.
Mr Wright adjusted his collars and asked Clemency to sit in front of him. He cleared his throat and began.
“Your name is Clemency Bailey Cook. Am I right?”
The gentleman forwarded his hand and was replied with a firm shake of Clemency’s. “My name is Ian Wright, senior lawyer from Rake Walkers. Am I right that you saw uhm-” He glanced at some papers and continued “Sia Reyes being brutally murdered in front of your eyes?”
“When did this happen?”
“Around one a.m on August 21st.”
“What were you doing at such an odd time at Charjean road, Memphis?”
Clemency pressed her lips into a thin line and looked at me. I signalled her to spill the truth.
“Uh- The night before, my boyfriend broke up with me, so in tears and scars, I decided to hit the club. On my way back, I saw, you know”
“Hm,” Ian nodded as if he had gone through the same and understood her pain. “Would you like to give some details?”
I could tell Clemency was not liking this. She never wanted to see the lawyer, it was me who pushed her. As a responsible citizen and of course when you are innocent, you should not fear to reach the hands of laws. It is for the betterment of all.
Clemency took a deep breath and said “I was all head over heels with wine and was fumbling through the dark streets when I saw them, harshly stabbing the teen, while her screams echoed all around the place. The murderers saw me, but I was drunk so they might not have expected me to remember anything but that’s what makes me different. No matter how unconsciously befuddled I am, I remember everything.”
Mr Wright bent a bit forward. His eyes sparkled a doubtful glint. “Do you remember the terminator’s face?”
“Yes. But I didn’t know who it was”
Ian took out some inked photos from his bag and displayed them all together like a pack of cards. “Any one of these?”
Clemency thought for a second, biting her lips when she finally pointed at a man’s photo disguised in a scruffy beard and smooth eyes. He wore dazzling spectacles and a cowboy hat - hard to believe he was cruel enough to cut his employer’s salary, murder was far off.
“Just one?” Ian said, analysing the chosen photo.
“No. There were two. But you only have one man’s photo.”
“Ok. We will work that out.”
Ian turned towards me and said “Bring this lady to the court tomorrow. She will be a powerful witness.”
I nodded my head in agreement and waved the officer goodbye.
After a few hugs and words of appreciation to Clemency, I walked the way to my house.
“I’ll pick you up tomorrow for the trial.” My last words read.
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Calling the case of the murder of Sia Reyes versus Charles Young. Are both sides ready?” The Judge’s thundering voice alarmed all the ears.
I have never been in a trial before so it was all new-new.
“Yes, my honour” came a reply from Ian and his opposition.
“Your Honor and ladies and gentlemen of the jury: the defendant has been charged with the crime of murdering a seventeen-year-old girl named Sia Reyes from St. Crims school in the middle of the Charjean road, Memphis on August 21st. Your honour, I would like to call my first witness - Alice Reyes, elder sister of Sia Reyes for a few questions.
“Let Alice Reyes be presented in the court” The judge announced, thumping his gavel on the wood.
Alice Reyes gets presented
“Uhm, I am so sorry about your loss Ms Reyes. As per my information you live with your (he gets uncomfortable for a second but hides it with a cough) late sister and your mother about 60 km from Charjean road. Am I correct?”
“Yes” came a sore voice from her throat.
“What made her go to the Charjean road?”
“Uh, she got a call in the middle of the night, from his friend Charles Young, saying he had met with an accident and needed immediate help and he did not know who else to call.”
Ian turned towards the judge and said “My lord, as you can see, Sia was cleverly trapped into coming to the Charjean road, with a 60 km drive without giving it a second thought.”
“Objection my lord” came a voice from the lawyer in defence.
“Objection sustained,” said the judge.
The person in opposition stood up and said “My honour, my client, Charles Young did not call Sia Reyes in the middle of the night. They have not been in contact for a couple of days now. Here is the call history of Sia Reyes.” handing the bailiff the proof. The judge nodded as he went through the papers.
“My lord, I would like to call my other witness, Ms Clemency Cook, through which it would be clear that Mr Young was involved in the murder," Ian said
“Let Clemency Cook be presented in the court” The judge repeated, hammering his gavel.
I was sitting among the public and I could feel the environment tense. A small smirk played on Ian’s face.
“So, Ms Clemency, were you present on the Charjean road around one a.m on 21st August?”
“Yes,” Clemency replied.
I could feel every nerve in my body jolt up. I was really getting excited. Now that famous Charles gotta get infamous. I felt my blood screaming “Yuppie” from the inside. It feels so good when guilty people get punished.
“Did you see Charles Young brutally murder Sia Reyes?”
Everybody’s brows lifted up at the second.
“No. I did not see anything except a lifeless body lying in the middle of the street.”
I was left shaken. Ian and I glanced at each other in shock.
“What? But during our discussion you said-” Ian tried to protest.
“Enough. Any other points from any side?” The judge yawped.
The court fell silent.
The gavel declared the adjournment of the court, leaving everyone standing in their seats, ready to get out of the courtroom. Clemency was smart to get out fast but I caught her arm just in time and pulled her in a corner.
“What was that! Why did you lie?” I said trying to keep my voice low but my temper was breaking its bounds.
“What? Oh right, listen, girl, you’re too innocent for this world. This world runs on money. I got paid for it. Now, get lost, I have other work to do.” A new voice inside of Clemency spoke.
I couldn’t believe she just said that, uprooting all my faith in law and humanity in just a couple of seconds. My eyes fell on Alice who was staring at me as Clemency walked away. I was too shattered to face her. All I could do was mouth 'I am sorry.'
Thank You everyone for reading my story. I have never really attended any court session or have any idea how it works. It is based upon my understanding on basis of bits of information from movies and series. Please forgive me if my context is not similar to the actual process.