by J.L. Cannon
This prologue is the start of a novel that is based on true events.
Evelyn stood before the courtroom door, watching the handle like it was going to open the door for her. Her mother stood behind her, like Evelyn, she stood in silence watching Evelyn with heavy eyes. Evelyn could hear her heartbeat in her ears, and her chest began to tighten. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She felt her mother's hand on her shoulder.
"Just relax. Tell the judge the same statement you gave to the police." Evelyn nodded her head and slowly pushed the door open. Once she walked into the courtroom, people turned to watch as she walked down the aisle. Evelyn felt nervous with people watching her. But she noticed two of the people there weren't looking at her. Those two people she recognized. His parents.
Evelyn and her mother took a seat on the other side of the courtroom, close to the middle. She could still feel her heart racing as she waited for the judge to make an appearance. She noticed a room to right of her had a police officer standing in the open-door way with his back to her. Sitting on the chair next to him, she could see him. Suddenly she felt like she was going to have a heart attack. She could feel her hands shaking, the pain starting to come back into her body. She closed her eyes, reliving that night. Her mother wrapped her hand around Evelyn's. But it wasn't helping. She tried to take some deep breaths, but it wasn't working.
This would be the first time she has seen him in person since that night. Evelyn wasn't ready for this, she hasn't mentally prepared herself. As she thought of ways to calm herself down, she heard the court reporter's voice.
"All rise!" Her voice echoed in the empty courtroom. Everyone stood up as the judge walked up to her chair. To Evelyn, the judge reminded her of Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter movies. But her voice didn't match her features.
"Please be seated." Her voice was calm, but powerful throughout the courtroom. At this moment, Evelyn wasn't even listening to what the judge was saying. All she did was watch him in that room. Suddenly, he stood to his feet. His hands and feet were cuffed together. He was clothed in a dark green jumpsuit, his hair grew shaggy, and his beard grew out. He didn't look the same a month and a half ago. He slowly walked to go sit by his lawyer at the far right table. Evelyn continued to watch him, but her heart stopped. He looked right back at her, directly into her eyes. But his eyes didn't look angry, they looked defeated, lonely. She was surprised by such a look. She looked down at her hands while he was being seated.
Was he sorry for what he did? Does he feel remorse? Evelyn didn't know what to think. She began to get confused on this matter. She shook her head, closing her eyes tight. She could feel herself about to cry. But then she could hear his lawyer talking.
"Your Honor, my client doesn't even remember the events that happened on the night of December 10." Evelyn shook of the thought of him being sorry. Is he playing the victim here?
"Your Honor, my client states that he only remembers grabbing her by the arms to stop her from leaving. Everything stated her against my client, he says didn't happen." His lawyer, Katherin Derrick, seemed very calm and collective standing there talking with the judge.
"And what about the photo evidence? Does he claim that these were self-inflicted wounds?" The judge was questioning Katherin's client's words on the matter. Evelyn took a deep breath and she looked back and forth between his lawyer and the judge.
"No comment, Your Honor." Katherin sat down. Evelyn's attorney started to speak on the matter at hand. Up on the TV monitor they showed the pictures taken of Evelyn the morning after. She put her hand on her shoulder where it still hurt the most. Evelyn's mother looked away, she couldn't bear to see what had happened to her daughter.
Finally, once everyone was done talking, the judge looked over to Evelyn. Her eyes peered over to her like a predator looking at its prey. Evelyn could feel her breathing getting heavier.
"Does Miss Sanders have anything more to add?"