Forgiving Justice

"...So it came a bit of a shock to me when I saw what was happening between Bella and Theo. No one would have guessed that anything like that could happen to us: the happy go lucky Balmers and Kensits living in the big house on the corner. But that’s the funny thing about life.
You never know what’s coming next."

Fifteen year old Natalie Balmer/Kensit has never really felt like she belongs. Throughout her childhood she was continually bounced from one home to another- whilst keeping a terrible secret that her older sister Bella was being brutally abused.
Now, living in care, seperated from her family and in a steady relationship with boyfriend Jasper, Natalie is shocked to find her past being dragged out in front of her.

Theo is back. And his story's in court.

Natalie, as the only witness to Bella and Theo's injustice, is now compelled to make a life changing decision- Keep her families together?

Or serve Bella justice and send her sister to prison?

Coming soon!




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26. Beautiful Wasn't A Good Enough Word.

"Just smile for the camera, Natalie."

I gritted my teeth and forced a smile as the camera man's lightbulb flashed painfully in my mascared eyes. Unlike my sister, I wasn't one for make up. Bella had worn make up to cover up; to hide from the world, but to me it was just another way to stand out. However, I had decided that tonight I would make an extra special effort.

I still didn't know whatever for, exactly. Then I looked at Jasper, who's hushed whisper had issued the command, and suddenly I knew why.

My boyfriend, my fiancee, my soulmate Jasper stood there, smiling, his normally floppy and birds nest hair gelled into an impressive quiff; shining and glimmering in the dazzling moonlight. He wore a tux, and the crisp white of his shirt contrasted perfectly with his almost copper skin, making it look darker than ever.

Then the photo was taken, and the moment was over. We moved silently into the hotel lobby, where crowds of our friends stood, mingling excitedly. I looked around, dumbstruck. The place was so beautiful. For the first time all day, I didn't regret the decision my school had made to have prom in winter, for the lights on the ceiling made the light snow outside glisten magically. Huge glittering chandeliers hung suspended from the exquisitely painted ceilings, and candelabras stood on the table clothed trestle tables majestically like gallant warriors after a battle.

Then, just as it always happened at the times I was most happy, my heart sank. I pulled Jasper down to my level and whispered in his ear over the thumping music, "Bella didn't get prom."

His arms were around me in seconds. "Please," he begged, "please don't upset yourself tonight." Sighing, Jasper pulled me to a couple of our friends drinking non-alcoholic punch in the corner. "Don't think about the trial."

"Easier said than done," I mumbled miserably.

Jasper ignored me, and elbowed his best mate Oliver on the arm. "Hey, mate." Oliver grinned at us cheekily, his deep set caramel eyes glinting, his long dangly arm draped over his girlfriend Holly. "How you doing, Natalie?"

"Yeah, I'm good thanks. Burnt the whole of your flat down yet?"

It was a private joke between Jasper and I. Only last month Oliver had succeeded to set fire to the flat that he and Holly shared, bought by her sister, whilst making pancakes. It wasn't something we were going to let him forget easily.

I wasn't the biggest fan of Holly, and although she was undeniably beautiful with her dark black ringlets and even darker eyes, she seemed smugly proud of the fact. No doubt she looked stunning tonight: wearing a short black number which clung to her tiny waist perfectly. Somehow, there was something about her that I just didn't like. 

Oliver, however, I did like. With his happy-go-lucky principles and easy personality, he was a good friend to have. Jasper had even considered making him best man, and that decision I didn't object to. Now, he held out his hand to me, unwinding himself from Holly, and offered me a dance. Oliver was the type of guy I needn't be afraid of, wary about, but even so Jasper cut in before I could accept the offer.

"Oh, Oliver, that's really kind of you mate but Natalie and I... We've got to do something quickly."

I turned to him. "Do what?"

He tapped his nose with his fore-finger annoyingly."You'll find out soon enough."

Oliver winked at me. "You'd better take an alarm, Natalie, so we'll know if he's captured you and won't let you go."

I laughed, the noise sounding strange and alien to my ears. I hadn't laughed in a while. "I don't think that will be necessary. But thank you, Oliver."

I said goodbye to Oliver and Holly, and we pushed our way through the throngs of finely dressed teenagers holding clutches, shawls and mini glasses of punch; altogether looking nothing like the pupils of Curzon Street at all. We smiled at people we vaguely recognised but didn't know well enough to talk to, and by the time we had reached the end of the hall and the crowd had evaporated, the brisk evening air slapped me in the face as the wind rose and coiled around me. "Jasper," I objected, shivering, "why do we have to go outside? I hope for your sake that your 'surprise' is within the range of the hotel."

Jasper smiled, taking off his jacket and draping it around my shoulders. "Just a little way. Follow me. Oh wait!" He leapt forwards as if he had forgotten something vital. To my absolute horror, he pulled out a blindfold. 

"You're joking."

He laughed at my expression, and then just as quickly his face went serious again. "Does it look like I'm joking?"

I groaned inwardly as he tied the silk strip of black fabric over my eyes, and took my hand, pulling me forwards. I felt sharp bushes and what must have been the trunk of a tree brush against my waist, and soon enough Jasper sighed, as if in satisfaction. "It's perfect," he breathed, and his nimble fingers gently untied the bow that held the blindfold to my curious, and somewhat nervous eyes.

What lay before me... beautiful wasn't a good enough word. There wasn't a single word in the dictionary that fitted the scene that was exhibited right before my eyes, like a movie set.

A soft, feather like canopy stood in the midst of plants and shrubs, bright in the moonlight, an array of twinkly fairy lights covering the top. Amongst the lights were sprinkles of soft, delicate, exquisitely beautiful lillies: my favourite flower, shyly peeking their way through the star like beams.

I blinked, not quite believing my eyes. It felt like a dream, like this wasn't happening for real, the slightly woozy sense that comes with fainting sweeping through my limbs. I looked at the canopy, then at Jasper, and finally, back to the canopy; my eyes widening even more by the second.

"You like it?" Jasper asked, leaning against one of the herb pots, his arms folded in a nonchalant manner, wearing a smile on his face that just radiated pure smugness. I breathed out slowly. 

"I love it, Jasper." I walked over to him and wrapped my arms around his neck, straining his body closer to mine. "I love you."

"I know," he reminded me softly, and kissed me fiercely. 

When we eventually broke away, Jasper pulled his head back to look at me for a moment, and then grinning, bounced back over to the side of the canopy and switched on a run-down CD player. I recognised Bon Iver and St Vincent immediately. 

"Rosyln," I exhaled.

As if in reply, Jasper walked over to me again slowly, and took my clammy hands, fastening them to his neck again. He placed his hands on my waist. We rocked quietly for a moment, and then realising for the first time what he was attempting I laughed. "Jasper," I spluttered, "are you trying to dance?"

His mouth turned upwards in a crooked smile. "Yes," and then, "I've been practicing. Can't you tell?"

I looked down to see his feet shuffling awkwardly, stepping on my toes every now and then, and tactfully I ignored it. After all this, I didn't want to hurt his feelings; however lightheartedly. I tightened my arms. "I can tell."

Jasper tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear. "You'll only ever have to dance with me once again, you know."

I narrowed my eyes. "When?"

The lillies' sweet but somewhat nauseating aroma surrounded us like a fragrant cloud. I picked one hanging low down and tucked it into Jasper's jacket pocket. He seemed to hold his breath for a moment, possibly unsure whether to vent his thoughts to me or not. His coffee eyes glinted, so quickly that I almost missed it.

"Our... Our wedding dance."

I didn't have time to react. Maybe I should have been thankful, for I didn't know how I would react if I did. Jasper didn't wait. He was holding the ring before I could utter a sound. I looked at it, almost curiously, somewhat dazzled. It was like looking into the moonlight that lit up the indigo sky tonight. The band was a dusty gold, the stone a mix of milky white, blue and purple. The ring was hypnotising. I had to remind myself to breathe. Jasper pulled it out of the satin-lined box and looked down for a moment, embarrassed. 

"I, um, found it in an antique shop in town." He met my gaze for the first time. "I wasn't sure if you liked old things, so if you don't we can always go to a jewellers or..."

I put a light finger to his lips. "I love old things. I wouldn't change it for anything."

Jasper smiled, and slid the ring onto my finger carefully. He seemed to stare at it for a little longer than necessary. Then his eyes bore into mine seriously. "You know Natalie, you never actually said yes."

I touched his cheek. "Said yes to what?"

"To marry me."

I sighed. "Well I did. Sort of."

"I don't want any 'sort-ofs', Natalie. I want you to be sure you want this. So can I ask you again?"

I moaned quietly, and looked at Jasper with pleading eyes as he got down on one knee. His face was no longer joking, no longer amused, but serious and determined. If I didn't know him better, this look would scare me. His words flew like music from his mouth.

"Natalie Violet Balmer."

God, he was using my full name.

His eyes were closed, as if he was concentrating hard so as to get the words exactly right. "Natalie Violet Balmer, I love you, and I want to be with you forever. Will you marry me?"

My heart was hammering so forcefully, my head pounding incessantly, and dangerously on the verge of crying. So instead of a speech, I just said, "Yes."

Jasper smiled at me, kissed the ring that was now mine, and we danced under the moonlight; under the soft flakes of the first winter's snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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