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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9. Bound By Blood.

Black. Plain, old black. Black was the colour of nothingness, of absence, of loss. And death.

 

The news of the hearing had spread like wildfire through Sunningdale House. All of the kids, from the toddlers Edward and Toby right to the sixteen-year-old pain in the bottom Lucia Poole were completely immersed in my current family situation.

 

I had tried to be patient, as I would be the same if it was anyone else, but lately the questions had gone from being reasonably comprehensible to downright prying.

 

 “Why do you have to wear a suit?” Edward asked, tottering into my room and wiping his greasy hands all over my freshly dry cleaned blazer.

“Eddie, no!” I squealed, leaping backwards. “No touching!”

“Do you have to wear black?” Georgia inquired nosily, poking her head around my door.

I turned around. A congregation of kids were forming around my door, taking a peek at the main witness. Even Sally was standing there, pretending to fold some washing.

 

“Would you like a cup of tea, dear?” she asked soothingly.

“No thanks,” I refused. In truth, I could kill for one.

 “I’d actually prefer to be on my own right now.”

 

But apparently, my hint wasn’t enough.

 

Mia, one of the polite ones, scrunched her eyebrows in confusion. “But you don’t have to wear black in court. That’s only for funerals.”

“Yeah, and no one’s died, have they?” Barnaby, Mia’s twin, joined in helpfully.

“No.” I growled. I could hear footsteps on the stairs.

“Then why...”

“Because I want to!” I shouted, flinging my hairbrush down onto the floor and turning indignantly on my interrogators.

 

However when I turned this time, all the kids had gone. Jasper was standing there, leaning on the doorframe, his lip curled upwards in a bemused expression. Next to him I looked horrendously overdressed. He wore black skinny jeans and a grey shirt and jacket, and on his feet he wore black sneakers. Of course he looked perfect. Everything Jasper wore looked like it had been made especially for him.

“What are you shouting about, now?”

I went over to Jasper and put my arms around him. “People are asking why I’m wearing black.”

He pulled back to read my expression. “Why did you choose to if you don’t have to?”

“Because I wanted to... I mean...” I stuttered, gathering my thoughts as Jasper fiddled with a lock of my hair. “It’s a gesture.”

 

Jasper’s mouth was at my ear. “Only for funerals, Natalie.”

I stood on my tiptoes and leant my head against his neck. “But that’s the thing though, isn’t it?”

Jasper frowned slightly. “I’m not sure that I’m with you.”

 

I pulled myself from Jasper’s grasp and went over to my dressing table, where an ancient photograph of me and half of my family stood. It was a snapshot of the first day I came into the world. Mum laid there in the bed, pale and exhausted, among the crisp white hospital sheets, with me, a screaming little red ball of life in her arms. Then there was Jamie at her side beaming happily into the camera, with Mattie and Elliot in his arms struggling tirelessly to be free. It was then when I first realised how assertively Bella stuck out from the rest of us. From a distance she probably looked like any other nine year old. Innocently pure, even beautiful perhaps, wearing dark jeans and a white eyelet lace shirt; almost as some kind of formality. Her long dark hair I remember lusting over framed her slender face so perfectly that it was hard to imagine this photograph had not been staged. Bella’s eyes did not seem to be focused on anything in particular; they were hollow, empty, like this child had had all her light-heartedness and elation snatched from her cruelly in one beat.

 

I brought myself back from the past. “It is like a funeral.”

I turned to face Jasper, his eyes staring at my face, searchingly. Normally we had a kind of telepathy going on; Jasper would always understand what I said without him having to question me. But this time he was coming up a blank.

 

“Because that night,” I continued, “That night... was the night my family died.”

Jasper’s hand was suddenly clutching the frame too, the tips of his fingers soothingly stroking my shaking fist. “You’re making it sound like you’re the murderer,” He said quietly.

“Well I sort of am, in a way.” I tried to turn to place the photograph back in its’ rightful place, but Jasper held me fiercely, lifting my chin to look into my eyes. “Don’t ever say that, Natalie!” He growled, “You need to stop blaming yourself for your sister’s mistakes.”

 

I stared at Jasper resentfully. “Remember, none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been born.” I reminded him. Gently I took Jasper’s hand and led him to my bed, where I sat him down purposefully. “Jasper, I...”

 

But he cut me off. “You’re already doing the most you can do for her today, love. More than she deserves.”

My face flushed hotly. “Bella deserves the best.”

 

Jasper’s face seemed to darken a little, as if every time I expressed relentless love for my psychotic sister it hurt him, like a savage blow to the heart. It was over in a second. It all happened so quickly that at first I thought I had imagined it. Hands shaking, I took the frame from Jasper’s iron clutch and gave the nine-year-old Bella a kiss. He suppressed a grimaced. “You know you don’t have to come.”

“No,” Jasper mumbled, “I want to come.” Suddenly his voice brightened. “I mean, if it wasn’t out of such difficult circumstances, I’d say that I love to finally meet your blood family.”

 

I smiled slightly at the irony of it. Your blood family. I wondered what that meant, exactly. You were bound by blood? Or in my family’s case, only the spill of it.

           

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