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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13. It Was Too Late To Grab Him Back.

By the time I was able to finally step outside the building, the rain had softened to a quiet drizzle. The world, ironically, seemed calm, peaceful. It appeared that a crisis had been overcome, that a solution had been reached, that justice had been dealt. But I wasn’t that stupid.

 

Jasper tugged on my hand, his eyes wide in discomfort. “Natalie,” he pleaded, “Please. Can we just go home?”

 

I wiped the rain from my eyes and peered sideways towards my family. Everyone seemed to be waiting for something, or someone to break the stillness.

“Just one second,” I muttered, pulling my hand from Jasper’s, “let me say goodbye to Jamie first.”

Jasper sighed, and ran his hands over his tousled hair, swearing softly. I shot a bewildered glance at him. “For God’s sake, Jasper,” I said crossly, “what on earth’s the matter with you?”

“I feel... strange,” Jasper confessed, “All of this...” He scrunched his eyes up in distress.

 

Shaking my head crossly, I turned away from him. Jasper was supposed to me my harbour, my rock, the person I could rely on to be strong for me when I needed it most. Now was one of those moments.

 

Jamie was casually leaning against a side door, seriously conversing with the plump lady. He looked up as I approached. “Natalie!” He erupted, enfolding me in a warm embrace, “Well done in there. You did brilliantly, I’m sure Bella...” He cut off gradually, self consciously fiddling with his shirt collar. “Anyway. It’s finished now.”

 

“It’s not,” I said under my breath, thinking that nobody had heard me. I was wrong. Jamie slid his palm under my chin and lifted my eyes to meet his. “What do you mean, it’s not finished?”

I sighed. “Jamie, today was just the beginning. We’ve got a whole period of crown court to get through yet. Which,” I added, “will be twice as gruelling as the hearing today. And for me, that was pretty horrific.”

 

Jamie looked like he was about to reply, but he was interrupted by Mattie and Elliot sidling up to the plump lady wearily.

“Anyway, Jamie,” she concluded, “Thanks for the chat. It’s been really nice meeting you, and the rest of my boy’s family.”

 

I shuddered at the thought. My boys, she had said, my boys. What gave this woman, this plump, corpulent woman, an outsider; to call my broken brothers her boys? From my experience, adoption papers meant nothing. Zilch. Empty words printed on inconsequential paper. Adoption was nothing compared to the flesh and blood that bound my brothers forever to me.

 

Jamie put a hand on my shoulder. “Sorry, Natalie, I’ve been so rude. This is Felicity Merriweather, Mattie and Elliot’s adoptive mother. Felicity, this is Natalie, my sister.”

I wanted to say ‘I knew it’. Instead, I thought it a little more courteous to hold out my hand for Felicity to shake. “Lovely to meet you, Natalie,” she boomed. Her voice was syrupy and cheerful, yet still refined and distinguished, much like an Auntie who lived in the countryside, whom you seldom saw.

 

“I was just saying to Felicity how it would be nice if everyone came back to my patch for tea. How about it, eh, Nat?”

I couldn’t hide my astonishment. “To your house? You have a house?”

Jasper, who had been patiently waiting a few feet away, zipped to my side at once. Jamie diplomatically ignored him. “Don’t sound so surprised. Didn’t think I could hold down a mortgage, did you?”

 

I giggled. Admittedly, I was doubtful that Jamie could manage a mortgage. Or even a house. A flat, I wouldn’t be surprised with, most young men these days lived in a two room flat, but a house? The amount of hovering and polishing that owning a house involved would surely be enough to put off even the most ordered young man. I might not be a detective, but I wasn’t stupid. This must only mean one thing. Jamie had a woman in his life.

 

I didn’t know what I thought of that. On one hand, I had always known that Jamie was a ladies man, and that of course, one day Jamie would find a nice, intelligent, attractive young woman and they would be married with several angelic beautiful blonde children.

But on the other hand, that meant Jamie was gone. Sure, he’d always be on the other end of the phone when I needed him, and he couldn’t live too far away, but he obviously had his own life now. Gone were the days when Jamie would race straight home from secondary school, neatly avoiding the bullies, and heat me up a ready meal from the freezer under the dead despondent eye of my depressed mother. No more would he tuck me up in bed, play cards with me (letting me win every time) and tell me stories so extraordinary that I scarcely believed they came from his head.

 

Jamie had his own home now. One day he’d even have a family of his own. That only spoke one thing to me: Jamie was out of reach. It was too late to grab him back.

 

He was smiling at me expectantly. I twisted my arm around Jasper’s waist, supporting him. I felt him stiffen; probably sensing that the action I was about to take now would upset him. “That would be great, Jamie,” I finally answered. “Really.”

“Think your boyfriend’s got a bit of a problem with it, though,” Jamie looked Jasper up and down snidely. “He’s looking a bit pale.”

“I’m fine!” Jasper snapped, “Just leave us alone, will you?”

Jamie straightened at this, drawing himself to his full height. “Natalie’s my sister.”

“Well she’s my girlfriend.”

“Big whop. Doesn’t mean she’s your property.”

“Well, yes it does actually because we’re getting enga...”

 

My fuse snapped. “Just cut it out, both of you!” I shouted. “I’m sick and tired of all this arguing between you too! I don’t know whether it’s about protecting me or rivalry or alpha male domination, but just please! Stop.”

 

My words seemed to take effect, for Jamie lowered his eyes, shame faced, and Jasper pressed his lips lightly on my forehead. “Sorry,” he murmured delicately. Jamie snorted. “Get a room,” he muttered over his shoulder, strolling nonchalantly to a sleek red Porsche parked neatly at the side of the road. “Pretentious twit,” Jasper whispered incoherently to me through my hair. I elbowed him in the ribs. Jamie unlocked the car, grinning, and motioned for me to jump in. I was just about to race over and leap into the soft leather seats when Jasper intervened.

 

“Thanks, but there’s really no need,” he said, “I’ve got my own car.” A short burst of laughter escaped Jamie’s lips. “Well good for you,” he replied jovially, “off you go, then. My house is just down this road, turn right on the roundabout and take the third left. Can’t miss it,” he added, winking at me.

“Not funny.” Jasper growled, hauling me over to his own not-so-shiny Volvo.

 

“Oh come on, Jasper,” I pleaded, “let’s just ride in Jamie’s car. He knows what he’s doing.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of.” Remarked Jasper grimly. I stopped, and turned to search his faraway eyes. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing,” mumbled Jasper, taking my hand and passed me over to Jamie. Before I even had a chance to object Jasper was gone and had already reached his battered car. “Let him go,” whispered Jamie.

 

He could have meant it literally. It still hurt as bad.

 

“Jasper!” I yelled, ignoring the shocked stares that followed from Jasper’s to mine like an active tennis match. “Where are you going?”

“I’m taking my own car,” he said flatly. “See you in a few.” I watched Jasper give me one more sombre look, clamber into his rusty vehicle and drive off, speedily.

 

I felt my heart hammering inside of me, and bile rose to the bottom of my throat. ‘He’s gone’, my maddening inner demon hissed, maliciously, ‘Jasper’s gone now. You let him go.’

 

My eyes suddenly glazed with the moisture that had gathered there. I felt a cool finger linger on my cheek.

“Come on, Natalie.” Jamie held the door open for me. I climbed in begrudgingly. The faint rumble of an old Volvo rattled into the distance, though it might have just been inside my guilty head. “You all set, then?” Jamie yelled from the driving seat, beeping his horn like an over excited twelve-year-old boy.

 

I sighed, and leant back into my seat. This was the moment I finally realised that I had to choose:

 

Jamie, or Jasper?

 

 

 

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