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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29. Just A Little Girl.

"Now, Miss Balmer, are you aware of the charges held against you today?"

Bella closed her eyes. "Yes, your Honour."

"And to the charge of causing grievous bodily harm, you pleaded self defence. That is correct?"

"Yes, your Honour."

Her voice was so flat, so lifeless, so... not there, that it was hard to believe that a human being was speaking them, and not a mere machine. The judge looked at her for a second, waiting for her to say any more, but after half a minute he waved a hand as a gesture for the prosecutor to begin questioning. But just before Theo's lawyer could proceed, Bella's lawyer jumped out of his seat hastily and waved a set of papers wildly. "Please, your Honour!" He was breathless. "Here I have my client's medical papers, updated just two weeks ago. Would your Honour like to see them?"

The judge nodded, and I noticed Theo look somewhat despairingly at his lawyer. She shrugged, and appeared to mouth, "It's nothing." 

I watched the judge with wide eyes. If anything could save Bella, then this would be it. His half-moon spectacles skimmed over the papers interestingly, then he lifted his head and addressed Bella's lawyer. 

"So your client has been diagnosed with Acute Stress Anxiety Disorder?"

The whole room suddenly turned electric. The lawyer surveyed the room smugly, as if proud of the fact that he managed to cause this much commotion. "So the disorder means..."

"Thank you, Mr Bowles," The judge cut him off swiftly, "We'll save that for later when we look at both the victim's and the defendant's medical history."

The room suddenly quietened, perhaps with the disappointment of the judge's decision to restrain Bella's medical secrets. Theo's lawyer stood up again, apparently disgruntled by the interruption of more evidence. "Okay then," she began in a voice like a wave of silk, "Ms Balmer. Please, in your own words, could you go through the events that happened on the night of October 18th, 2010, that led up to the fall?"

"Well, um..."

"To the jury, Ms Balmer!" The lawyer's bark cut across Bella's mumbling like a knife. Bella slowly raised her head, eyes watering, and stared at Theo's lawyer with little more than sheer disgust. 

"I can't do this with him here!" She moaned, burying her face deep into her gnarled hands, rocking back and forth in her seat like a boat on stormy waters. With horror, I found that I recognised this reaction to stress from Bella's childhood; and with a sudden shot of pity realised that for the first time: Bella was still, on the inside, just a little girl. Now, she wiped her eyes with the back of her shaking hand, and sniffed loudly.

Theo's lawyer sighed impatiently, as if fed up with the whole situation. "I'm afraid, Ms. Balmer, that the victim is obliged to be in this court room." Her tone was acidic, scornful.

"Just pretend I'm not here!" Theo jeered nastily, laughing hysterically, until the judge banged his gavel hard. "Enough, Mr Kensit!"

"Let's proceed again," Theo's lawyer began for a second time, as if there had been no outburst at all. She obviously ignored bad behaviour from her clients. "Ms Balmer?"

Bella heaved a huge sigh, and closed her vacant eyes painfully. "Well, it was my birthday," she began, "and it was late."

"How late?" Theo's lawyer interjected.

"Around ten or so."

"So not that late then," said the lawyer evenly. Bella eyed her coldly, almost ferociously. "Late for a ten year old," she hissed.

The judge leant forward on his desk and smiled reassuringly at Bella. "And then? Just tell the jury what happened, Ms Balmer. You can do that, can't you?"

His tone wasn't nasty, or deriding, or anything of the sort. To me, it looked like he was just trying to make Bella the tiniest bit more comfortable. I sat back in my chair, preparing myself for a sentence, at the very least. But instead Bella sighed.

"He came into my room. Theo did. He called me..." She scrunched her eyes up, as if in pain. "He called me that name he always did. Balm-trash. That was the word he used to describe my family. I hated it, it was as if I was nothing. I didn't matter. I didn't even exist to him."

She paused for a moment, and the whole room was still. Not even a paper rustled. I'm sure no one had heard Bella speak like this for a long time.

"So that's the night I fought back."

Theo's lawyer stood up, and turned towards Bella, almost carefully as if to not make a noise. "Fought back how, Ms Balmer?"

With a sob breaking out between her clenched teeth she tore her bedraggled hair with her hands, "Oh God, God knows I shouldn't have done it! But you have to understand, I did it because I was scared!"

The judge narrowed his eyes at Theo. Even though he was addressing Bella, he didn't take his eyes off him as he said, "Why were you scared, Ms Balmer?"

Bella shuddered, and mumbled, "I was pretty sure that night, he was going to kill me."

"So what did you do, when you were sure he was going to kill you?"

Bella smiled slightly, a malevolent smile that made me shrink back into my seat. "That night I thought that I had to make a stand."

 

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