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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15. Marie Balmer

The first thing I expected to see as I walked through the dimly lit hallway was a perfect facade  of a happy family- much like the appearance that I had lived with during my childhood. But I was surprised; not so much that it wasn't out of the realms of possibility that Jamie was content with his beautiful partner and daughter, but the fact that it looked like this life they were building for themselves had been going on for a while.

Jasper tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear as I turned to look at him. He looked impressed. "Nice patch your brother's got going on here," he murmured, softly stroking the rose wallpaper that decorated the wide walls.

"Well I don't like it. It's too..." I examined the hallway, searching desperately for a flaw in the refinement that enclosed us. Jasper patted my cheek teasingly. "You're just trying to find a reason that would make Jamie hate it here," he said, "just admit it. You know he's happy here."

Sometimes it was like he could just delve into my mind and see exactly what I was thinking. But I didn't let him see my amazement. I huffed at him, and made my way through to the kitchen, judging by the chatter that leaked through I could tell that was where everyone was.

Jamie was leaning against the polished worktop, chatting easily to Chrystal who had a steaming mug in her manicured hands. My stomach grumbled restlessly, and everyone looked up. I gasped quietly, grabbing my stomach. 

"Well, well, well," Jamie boomed, taking me by the shoulders, "look what the wind brought in! We've been waiting for you for ages!"

"Sorry," I laughed, "We got a bit..."

"Distracted?" Chrystal offered, enclosing me in a warm hug. She appraised Jasper quickly, her gorgeous eyes going up and down, up and down. "Well," she coughed slightly, "Can't say I blame you..."

I looked up at Jasper, blushing hugely. But as usual, he was completely straight-faced, apart from the small smile that decorated his lips, and in such a blase state that I could punch him. When I was embarrassed, they might as well announce it on the six o' clock news I was so blatant, but with Jasper you never knew. 

The kettle boiled, milk poured into a delicate primrose milk jug and scones balanced on an antique cake stand, and suddenly everything was ready for our pretend game of happy families. "Let's go into the drawing room," Jamie announced, trying to carry everything as usual, "It will be a better place to talk."

Drawing room? I thought they only existed in the warm happy world of What Katy Did and the sinister setting of An Inspector Calls that I had studied at school. I didn't expect them to exist in London, and I certainly didn't expect to see one in Jamie's house.

Though nonetheless, I followed Jamie, Chrystal and Jasper, peering nosily into every nook and cranny I could find. Jasper was chatting friendlily to Chrystal, who I couldn't help but notice her pulling her tight dress a little further down. I rolled my eyes. If there was one thing that Jasper was, that was naive. He didn't notice a thing.

When we finally got to the drawing room, my eyes were drawn immediately to the huge grand piano standing quietly in the corner. "Do you play?" I blurted out, without thinking. Of course Jamie didn't play. I grew up with him. I myself had only begun learning when I got taken into care.

"No," a sweet bird-like voice piped up behind me. I jumped in shock. "But my first lesson's in three weeks."

I turned. The dark-haired child who had run from me earlier was standing innocently two steps behind me, fiddling with a ribbon neatly tied in her hair. My eyes widened. And it wasn't because of her sudden appearance, her polite, mature manner or even her overwhelming confidence; but because of the girl's exquisite beauty.

She was small, slender, but still the unmistakeable plumpness of childhood filled her cheeks. Her eyes were huge, coffee coloured, and her hair was a silky waterfall of melted chocolate just reaching her soft chin. Like her mother (as it was clear that this child was the exact copy of Moya), she was dressed expensively, not obviously so, but the subtle shades and designs that patterned her blouse and skirt just spoke designer. 

The child was peering through her huge eyelashes warily at me, as my facial expressions couldn't have been friendly. Correcting myself, I knelt down next to her. She smiled as I came down to her eye level. "Hello," she said to me in a clear voice.

"Hello," I repeated, making her giggle. The whole room had suddenly gone quiet, and I could feel eyes boring into my back as the rest of the room watched this strange affair. "What's your name?" I asked, taking her warm little hand in mine. The girl smiled at me, and squeezed my hand. "Marie Balmer."

My heart stopped as I heard my own name being repeated in front of me. "My name... My name is... Natalie Balmer."

The child also coiled back in shock. Her thin eyebrows creased slightly. "How old are you, Natalie?"

"I'm fifteen. How old are you?"

"Seven years, five months and twelve days."

"Huh." I could hear Jasper's impressed tone behind me. I turned to look at him disapprovingly. Marie looked too, and smiled. Then her eyes dropped back down to mine. Her eyes narrowed, like a detective who had forgotten to ask a very important question.

"Natalie, who are you?"

I could hear a faint trickle of laughter as they heard the bluntness of Marie's question. She reminded me of myself at seven: inquisitive, unimportant, undermined... But nonetheless loved. 

I took Marie's face in my palms. She looked straight into my eyes, and I searched hers. "Marie, I'm your..." I laughed as the realisation came to me. "I'm your... Auntie."

"Then I love you, Auntie Natalie." Marie said, in the same, bell-like voice.

 

 

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