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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28. My Sister.

Seeing Bella in the courtroom for the second time wasn't any easier than the first by any means, but it wasn't catastrophic either. Her appearance was a little startling however, to say the least. If it was even possible, she was paler, skinnier, more fragile than before; instead of her hair being specked with bits of grey, there were so many grey hairs it was hard to see the brown ones: the only reminder of the beautiful Bella I had known since childhood.

Instead of her being my sister, I felt that Bella in this condition was more if a delicate, easily breakable grandma, weak, and I had a duty to look after and protect her.

I tried to keep the thought out of my mind that this time I might not be able to.

All I could do was watch as Bella made her way up to the huge glass box, the defendant's box, withered hands gripping the rail fiercely as if just one wrong footing would send her falling back down the stairs again.

I tried not to think about how ironic that was.

Bella lifted her cold gaze to meet the jury's. I could see the pleading in her eyes which I'm sure they didn't register at all, or maybe, they just didn't care. From what I could see the jury was mainly made up of stern-looking middle-aged men in coarse black suits, a handful of women, and no young people at all. Bella's lawyer placed a hand on her shoulder gently and went to talk to one of the two burly security guards standing directly behind Bella, watching her with narrowed eyes. I found it strange to see my sister being protected, possibly even restrained, as the case would be with a wild animal.

My eyes flicked back to Jasper's for a moment, seeking some reassurance, and he nodded to me as if to say "Just breathe". So I did, and it helped enormously. After a few deep breaths I snatched another look at Bella, just at the time when a faint squeaking of wheels echoed across the grand room. I found her staring intently at me, concentrating it seemed; possibly trying to figure out what I was thinking. 

Bella had always been good at that, knowing exactly what was going through my brain. I wonder if she knew now, and then took back that wish in the next moment, thinking how awful it would be if she knew that I was indecisive about helping her.

However even if I didn't help her, I'm sure she would still know that I loved her. Not even a court case and an undecided sentence looming over us like an executioner's axe couldn't change the fact that we were sisters.

But there was no love in her eyes as she stared at me now. Not even a glimmer. It was then when I first understood the expression 'empty eyes'. Bella's were gloomy, bottomless; it truly looked like there was nothing in them except perhaps concrete, just there to fill the empty space.

Well why would she look to me with love? What did I do to deserve affection from her? She probably saw me as a messenger just waiting to deliver her bad news.

I was Bella's sentencer.

To keep my eyes off Theo for as long as humanly possible, I let my gaze drift over the benches towards the back of the room stuffed full with people. Most of them were eager, some of them probably not so eager to hear my sister's fate. There was a man probably in his early fifties sitting at one end of the room, notebook in his hand, pencil in his tight mouth; wearing an unattractive checked suit that made his stomach bulge over the edge of his trousers disgustingly. Obviously a reporter.

As my eyes slid down to the front row of the surveyors, I let myself stare awhile at my family. Lottie and Chrystal were sitting at one end, quietly whispering to each other intently, heads close together; almost as if they had some big secret. Jamie was sitting next to them, but detached somehow, his face a perfect picture of gloom. Moya had her manicured fingers wound tightly through his, her own face seeming to be troubled as well. I felt terrible for little Marie, thinking how confused she must be, in a strange place with strange people, all shouting and talking on top of each other all at once. She must have heard the name 'Bella' uttered so many times in the last few weeks by her parents, and she would have had no idea of who Bella was. 

For a moment I wondered if Jamie had bought Marie here for a reason, as he hadn't bought her to the hearing, almost as if he was trying to prove a point to me.

As if he was saying "If this goes wrong you're affecting all of us."

But maybe I was just being paranoid. Maybe Marie had just been asking too many questions, and this was a way of answering them. 

Sitting at the very back of the benches, behind all of the curious onlookers, were Mattie, Elliot and Felicity. Surprisingly enough, their body language showed that they were astonishingly phlegmatic; their hands folded composedly on their laps, their heads facing straight forward, their backs straight. Maybe Felicity was a calming presence for them, and I was glad. I really didn't want this to affect them, even if they weren't talking to me.

It was only when I had looked at everyone of interest in the room when I finally allowed my eyes to rest on Theo. If you had seen him in the hearing his presence today would have been disappointing, for he was not the same man as before; the proud demeanour he had held at the hearing had vanished as quick as death. Theo's face was slightly paler than before, and it stuck out next to his oil black hair, just as perfect as before. His eyes were tired, almost as if he hadn't had a good nights sleep in weeks. By the way his long fingers were gripping onto the handles of his wheelchair for dear life, I could tell his coolness had evaporated like the morning's sun.

There was a part of me that relished the thought of Theo suffering, just like he had made Bella suffer every hour of every day in the past, that even he was worried about the outcome of today; that he had concerns that the blame might be turned on him.

But then again, Theo was my brother, and as much as he scared me, as much as I hated him for causing grief to so many people, I loved him.

And that's what I hated. I hated how I loved him unconditionally.

Slowly, very slowly, Theo raised his sweating brow to look at me. For once I couldn't bring myself to look away. For a second I saw on Theo's adult face a flash from the past; a picture of the suffering he had endured so quietly even before I had been conceived. 

I was still staring as the huge double doors at the front of the room swung open majestically and I heard a grand rumble coming from behind me.

"All rise."

'Okay Natalie,' I thought to myself, 'This is your moment.

This is your moment to change everything.'

 

 

 

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