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!


25. Prom Night

One eye on the mirror, and one eye on my computer, I tugged uselessly at the manic jungle that was inevitably: my hair. "Jasper, are you sure you know where we're going?" I shouted over my shoulder, trying to find the hotel on the map and sort out my hair at the same time. 

It was prom night.

Usually, this would be the type of thing that any teenage girl would be jumping around about for months- but not me. If I was being honest, to me it felt just like another example of unnecessary effort and stress. 

No matter how much Jasper wanted to believe that prom was a distraction for me, it didn't make much of a difference to the way I felt. With every brush stroke and layer of lip gloss never ending images of Bella, Theo, Mattie and Elliot kept floating across my brain endlessly like they wanted to torment me.

Not that the phone call to Lottie had been entirely useless, but to be honest it actually created even more bridges to cross rather than breaking the already existing ones down.

So it was Mattie, Elliot, Jamie, Moya and theoretically Marie on team Bella, and just Lottie on team Theo. Chrystal was caught somewhere in the middle, flapping her wings stickily like the fly in the ointment, desperately trying to get out so she could fly back to her old life.

Giving up on my hair, I zoomed into the complicated map on my decrepit computer. Jasper was now at my shoulder. "Yeah, that's fine. My car's outside."

"Good," I sighed, relieved. "There is no way I'm catching the bus looking like this."

Jasper kissed my powdered cheek. "You look beautiful, Natalie."

I did not look beautiful. The dress Jasper and I had picked out was a peculiar blue-grey colour that contrasted oddly with my sapphire eyes and short-cut blonde hair. My skin was also unflatteringly pale, almost translucent, so any more than just natural make up would have made me look like a clown. 

Wearing high heels was also another issue I wasn't going to bear thinking about until it was absolutely necessary.

"What jacket should I wear?" I asked Jasper, picking through my wardrobe depressingly, "It's freezing outside tonight."

"Why the hell do we have prom in winter," he grumbled in agreement, coming to help me, "I bet that we're the only school in the entire universe who has their prom this side of Christmas."

"Well all the hotels are booked up towards the end of the year," I said, throwing half of my wardrobe over my shoulder, "there are a lot of high schools in town."

Jasper held up an old leather jacket with a pretty floral trim. "Wear this." I appraised it, and tried it on, inspecting myself in the mirror one last time. I sighed. "I suppose that it will have to do." Jasper wrapped his arm around my waist.

"Let's go."

We made our way downstairs quietly. Jasper wasn't meant to in my room, it wasn't allowed, another house rule. "No boys in girls' rooms," Sally had whispered to me one time when Jasper had come for dinner, "I know that you're old enough not to do anything, but it's a rule I'm afraid."

What Sally didn't know was that rules had never stopped Jasper.

I heard the faint hum of some stupid kids show as we passed the T.V room. I peeked in, and saw three of the younger ones squished together on the springy sofa, eyes fixed on an old cartoon. "They're so sweet," Jasper whispered.

"Yeah," I agreed, "these are the nice ones. Just wait until you meet Georgia and Blake."

"How old are they?"

"Ten and twelve."

Jasper laughed quietly as he saw my expression. Then he motioned to the children on the sofa. "What are their names?"

I leant further into the room, trying to recognise my inmates by the backs of their heads. "That one's Mia," I told him finally, pointing to the nine year old with wispy blonde hair, "and that's Edward, and that one there is Toby. They're the babies." In truth, they weren't babies, going on four years old wasn't considered being a baby anymore as far as I was concerned; but put them into a public care home and they might as well be newborns.

Jasper looked thoughtful. "It's sad. I mean that their parents left them and everything."

I shrugged. "I suppose so. But Sally is probably a better parent than theirs' ever would be." I leant on his shoulder, reflecting for a moment on my parents. Then I shook myself, not letting me dwell too much or tears would fall. "And besides, we have a good life here."

He bent down to kiss my cheek. "I know you do. But remember," he added quickly, "you always have a home at my place. I'm sure my parents wouldn't object to you moving in at some point."

My heart grew warm as I inwardly pictured life with Jasper's gentle, kind family, but then again, didn't I have a family here too? My heart sunk slightly, looking at the kids, thinking how much I'd miss them if I left.

"I think I'll stay a bit longer," I said eventually, taking Jasper's hand, "I can move into yours once we're married."

His eyes lit up. I think he was relieved that I had finally accepted the fact that I was engaged, but truthfully I was just pretending that there was no such thing as the word. 

"I like that plan." He smiled, leaning in closer...

His lips had only just touched mine when I heard a signalling cough behind me. I broke away and turned to find Sally, standing there in the hallway, looking at her watch pointedly. "It's about time the two of you left."

Jasper cleared his throat purposefully. "Quite right, Sally," He said. "Traffic's terrible this time of night."

I had just grabbed my clutch and jacket from the stairs and opened the door to the freezing night when Jasper grasped my shoulder. "Oh Natalie, wait a second. I almost forgot."

I widened my eyes at him, making sure that whatever he was producing was suitable for the vigilant eye of Sally, standing just two feet behind us. Jasper nodded slightly, as if in reply, but I couldn't tell if it was a genuine response or simply a way to reassure me.

Jasper dug deep into his pockets for a second, and after a minute of tutting and fumbling presented a beautiful powder blue corsage with a white satin ribbon for attachment. I breathed in sharply.

"Oh Jasper!" Sally squealed excitedly, "How pretty!" She turned to me, eyes glittering. "Natalie, isn't it wonderful? And it goes perfectly with your dress too." She looked at Jasper as if he was the second coming.

I didn't exactly know what Jasper was trying to achieve by doing this obviously intimate gesture in front of Sally, but I played along, my eyes questioning him all the while. "It is lovely." I went on the tips of my toes and kissed Jasper on the cheek politely. "Thank you, Jasper."

"You're welcome," he replied civilly, his eyes laughing silently.

"Well I'll let you go," Sally patted my shoulder, "Have a good time, now."

"I'll have her back by midnight, Sally," Jasper called out to her as we made our way into the darkness. I watched Sally stiffen her shoulders for a moment, then she relaxed again. "Make it one," she sighed, "since you only have prom once, I suppose."

Grinning, I tugged Jasper's arm down the path before Sally would change her mind. The crisp air ruffled my hair, and I shivered. "Prom in December," I muttered flatly.

"I'll keep you warm," Jasper whispered to me, and we walked down the road together to his car hand in hand; tiny delicate flakes of snow just beginning to fall around us. 





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