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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27. Teenage Judas

I pulled my parka closer around my neck as the soggy snow, verging on the edge of sleet, came down in great penny-sized droplets around me. 

The snow was no longer romantic. Just plain annoying.

I shivered, and took a glance at my watch. 9:43. Seventeen more minutes before Bella's future was decided infinitely, whether it was to go free and move on with her life or be locked behind bars. It was ironic really. I was ready for this, ready for the trial to be put behind me, ready to turn the page and begin the next chapter of my life. However I was still no nearer a decision of what to do about my evidence; which member of my family to betray just like a teenage Judas.

Through the thick curtain of snowflakes I saw the unmistakeable red volvo draw up to the paved road opposite the court house. Jamie stepped out, along with a finely dressed Moya: clad in a black silk-wrapped dress, and little Marie; dressed equally sombrely in a neat black pinafore with a crisp white blouse. She wore a grey felt flower in her liquorice hair. I noticed her slender frame shake slightly in the subzero weather, but I wasn't sure if it was that for sure or the distant, frightened look she could obviously see in her parent's eyes. Marie looked around her worriedly, her huge eyes obviously overwhelmed. Then they found me.

"Natalie!"

My heart lifted as her face lit up with pure joy, and she appeared a completely different child as she ran towards me; her soft leather shoes making delicate imprints in the snow. I bent down to pick her up and whirled her around before hugging her close to me. I needed to feel that she was real.

Marie giggled delightedly and wrapped her arms around my neck. "My Maui," I whispered into her ear, letting her hear the name that only I called her.

And then Jamie was there.

"Marie-Louise."

His voice was stern. It was the first time I had heard Jamie use Marie's full name, and I couldn't help but think that it was by my account. Slowly, sorrowfully, Marie climbed out of my arms and just looked at me almost longingly, her head lowered, her eyes sad. As I stood up, Jamie put one hand on Marie's shoulder and Moya put a hand on the other. It was as if they were restraining her, keeping her from coming to close to me, the monster. 

"We need to go inside," Jamie said in a flat voice, "It's cold." And with that, they were gone.

The wind was somewhat more bitter all of a sudden. As I watched their rapidly disappearing bodies quickly vanish into the huge double-doors of the court house, all the remaining positivity I possessed disappeared with them. It was time for me to face the cold, hard facts. It was time for me to stop pretending that everything was going to be alright, because it wasn't. It was time for me to accept the fact that my family hated me; for trying to express compassion for both sides of my messed up family. 

I was just about to go and seek shelter inside the building for the remaining ten minutes when I heard the familiar rattle of the volvo. Jasper was out of the car and right by my side before I could turn around. I had specifically asked him not to drive me today, and I'm sure he was still completely oblivious to the reason why.

I was unsure myself. I suppose I just needed time alone, to think.

"Happy birthday," Jasper whispered in my ear, pressing a small box into my palm. Of course, it was inevitable that the trial had to be held on the day of my sixteenth birthday. God wasn't that kind to have let the trial come earlier, to put each and every member of my family out of their misery. But then again, I thought, it could be worse. The trial could have been held on the day of my wedding.

"I said no presents," I argued in a hushed voice, my frostbitten fingers closing around the mysterious package. Well at least it was small. He looked at me, his perfect mouth turned upwards in a pleading smile, and I sighed at Jasper resignedly. Carefully I peeled off the floral wrapping and opened the box expectantly. Despite my mood, I couldn't help smiling when I found a beautiful hand stitched heart, white as the snow that lay at our feet. As I held it closer to examine the impressive embroidery of swan like silk, a poignant yet subtle aroma of alluring lavender came out from the fabric.

"Lavender helps people to sleep," Jasper murmured softly, "after watching you last night, it looks like you need it."

I looked at him sharply. "What? What did I say?"

He enclosed me in a hug. It was surprising how warm I felt, despite it being minus two outside. 

"You're torn," Jasper explained, "you don't know what to do."

I rolled my eyes. "Wow." I let the sarcasm roll off my tongue thickly. "Must have taken you a while to figure that out."

"I'm being serious, Natalie," Jasper said seriously, "I don't know how well you're going to take all of this. I don't want you to lose sleep over a guilty conscience."

I sighed, realising that as usual, Jasper was speaking perfect sense. Kissing him on the cheek, I whispered, "Thank you." I placed the heart back into its box carefully and placed it into my pocket. I took Jasper's hand. "We'd better go in. One more day of this and it's over."

 

 

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