Letting Go

After being brutally abused by her father and outcasted by her classmates, seventeen year old Keller Alvidas is glad and even relieved to spend her last year at Edge-of-The-World, the sleepy small town she grew up in. Everything changes when the Gabriels, a group of orphaned teenage boys arrives. They break all her rules about meeting new people but they too have secrets and when the truth comes out Keller has to decide wether to let go and save herself or to continue to be dragged through everything she wanted to run away from, all for one chance she might never get.


28. Trials


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Keller's P.O.V

They want you, they want you. It's all that's in my head. Even now with a light flashing in my eyes and 'detectives' questioning me in my room it's all that I can hear, they want you.

"Excuse me miss, can you hear us?" one of the detectives asks while waving a rough hand in front  of my face. He's short, a little taller than my own petit height, with slicked back salt and pepper hair. His tailored suit gives the impression of not wanting to get his hands dirty and his squinting, scrutinizing brown eyes makes me feel inferior, as if he thinks that I'm lowdown. I nod a little to answer his question, I can hear him.

"Good," the second one nods. He's taller, maybe a foot and a half taller than the first detective. His brown hair is cropped close to his head and the simple green t-shirt makes his green eyes pop. He wears heavy boots although it's already April and some black cargo pants. He's muscular with a tatto winding around his upper arm. The two detectives, they're both around thirty, although the first one looks older, the second one looking a tad younger.

"I'm Detective Jamieson. This is my partner Neilson. Now, Gerald Alvidas, he's your father. Correct?" Jamieson, the shorter one asks. It's all a buzz, a low humming compared to the raging war in my head. No, he's not my father. I have no father. Calling someone father means he's part of your family and family means love. There is no love here. Despite all that I nod, he is my father.

"Good, now following his arrest last month we were given intelligence that you threatened to kill him on the rooftop. Now, if this is proven true than this will turn your father's whole case around. You understand this right?" Neilson says slowly. That snaps me back to reality.  What part of him putting a knife to my throat didn't these douche detectives understand?

"I have no idea what you're talking about," I say honestly.

"Look kid, I know you don't want a hard time-" Neilson tries again. The tone he uses suggests that I'm a lost little kid. It sets me on my feet, they shouldn't tell me what I want.

"No, you look detective. I don't know who gave you the trash you call intelligence but I do know that I didn't threaten to kill him! He put a bloody knife at my throat and suddenly I'm the bad guy!" I snap. I sit back down with my chest heaving and blood boiling. They look at each other and frown.

"Keller is it? Look, in prison Gerald was a model prisoner-" Jamieson starts.

"A prisoner all the same," I mutter.

"Yes, still a prisoner. But he had excellent behaviour. Although there's still strong evidence that he could've possibly killed you on the rooftop, there is a slight chance that you brought him there and tried to do the same to him. That's what his lawyers are arguing," he explains.

"So you're saying that I could be at blame for what happened even when I have 'strong evidence' on my side and all they have is a 'slight chance'?" I ask bewildered.

"Technically, yes," they answer.

"Well that's bullshit. Technicality is a lying bitch that losing people like to use," I nearly scream. Jamieson and Neilson look at each other again and I know that I won.

"Hey, we're on your side Keller. We're just awaring you of the consequnecs of losing this case," Jamieson says.

"Which are?" I ask.

"Your father is free. That's what we have on the line. I personally wouldn't even let him out on streets again but it's not up to me to decide and unless you're pretty damn good at testifying he will be on the streets again," Neilson remarks.

Again? I have to do this again? Testify while a billion other people stare and look at me? "When's the court date?" I ask tiredly. They gather their things and make their way out of my room. When they finally reach the doorway they answer my question.

"Tomorrow. It's a rushed trial. Look put together please, we want to win," Jamieson says with a grimance after seeing what I'm wearing, sweat pants with holes in them and a oversize red sweater. I roll my eyes at them and shut the door when they leave. Dispite everything, I'm scared. People think I'm capable of murder and are sympathisizing with Gerald? I could lose and Gerald will be free and he'll try to kill me and, and... Stop it Keller, I think and mentally slap myself. You're going to pull together one hell of a story and send Gerald to prison until he sleeps in his grave, I think.

I storm out of the room and round a corner when I bump into James. Memories from earlier today flood my mind and I literally think I'm red from blushing. Luckily he ignores it and lifts my chin. I brush his hand away, I really need to be alone.

"What happened?" he asks with concern filling his eyes.

"Nothing," I lie and attempt to go back inside my room.

"You know you can't lie to me," he says and follows me back to my room. I collapse onto my bed and he shuts the door in anguish behind him. It's getting awfully dark outside and I flick on the small lamp beside my bed.

"Does this have to do with Gerald?" he asks. I lift my face from my sheets and nod.

"What the hell did he do this time?" he asks exasperatingly running his hand through his hair. I sigh and sit up.

"People think that it was me who tried to kill someone that day on the rooftop and if I don't spin together an amazing tale of how Gerald is a maniac, which he is, he'll be free and do all sorts of things and I can't take it," I whisper. James strains to hear  me and sits next to me.

"I can help you know, I was there too," he says after a while.

"I can't let you get caught in this mess for me," I say bitterly.

"But I can help, don't you see? I can tell the jury that you wouldn't hurt a fly, much less kill someone-"

"That'd be a lie. They can easily call on Josh and his friends and they'd no doubt exaggerate about how I kicked their asses and they'd dismiss everything you'd say beforehand."

"Then I'll say how I saw Gerald with the knife at your throat."

"That wouldn't work either. They know that we are 'dating' and think that you're lying for me." An extreme pause sets between us.

"Why are you doing this? Let me help you," he begs. I shake my head.

"If I let you help me and we still can't pull together a excellent evidence than we're screwed! Gerald will come after you, no doubt, after he's done with me-"

"Not if he goes back to prison!"

"Yeah, but what if he won't! I'm not taking you down with me!" I scream. It pains me to say something so cheesy but I can't help it. I'm not bringing this shitstorm down on James too. Silence fills the room until it's positively too loud for me.

"You don't think that I can handle this?" he asks quitely. Truthfully I'm not sure. But I can't tell him that, instead I take a sit back down and fidget with my fingers. I refuse to make a sound.

"Goodness Keller, I'm not stupid!" he says after. I snap my head up.

"I didn't call you stupid!" I cry out. Spittle collects on the corner of my mouth and I hastily wipe it away. Goodness, everything is wrong. This isn't how this is supposed to be.

"Then how come you don't trust me?"

"It's not that I don't trust you, I just can't risk it!" I scream. More loud silence.

"I get it now. You think that I'll screw everything up," he says quitely.

"James, stop putting words in my mouth! And for the last time, I just can't risk it! He'll come after you, don't you see that? " He runs a hand through his hair and mutters a string of curse words. His eyes flick to the door and I catch 'I can't take this' flying out from his lips.

"Fine, you've got a court apperance to get ready for anyway. I guess I'll leave you. I wouldn't want you to 'risk it,'" he mumbles. His angry blue eyes are filled with venom and it momentarily leaves me breathless. I snap out of it and fly across to the door but I'm too late, he's gone. I walk back to my bed and plop down, all energy drained. I set my hand against my forehead, what in the world did I do? I ask myself. 'I wouldn't want you to risk it' seeps into the corners of my mind. That wasn't at all how that was supposed to go.

He should be here, should be telling me that everything will be okay because frankly, I'm not sure it will be. He should be here so we can take pictures with his polaroid camera and laugh at our funny faces. He should be here and say how I'll nail it tomorrow and I'll laugh and say just as long as you're there with me. But he's not here. He's probably cursing my name right now. I should be happy though, he's not coming tomorrow. That way Gerald can't go after him if he's released, that's good.

In the end, it's not good but dawn creeps up rather quickly and I'm forced to leave without James. Everything will be okay. I will nail it. I repeat the words over and over again while in the car with Ian but it just doesn't sound the same when it doesn't come from James' lips.

"You ready?" asks Ian. He steps out of the car and helps me. I smooth down my skirt and adjust my blazer. I take in one more staggering breath before we walk inside the courtroom, before I meet my father for what hopefully will be the last time.

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