I sit there in a chair at the Defendants table of the Starling City court room. This isn't the first time I've been in court, but it's the first time I've been in a custody battle. Beside me my eight year old sister Shawna keeps telling me she hopes I win this thing and how she wants to live in my house with me. The truth is I don't have a house; I live on the streets and stay at friends houses when needed. The other truth is I'm a criminal not a parental figure; I steal things for a damn living, because of my god given talents. I don't even hear the judge until he says, "Ms. Hawkes, answer the question.". "Uh, could you please repeat the question your Honor, I'm afraid I didn't quite catch it." I tell the judge.
I hear a "Ha, see? That proves my point that Jade Devlin Hawkes is NOT fit to be the guardian of Shawna!". This ticks me off, cause I look across the room to see Shawna's foster parents' lawyer talking. She then says, "Jade Devlin Hawkes has been arrested for theft EIGHT times your Honor, she's also been arrested for Assault and Battery NINE times, she's also-" I cut her off when I say, "Yeah, I may have been arrested seventeen times, but I've paid my damn debts! I've busted my ass trying to make sure Shawna has a good life, but I've been through hell and back because of them." as I say "them" I point to the foster parents then I continue my rant,"Every time I go to see my sister they say ,"Oh, She's cleaning her room", "She's working on homework", "She's helping my husband mow the grass" or "She's not home", when I know damn well she's already cleaned her room, done her homework, I also know for a damn fact that she's allergic to grass if she doesn't take her special allergy medicine, another fact is that they haven't been giving her that medicine.".
I stop to take a breath and then their lawyer "jumps" at me. "See, your Honor? She uses coarse language, she lies, she steals, She even-" I catch what she's about to say so I say,"Choose your next words wisely, ma'am. I wouldn't want to be you in a dark alley late at night, like tonight and get hurt."
I continue were I left off from earlier this time aiming every word at the foster parents, "You think you have control over Shawna? You don't. We've been communicating via cell phone. I know everything you've done to her.". I pull out my laptop and ask, "Your Honor may we have a TV in here? I have some evidence that needs to be shown, but there's no video to it, just sound." I hit play on my laptop as the bailiff finishes hooking it up to the TV, the first clip plays from last night because I one forced my way in and two I used my phone to tape this, "Did you clean your room?", "Yes, I have.", "No you didn't, not to my specification", "I DID.", there's a pause and the the CD/Sound clip resume in Shawna's room, the foster mom and dad find fault over how she made her bed, "YOU call this clean", "I-I tried my best", "THIS, THIS is NOT your best" "I swear it is" "No it isn't. As punishment no food or medicine for a week", I pause it to say something, "Your Honor, I went to their house last night, the next few lines are my voice and the foster mom's. I stayed quiet for the first part because I wanted everyone to hear what Shawna has to go through." I hit play again this time my voice plays through the TV speakers, "What the hell? She tries her best and you do this to her", "Stay outta this", "NO, I'm NOT, you can't starve an eight year old girl or deny her medicine" "We can and We will", the next line is me very pissed off, "To hell you will! Your supposed to be parents for God's sake! She is coming and staying with me until tomorrow's court date!" the next part is me still pissed but calm enough to talk to my sister, "Shawna, pack some clothes and let's go. I'm going to get you outta here", "You can't do that!", next line is to the foster parents again,"Yes I can. I have special permission to remove her from here by order of my lawyer" that ends the evidence I have.
The judge stunned says, "Is that right Mr. and Mrs. Workman? You deliberately denied Shawna Hawkes food and medicinal care if she didn't do anything EXACTLY right. And Ms. Lance, Your thoughts please?". Laurel Lance, my attorney, thanks to my new friend Thea Queen, says, "I have to side with the defendant on this one, Sir, I did advise Jade and with my father's permission gave the okay for her to remove Shawna from her situation.". The judge thinks for a few moments after listening to more of our arguments and me cursing. Then he makes his descion, "Jade Devlin Hawkes are you or are you not able to care for Shawna Nicole Hawkes.". "If you're asking if I'm worthy Your Honor, I do not belive I am worthy of taking care of her, but please pardon my language, but I know damn well I can. I have friends who let us stay with them." I say. He says,"Then by the power invested in me and of this fine city's court system, I hereby give you, Jade Devlin Hawkes, full custody of Shawna Nicole Hawkes!".
I'm speechless, Shawna whose trying to behave hugs my waist, hey she is tall, like 5'2" tall, for an eight year old. Shawna and I leave with Laurel and Thea, and as I walk out the doors I give her old foster parents the middle finger. I see Oliver, Thea's brother, and Roy, Thea's boyfriend, walk over to us. Shawna runs over and hugs Oliver then she does the same thing to Roy telling them, "Laurel and Thea helped Jade get me back.". They both smile and at the same time ask with grins on their faces, "They did?". Shawna nods. I begin to laugh, but I stop as I see Duncan the friend Shawna and I were staying with walking over with both of our bags. "What is this Duncan?".
He just says, "The deal was you just staying not you and your sister, but I overlooked last night because ya'll needed a place to stay. In other words your out on your ass, Jade, now, and there's a 100 bucks, Dalia made sure every article of clothing except the ones your wearing were packed and cleaned.". He drops the bags at my feet and then stalks off. I take off running out the doors with Shawna, Oliver, Roy and Thea at my heels. I take a right and find myself in an alley. I sit down, hug my knees and begin rocking back and forth crying.