Lost Stars

“If you want to know, you might wanna sit down then.”
I didn’t question.
Once seated on the couch, he opened his mouth, “I murdered a man.”
I choked.





After a prompt snack, and a little formal dress up, Diana and I headed for the trial. Well, for my trial. I had no idea what was going to happen, but I just hoped that I wouldn’t be seen in an orange jumpsuit anytime following the trial.

The room didn’t have many people, as promised by the DA. It was an in-camera session, with no jury, no press, in order to keep it away from the media. So in the end, it was only the judge, the prosecution, the defense, and the witnesses. But somehow, I wished there were more people, to cut short the eerie air of aged justice.

“All rise,” it began. Just like in the movies, only scarier and more mine-er.

“Take your seats,” the judge sat down and spoke, “This is the sentencing hearing in the case of Harry Styles VS Connor Maze. We understand that due to some unforeseen personal reasons, the defense’s client, Connor Maze, was unable to make it to the trial. So, let’s begin.”


Diana made the first move. The first witness was Andrew’s wife, Sarah. I tried to keep myself from looking at her, but when curiosity gave way, I rose my eyes to meet her’s. Sarah, still as beautiful as I had last seen her, only now, I was her husband’s murderer.

“Sarah Penelope Sommers, we understand you were the victim’s, Andrew Sommers’ wife?”

“Yes,” said Sarah, her voice trembling with every letter of the word.

“Did you notice any recent aggression between your husband and Mr. Styles?”

“No. Never. Andrew loved Harry, and everyone else he worked with. He and Harry are-,” she covered her mouth suddenly, “Sorry, were. They were good friends.”

Diana pressed on, “So, you’re saying that Mr. Harry Styles couldn’t have murdered Mr. Sommers?”

“Objection, your honor! Manipulative!” the defense attorney, Michael Sutter, practically jumped from his seat. I shook upon hearing his scream.

“Sustained. Miss. Brown…” he gave a cruel eye to Diana.

She nodded. “I’ll rephrase it. Mrs. Sommers, can you think of any reason why Mr. Styles could have done this crime, if at all?”

Sarah breathed in deeply. “At this point, I want to find out why someone would do this to Andrew. I really do. But I know Harry didn’t do it. He was like a brother to Andrew! Even if hell freezes over, he wouldn’t do it. No matter what the evidence says, Harry didn’t do it. I know so.”

She smiled at me. I smiled back.


“Mr. John Ryan, would you identify your relationship with the victim, Andrew Sommers?” said Sutter. It was the defense’s chance to bring in a witness. Earlier, I had told Diana, “John is a friend of mine. But I don’t expect him to lie for me. He is just going to tell the truth. It’s alright.”

“Andrew and I were work buddies. We worked together, directing and recording songs, writing lyrics, and all that,” John explained.

Sutter nodded. “Okay, so now. Can you tell us what happened in the studio the night Andrew Sommers was killed?”

John looked nervously at me, unsure. I smiled and gave him a nod. I wanted him to tell the truth, no matter what. John spoke, “Me and Andrew were editing a couple of songs for John Legend. Harry, Connor Maze and Nick Grimshaw… they were all in the other room, just drinking. Then, Harry walks into our room and he starts working on the computer, and before we knew it, he had deleted almost all the songs we were working on. Andrew was a short-tempered guy, and he hard worked all day on those songs, so he jumped at Harry, screaming at him. Harry returned the favor. And then, things escalated to the next level.”

Sutter pressed his eyebrows and asked, “‘Next level’? Can you explain, Mr. Ryan?”

John shifted in his seat. “You know, death threats and all that. It was all in the heat of the moment, and also, Harry was drunk, so it wasn’t really ser-”

“It is very well said that alcohol fuels desires, Mr. Ryan,” Sutter stated.

John gulped. So did I.





Next on the witness stand was Harry himself. “Now, your honor, we are going to travel a little backward in time. Let’s go to the year of 2010,” Diana spoke. She looked at me and added, “Isn’t that the year your whole life changed, Mr. Styles? Can you elaborate a little?”

“Yeah, it was when I went to audition for the X Factor. It was an incredible jour-”

“Objection! What is the relevance of this?” Sutter screamed.

I snapped, “Your honor, you would know the relevance if the defense had a thrill for suspense, like normal people do!” 

The room went silent.

I resumed, “So, can you tell us about the particular incident referring to this case?”

Harry began, and in over three minutes, he was done, leaving half of the baffled. The other rest, much confused.

I spoke, “So, another name comes up in the story. Chris Maybell. Now, we have evidence stating that Mr. Maybell is actually Mr. Maze. These are records of Chris Maybell’s plastic surgery in March 23rd, 2011. It was done in London, in the-”

“Objection, your honor! This is an outrageous violation of the confidentiality of the records!” Sutter shouted out, louder than the previous objections he had screamed before.

I stared at Sutter. “Then, I suggest Mr. Sutter to add the word ‘exceptions’ to his dictionary.” I looked at the judge to add, “Your honor, this is vital evidence for this case. If ignored, it’ll be a shame to see the Court ignore such a prominent proof!”

Judge Cole went silent for a minute, and then nodded. “Okay, just this once, the Court accepts this evidence.”

Sutter threw his hands into the air. I smiled.

I spoke, “This is a motive for Mr. Maybell, or Mr. Maze to set a trap for Mr. Styles to naïvely fall into and get jam-locked in.”

“Bogus! This is merely a theory!” Sutter went on.

Judge Cole agreed, “That’s true, counsel. Unless the prosecution has more to add…” The Judge looked at me.

I sighed. “Presently, I don’t. But if the Court could provide me more time, I could make you see my client is innocent,” I begged.

Judge Cole gave me the look between doubt and trust, and finally gave way. “The Court provides one more trial next week for the case of Harry Styles VS Connor Maze.” He looked at me, “Don’t disappoint me, Brown.”

I hope so, I thought.

While heading out, Sutter gave me the stink eye and said, “I’m gonna kill you.”

I grinned. “Like lawyer, like client.”

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