Not In That Way *Completed*

There is always that one little thing that can keep a person stable. That one little thing that makes a person feel alive. The thing that can make a person smile even when they are having a bad day.

For Cora Smith that thing is more like a someone. Her someone is Zachary Dawson. Her long time best friend and the person that saved her when her life was in shambles. For years, she has been battling for his attention against all the other girls around her. However, little did she know she had him wrapped around her little finger since the very beginning.

Join Cora on her journey in discovering the truth about Zachary, while all the while she is consumed with the fear that, in the end, the only words she will hear from him are, "I'm sorry, believe me, I love you, but not in that way......"

*Based on the song, "Not in That Way" by Sam Smith*


25. Chapter 24

*A/N: Okay, so in this chapter it's the court date and please don't hate on me if the way that the court is set up is wrong. I tried my best and I know that it isn't exactly like the real thing, but I hope you guys like this!!! On to the chapter!!!*

Chapter 24

*Cora's POV*

The anger and sorrow that I held in my heart towards Zach slowly diminished throughout the time that I was gone. It was safe to say that I was overcoming the horror that occurred, but not too quickly. While I wasn't as angry and sorrowful as I was when I left, I still am not able to stop the horrid thoughts that enter my brain by just one look from him. He knows my secret. He knows about the one thing that I have tried to hide from him for the longest time. By now, after all those years of sluts throwing themselves at him and him receiving them with a smile, I am completely positive that he doesn't feel the same way. He may claim that he loves me, but it isn't in the way that I want him to. He loves me like a sister, he has said it before, I am nothing but a little sister to him. Nothing more, nothing less. And since that is very obvious to me, I am not entirely sure why I reacted the way that I did. It shouldn't of bothered me the way that it did and the way that I ran away was nothing but childish. At this point and time in our relationship, I should be completely used to this. He slept with Amanda. Big deal. It was bound to happen and deep down inside me, I knew that. But to discover that after all these years, Zach actually did pity me, after time and time again of him telling me he didn't, was scarring. I thought that he was the only one that actually cared about me, but in all reality, he pitied me. Which is why what occurred last night, comforted me and confused me at the same time. Why did he beg me to stay and more importantly why was he crying? In all the years that I have known Zach, I had never seen him cry. It was a rarity. Apparently he hadn't even cried when he came out of the womb. But whatever the motive of his actions were, it felt good to be in his arms again. It made me feel like I wasn't just a little sister. I was something more. It made me feel at peace and most importantly it made me feel needed. For almost all my life I had been completely unwanted and at that moment, in his arms, I felt different. I felt loved. It was refreshing, so that was probably the reason, why I stayed in his arms for the rest of the night. It felt right and it made me calm. It was all I needed at the moment. I needed someone to be there for me and he promised me he would. 

It is now the morning after and I am freaking out. Today is the court date and I am totally not prepared. At the thought that I will be forced to say something, anything, to my father about what he did to me, is sickening and honestly, I wish that I never had to. With a sigh, I drop down onto my bed and smooth the ends of my dress down.

Everything will be alright. People will be there for you. Zach will be there. You’ll never see your father again after this. Be happy.

I tried to convince myself that everything would be okay. I tried to make it seem like this wasn’t a big deal, even though the decision that is made today could possibly change my life forever. As I fail once again to calm my emotions, my door slips open a crack and Zach’s face pops through.

“Hey. You ready to go?” he asks, with a small smile on his face.

“Yes, but why are you so happy?” I mumble, jumping up.

“What I can’t be happy?” he answers, his smile widening into a grin.

“Not today.” I mutter, pushing past him and exiting the room.

“Well, how can I not be happy. You’re here.” he says, coming up behind me and intertwining his fingers with mine.

“Stop, Zach. Just because I came home, doesn’t mean anything. Nothing has changed between us.” I snap, ripping my hand away from him and padding down the stairs.

“Cora! It’s so glad to have you home! You ready to go?” Mrs. Dawson asks, opening the front door and beckoning me through.

“Yeah, it’s good to be here too.” I say, walking outside and slipping into the car.

A few minutes later, filled with lots of screaming and groans from Zach, we are all sat in the car and on our way to the court house. Much to his discomfort, Zach is sat in the front seat with his mother, while I sit in the back. He had wanted to sit with me, practically begged me to, but I of course said no. Like I had said before, no matter what happened between me and Zach last night, it doesn’t change anything between us. I still love him and he still isn’t interested in me, so why act like it. The trip to the courthouse is filled with Zach’s failed attempts at getting me to talk to him, which I quickly dismiss. Once we pull into the parking lot, Zach quickly steps out and opens my door for me. Ignoring him, I press a hand to my chest and take multiple deep breaths, trying to calm my racing heart. I shakily step out of the car, leaning my body against the trunk. Closing my eyes, I take in more deep breaths, willing myself to calm down.

“Hey,” Zach says softly, placing a hand on my shoulder, “You alright?”

I mumble out a, “Yeah,” and push away from the car. Deciding that I was as calm as I would probably get, I step into the courtroom and sit beside the woman assigned as my lawyer.

“Hello, you must be Miss. Smith.” she says cheerily, sticking out her hand to shake.

“Yeah, that’s me.” I reply, shaking her hand.

“My name is Deanna Banks and I look forward to covering your case. I know that we haven’t had much time to talk about the trial. Actually we haven’t really had any, but I am fully prepared to take this man down. I have listened to what the witness had to say and I am fully confident that this will be a quick trial. It is quite clear that he is the one that pushed you.” she explains.

“Okay. That sounds good. If he is convicted, which I hope that he will be how long could he get in jail?” I ask, my heart still pounding.

“Well, your father will most likely, be charged with attempted murder and it is also possible for him to be charged with abuse. It is possible that he could be in jail for a minimum of 10 years or the maximum of 25 years.” she informs.

“Okay. Okay. That’s good.” I breathe.

The click of a door captures my attention and my eyes widen at the sight before me. The door beside the judge’s desk has clicked open and accompanied by two police officers, my father waltzed in. He was dressed in orange, with handcuffs latched around his wrists that connected to his ankles. He wore a sneer on his face and as he focused his attention on me, his eyes hardened into a chilling glare. If looks could kill I would be dead, ten times over. As he takes his seat across the courtroom from me, a sinister grin slips onto his face. My eyes snap to the floor and remain there until the judge enters the room. 

“All rise.” he orders.

Everyone in the room stands up and I comfort myself by looking back at Zach. He gives me a small smile and a nod of the head.

“Everyone please be seated.” they command.

I lower myself into my chair and my breathing quickens.

“Be calm, Cora.” I hear Zach whisper behind me.

I give a slight nod of the head and focus on what the judge is saying.

“We are here today to decide upon the sentence of Gary Smith. He has been accused of abusing his daughter, Cora Smith, as well as, the attempted murder of Miss. Smith. Ms. Banks, you have the reigns.” the judge announces.

“Thank you. I would like to start by calling a witness to the stand.” my lawyer says.

A woman stands and walks up to the witness stand. It takes me half a second to realize that it is the same woman that I had saved the same night my father tried to end my life. She was the one that visited me in the hospital and everyone thought she was my mom. After she finished detailing what happened, and was allowed to return to her seat, she looked over at me with a tearful smile. I give her a grateful smile of my own and my lawyer returns back to her seat. My father’s lawyer stands in front of everyone and flicks his eyes around the room, before locking eyes with me.

“I would like to call, Gary Smith to the witness stand.” his lawyer calls.

My father rises from his seat and shuffles over to the stand. All the while, his eyes never leave mine and his signature smirk remains on his face.

“Do you solemnly swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

“Yes, I do.”

His lawyer steps in front of him.

“What happened on the night that Cora took her fall?”

“Nothing really. All that happened was I brought that woman home and slept with her. When Cora saw she threw a fit. She always did. Ever since her mother died, she hated whenever I had contact with any woman. She thinks that I did something to her mother. Which I didn’t of course. Anyway, Cora started yelling at me and she stormed up the stairs. Of course, being the concerned father that I am I went up after her. She was throwing things and when she was backing up out of the room she tripped over one of the books she threw and fell into the door jam. I tried to help her up and help her down the stairs to try to get her to the hospital. She was unconscious until we reached the stairs and then she ripped herself out of my arms. I tried as hard as I could to stop her from falling, I almost fell down the stairs myself, but unfortunately I was unable to stop her from falling and she fell. I immediately rushed down the stairs to see if she was okay and that’s when the cops came.” he lies.

At this point, I am gripping the edge of my seat to the point where my knuckles are white. I wanted nothing more than to stand up and scream ‘liar’ in his face.

“Okay. Wonderful. Just a few more questions, Mr. Smith. You said that you slept with that woman, yes?” his lawyer asks.

“Yes, I did.”

“Okay, and why was she found in a nearby room hiding?”

“Just like she said, she was scared. She didn’t know what was happening and Cora was so furious. She didn’t want to get caught in the crossfire.”

“Alright, one more question then. Did you purposefully push your daughter down the stairs?”

“Of course I didn’t! She is my daughter. My daughter. How would a father be able to hurt his own child? It is just sickening to think that she would accuse me of something like this. I love her,” he casts his gaze over to me, still smirking, “I love you, sweetie.”

My lip curls up in disgust. I look down at my shoes, counting the flecks of silver in the brown tile.

“No further questions, your honor.” his lawyer speaks.

“Very well.” the judge replies.

My father and his lawyer both return to their seats as Ms. Banks rises to her feet.

“I would like to call Cora Smith to the stand.” she says, looking over at me.

I rise and walk to the stand, carefully sitting on the very edge of the chair.

“Do you solemnly swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Cora, can you tell us what happened the night of the incident?” my lawyer asks, softly.

I slowly nod my head and do my best to settle my breathing.

“It started off as a normal day for me. I woke up and went to school. I remember running home after we were let out that day because I didn’t have a car. I had to get home before, 2:30. It was the same way every day…” I trail off.

“Why did you have to get home by 2:30?”

“My got home at 2:30. If I wasn’t there and locked away in my room by 2:30, then he would get angry. He was always angry and drunk. I don’t remember a time in my childhood when he wasn’t drunk. He did leave for work sober, but when he came back home, he was always plastered. Every night when I came home from school I was forced to run to my room and not return back down stairs until later the next morning.”

“Has he ever hit you before?”

“No, not before that night. He wasn’t a violent drunk , but he was an angry one. I was victim to verbal abuse every night of the week if I didn’t hide away in my room. After he would come home from work, he would go to the kitchen get absolutely hammered and then leave for a bar. He would return shortly after with a woman and he would sleep with her. This wasn’t unusual. He always did that. So I didn’t think anything of it when he came home that night. I remember that I had taken a short nap and was laying in bed staring at the ceiling when I heard a huge crash. I immediately sat up and then the screaming started. The woman sounded completely desperate and there was no way that I could simply sit there and let anything happen to her, so I ran downstairs. I saw him standing over the woman with a whip in his hand and she was begging him to stop hitting her.” I say, tears freely falling down my face.

“ She was sobbing so hard I didn’t know what to do to help, so I called out. When my dad noticed my presence he went crazy. He was screaming at me for interrupting him and I quickly ran up the stairs. He chased me up and I got into my room and locked the door. I was trying to get out the window when he got into my room and latched onto my pony tail. He threw me into the door jam and spit in my face. He told me how he never wanted me and how much of a disappointment I was.  Then he took me by the hair and dragged me over to the stairs. He told me that he was gonna get rid of the biggest mistake of his life. He said that he would be overjoyed if I died and then he pushed me down the stairs and that’s really all I can remember. I guess I hit my head really hard on the first step and was knocked unconscious.

“Ms. Smith, are you implying that Mr. Smith was lying?” the judge asks.

“Yes, none of what he said was true. He doesn’t love me and just like he said he thinks I’m a mistake.” I reply.

“I have no further questions your honor.” Ms. Banks says, with a small smile.

“We will take a 30 minute recess to determine the sentence of Mr. Smith and look over all the evidence.” the judge announces.

For the entirety of the 30 minutes, I am sitting in a chair a little ways outside the courtroom. My breath is coming out in shaky bursts and my heart is about to jump right out of my chest. Worry has permanently plagued my thoughts.

What if they believe him?

That thought is constantly swimming through my head and remains there even when we are sat in the courtroom.

“Order. Order.” the judge calls, with a pound of his mallet.

“We have come to a decision. The jury finds Gary Smith guilty of one count attempted murder, one count of physical abuse, as well as, one count of attempted rape. He will be charged with 15 years of jail time and 5 years of probation.”

The courtroom bursts into cheers and applause, huge smiles on everyone’s faces.

Two officers return to my father's side and grab a hold of his wrists attempting to pull him back through the door.

Before they can, he rips his arms from their hold.


I turn and sprint from the courtroom, silent tears streaming down my face. 

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