Angela and I do an awkward step, clank, shuffle, clank as we’re escorted into the musty smelling courtroom. I follow behind her frail, trembling form. I wonder how she is able to carry her weak body. I couldn’t tell you how long we’ve been holed up in jail. Time has taken on a strange dimension of simultaneously hurtling through space while frozen in limbo. Whatever the length of time, it’s taken its toll on Angela. The officer escorting her gently hovers a hand underneath her elbow as she sits down. The officer escorting me takes his meaty hand and shoves me down, hard, onto the wooden chair. Pain shoots up my tailbone but I show no reaction.
Angela turns in her chair, eyes eagerly searching for her parents. I know the second she spots them. Tears run fast, furious down her sunken cheeks. Bottom lip quivering, she stares at them, silently pleading for help. I don’t bother to look for my parents. My real dad split long before I was out of diapers. Mom’s new husband made it clear, in his one and only visit, I was dead to them. I showed him the same lack of reaction.
I also know, without turning around, there are several reporters from newspapers and television stations ready to report our moment in the courtroom spotlight. I know what words will spill from their keyboards and flow from glossed lips. They will show our pictures taken a mere few hours before Kevin’s death. Angela’s blonde hair curled around her pixie face, beaming into the camera. Me standing next to her, my hair an unruly version of her style and a tight, uncomfortable smile on my face. Next, they’ll pan to our mug shots, not looking much different, outside of the wide-eyed looks of confusion. Following that, they will show, side by side, the drastic change in Angela’s appearance. Prom girl to concentration camp victim. I still look the same, minus the mug shot look of fear and confusion.
We’ve been dubbed the Ice Princess and Little Girl Lost. It doesn’t bother me to know the media has painted me in the role of the devious leader and decider of Kevin’s murder. There is much speculation Angela unwillingly went along, easily influenced by my masterful manipulation. I decided after hearing the first news report portraying us as such that I wouldn’t protest or scream my innocence. Not that I am innocent. I did help in the death of Kevin.
Our court-appointed lawyers rush in, ties twisting from the rapid movement. My attorney slams his briefcase on the table, pushes the sleeves from his cheap black suit up and sits down next to me. He flips the latches open without saying a word to me. As he turns to say something to Angela’s attorney, the bailiff makes his baritone announcement of the judge entering the courtroom.
Standing, I am more than aware we are about to embark on a mere formality of fate already decided.
This week’s prompt I choose from Inspiration Monday.