Chapter 54 - Tabby
“You ready?” I asked Lucy as we stood outside the police station with our parents.
Neither of us had told our parents what had happened yet. All they knew was that we need to report a crime. As my mum drove me to the police station, she tried to get me to tell her but I couldn’t.
Lucy nodded. We walked inside together.
My mother grabbed a hold of my arm to pull me back. “Please tell me what is going on Tabitha.”
I looked at her sadly. “You will understand when we get inside,” I told her.
Lucy and I approached the front desk. Behind it was a man in his later twenties. His badge read Office Harry Jackson.
“Can I help you?” he asked us.
“We would like to report a crime,” I told him, in a tone more confident than I felt.
“What is the nature of the crime?” He asked us.
“We were raped,” Lucy said, her voice was small and quiet.
Lucy’s mother grabbed a hold of her daughter. “Lucy, why didn’t you tell me?” she asked.
She sounded as if she would burst into tears at any second. I looked back to my mother, she didn’t make a sound. She just stood there quietly as if she didn’t know how to react.
“To make sure that your statement is correct, you will need to be questioned separately,” He told us.
“You think we are lying?!” Lucy gasped.
Officer Jackson turned to her. “I don’t think you are lying, this is just protocol. I would hope that anyone coming forward as a rape victim was telling the truth because this is a severe crime.” He reminded her. “I will find a female officer to talk to you.” Officer Jackson left the desk and went to get another officer.
My mother grabbed a hold of my arm. “Why didn’t you tell me, Tabitha?”
“I couldn’t,” I admitted. I briefly looked over at Lucy. Her mother and father appeared to be asking her the same question.
Officer Jackson returned. Beside him stood a female officer in her mid-thirties. “This is Officer Hanna Jeakins,” He told us. “She will be conducting the questioning.” He looked at me and then to Lucy. “Which one of you would like to go first?”
“I will,” I said stepping forward.
“Follow me,” Officer Jeakins told me. She led me to a small room. In the room were just a table and three chairs. Behind the table was a mirror. I knew from watching crime shows that it was a two-way mirror.
My mother and I sat across from Officer Jeakins. She placed a pile of papers on the table.
“What is your full name?” She asked me.
“Tabitha Ruby Marsh,” I answered.
“Date of birth?”
“6th of March, 1997,”
Officer Jeakins filled at the police report as I answered the questions. She also asked for my address and phone number.
Eventually, Officer Jeakins turned to my mother. “Are you Tabitha’s mother?”
“Yes, my name is Daniella Kate Marsh,” my mother told her.
“Does Tabitha have any other legal guardians?” Officer Jeakins asked, not looking up from the forum she was filling out.
My mother shook her head. “No. My husband had died before Tabitha was born.”
“Tabitha, I need you to start from the beginning,” Officer Jeakins told me.
I nodded and began to tell my story. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. At times, Officer Jeakins would interrupt me and ask for perceptive details. I was asked a lot about how I knew Xavior. She had me go into a full description of the effects of the drug Xavior had given me. She told me that the more I told her about it, the better chances she had of finding out what it was. It was easy talking about it this time. I still cried but just not as much.
Through my either testimony, my mother said nothing. She just sat beside me and silently cried.
After I was finished, Officer Jeakins had me sign the bottom of every page of the report.
My mother and I left the room, and she was still crying heavily.
We took a sit in the waiting room. Officer Jeakins gave the report to Officer Jackson to file. She then looked at Lucy. “I’m ready to see you now,” she told her. Lucy stood up and was followed into the room by her parents. Lucy looked exactly like her mother. It was oblivious where her Asian appearance came from. As for her father, he looked more European.
My mother and I were the only ones in the waiting room.
“I failed you,” my mother muttered.
“You didn’t fail me,” I told her.
“After your father died, I made a promise that nothing bad would ever happen to you,” my mother told me. “And look what happen. You developed anorexia and depression because I made you feel like you were worthless. Now I know that you were also raped.”
Mum didn’t like talking about dad. He had died in a car accident two months before I was born.
When Mum did talk about Dad, she always made sure to mention how excited he was at the idea of being a father. He was the one that picked my name. My namesake, Tabitha Salvatore had been my father’s childhood best friend, until she lost her battle with cancer at age twelve.
When I was ten, I asked my grandparents from my father’s side of the family about her. They told me that she was the bravest person they ever knew and my dad wanted to give me someone to inspire to be like.
At first, my mother had disagreed with the name. She thought it would be bad luck to name me after someone who had died at a young age. In the end, she agreed that Tabitha would be my middle name. However, after my father died, she decided to call me Tabitha because it was the name he had chosen.
“If Tim were still here, he would know exactly what to do,” my mother told me as she wiped away her tears.
She stood up and walked towards the bathroom, leaving me alone in the waiting room. Officer Jackson approached me and took the seat beside me.
“Are you alright?” he asked me.
I shook my head as I started to cry. “No,” I told him. “I thought I was doing the right thing coming forward, but all I have done is made my mum feel like she failed as a parent.”
“You did the right thing, Tabitha,” he told me. “By coming forward, you have now helped a lot of young girls.”
“But my mum-” I started.
“She is your mother, she is going to be upset that someone hurt her daughter,” he told me.
I turned to look at him. I noticed for the first time the gold wedding ring on his right hand. “Do you have children?” I asked.
He nodded. “I have three. The oldest Leo has just turned six and the twins Hazel and Nico are three. They mean the whole world to me. I can tell you that if everything like this were to happen to any of my children, I would be acting the same way as your mother. We are parents, it is our job to worry, care for, love, and protect our children.”
“I hope she will be okay,” I told Officer Jackson.
“She will be, but these things take time,” he reminded me.
I nodded in agreement. Officer Jackson stood up and returned to his desk to finish completing paperwork.
A few more minutes had passed before my mother left the bathroom. She had stopped crying, but her eyes were still red.
She back down beside me quietly. For a few more minutes we just sat there quietly.
“Your father would be proud of you,” she told me.
“Why?” I asked confused.
“For being brave,” she told me. “Just like your namesake.”
“I’m not brave Mum, I’m terrified,” I told her.
“I may not have known Tabitha Salvatore personally but Tim told me enough about her to know what she was like,” my mum explained. “That little girl knew she was going to die, and it scared her. Yet, that fear didn’t stop her from facing every day. That is what bravery is; it's not being fearless but is actually overcoming fear. You were scared coming to testify, but you came anyway. That is what makes you brave.”
I smiled, despite everything it felt right. “Do you miss him?” I asked.
My mother nodded. “More every day.” She looked at me carefully. “You look so much like him. You have his eyes and hair. I know I haven’t been the best mother. It was hard being a parent, and it still is.”
“It’s okay mum,” I told her. “You gave up so much to have me.” My mother was nineteen when she had me. She dropped out university and got a part time job to support the two of us. Before I was born, she was going to become a doctor.
“It was worth it,” she told me. “Just to watch my brave, beautiful, intelligent daughter grow up.”
The interview room door opened. Lucy and her parents exited the room. Lucy was crying heavily. She was leaning against her mother for support as she walked. Mrs Johnson was hugging her daughter close to her chest as if she was afraid that something bad was going to happen to her at any moment. Lucy’s father trailed behind them. He walked slowly, and his head was lowered. It was if he didn’t know how to process what he had just heard.
Officer Jeakins was the last person to leave the room. She handed her report to Officer Jackson then she came to talk to us.
“We will issue an arrest warrant for the arrest of Xavior Norton,” she told us. “We have enough information to press charges.”
“Thank-you for your help,” Mrs Johnson told her.
Officer Jeakins smiled. “I'm just doing my job.”
Lucy and I had to stick around to confirm the identification of Xavior.
It was another half an hour before Xavior was brought into the police station. I heard him long before I saw him.
“I don’t do anything!” I heard Xavior yell as he pulled into the police station.
I sat up in my chair to get a better look. Xavior was handcuffed, on either side of him were two male police officers.
Xavior continued to defend himself until he saw me. Xavior stopped suddenly and glared at me. “You!” he sneered.
“It is over,” I told him.
Xavior looked at the police officer on either side of him. “How could you believe anything those lying whores say?”
Lucy burst into tears. She was comforted by her mother. Lucy’s father stood up and faced Xavior. “If you ever harm my daughter again I will kill you,” he growled.
“You think I scared of you?” Xavior taunted him.
I stood up and walked towards Xavior. Xavior was, at least, half a foot taller than me and he still scared me.
I just wasn’t going to let him know that. I wasn’t going to give him power over me.
I stopped right in front of him. “I will see you in court.”