I stood outside the courthouse with my hands fumbling with each other. My heart raced and the nerves which settled inside my blood caused my body to tremble. The confidence was there, but in the back of my mind there was always that nagging thought which told me he was going to get away with it again.
“Have you seen any of them since the attack at your house?” Officer Radley asked.
“No, I haven’t,” I replied. “Drake sent me a message though?”
“He did?” Adrian said.
“Yeah. He said he was sorry about everything and he was trying to tell me about his mom.”
“What did you reply?” Alex asked.
“I told him to fuck off.”
Tyler laughed. “That’s my girl.”
“Summer, just remember that they’re going to try and make it look like you wanted Kyle again.”
“But the recording...”
“I know.” Alice placed her hand on my shoulders. “It’s just the way these vultures are. They will try anything to win.”
“I remember,” I whispered. “How are the two other girls?”
“They’re fighting their battles. I hope they realize they are strong, like you,” Alice said warmly before she pulled me in for a hug.
“Thank you for everything.”
As soon as I stepped away, Kyle, Elanor, Krystal and Drake walked up the stairs. The asshole had his head down to avoid any gaze.
“Looks like he knows he’s going to lose this time,” Alex sneered.
“He’ll soon realize what he put you and the other two girls through,” Ellie said. “I heard they don’t take kindly to rapists in prison.”
“No, they don’t,” Alice confirmed.
Suddenly, Drake broke from the group and walked towards me.
“The fuck do you want?” Tyler asked.
“Summer,” Drake replied. “I’m sorry for everything.”
“You’ve got a lot of nerve talking to her, Drake.” My brother said.
“Alex,” Drake stepped forward.
“Don’t even think about it,” Alex threatened. “I warned you when you first told me you liked Summer, that if you hurt her you wouldn’t be breathing anymore. You’re lucky you’re still here.”
“I know I fucked up.”
“In a way I’m glad you did,” Alex replied. “She’s better off without you.”
Tyler growled at Drake “Get the fuck out of here.”
He turned away with his head hung low.
“I’m seriously getting sick of that guy,” Ellie said.
“We need to head in now,” Alice advised. “Are you ready, Summer?”
“Yes. I’m ready.”
I was seated next to Alice, and the other two survivors, Janet and Narline. Every row was filled with people chatting, but as soon as the judge walked in, we stood, and the room silenced.
I smiled to myself as the charges against Kyle were read.
Two Counts of Rape.
One count of attempted rape.
One count of attempted murder.
Three counts of assault, causing actual bodily harm.
Each side gave their opening statement. Elanor talked about all the Good that Kyle had done. She spoke how each of us three girls wanted to be with him and how I invited him into my home that day.
It was clear she was desperate trying to use every tactic she had to try and clear his name.
They asked for Janet, the first witness, to come on the stand. She was attacked the same way as I was. At his house party. Kyle called her names too. When Elanor asked her questions, she shut down a little, which was what happened to me on the stand before. My blood boiled when she tried to tarnish this girl’s reputation.
When Janet finished, she stood, and I gave her a warm smile as she sat down beside me. I took her hand in mine and whispered to her. “You’re amazing and strong. You did good.”
“Thank you, Summer.”
The next person they called up was Narline. As I listened to her tell everyone the events of what happened, tears pooled my eyes and I couldn’t help it when they cascaded down my face. Narline worked with Kyle. They had to stay back one evening and he forced himself on her. She was a virgin. Elanor once again tried to ruin her reputation, saying that she wasn’t really a virgin and that she wanted Kyle.
The bile which rose in my throat was hard to swallow back down. When Narline finished, she sat down beside me and I took her hand in mine until my name was called up. Alice gave me a chance to tell my story. How I knew Kyle, and what happened when he was at my house. A quick glance at the jurors and I noticed shocked expressions on their face as I spoke. When I had finished, I knew it was time for the other side to ask me questions. Instead of Elanor interviewing me, another man stood from behind the desk. I recognized him as the same lawyer that questioned me the first time, but he looked older and had put on weight.
As suspected, he asked me questions and insinuated that I let Kyle into my home, and that I secretly wanted to be with him.
“You’re upset that he rejected you, so you stabbed him.”
Fuck, the nerve of this guy.
I stood my ground and was confident when I answered him. “He broke into my home, tried to attack me-.”
“All lies. You’re upset when-.”
I cut him off. “Excuse me. I’m not finished answering your question. Do not interrupt me again.” The lawyer looked dumbfounded before I continued. “He broke into my home and when he tried to attack me, I fell. Kyle climbed on top and stabbed himself in the process.”
The lawyer went quiet before talking again. “No further questions.”
I stepped down next to the girls. Alice introduced the tape recording into the evidence, which Elanor had tried to have thrown out, but the judge disagreed. As the tape played, the whole courtroom fell silent. The girls next to me wept as they heard what I went through as it was a trigger for their own experiences. The judge shook his head and the jurors had their mouths open and eyes filled with tears.
Kyle sat and stared absentmindedly at the table in front of him. Drake hit his forehead as he listened to Kyle try to attack me. The threat of him wanting to rape and kill me came out loud and clear. It was the reason why he had the attempted murder and attempted rape charge.
After the closing arguments, the jurors deliberated and we left, but it didn’t take long for them to return. We all made our way back into the courtroom.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Have you reached a verdict?” The judge asked.
“We have, your honour.” One of the members said.
“What is the verdict?”
“We find the defendant, Kyle Travis...”