The judge begins talking and eerily her voice echoes throughout the courtroom,” Gianna Bassett, the charge is one count of first-degree murder and 12 counts of drug dealing, Miss Bassett, how do you plead?”
“Not guilty, your honor,” Sandra replies nonchalantly like she’s done this a million times before. She probably has.
“I believe the defendant is a flight risk and should not be under house arrest, she is a possible serial killer who, if loses this trial, will face life in prison and possibly the death penalty.”
“I’d like to speak to her previous and current homing officers. Someone find them,” The judge sits back in her chair, waiting for someone to get Chester and Carol. When they arrive, they’re out of breath like they’ve been running, “Officers, I’d like you to describe Gianna’s home behaviors to me.”
Chester, his claims have always been the same about me, “There weren’t any problems when I was her in-home officer. She has her visits, they left right when I told her they had to, she complied with everything.”
“Same with me, your honor, Gianna acts as if she’s any other teenager in the world. She makes dinner, cleans the house, and she listens to orders when I order them.” I raise my eyebrows at Carol’s testimony. I thought that tough broad hated me.
“Very well then, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt Miss Bassett and grant you with staying under house arrest. I’ll allow more visiting time and the only excuse out of the house are every two days for court-ordered therapy sessions, doctors appointments, and your court dates.”
“Thank you, your honor,” I smile happily and both Sandra and Jesse nod at me in approval. She’s allowing more visiting hours and letting me out of the house! I’ve never been this excited to go to therapy.
I used to go as a kid because of everything I went through while in foster homes but it did help enough to the point where I stopped going. I’ve never thought about it since though.
On my way down the stairs, I can’t stop smiling and texting Lukas is my first thought once I get into the van. All the screaming people around me don’t even faze me anymore, all I care about is letting Lukas know what’s going on.
I didn’t get a text back from him but I don’t think much of it, I still text him, letting him know that there are more visiting hours. I drink in the city as we drive by it. It’s been a little while since I’ve seen the tall buildings and alleyways of Chicago.
Once we get back to the apartment my phone buzzes. It’s a new text message from Lukas.
That’s great! I’ll make sure to let the others know and sorry I haven’t been responding my phone died before I got to text and tell you that we all left for New York for a week.
I furrow my eyebrows and reread the text. New York? In the middle of them supposedly helping me out? Have they been planning to ditch me?
Oh! New York... What’s out there?
We all walk inside my house and they assemble a new ankle monitor on my ankle, “We’ll see you Monday to take you to your first appointment,” One of the officers says, closing my front door.
Carol comes out of the bathroom and crosses her arms over her chest, “Now, don’t take my statement in court too seriously. It doesn’t mean I like you, Gianna, I was just being honest.”
“I already know you’re warming up to me Carol, you don’t have to act like you’re not,” I smile slightly and my phone buzzes in my hand. I unlock it and read the text from Lukas.
I’m afraid you’ll be upset if I tell you why we’re here.
I roll my eyes and reply:
Lukas, I’m gonna be upset if you don’t tell me why you’re there.
I set my phone on my lap and kick off my heels. My feet feel one hundred times better and I sigh in content. My phone buzzes again and I look at it.
We came out here to find your Mom and get the story completely straight. So she told us just about everything. We’re going back tomorrow to talk to her some more if you want I can give her your number?
The second I read ‘Mom’ my eyes begin to sting. They took their time to find my mom. Even after a P.I. couldn’t do it. My teenage friends with no professional training found my mom in a matter of weeks.
I’m not mad at you for that. And I’d rather have her number so I can call her when I’m ready...
He texts back almost immediately:
Yah I’ll ask her when I see her again. When I mentioned you she knew your name so I think she has tried to contact you.
If she did try to contact me then I guess she didn’t do a very good job of it. Even though I haven’t seen a picture of her yet, I can already see the look on my Mother’s face when she sees my number calling her. I set my phone down and don’t text Lukas back. He’ll let me know tomorrow if anything. I trust him.
I bite my lip and draw blood with how hard my teeth were clamping down on it. I suck my bottom lip into my mouth and can taste the bitter liquid leaking from my skin. Knocking sounds at my front door and I wait for Carol to answer it. When she does, Adam is standing there with a bag of food in his hands.
Carol checks the bag and then lets him in, “I heard you had court today, thought I’d bring you some Mexican food to make it a little better,” He hands me a burrito as thick as my calf, “It’s big, I know,” Adam winks, smiling slightly. His eyes remind me of someone from my child I can’t seem to put my finger on who it is, but I know it’s someone important.
“Oh shut up,” I push his shoulder and he takes a large bite out of the corner of my burrito even though he’s holding his own in front of his face, I do the same and take an even bigger bite of his which causes the rice from his burrito to go all over the couch and our laps.
“Look at the mess you’ve made!” Adam laughs, picking up all the grains of rice on his legs and eating each one. I stand up and brush the rice onto the carpet. I’ll vacuum later anyways.
“You contributed to the mess,” I plop back down and sit cross-legged, facing him on the couch.
He raises one of his thick eyebrows, “How?” Adam takes a bite of his own burrito and the rice starts to spill onto his lap. I look at the rice and then back at him, “Okay but that didn’t happen until after.”
“There’s no proof of that. The mess I’m claiming was there, is there. So you’re guilty fella.”
He rolls his eyes and scarfs down most of his burrito.