“Please state your full name for the record,” Mike says and I nod. I was sitting in the witness box finally and I could speak.
“Raven Elena Rex,” I say stating my full name and Mike nods.
“Do you recognise these men sitting there?” he asks pointing at Jesse and Jack and I look at them.
“Yes I do,” I say looking at Mike.
“Please tell us as to how you know them Raven,” he asks and I stare at Jesse and Jack.
“Jack and Jesse, my two rapists,” I say and they do everything to avoid my eye contact.
“Raven, Jack and Jesse have told the court that you were the one going on to them, that you begged them. Is it true?” he asks.
“No it is not true. First I had slapped Jesse once already in school because he was misbehaving in school with a girl. I never spoke to either of them until Jesse came up to me and asked me to go to prom with him and I declined. His friends, Jack asked me and I accepted it because I felt bad and that was the only interaction I had with them in school till I went to prom,” I say clearly.
“Tell us what happened after prom,” Mike asks and I nod.
“I remember enjoying my prom night. It was great. Our school’s cheerleading captain, Ashley and her athlete boyfriend were crowned as prom king and queen and they deserved their title. However Jack brought me this drink and I drank it after he told that it was the fruit punch but little did I know that taking that drink that night would ruin my life forever,” I say taking a small pause.
“I woke up to being chained in a strange room and I was still in my night clothes. Jesse soon came in and told me that I was going to regret making him seem like a fool in front of our school twice and Jack came in too. They beat me up, tore my clothes off and came on to me individually,” I say and Mike nods.
“Did you ever ask them to let you go?” he asks and I nod.
“Every day for those two years they kept me there. I promised them that I would never tell anyone if they let me go,” I say.
“But they never let you go did they? Until you were 5 months pregnant?” he asks and I nod.
“Yes. And they even faked a letter to my parents saying that I ran away with my boyfriend,” I say and Mike hands the letter to the judge.
“This letter was addressed to Raven’s parents and we have the proof from handwriting specialists that this was Jack’s handwriting,” Mike says looking at the jury and they take notes.
“These are the medical reports from the doctor that treated Raven when she was pregnant and she too claims that she was a victim of sexual abuse and physical violence, therefore disproving the theory the defendants said about Raven liking to harm herself,” Mike says handing them more files and he sat down resting his case and Samuel got up.
“So you say that you promised to never tell anyone about you being allegedly abducted if they let you go. Why did you think that it was alright?” Samuel asks and I sigh.
“Because I wanted to get out of there. I thought it would make them let me go,” I say and Samuel smirks.
“But that would be lying,” he says and I nod.
“Yes I was trying to protect myself,” I say and he scoffs.
“So Raven admits to lie when she has to protect herself. So she is clearly lying now to protect herself from being exposed that she willing had a casual sexual relationship with my clients” he says and I was out of words,
“No, that is not true,” I say but he doesn’t listen.
“So you might be making all of this up and blaming my clients for something they didn’t do,” he says not letting me speak and I had enough of his lies.
“Alright, I am sorry for raising my voice but I have had enough of you covering their lies up. So you are saying that the fact that I was chained to the bed in a room, only allowing me to access the bathroom, being raped more than five times a day by the two people who you went to school with, having no food to eat, being beaten up with anything they got, being burnt up with cigarettes is all a lie?” I ask raising my voice and I had tears in my eyes too.
“Every day I woke up to look at those pale walls. I hoped I would wake up and the night mare would get over but the same two people walk in with that over confident smirk on their face and you realise that this was the reality. I hoped Jared would stop them but he did nothing standing there. No one did anything and when I thought my nightmare was over and they let me go, my parents kicked me out while I was 5 months pregnant with only $25,000,” I say pausing to wipe my tears.
“I had to work while carrying a baby inside of me. I had to see my daughter being given away for adoption because I couldn’t take care of her. Every day I got barely 3 hours of sleep because I had to work two jobs and go to college and pay off my tuition and bills. Some days I had nothing to eat and went to bed empty stomach. I had to see everyone with their family living luxuriously when mine abandoned me,” I say staring at Samuel and everyone in the court.
“I went to bed crying every single night it reminded me the fact that the two horrible people had their amazing, easy life when I did nothing wrong and I was suffering. I had trust issues. I wanted to peel my skin off. I didn’t like looking at my body without breaking down into tears because every time I looked down, I see their dirty hands all over it. I could feel then gripping my hands and shoulder tight as they went faster. I could feel their nails digging deep into my skin as I lay motionless on the bed.
I still smell their sickening woody cologne, their weight crushing me down and their hips colliding with mine with so much force. I can still feel their scuffy shaved face on my face and neck. I can still feel then gripping and pulling my hair as they enjoyed me. I could feel my throat being chocked as they enjoyed seeing me beg and I could feel their eyes on me everywhere I went, wanting to see me suffer,” I say staring at Jesse and Jack.
Surprisingly no one stopped me as I kept talking. Not even Samuel. In fact he was listening to every word I said.
“I still don’t let anyone even come close to my body because it reminds me of them. I don’t talk to anyone because I don’t trust them. It took me so many years to even talk to the people I talk to now, so many therapy sessions, medications and so many nights filled with tears but the huge part of me, my soul that broke that day never came back and I don’t think it ever will. Everyone knows that they raped and kidnapped me but they are defending them. Why? Because they give you money?” I ask looking at Samuel.
“What is money worth now? Of course it is your way your living but you are defending someone who destroyed the teenager that was optimistic and had high dreams for her in the future. They destroyed her and gave her all kind of issues and you are defending them. Look into their eyes and tell me that they are not admitting to their crime. They know that they did,” I say looking at Samuel and then at Jack and Jesse.
“Don’t you know how my body felt? Don’t you know how you felt when you forced yourself onto me every day? How much you enjoyed seeing me beg you to leave me alone. Don’t you remember tearing my clothes off as you handcuffed my hands? Don’t you remember how you moaned as a part of me died every time you violated my body? Don’t you remember how you mercilessly beat me up and then had sex with my limp body? I had these huge painful looking bruises all over my body. Don’t you remember making it bigger?” I ask looking at the both of them wiping my tears off.
“I still remember the first time I was in court and I lost because they were proven to be innocent because they had money. I was raped. And yet they are getting defended. I have been silenced for too long and now I want them to face their actions,” I say wiping off my tears and I saw many sitting at the back wiping their tears too.
Samuel stepped down too and we were asked to stay outside as the jury would come to a conclusion.
“Ray,” Sophia says giving me a big hug and she was crying.
“It hurt me so much when you spoke up there,” she says and I say nothing and take in the warmth of her hug.
“You were so good there Raven,” Chris says coming up to me as I grabbed some water after everyone hugged me and cried.
“I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you to speak up there but I am proud of you,” he says and I smile at him.
“It just came out. I had to say it because I never told them anything,” I say and he nods.
“Remember the doll of yours I broke?” he asks and I nod.
“I remember you saying that you cannot be fixed just like the doll, but you are wrong,” he says handing me my doll. It didn’t look the same. There was a new fabric, a new dress covering up the broken parts. It didn’t seem to be broken at all.
“See Raven, it depends upon who takes care of a broken doll. If you would have given this to someone like them, they would have thrown it away but I fixed it for you and made this better than before and I think you can be like it too,” he says and I look at him.
“This is- wow,” I say looking at it.
“Chris, this is just- thank you. I have no words to say,” I say and he nods.
“Then don’t,” he says and I hold his hand and look into his eyes. I was like the doll right? It was broken, I was broken. Chris fixed it and maybe he can help me fix me too.
“Raven, come on the jury has come to a decision,” Mike says and I turn around.