We stood outside of the police station, it looked like any other normal day. The sun was hiding behind the clouds, giving the Earth a dull, humid appearance. We watched the hustle and bustle of the building in front of us for minutes, or maybe hours. Police officers came and went in their patrol cars several times before Liam plucked up the courage to go in.
The heart breaking look in Liams eyes made my stomach wrench. Silver tones looked back at me and with a trembling hand he clutched mine locking us together for ultimate support.
“Don’t leave me, okay?” He stammered out with a frightened voice. I nodded, reassuring him that I would always be by his side.
We walked hand in hand to the reception desk, a blonde lady dressed in an officers uniform looked up at us from behind her long lashes. I could hear the pounding of Liams heart, it was so loud ... or maybe that was my own. His pulse raced against my finger tips and the clamminess of his palms made my own hands sticky.
“Hi, can I help you?” The lady said in a sweet voice.
With his free hand he rubbed the back of his neck and hesitated before getting the words out. I wanted to be his voice but I knew he needed to be the one to do this so I stayed quiet, waiting for Liam to find the courage that I knew he had.
“I...” He mumbled quietly “I want... um...” He looked at me searching for the confidence he needed to say the words and I nodded my head gently at him. He turned back to the lady and took a deep, shaky breath. “I want to make a statement about the abuse that I have endured.” He got his words out quicker, letting them fill the void before he backed out.
“I’ll have an officer see to you shortly, please take a seat over there.” She gestured towards a few wooden chairs in a narrow corridor. As we sat on a pair of lone wooden chairs Liams legs were restless, bouncing up and down uncontrollably. He got up and fixed himself a drink from the water cooler but seeing the cup shake manically in his hands made him put it down on the floor.
“I don’t know if I can do this.” He whispered quietly, so quietly I almost didn’t catch what he said. He buried his head down low and kept his focus on his shoelaces.
“Liam, you’ve already come so far. I’m so proud of you. If you want to turn back now I’ll support that, you have to do it when you feel ready.” He turned to face me, looking up at my face with his clouded eyes.
“He’s a school teacher Liv.” He spoke his words blankly like they explained all. It wasn’t his choice anymore, he needed to be brave for everyone else. He wiped his palms against his jeans and then twisted his fingers together nervously.
“Hi, you are here to put a statement in? Right this way.” A man approached us and gestured for us to follow him but Liam stayed glued to his seat. After a few debatable moments he nodded his head and got up, stalking behind the officer slowly.
We were led to some kind of interrogation room, the decor was very minimal. There were two chairs on either side of a table and a mirrored window on one wall. I don’t know what I expected, perhaps something more comforting considering what he was about to do but this room made me feel like we were the criminals. The officer placed a jug of water down on the table and a couple of stacked plastic cups. He then placed a pile of sheets down in front of Liam.
“These are witness statement sheets, write down every incident that you can remember, giving as much detail as possible. Every separate incident write down on a different sheet. Try to remember dates and times the incidents occurred, this can really help. If you need any assistance or more sheets press this button and I will be right in. Take as long as you need.”
He left the room and Liam stared down at the blank pages. Sheepishly he picked up the pen and hovered it over the pad. I watched him carefully, not really knowing what I could do for him besides just being here. I hoped that it was enough. Liam exhaled strongly and then turned to face me.
“You are going to know all of the things that he has ever done to me in detail, why do I feel ashamed about that?” I could feel my eyes soften and my lips parted slightly as I soaked up his submission.
“Oh Liam, please don’t feel ashamed. I am not going to look at you any differently, you will still be the bravest, strongest person that I know. The only way to be released from the shame is by talking about it and recognizing that other people don’t see you the way you see yourself.”
He nodded his head slightly and then turned back to the paper, clutching the pen in between his trembling fingers with all of his strength. It took him a great deal of time before he plucked up enough courage to let the ink make marks against the white sheet. Every time he went to write something he just hovered the pen centimetres in the air above the paper but finally the ballpoint touched the page.
Seven hours, that is how long it took for Liam to recall every last incident that ever happened to him. He cried, I cried, we cried together. Two hundred and sixty separate sheets, five years of abuse and seven hours of Liam being consumed in complete and utter darkness. There were some moments he couldn’t remember, others he recalled like they were happening to him right here, right now.
There was not a single molecule inside my body that didn’t hate this man, his mom and Jax. I wanted to kill them all in the worst possible ways because no punishment would be too cruel or justice enough for what they deserved.
It took all of my character not to swoop Liam up in my arms and cradle him during his time of need but in this hour he couldn’t bare to be touched, not with all of the memories running havoc in his mind. So instead I sat quietly beside him, beaming with pride and awe of his strength.
“We will take all of these statements and assess them, reach out to the contacts you have listed and start building your case. Now would be a good time to get a lawyer if you haven’t already. We will send him over your statements to look through and if you have any evidence or think of anything else just let us know.”
The officer told us but Liam didn’t acknowledge his words. He was lost to the darkness, unaware of anything else going on around him. He walked with heavy footsteps as if his brain couldn’t coordinate his feet because of all the clouded thoughts in his mind.
“Liam?” I asked as he gazed out of the cab window quietly. He turned to face me, eyes like a murky sky, clouds filled with rain just waiting to fall. “Are you going to be okay?” I asked.
He closed his eyes over, forcing a stray tear to roll down his left cheek and when he reopened his eyes he nodded at me slowly.
“I’m proud of you, it's done now, we just got wait for them to do their jobs. I'm here for you.” I reassured him.