The Ordeal

in #freewrite5 years ago

Children shouldn't know what it's like to have a broken heart, but sometimes they do...

"G-dad, can I come to your house?"

The question unraveled him. His long legs hung over the bed. It seemed like it had been two-thirty all night. It wasn't right that the court took this child from them. Blood wasn't everything, in fact it was her father that was facing twenty-five years in prison. So this child is supposed to testify, with no support, he whispered to himself. Thomas was haunted by the events of last spring, the last time he saw her and she begged to come and be with them.

Nothing could keep him away from the trial. He would sit as close as he could to her and let her know that someday they would see each other again.

He owned a gun and he was pretty sure he was good at using it. It was too late to protect her, but maybe he could just make sure Mike disappeared from the earth.

"What good would that do?" Kitty gently rubbed his shoulder. "then you would be gone forever besides," she laid her chest against his back, "our daughter needs us too."

"She's an adult. Lacy is just a child."

She could feel the rippling in his back, "A strong child, who told police everything." She reassured him.

"Sometimes I don't want to live."

"Some time you won't." Kitty rolled away from him, "And then you'll leave me to deal with this shit on my own."

He couldn't apologize for his self indulgence. It wasn't a choice. Every time he fell asleep, he just woke up and it was the very first thought laying on his head like a brick. The details were so terrible that he couldn't turn them off. Still, he told himself, if his little step granddaughter was willing to face her father in court then he would be strong too. He wouldn't cry or look away. He would be there.

Jenny was waiting at the bottom of the steps for him when he came down.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm going with you, daddy."

Thomas was relieved, he thought he might be sick. She handed him a travel mug and some cashews in a tin. "And you are eating them."

"Oh, you think it's like that, huh?"

"C'mon daddy, I want to get there early."

It felt good to follow her steps to the car, it helped to stop the fluttering in his chest when she walked into the court in front of him. It hurt when she put her hand on top of his, knowing Lacy had just entered the room. When he looked up she was staring straight into his eyes. He forced back the tears and managed a smile. He nodded to her and watched her tiny frame slide into the rolling chair. The world floated in front of him. Lacy was amazing, she was articulate and spoke like the details were away from her. It made Thomas weep when they got back to the car.

For the next two days they returned, even though her part was done. The little brown shoulders laid sleepily in the pew as the last day wore to a close. Thomas thought his heart might break because instead of an ordeal, he was able to be near her and now it was going to end. Still, he saw her and she saw him, that was everything. That would have to be everything.

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