Lag

May 23, 2018 at 7:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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10501713_f520

Going deep …

I sit opposite the jury, giving my evidence.

I don’t know whether to look at my peers or not.

If I do, will I appear defiant?

If I don’t, will I appear aloof?

I have trouble communing with one good friend, let alone 12 strangers.

They’re just out of focus, so my glasses go on and off. (Too often?)

The lawyer (our side) guides me through my testimony with questions I can grasp and answer.

Eventually, we conclude the first episode of my sexual assault.

As my second narrative begins, I sense something in the jury box.

Nervously, I look up from the microphone, tissues, coaster and water glass.

There’s faint movement and murmuring from most of the jurors.

The 12th (back right) is clearly asleep in her leather chair.

The jurors look at her, each other, the legal teams and the judge.

The court staff do likewise.

No-one looks at me.

I look at the judge, waiting for him to twig.

He’s looking at his notes, so it takes longer than you might think.

I pass the time wondering if my childhood abuse story is really that boring.

At last, realisation dawns.

The judge confers with the tipstaff and the jury’s foreperson.

Other jurors helpfully add that the sleeping woman has flown from overseas and is jet lagged.

The judge addresses her as ‘Madam’ at three ascending volumes.

Madam groggily comes to and, on being briefed, offers that she is jet lagged.

The judge orders an early lunch; but I’m far from hungry.

Outside the courtroom, my team assures me it’s not my fault.

I can hardly ‘sex up’ my testimony.

On our return, the judge explains that, since Madam hasn’t heard the same evidence as her colleagues, she must leave the jury.

This seems to suit her well, and I picture her tumbling into pillows and doonas.

The judge then explains that we can proceed with 11 jurors – if the accused agrees.

The defence lawyer consults her thrice-convicted paedophile.

I can hear him breathing and creaking behind the screen that was offered to me before the case and which I accepted.

The former scoutmaster swiftly rejects the 11-juror option.

Thus committing us to a second trial, months hence.

In the darkness of that not-very-good night, I conclude that my attacker hopes I’ll die before our next round.

Silently, I commend his tactic.

As I feel

I may.

–


Still awake?

I could use a coffee …


–

 

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4 Comments »

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  1. I know how painful the whole episode was and is for you Paul but I admire the brilliance of your writing in telling us about it,

    • Wonderful, Winno; thank you! Each piece, once recorded, troubles me less. And your kind patronage is the ultimate bonus. Best regards, P. πŸ™‚

  2. Hello Paul,
    That’s awful, about the woman falling asleep. It makes me wonder why she would choose to do it, but what ever her reasons are, they are hers and not a reflection on you. Its so important people stand up and tell their stories. Often times, it can feel pointless, that no one cares, like the woman falling asleep – but other victims care. Each story told gives strength to speak up, teaches abuse is not normal, and saves one more person. If people like your self had never spoken up, the boy scouts would not have so many safety rules, and children would be in greater danger still. Who knows her story, and what kind of message she was sending you, but you have the choice to not recieve it, to carry on and fight. πŸ™‚

    It’s hard when things like this are delayed, to live with the anxiety. You are amazing as you continue to move forward.

    • Hi, Sarah. Thank you for adding your valuable dimension. It hadn’t occurred to me that she may have chosen to allow too little time for her flight. Perhaps the case ruined her holiday. Perhaps it dragged her from her mother’s deathbed. The other jurors certainly seemed to care. The anxiety is like nothing else. I’ve really felt that I was actually shaking to bits. Soon I hope to write about some of the amazing good that came from standing up. And thus, balance may be restored. Best regards and many thanks for your kind words! P. πŸ™‚


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