Chapter 1: The Courtroom
"Alison Smith, please stand." I hear the judge call out my mother's name. Why is this happening to me? Is it my fault that Mom and Dad are getting a divorce? I sure hope not. These thoughts were pounding through my head like a train on a track that never ends. It has been like this ever since Mom and Dad announced that they were gettting a divorce. I can remember that day perfectly. The night before Mom and Dad had stayed up for hours arguing. Matt had assured me that everything was okay. The next morning Mom and Dad gave us the bad news. Matt stormed out of the house and stayed out all day. I hid out in my room and wouldn't talk to anyone. Now, Matt and are talking again but I'll only say a few words to Mom and Dad here and there.
"Thank you Ms. Smith. You may be seated. Kaitlin Smith please come forward to the stand," the judge calls out. "Please raise your right hand and place your left hand on the Bible. Now, do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth?"
"Yes sir," I reply in a shaky voice. Sweat is dripping off my forehead. Mom had said that she would try and make sure that I didn't have to speak on the stand. I hated speaking in public. The last time I did was at school and I ended up throwing up on the teacher and the most popular girl in the school, Vistoria. Here's a hint to everyone: If you feel sick, run! And, popular girls and teachers hate when you throw up on them.
"Um, Kaitlin. Are you listening? Can you tell us everything about your parents marriage and the reasons that you think they are getting divorced?" Judge Murphy was now calling out. I turn to look at my parents who are sitting on opposite sides of the room with their lawyers at their sides. I see their supportive faces and a room full of people staring at me. I feel like I am about to faint when stage fright hits me in the gut. "Kaitlin, are you alright?" I hear the judge's voice in the distance.
"Um, yes sir. I'm fine, but would it be alright if I stepped out of the room for a moment. I need some fresh air." I rush the words out of my mouth in one breath. I really need to get out of here.
"Yes, you may. I think that it is a good idea if everyone takes a little break. We continue in ten minutes." Thank you Mr. Murphy. I hurry out of the room. Out of the corner of my eye I catch a shadow following me.
"Hey, are you okay? You look really pale?" someone asks. I turn around and see my older brother, Matt, hovering next to me. He extends a bottle of water toward me and I take it eagerly and nod that I'm fine. He puts his arms around my shoulders and leads me back inside and back to my place before the judge.
"Alright, lets precede," the judge exclaims and nods toward me with a look of encouragement. "Now Kaitlin, please tell us everything you know about you parents reason for divorce."
I start to talk about how my father would come home drunk and acted insane when my mom was not around and some of the bizzare things that he did. Like one night he duck taped Matt to his bed and locked the door when Matt was five because Dad caught him trying to steal a cookie from the cookie jar. Some nights Dad would come home at three in the morning and Mom would find out that he had been partying with kids who where my age and just getting out of high school. I tell the judge how Mom would put up with his immature behavior and how her friend George Johnson, a police officer, would bail him out of things and he would come over to help take care of Matt and me. Mom is always having to take time off from her job as a wedding cake desinger to deal with problems that Dad had gotten into.
Dad and Mom and a few other
young girls are called up to the stands. After hearing my
stories and everyone elses, I realize that my father is insane
and wacko. I can't help but love him though. I have an idea of
who will get custody but I don't know what I want. No, I do
know. I want this divorce to never