Three months passed, and Janey's life was slowly beginning to get much better. She was now used to the 2012 society, and she loved it. She could now understand how to operate a computer, and any other piece of modern technology. She could not drive a car, however, because of that fateful day - she did not want to cause anybody the pain that she had to endure because of cars.
Day by day, for those three months, it was getting closer to the trial of Steven Clapton. Janey was very nervous indeed. She did not want to get up and talk about her experience in front of dozens of strangers, but that was what she had to do if she was to get justice for herself (and any other woman who he may have raped within the past six decades).
Eventually, the day of the trial came. As Steven Clapton had pleaded not guilty, he was given a trial, and the jury would decide on his fate. He was terrified, too, but he kept trying to reassure himself that nothing was going to happen to him. Janey was even more anxious, as she was so desperate to see him get found guilty.
The trial itself took the whole day. The barristers on the prosecution and the defense were arguing non-stop. There were arguments defending Steven Clapton, such as Janey not coming forward earlier, or no previous charges applied to Steven Clapton. There was not even one other allegation made towards Steven Clapton that he had raped another woman. To any perfect stranger, Steven Clapton seemed to be a respectable, honest person. However, Janey had one advantage, because he ran when the police tried to arrest him. Other than that, Janey had no legs to stand on, so she hoped and prayed that the fact that Steven Clapton had attempted to escape an arrest would convince the jury that he was guilty. Janey thought otherwise, however.
It did not take long for the jury to decide the verdict. It took five minutes to come up with a verdict.
"You're going to pay for this", said Steven Clapton, when he entered the room. Janey, who had to face him after the trial had finished, was scared that if he was found not guilty, Steven would not stop stalking her, and there was not one thing that could be done to stop him.
The verdict was announced. There was so much tension in the room at that moment. Amazingly, Steven Clapton was found guilty. Janey cheered, and as he was been taken away, she cried, "burn in Hell, Clapton. Burn in Hell!"
"That's enough", said the judge.
Three days later, Steven was handed a sentence of two years, with a minimum of one year.
"What?" cried Janey, "that monster will only do one year!?"
"I'm sorry, Miss Morrison", said the judge, "but one year is a long time, and I have to take into consideration everything. At the time this rape was commited, Steven Clapton was fourteen years of age. It can be argued that he did not understand as much as he would if he were an adult".
"The justice system is a disgrace!" screamed Janey, "he should be locked up forever! That's what happened when I was younger!"
"Things change through time, Miss Morrison. Now, just leave it".
Janey left the room. Although she was hoping for a much longer sentence, she was grateful that he had been found guilty. She wanted him to be found guilty more than anything, because now that he had been found guilty, everybody knew who he was.
Janey returned home to John. They had now been seeing each other for three months, and it was beginning to get more serious.
"It doesn't matter", said John, even though he was disappointed in the result, "at least he's been found guilty".
"I know", said Janey, "and that's the most important thing. Now, I just hope he suffers in prison and that year drags by!"
"Let's just forget about him. We have a life to live, and he doesn't".
Janey always listened to what John had to say. She always felt more comfortable in his company. She was starting to feel like she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. Fortunately, so did John. He was madly in love with her, although he did not dare to admit it.
That night, John stayed at Janey's for the first time. John and Janey were both seriously considering moving in together, and it would be Janey moving in with John, since she had very few possessions herself, since she had been living on nothing but dole for the past few months.
The next morning, after breakfast, Janey received some heart-breaking news: Kate was on her death bed, and she asked for Janey to come and visit her. Kate had been fairly ill for several weeks now, although she did not think that it was something serious. Kate was proven wrong, when she was told that there was little chance of making it to the next week. Kate knew that she had to say something to Janey.
Janey rushed into the hospital, where she found Kate in that bed, lying there. Her childhood friend was about to die, and there was nothing that could be done. There were tubes coming from her noses and stomach - Kate certainly looked like she was on death's door.
"Janey", whispered Kate, as Janey entered the depressing room.
"Try not to talk, Kate", said Janey, holding back the tears.
"You were...my best friend", said Kate.
"I know", replied Janey, unable to control her eyes for much longer.
"I just wanted you to know...I cared about you. I always did".
"I know you did, Kate. I know".
"I want to say...I'm sorry".
"For going off with that...monster...before you had the accident".
"Don't let that get in the way of our friendship. I never did".
"Steven told me that...you were controlling him, and he needed...me".
"Did he rape you too?"
Kate nodded. She sat up a little, and coughed seven times. Janey patted her back.
"He's in prison now", said Janey, cuddling Kate.
"I wish I...came forward".
"I promise you, I will get justice for you, but don't think of him in your final hour. Think of the memories we had when we were children".
There were tears pouring down Janey's eyes by now.
"Those were my best days", said Kate, now struggling to speak.
"Just remember the happy times".
Janey had Kate in her arms.
"I'm so happy you came back", said Kate, "I was devastated when...you left".
"It's OK. It's OK. Just remember the good times we had".
"Yes", said Kate.
One minute later, Kate died. Janey was crushed. Instead of crying, however, Janey informed a nurse, and left the hospital, leaving her best friend to rest in peace. Now, there was nobody left in her life except for John. John was also a little bit older than Janey, so, assuming he would pass on first, Janey would be left alone, with nobody. Janey appreciated the three months that she spent with her best friend. Now all Janey had of her was the memories they shared together. Janey was glad she got the chance to tell Kate that she cared for her. Even though Kate was dead, Janey did not feel upset, because she said everything she wanted to say. She knew by now that she had to close the door to that chapter, and focus on the next one.
© Copyright 2017 declan mckimm. All rights reserved.
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