Promise Me.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Emma tries to persuade the courtroom that she is innocent all while trying to keep a promise to not tell anyone what really happened.

Submitted: June 12, 2012

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Submitted: June 12, 2012

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“Emma, what did he tell you after that?”  the lawyer questioned.  Emma’s eyes lingered on the bracelet wrapped around her wrist.

“He said that everything was going to be okay,” Emma stated.She glanced up towards her parents to find them solely intrigued on every word that was spewing out of her mouth.  Silence filled the courtroom as the lawyer approached Emma.

“Did you believe him?” the lawyer wondered.  Emma glared into the lawyer’s eyes.  She tried to see what the lawyer was getting at but she couldn’t find the loophole.  She couldn’t find the right answer.

“I wanted to,” she whispered.  Out of the corner of her eye she could see the judge slowly nodding his head.

“Were you concerned about his safety?” The lawyer walked back across to her table, which was placed diagonally from Emma’s podium.

“Why wouldn’t I be?”  Emma asked while squinting her eyes.

“I don’t know, you tell me,” the lawyer leaned against her table and starred straight into Emma’s pitch black eyes.  The lawyer could see how they were glazed with fear and confusion.  She could see Emma’s frustration.

“Look, I told you it was an accident…” Emma trailed off while her eyes swept the rows of wooden chairs at the back of the room.  She could see her family filling most of them.

“I don’t think a bullet to the head is an accident,” the lawyer noted.  Emma opened her mouth in protest but words couldn’t seem to come out.  She could hear the crowd begin to murmur in harsh tones. “You were angry Emma, why?”  Emma bit at her bottom lip.  She clearly remembered the way he looked at her that night.  The way he touched her.  The way he made her promise. You have to lie…

“I wasn’t angry,” she huffed, “I was numb. I couldn’t feel anything at that point.”  The lawyer reached for a vanilla folder and pulled out some papers.

“You were in a mental institution a couple years ago, correct?  The High Waters Rehabilitation Vicinity?”

“That’s where we met,” Emma frowned.

“Who’s we?” the lawyer questioned.

“Me and Vince,” Emma took a deep breath upon saying his name.  She hadn’t let it escape her lips since that last night. Vince, I don’t think I can do it…

“Vince Valenti,” the lawyer skimmed the papers she had in her hands, “he was checked in for his suicidal attempts. Why were you at High Waters Emma?”

“Depression,” Emma stated simply.  She remembered being asked that a million times while at the rehab vicinity.  She remembered being asked that by Vince.

“I see,” the lawyer looked to the judge before setting her eyes back to Emma, “and how did you and Vince meet?”

“I took some sort of art class there and Vince commented on how he liked my painting,” Emma explained.  She remembered how Vince smiled when she said he could have it.  She saw it hanging on his wall that night.  That was the only thing she looked at when she couldn’t look back into Vince’s eyes.  “We kind of just became friends after that.”

“Mrs. Valenti said that you and Vince became more than friends after you two got out of High Waters. Is that true?”  the lawyer smiled as she awaited Emma’s response.  Emma felt a lump forming in the back of her throat that she couldn’t seem to gulp down.  She glanced back down to the bracelet on her wrist.  Whenever you think you’ll buckle just look at this and remember that I’m right beside you…

“We had done some things but it didn’t mean much to either of us,” Emma chocked.  She could hardly believed what she had just said but she knew it was right.

“Did you care about Vince?”

“Of course…I loved him.”

“Then are you sure that you weren’t angry at the fact that you meant nothing to Vince?  That you were only his ‘friend’?”

“What?  No!  You have no idea what Vince and I have gone through!  You have no idea on how much we mean to each other!”

“But you had just said—“

“I lied!”  Emma screamed.  The lawyer’s jaw dropped open and the courthouse filled with chatter.  The judge demanded silence as the lawyer quickly regained her composure.  Emma’s eyes stuck to the bracelet.

“Emma, you swore an oath,” the judge reminded.  Emma nodded as she looked back up to the lawyer.  The lawyer’s heels clicked on the tiled floor as she walked closer to Emma.  She starred directly into Emma’s eyes.

“I know you’ve been hurt.  You’ve lost a dear friend but the last thing you can do for Vince is to tell us the truth.  All we want is justice,” she commented.  Emma looked back towards the crowd.  She scanned the faces of Vince’s family.  His parents.  His little sister.

“I promised him…” Emma whispered.

“What did you promise him Emma?”  The lawyer leaned up on Emma’s podium.

“That I wouldn’t say anything.”

“And why would you do that?”  the lawyer glanced to the judge who had a curious look upon his face.

“Because I knew he didn’t want to hurt his family.”  Emma looked back at Vince’s mother and father.  She could see the skepticism in his mother’s eyes and the anger on his father’s face.

“What do you mean by that?”  the lawyer crossed her arms across her chest.  Emma starred back at the bracelet around her wrist.  She noticed how the brown leather had begun to crack and how the beads looked worn.  She clearly remembered how it had looked on Vince.  How he wore it everyday. How it was on the same wrist that was connected to the hand that held the gun.  She remembered how she had walked into Vince’s room and how he had the gun clenched in his fist, the look on his face when he saw her.

“Emma?  What are you doing here?”  he quickly stood up and walked over to her.

“W-what are you doing?”  Emma stuttered.  She practically froze.  Vince pulled her into the room and shut the door.  He dropped the gun onto the bed as he noticed how scared Emma looked.

“I’m tired Emma,” was all he said, “I’m too damn tired.”  Emma kept her eyes on the gun as she began to realize what he was doing.

“You can’t do that,” she cried, “you have too much to live for! And what about High Waters?  They helped you once they can help you again.  Remember?  They left you their number to call them when things got too crazy!”

“They don’t care about me,” he sighed.

“What are you talking about?  Of course they care!”

“It’s their job to care,” Vince noted.

“You’re lying,” Emma proclaimed, “I’m calling for help.”  She pulled out her cellphone but before she could dial Vince grabbed it from her.

“Don’t!” he yelled.

“Vince, you need help!”

“It’s too late for that…” he trailed off as he took her phone and cracked it in half.

“Well what about me?”  she huffed.  Vince turned towards her as he took in her question.  “What will happen to me?”  Emma covered her face with her hands as she felt tears sliding down her cheeks.  Vince placed his hands on her shoulders and waited for her to calm down.

“You are going to go far.  You have talent and a family that loves you, that’s all you’ll ever need,” he comforted.

“But I need you,” Emma whispered.  Vince immediately shook his head.

“No, I’ve set you back.”  Vince dropped his hands down to his sides and looked towards the ground, “I’ve set everyone back.”  Emma bit at her lip.  “Which is why this has to be done.  It has to be over.”

“I can’t just stand here and watch you do this!”  Emma cried.

“Then leave!”

“Vince—“

“I’ve made up my mind and I’m going to do it with or without you.”

“So you’re just going to leave me!  You’re going to force me to face your family and everyone else!  The cops!  High Waters!”

“You have to lie…” Vince stated while picking up the gun, “It’s for the best.”

“Vince, I can’t do that…” Emma looked into his eyes and saw the pain he was in.  She saw his misery and how that misery went straight to the bone, to his soul. Vince looked down to the gun in his hand and then to his wrist.  He quickly began to take off his bracelet, the one he found on the ground the same day he first attempted his suicide.  That was the only thing that had stopped him, that bracelet.  He wanted to get a closer look at it so instead of jumping he climbed down to the bracelet that was covered in dirt.

“Whenever you think you’ll buckle just look at this and remember that I’m right beside you…” Vince tied the bracelet around Emma’s right wrist.  “Promise me you won’t tell anyone.  Let them find me…” Vince looked longingly into Emma’s eyes. “Alone.”  Vince turned the gun towards his head.

“I promise…” Emma chocked.  She could feel her heart splitting in two.  It became hard to breath. Vince put his finger on the trigger and began to pull.  Horror engulfed Emma, she didn’t want things to just end like this.  She couldn’t let him die.  She quickly grabbed to pull the gun out of Vince’s hands but it fired.  Vince’s body was thrust backwards onto the floor.  Emma wanted to scream but all air had escaped her.  She heard footsteps racing up stairs and soon Vince’s parents entered the room.  The mother screamed at the top of her lungs as the father’s eyes scanned the room with shock on his face.  He looked down at Vince and then too Emma, his eyes widened.  It was only then did Emma realize how she now had the gun in her hands and how it pointed to where Vince once stood.

“Emma?”  the lawyer questioned for the third time.  She looked back at the judge with hesitance.  “Emma?  What do you mean he didn’t want to hurt his family?”  Emma took another deep breath.

“Exactly that.  He didn’t want to hurt them.  He didn’t want them knowing the truth. He didn’t want me knowing the truth either.”

“Was he going to kill you, Emma?”  the lawyer questioned.  The judge glanced over to the Valenti family who appeared anxious.

“He would never do that,” Emma stated.

“Are you sure?  the lawyer crossed back over to her desk to retrieve a notepad and pencil.

“Yeah.”

“I see, and why didn’t he want you knowing the truth either?  I thought you were friends?” the lawyer pushed as she started to write on the pad of paper.  Emma scanned the courtroom once again.  She looked at her family, she looked at Vince’s family and she looked at the judge.They all waited for her to say something, anything.  Emma glanced back over to the lawyer.

“Look, I’m tired, I’m too damn tired.  Can I have a break?”  Emma asked.  Everyone looked over to the judge.  The judge eyed Emma.  He could see that she truly was exhausted but he knew he had to get this case to move on.

“We will return in five minutes,” he stated.  With that said, everyone got up from their seats.  Emma watched as the lawyer approached the Valenti family and began to talk to them.  She scanned over the father and the mother and then she looked down to the little sister who was starring straight back at her.  She could only imagine what was going through that little girls mind.  Emma took in another deep breath and immediately looked back down to Vince’s bracelet.


© Copyright 2020 Emaginem. All rights reserved.

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