NOT GUILTY: 20
She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loves. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. That was long before she became a murder. She looked at herself in the mirror and smiled. Today she was the one on the stand and made sure to finish off what she had started. She walked out of the house, to her car. The driver opened the car door for her.
‘Thank you,’ she smiled at him as he closed the door.
The drive to the court house was quiet. She was in deep thoughts when the driver announced that they had arrived after opening the car door for her. The journalists were already outside the court house waiting for her. Thank God she had some bodyguards with her or else they were going to ruin her outfit and make up that she had applied.
‘You are late,’ said Mildred, ‘ I had been waiting for you.’
‘I am here, aren’t i?’
They walked inside the courthouse and likewise the Bailiff announced the entrance of the judge. Mildred was the first
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Mrs Kalango. Can you tell us about your relationship with your husband?
RITA: I met Jason when I was still at varsity. He was a very stubborn man, I wanted to be focused with school work but he wanted to take me out. I didn’t want to be with him because I was scared to be in love.
My previous relationship hadn’t end well at that time and I was so sure Jason would break my heart. But few months down the line I started to feel something for him as he kept on coming back to me. We got married and had our children, our boys.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Did you ever fight?
RITA: All couples fight and yes we did fight.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: What was the fight all about?
N: Rita sighed. Their first fight was when she found out that Jason was sleeping with her secretary.
RITA: When your man cheats, it feels like your entire universe is crumbling around you. Most women dealing with a cheating husband or boyfriend start thinking of ways to fix the situation. We wonder what we have done to drive him to the arms of another woman.
We struggle to think of ways to bring him back. Jason wasn’t a saint and when I found out that he was cheating on me, I wanted to leave but then I was pregnant with my second child and couldn’t raise the two on my own. We went to a marriage counsel and fixed our relationship. He was a good man until….
N: She paused and started crying.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Take your time Mrs Kalango.
RITA: Until I received a call that my husband had been murdered in cold blood. I know he wasn’t that perfect but not all of us are. He had his bad side but 1 thing, he loved his 2 boys and now they have no one to call ‘father’ all because of her. There are many men out there and I still don’t understand why she chose my Jason and later on killed him.
My heart aches whenever I see my kids talking about their father. They miss their father a lot and its quiet sad that I can’t bring him back. I just pray that she will get what she deserves for my husband’s soul to rest in peace. She has hurt my family and we have been through a lot for the past few months. Sometimes I even forget that he is gone. I call him in the kitchen, to come help me peel the potatoes, something that he always loved to do. Sometimes I tend to forget that his clothes are not in the washing basket. I miss Jason a lot and if only she can bring him back.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: No further questions, your honor.
N: Some of the people sympathized with Rita. She actually did put on a great show, the crocodile tears and breaking down in front of the judge. She might have found sympathy in his eyes if only she was telling the truth. Craig got up and walked to the front…
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Mrs K, how did you know that your husband was cheating on you?
RITA: You don’t need proof that your man is cheating to know that something isn’t working between the two of you. Whether he is actually cheating or you are just seriously paranoid, evidence isn’t required to know something has to change. Driving yourself mad trying to catch him in the act of cheating won’t deliver the peace of mind you are looking for. It will only make you look and feel crazy.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Mrs K, your husband once cheated on you and you claiming that Kate was obsessed with him? Don’t you think that’s a big lie? I doubt that Kate was obsessed with him but he was in love with her. People cheat because they are cheaters. When a man cheats it’s not because he was innocently seduced by another woman’s wicked charms. It’s not because she offered something you didn’t it’s not because she is better than you. They don’t need temptation to have an affair.
Let go of your anger towards the other woman, it’s misguided. Focus instead on the fact that the partner you were in a relationship with violated his commitment to monogamy. If it wasn’t her, he’d have found someone else. Even if she leaves the picture, there are millions of women in the world for him to cheat with. Not to frame another woman for your husband’s death, because you killed him yourself. No further questions your honor.
N: Craig on his way to his seat looked at Mildred whose eyes were already filled with tears and he knew that he had touched a nerve. The young man had said something that touched most of the women in the room even the judge. It wasn’t allowed to clap hands but they all felt like he deserved a round of applause for his touching words that were motivating.
He parked his car out front and got out of it. He didn’t know why she had asked to see him, maybe they had unfinished business. He walked to the door and was about to knock when she quickly opened the door for him and hugged him.
‘I was not so sure that you would come.’
He faked a smile and she gestured him to come inside the house. The house was beautiful; no doubt she had made a good name for herself by being a lawyer. Gone are the days when he used to worship her, did all she asked him to do. He had once loved her very deeply when they were still at Harvard but now things were different, he had fallen out of love.
‘Can I get you anything to drink?’ she offered with a big smile spread across her face.
This was her man, she was about to get him back.
‘No, I am fine and not staying that long.’
‘Come on. We have got 3 days to rest before going back on Monday. We could use some chilling moment you know.’
‘Middy, what do you want?’
He is the only person that called her that.
‘I am sorry Craig for everything that I did to you.’
He laughed briefly.
‘Take me back in your life.’
‘Are you serious right now?’
‘Yes, I am very serious. Once this trial is over I want to quit on being a lawyer and be with you.’
‘Do you know what you did to me/must I remind you?’
‘I didn’t mean to sleep with your best friend. I was drunk..’
‘Oh please Middy. We both know that you wanted to be with Dylan and used me. You played with my feelings and toyed with my heart. I was a fool to think that you and me will have a happily ever after,’ he stood up, ‘I have to leave now.’
‘But we just started talking and you didn’t even eat what I had cooked for you.’
‘I have a woman waiting for me at home.’
She laughed mockingly much to his surprise.
‘You mean that blind girl. She doesn’t even know what you look like. You going to have blind children and I will have the last laugh. How do you even have sex with someone who doesn’t even know how your manhood looks like?’
‘I see you haven’t changed Mildred and that makes it different when I am with Karen. She inspires me to be a much bigger person. Love isn’t about what the other person can’t do, but what we feel inside our hearts. I will continue loving Karen even if she were to lose his legs also, she my inspiration and my family loved her. She is extremely good with her,’
‘You introduced her to your family?’
‘After the trial, I am going to ask her to marry me. Goodbye Middy and let it be the last time you call me. You are my past and I am now focused on my present and that is Karen,’ with that said he walked out of her house leaving her screaming out his name.
She had thought that he was going to forgive her but then she had thought wrong. The man wasn’t ready to forgive anyone and take them back. He had this big smile spread across his face.
‘How did it go?’ asked Karen.
‘I was about to come out of the car. She should have known that I came along.’
‘I love you being so overprotective and jealous.’
‘No, I am not but just marking my territory. That bitch should stay away from you. I am blind but I can kick her ass.’
Craig laughed while starting the car engine.
‘You have been watching lots of those American movies, my lady.’
‘I will be listening to the language, not watching silly.’
‘I love you Karen.’
‘So right now we going to meet with Jason’s ex lawyer, Harris, the one who has got the record, conversation between him and Rita.’
‘Why is he helping us?’
‘Rita once threatened to hurt his family and made him hand her a fake will. So I think he recorded conversation they had together in his office. We just find out once were there are. He was out of the country and recently came back leaving his family in Dubai.’
‘I bet he was running away from that evil woman.’
‘Her days are numbered; soon she will be in prison.’
‘Today she sounded so calm but my baby put on a great show today. I heard all that you said and I am proud of you. You are a good lawyer.’
Tell me that once I manage to win this case. After what I just did, Mildred will be ready to attack me on Tuesday.’
‘To hell with her, we already won the case. We been preparing for months and praying about it. Nothing is possible without a prayer.’
‘Amen, my future wife.’
‘I hope your eyes are focused on the road.’