– 2003 –
He left the courtroom with the widest smile on his face. It was genuine and heart-felt and he was glowing with pride. He’d done what everyone had thought impossible.
She was waiting for him by his car. She watched him disappearing into the crowd of reporters and laughed silently to herself – it was as though they had swallowed him whole. She no longer saw him, only heard his name being screamed over and over, being questioned by the media and applauded by fans and admirers.
She leaned back on the car and enjoyed the scene. She could see him clearly now, he was standing by Edward James and giving an official statement to the press. The cameramen and loud reporters had backed away and quieted down now, they all stood silently listening to his speech. She watched his expression and could see the childish glee behind his professional posture. He’d always look like this after he’d won a case he truly believed in, one he’d poured his heart and soul into. She felt a tingling sense of pride.
” – I knew the jury would see what I believed if I presented them with the right evidence. Mr.Edward James is a free man now, and justice has been restored. I take great pride in knowing I kept this innocent man out of an undeserved fate. He deserves to live and breathe freely as you all do.”
He shook Edward James’s hand and introduced him to the press so he could speak to them directly – they’d spoken about this before and Edward said he’d be willing to answer the press himself. He stood behind Edward and watched the crowd explode with questions and was impressed by how Edward took charge of the situation.
Edward James answered every question with dignity and confidence, even the ones meant to demean and insult. He stood tall and firm, ready to take on the world. His speech was steady and articulate and he had everyone hanging on to his every word.
Leo spotted her in the crowd; notepad clutched in one hand, pen furiously writing with the other. Her eyebrows were forced to meet because of her intense concentration, and her lower lip – he could only assume – was almost all bitten out. He stared at her, trying to catch her eye as she looked back and forth at her notepad and Edward James, but she never seemed to notice the staring contest he was hoping to have with her.
As the press conference wrapped up, Leo placed Edward James in a cab and rushed back to the scene to find her standing there.
“Mister Darque! We meet again.” She smiled warmly, “Congratulations.”
“Thank you. And we talked about this! It’s Leo, remember?”
“Right. Leo. Congratulations, Leo. I really am very impressed.”
“Thank you, Miss King – ”
She stared at him with a warning smirk.
“I mean Allison. Thank you, Allison!”
She laughed out loud, “That’s a lot better! You’re learning!”
“Yes, yes, I am. I’m a very fast learner, too. I learned the Macarena in five minutes. True story!”
She faked a gasp, “Oh, I find that hard to believe! You must be some kind of God!”
“I’ve been called that… several times.” He winked at her. “So, Allison. Got any more interviews for me? And by interviews, I mean bizarre ten-minute interrogations, of course.” He grinned.
“Actually, the magazine wanted me to interview you again after they heard about this. I just wasn’t sure how you’d feel about that.”
“I’ll do it. Definitely. You have my number, just give me a call whenever you want to do it. Now that this whole thing is over, I’m gonna be free most of the time. So… just let me know.”
He shook her hand and said goodbye. He walked over to his car. “Baby, who was that?” She asked.
“That’s the journalist from The Law I told you about, babe. She says they wanna do another interview.”
He grabbed her from her waist and pulled her to him.
“Congratulations on your win, baby.” She whispered, staring into his eyes.
He kissed her tenderly.
“Thank you, my beautiful wife-to-be.”
© Copyright 7ala Abdullah