"You ready?" Bethany, my lawyer, sighed as we pulled up to the courthouse. I adjusted my tie and exhaled heavily. Whether I was ready or not, I would have to go in there and handle business.
"Yeah, let’s get this over with." I mumbled, opening the car door. I hopped out and started my way up to the courthouse. I walked inside and examined the wooden interior. Ever since that tragic day in my life, I’ve seen the inside of these too many times. And ever since that day, every fiber of my being held regret and guilt.
Walking home from school, I reflected on today. It was another normal day filled with humiliation and embarrassment. I’m not a popular guy but with the attention I get, you’d think I was. None of that attention is positive but people still know who Chris Brown is.
He’s that weird kid. The quiet one. The nerd. The crazy kid that gets mad randomly. The kid that cuts himself. No one at that school has a heart. They all tease me and they don’t even know the affect that it has on me. Actually, they know but they don’t give a fuck.
While in my thoughts, I heard a group of loud laughter behind me. When I turned around, George, the boy that bullies me the most was standing there with his friends.
"What’s good, punk?" he chuckled, walking closer to me. I held my notebooks closer to my chest and turned around. I wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction of an argument. On top of that, I needed to get home and take my medication. I felt my mood shifting slightly. I was converting from calm to angry.
"Oh, now he wanna act like he don’t hear me talkin’ to him. I’ll just follow you home, Chris." he laughed as his footsteps gained on me. I sighed and stopped abruptly, making him bump into me.
"Can you please leave me alone? I’m begging you." I gritted, never looking at him. My anger was seeping through and it was getting harder to keep at bay.
"What, you gon’ cry?" George teased, making his friends laugh. Sighing, I turned back around and started on the walk home. This time, he and his friends huddled around me. A bunch of derogatory comments were thrown amongst the circle. I stood in the middle while they antagonized me and said hurtful things. My eyes glued shut as I prayed that they would finish up this verbal torture that they’re putting me through.
"Chris crazy as fuck! I mean, who the fuck cuts themselves?! Peep this nigga wrists though!" George laughed hysterically. My eyes narrowed at the harshest comment he’s said to me. More insults about my self inflicting habit fled his mouth before something triggered in me.
I picked up the brick that was on the ground and bashed his skull in, making blood shoot all over me. His body dropped to the cold concrete. The others gasped, staring at the red liquid seeping from under his lifeless body. The crimson brick that was in my grasp, dropped to the ground as I realized what I had done. My breathing increased and I found myself getting nauseas at the sight.
"You fuckin’ murderer! I’m callin’ the cops!" one boy cried, running down the street. The rest of the clique scattered, leaving me alone with the body. Tears streamed from my face as I stared at the gruesome scene. The skin on his forehead was broken to the point where white bone was visibly seen.
"Fuck!" I cried, kicking the gate beside me. Dropping down to the ground, I wept. I didn’t fucking mean for this to happen. I just lost control. My depression went to that of anger when I looked at his body again. He’s the reason why I’m crying. He’s the reason why he’s dead.
Standing up, I picked up my previous weapon and bludgeoned his skull. Some weird, explainable energy shot throughout my body, generating me to continue bashing the heavy rock against his head. Blood was splattered all over me at this point. An onlooker saw my actions and screamed before running inside the house. I hope she was calling the police. Somebody needs to get me the help I need.
"Chris? Chris?" Bethany frantically shook me. Once I blinked a few times, she sighed from relief with a mixture of irritation. "I hate when you do that. Honestly, your eyes turn this deep black and then you stop responding to me. It’s scary, Chris."
"Sorry, Beth." I mumbled. Every time those events flood back into my brain, it’s like I had withdrawn from my body. I know that I fell into the dark abyss of my memories but I can’t seem to pull myself out of it. An out of body experience, to put it lamely.
"All rise." the Judge ordered from behind the stand. Beth and I both stood up at the same time as if we were synchronized. My ‘rival’ Karen stood to the far left of me at her stand. She’s been trying to see forward that I be placed in prison for an undisclosed amount of time. Even though she won’t reveal how long my sentence should be, her actions make it seem like I deserve the death penalty.
"You may all be seated. The hearing is now in session." he spoke, making his voice project in the almost vacant courtroom.
"We got this, Chris." Beth smiled, gripping my hand.
"I hope so."
"I don’t appreciate you ditchin’ me yesterday." I smiled at Jordan as we took our usual seats in the crowded cafeteria.
"Man, I had a doctor’s appointment. It was completely unintentional." she shrugged. Whenever Jordan’s high as a kite, she’s dumb as fuck. Sober Jordan is quite the scholar. She still has her blonde moments but it’s whatever. "Why? Did somethin’ happen yesterday?"
"Nah, it was a normal day. I was just lonely without my Barbie." I pouted, making her giggle. As I began to eat my sandwich, I made eye contact with Trenton. He narrowed his eyes at me before clenching his jaw. I placed my lunch down and returned the hard stare. If this dude thought he was a threat to me, he is surely mistaken.
"Who are you lookin’ at like that?" Jordan chuckled, following my direction. When she noticed who my gaze was fixed on, her laughter rose but I saw nothing humorous.
"I’ve never seen exes hate each other this much." she chuckled. I ignored her statement and kept my eyes glued on the son of a bitch in front of me. Trenton got up from his table and I prayed for HIS sake that he wasn’t coming over here. To my dismay, he treaded to where I sat.
"Lemme tell you somethin’ bitch, next time you put yo’ hands on me like that, you gon’ get fucked up. I don’t know what got knocked loose up there, makin’ you think it was aight to punch me but you better fix it." he gritted. The side of my mouth quivered in attempts to hold my laughter in. Failing miserably, I started rolling as if someone had told the world’s funniest joke.
"Trenton, you really think that you’re intimidating me? To spare yourself the embarrassment, you need to go take your seat. In all seriousness, don’t get me mad. I’ll clock ya shit just like I did at the mall." I growled. His presence and tough boy act started off as amusing and now it’s just plain annoying.
"I don’t why you think you that bitch. You ain’t shit, Reece. The fact that I wasted my time on you is funny. You’re a stuck up bitch and you need to get off that pedestal." he grumbled.
"Stop throwin’ that bitch word around so loosely. You’ve used it twice against me already. You have one more strike. I dare you to—"
"Bitch." he said simply before smiling. My calm demeanor turned into one of a beast. You would think that calling me a female dog triggered my outrageous actions. Well, you thought correct. Slowly, I stood up from my chair, giving him the chance to come correct. Instead, he stood there with a smug look.
"Trenton, I warned you." I grimaced. Before another word could flee from his mouth, my balled fist came in contact with his jaw for the second time in the last week. The impact of my blow made him lose balance a little. People egged on the fight by chanting and instigating. Hatred and anger sparked in his eyes when they met my amused look. In no form or fashion, was I scared of this boy.
He charged towards me only for his boys to pull him back. They gave him several reasons not to hit me. Getting kicked off the basketball team was the initial reason that made him tame his behavior. Unbelievable.
"This ain’t fuckin’ over, Reece. I ain’t even gotta put hands on you. I know exactly what I’ma do." he smirked before wiping the blood that had trickled out the corner of his mouth. The bell rang as I stood in confusion.
"What you think NJ got under his sleeves?" Jordan chuckled, using the nickname she had given him awhile back. I threw away my tray and grabbed my Northface backpack.
"J, I have no clue. Honestly, I don’t think he’s going to do anything. All he ever does is make threats that he doesn’t go through with." I shrugged before walking out of the cafeteria. I don’t do practical jokes so if he loves his life, he better not try anything slick.
"Christopher, explain to me why I should override this trial. I mean, the information that I received on this case is horrid. A mental illness can only take you so far. Meaning, it can only excuse certain actions. I can admit, the man I see sitting before me is nothing like the cold killer described in this profile." he said, pointing to the manila folder in front of him.
"Judge, I know that my actions were brutal and somewhat gruesome but I regret it. Everyday, I wake up and think about the horrible crime that I committed. And no, it didn’t take jail time and the mental institute for me to realize this. I knew that is was wrong immediately after it happened. My question to you is, how much more do I have to undergo before this can be called off?" I asked in a desperate tone. Stroking his chin hair, he stared at me.
"Chris, manslaughter is a serious crime. Although you’ve showed regret for your past actions, your present actions don’t show it. For example, the constant relocating. Ever since you were released, you’ve been living a pretty unstable lifestyle. It’s hard to keep up with you to even know that you’ve made improvement." he lectured.
"Judge, I swear to you that I’ve made legitimate improvement. The only reason I move so much is because I love to see new places. I’m not on the run or trying to make you lose track of me. California may actually be my last move for awhile. I’m going to school, I live in a decent neighborhood, and I’m trying to get a job. Sir, I genuinely am begging you to withhold further trial. It’s not necessary. I haven’t given the law any trouble since my arrest." I sighed.
"Excuse me, Judge Hamilton? May I object? Christopher Brown was involved in a hostile confrontation last year in Arkansas with an employee from a restaurant, resulting in him being refrained. Is that truly progress?" Karen smirked before taking her seat. She would bring that up.
"Care to explain?" Judge asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Sure. In all honesty, I overreacted. I was out to dinner with a friend of mine and our order was taking entirely too long. I mean, pushing forty five minutes. Naturally, I got angry like anyone else but I promise you, the employee escalated my behavior. The man used a racial slur causing me to make bodily threats. Yes, I was detained and forced to spend one night in jail. I did apologize to the employee the following day even though, I deserved the apology." I explained in great detail.
The wrinkles on his forehead showed that he was processing all of this information. I was praying that he would just override the upcoming trial and let me live my life. All of this court nonsense is accumulating a bunch of unnecessary stress in my life. When you think about it, all of this shit won’t bring my victim back. Not in a harsh way but I don’t see the benefit of sitting in a courtroom for hours upon hours.
"Christopher, I can say with great pleasure that the trial is canceled. The probation process will also come to a halt. I believe that you’ve made an abundance of progress since you were released. This restaurant incident however, I don’t want a replay of any of that behavior. Am I clear?" he asked.
"Yes, sir. I’ll be on my best behavior. You’ll never have to see me in here again. I’m a changed man." I smiled brightly, making him mirror my facial expression. Glancing over at Karen, I noticed she had a scowl on her face. Damn, is seeing me happy that much of a curse for her?
"Any further statements before we close this session?" Judge asked, raising his brown gavel in the air.
"I have one. I know Chris will be back in here for something. Just wait. Other than that, enjoy your freedom while you’ve got it." Karen growled. Judge Hamilton scoured the courtroom for anymore last words before banging his gavel down.
"Finally, you’re a free man!" Beth squealed before raveling me in a tight hug. Pulling away, she looked up at me with a bright smile.
"Thanks for stayin’ by my side throughout all of this. You are appreciated, Beth. I know that if I’m ever in trouble again, which I wont be, I’ll call you." I smiled.
"Aww, thanks Chris." she cooed, pinching my cheeks. Laughing, I smacked her small hands away.
"Let’s have a celebration lunch for Chris’ freedom." Rick smiled, rubbing his stomach. Normally, I would find the epic insult to throw at him but he set himself up for that one.
"Come on." I laughed as we walked out of the courtroom. I’m finally happy that this court stuff is over. Still, the pain and regret lingers inside of me. No trial cancellation gonna stop that feeling.
"Explain to me why you’re suspended for four days?" my mother asked once we stepped foot in the house. To sum it up, Trenton told the principal, they ran the tapes, and now I’m suspended for assaulting him. On the entire ride home, I stayed silent as my mother barked. Still, she hasn’t finished running her mouth.
"You clearly know why I’m suspended so stop askin’." I grumbled, walking up the stairs.
"Maryse! Don’t talk to me like that because it’s just gonna add to the reason why you’re gonna be grounded. I know why you got suspended but what provoked you to hit that boy?" she questioned more specifically.
"He said some out of pocket shit and I reacted! I’ll never let a man call me out of my name, not once, but three times!" I argued. She was getting me heated all over again.
"You cursin’ now? Maryse, go to your room and don’t come out. Until I come up with a reasonable punishment, I don’t wanna see your face. Go." she said sternly while pointing up the staircase. Sucking my teeth, I stomped up the steps and to my room. Once I was inside, I slammed the door closed.
"Slam somethin’ else!" my mom shouted from downstairs. I mimicked her and plopped down on my bed. I wanted to call Chris but he told me that he had some legal stuff to handle. Still, I had no idea what he could have done. I feel like he would have told me if it were something that he wanted to share. As if on cue, my iPhone vibrated in the pocket of my hoodie. It was a message from Chris.
From: Chrissy :)
im just lettin you know im out of court. im at lunch now. you want me to come over when you get out of school?
To: Chrissy :)
you cant. im grounded or on punishment. i dont even know wtf the difference is. either way, im in trouble. :(
I clicked the ‘Send’ icon and waited for his response. Since Chris had a Blackberry, I couldn’t stalk to see if he was writing me back. Normally the three dots give people away. My phone dinged, showing me that he sent a text back as rapidly as I hoped he would.
From: Chrissy :)
what you do?
To: Chrissy :)
i hit trenton, you know that boy from the mall. he called me a bitch 3 times so i punched him.
From: Chrissy :)
again? lmao, but stop that fighting. youre too pretty for that.
Blushing at the text, I held my red cheeks. Chris has called me stunning but that was only because he was forced to. Well, technically he wasn’t but it was the polite thing to say at the time. This time, he called me pretty for no reason. In the middle of my girly antics, my bedroom door swung open. There stood my mother with her hand planted on her hips. She was in her yoga attire so I was assuming she had a lesson to teach.
To: Chrissy :)
oh stop it. ;) anyway, let me hit you back. the beast entered the room. (it’s my mom if you didnt get it)
From: Chrissy :)
I placed my phone down and looked toward the threshold where she stood.
"Maryse, you’re on punishment for a week. I’m being lenient with you because you’ve never been in trouble before. The boy had to have gotten you all riled up for you to behave that way. BUT, if it happens again, there will be worse consequences. Do you understand?" she asked in a firm tone.
"I do, mom. It won’t happen again." I sighed, completely over and done with this conversation.
"OK, then. I have a lesson. Since I had to cancel to go get you, I’ll be home late. Like around seven. Don’t have nobody in my house and don’t leave this house." she warned with a pointed finger. I nodded slowly to show her that I completely understood. With that, she closed my room door and left. Instantly, I picked up my phone and texted Chris with the change of plans. I may have understood her rules but that doesn’t mean I’ll listen.