UNATTAINABLE PERFECTION (Episode 5)
“Mother that is enough pleases” I pleaded worriedly…
But as stubborn as she is, she just shakes her head, crying.
“The doctor says you shouldn’t be stressed so please stop crying please”
“How can I not be stressed when my son is behind bars tell me. Just look at all the wounds on your body. They’ve beat you so badly Will. You know you and your brothers are all I’ve got.” She sobs and I felt my heart breaking into a thousand pieces.
I can’t bear to see my mother shed a single tear.
I’ve been a witness to how my mother suffered to bring all three of us up by herself after dad left and abandoned us when my mother suffered an accident.
He didn’t want to be burdened with a crippled wife and three kids. She was hit by a car. A black sedan. I was there when it happened. And the driver, a young girl whose face I didn’t exactly see didn’t bother to stop after she hit my mother. Instead, she drove away leaving my mother in a helpless state and causing her to be crippled. That’s if my mother doesn’t get her surgery before the time expires, then she’ll be rendered a cripple for life.
My two elder brothers who after great difficulty managed to complete college a few months ago have been searching for jobs here and there.
But in this 21st century, even a degree can’t get you a decent job. It’s all about favoritism and nepotism.
And after two years of completion of high school at age nineteen, I had finally managed to get enrolled in a university where I’ll be starting next month September.
But now, only God knows if I’ll get out of here soon enough.
I sighed, licking my dry lips.
“Will?” Michael, my eldest brother calls out, jolting me out of my reverie.
“Hmm?” I answer absentmindedly.
“You’re innocent aren’t you?”
I shoot him a death glare at the ridiculous question.
“You know me better than that Michael! I would never disrespect any woman.”
“Then why did you spend the night in jail? Why didn’t the girl drop the charges against you?” Richard, the second eldest questioned.
“It wasn’t her. Her father was the one who filed a case against me. As for Alexa, she was bleeding pretty bad last night. She fainted. She didn’t even know what was going on. She’ll come to give her statement when she is better” I said with a hint of certainty.
Do I really trust her that much…
“Enough boys. Don’t make your little brother talk too much. Can’t you see how weak he is?” My mother scolds and I’m tempted to groan…
“I’m not little mother. I’m twenty-one!” I emphasized but all I get was her pinching my cheeks like two-year-old.
“Here, I made you your favorite.” She told me, opening the food flask. The aroma filling my nostrils making me moan in pure delight.
“You’ll always be a little boy Willy boy. See how you gush over mere food”
I glared at him. I hate it when they call me that.
“I wasn’t gushing!”
“Oh stop bullying my baby!” Mother hits Richard and I groaned.
“I’m not a baby mother!” I exclaimed and it was Michael’s turn to laugh.
“Eat. You must be hungry. My poor baby, see how they hurt you” she sniffed, holding back tears.
We all sat at the counter-back in silence as I ate the rice balls with groundnut soup.
And for the first time, I lost appetite while eating my favorite food.
I can’t stop thinking. Thinking about the possibility that I may never go scotfree. That I may end up getting sentenced because we do not have enough money to pay for a good lawyer.
What was my fault in this? I was only trying to help. If only my brothers hadn’t persuaded me to go to the club with them to celebrate my admission into the university, I wouldn’t have been here.
What if Alexa never comes?
No..no.no. She will. She will.
I snap my head up.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, mother. I’m fine. I will be fine” I gave her a small smile.
I will be fine.
TWO WEEKS LATER.
She betrayed me.
She f*cking betrayed me!
That bitch! That lying bitch!
I grit my teeth as the police officers guide me down the van and walked me towards the courtroom.
Media personnels rushing to surround us, cameras clicking in each other direction as they all began to bombard me with questions.
I’m tempted to insult all of them but I held myself.
With both my hands cuffed, I lifted it to shield my face from the cameras.
Alexander Wallace betrayed me.
She never came to give her statement. She never dropped the case against me. She never came to visit me once and now my case is going to be tried.
There’s no escape.
My family couldn’t even afford a lawyer so a lawyer was given to us by the government. And when that happened, I just knew we had lost the case.
I made sure to avoid all the death glares I’m receiving as I walked into the box.
It didn’t take long for the judge to arrive and everything began after I’m made to swear to speak nothing but the truth.
I snort. As if the truth will even save me.
“William Wilson, do you plead guilty?” The judge asked and I’m tempted to walk to him and punch him. The f*cktard!
“I’m innocent,” I said for the thousand time.
“Very well then. Plaintiff, do you have anything to say?” The judge asked and the lawyer gets up and begins to speak lies against me.
Alexa, the so-called victim didn’t even show up to testify. The lawyer giving flimsy excuses saying she’s still recuperating and suffering from trauma so she can’t testify. Pure lies!
I tune out to the whole conversation when witnesses are being called. Corrupt. All of them.
And even when the court takes a break for fifteen minutes I refused to go meet my family. I can’t afford to see them broken, helpless especially my mother.
And so after the break was over I just stood there, staring at the handcuffs as I await the verdict.
Alexandra let me down. She betrayed me. In the most painful way.
“Taking into accounts all evidences and arguments between both parties, I hereby declare that William Wilson is guilty of attempted rape, physical and emotional abuse as charged. I hereby sentence him to twelve months in jail. This court is adjourned”
I’m transfixed. Shocked.
A whole year? For a crime, I didn’t commit?. F*ck! This is an injustice! I’ve heard stories where people have been sentence to only six to eight months in prison for rape. But I? For attempted rape, which isn’t even true and I’m sentenced to twelve months? Why? Because I’m poor? Because I couldn’t defend myself?
“Will!!!” I turned. My mother was Wheeling herself to where I am.
“Mother” my voice breaks.
“Will this is unfair. This is an injustice! You’re innocent! Let go off my son!!” Mother screams, tugging the handcuffs on my hand.
“I’ll be fine mother,” I said, doubting my own words. I won’t be fine, but I can’t let them see me broken.
“Take care of mother Michael,” I told my brother as the police dragged me away.
Yet again, my education has been stalled for a whole year because of a frivolous issue. I’ll be known as a r*pist and an ex convict.
My mother was in tears. My brothers were in distraught.
All because I tried to do good.
Never again! Never again will I do good!
“Drive faster!” I yelled at Sophie who in turn steps on the gas,pushing us forward.
I shut my eyes and prayed fervently. I hope the judge hasn’t passed his sentence yet. Oh God!.
That witch of a stepmother had managed to convince my father that I was suffering from psychological trauma and so I wasn’t allowed to go out.
I was under house arrest. My phone was even taken away and anytime my dad would come to my room, I always tried to tell him but my stepmother always interrupted. It’s like she was doing all she could to prevent me from speaking up. A guard had been placed in front of my room for two weeks. Only God knows how we had to hit him unconscious and get past all the guards to escape.. I have to testify. He’s innocent.
William is innocent. Knowing my father’s influence, he would be given a longer sentence than normal. A lone tear escapes my eyes and I wiped it quickly.
“Please step on the gas. Faster Sophie!” I yelled in exasperation.
“Almost there Alexa. Almost” she answered.
Please let me reach on time. I prayed.
Upon arriving, I didn’t even wait for Sophie to park the car well before I bolted out of the car, running towards the courtroom. But then I stopped when I realized people were trooping out, I saw William being escorted out by three police officers. Journalists surrounding them. I pushed my way through the crowd until I got to him.
“Will!” I call out, panting.
He stopped and turned to face me, a dark gleam in His eyes. He looks broken, defeated.
“Ah, the victim finally showed up. your lawyer had said you were still on a hospital bed, recuperating and still in trauma” he pauses to stare at me “I see you’re perfectly fine”
What? Me? In a hospital bed?
“William I…” I began but he stopped me.
“Don’t you f*cking say a word else I swear I’m gonna commit a crime for real this time.
Just because you think you’re rich, you pay off anyone to do your bidding. You never came Alexandra. I waited but you never came. You watched an innocent man get sentenced for a crime he didn’t commit. I trusted a stranger that much to have waited. What a fool I am”
William laughs bitterly.
“Watch your back Alexandra Wallace. Because I swear to all things holy that if I ever make it out of jail alive after my twelve months sentence is up, I’ll come for you. And I’ll tear you to pieces. Mark my words” he spits with pure venom in his voice and I flinched, a tear escaping my eye.
I watched as a woman in a wheelchair dragged herself out rushing after William who’s been hogged up into the police van, crying.
Oh God, what have I done.