Sapphire: The Color of Courage

I took a deep breath before going to stand before Judge Callahan. My hands were shaking, so I quickly clasped them together. I looked up at the judge, trying to decide exactly how to form my thoughts into coherent sentences (other than, "Jack's a lying fool!"). Finally I found the words.
"I'm going to tell you my version of what really happened," I said, my voice coming out soft but strong. "I'm not going to tell you that I'm the one who's telling the truth, but I'm going to leave that up to you." And then I told the whole courtroom the story of my life since I was eleven, leading up to the night when I'd run away.
"Thank you for your account of the story, Miss Deinte," Judge Callahan said when I was done telling my side of the "story." It wasn't a story; it was real, and it had been ever since it started. "Please sit down."
Once I'd sat down (on top of my shaking hands, even though it stung), she said, "Now, the lawyers will have a chance to defend their clients. Mr. Burroughs, you can go first. Call your first witness to the stand." (A/N: I'm really sorry if I mess this whole court thing up; I only know how murder trials go.)
Jack's lawyer stood up. "I call Sapphire Deinte to the stand, Your Honour." Startled, I got up and went to sit in the witness box, where I put my hand on the Bible and pledged to tell the truth. "Now, Miss Deinte, did you in fact run away from you uncle's home on the night of the fourth of May?"
I nodded. "Yes."
"Did you break your leg on that night?"
"Yes."
"Was it your uncle who caused this injury?"
"In a non-direct way, yes," I answered honestly. "I jumped out the window in my second story bedroom, but I jumped in the first place to---"
"So, your uncle wasn't the one who caused your leg to break then?"
"No," I admitted.
"No further questions, Your Honour." Mr. Burroughs sat down, but then Mr. Lowell came up and stood in front of me.
"Miss Deinte, you said that you ran away from home. Why did you run away? If your uncle Jack is such a kind man, why would you need to run away?"
"Objection!" hollered Mr. Burroughs.
"Withdrawn," Mr. Lowell said to Judge Callahan. "But Sapphire, why did you run away?"
"I wanted to get away from him, my uncle. I wasn't safe there. I needed to get out."
"Why weren't you safe there?"
"Because.he hits me."
"Who hits you?"
"Jack. My uncle Jack abused me when I was there."
"How did he abuse you?"
"He smacked me, threw me to the ground, and then he kicked me while I was on the ground. He made sure that I couldn't get back up once I'd fallen." I didn't look up at anyone. I couldn't look up at them.
"Sapphire, take off you jacket and show the courtroom your arms," Mr. Lowell told me gently.
Silently, I did as I was told and took my jacket off. Slowly I held my arms out in front of me, squeezing my eyes shut tight when I heard a collective gasp go around the room. I heard someone start to cry, but I couldn't tell if it was my mom or I. I was numb against everything.
"Now tell me, do those bruises look like they came from falling down the stairs?" Mr. Lowell asked the courtroom. "Can any of you honestly tell me that you truly believe that a young girl of sixteen could contract that many bruises of that kind of severity falling down the stairs? I don't think so.
"The truth, ladies and gentlemen, is that young Miss Sapphire Deinte did not fall down the stairs," Mr. Lowell continued. "She was brutally beaten by her mother's brother, and not just once. No, Sapphire had to put up with being beaten, always being scared to come home, and not being able to speak of her horrors to anyone else for five years."
After that, Mr. Burroughs went off on a rampage, questioning me further ("Why couldn't you tell anyone if he was hitting you, Miss Deinte?" he asked furiously) and roaring "OBJECTION!" after every other sentence. Then Danny, Cole, my mom, and even some of my schoolteachers were called up as witnesses to be questioned about everything from my behaviour at school to my eating habits (don't ask me how that was brought up). But then, all it came down to was the ruling.
Would I win?
----An hour later, back at the Cash's home----
"It was that closing argument that did it!" Danny claimed, grinning. She grabbed a hold of her cousin and whisked him round the room. Everyone was smiling, even me. We had won the trial. Jack was sentenced to jail for 7-10 years for child abuse.
"Actually, Danny, I think it was mostly the bruises that got to everyone," Cole said, but he smiled at me. "Congratulations on finally putting that creep away, Sapphire! I was sure that you'd win the case."
"Thanks, Cole, Danny, Mom," I said, looking around at everyone. "Thank you for all your help through this. I never would have made it through these five years without you guys. I really couldn't have done any of this without you. I'm so lucky to have people like you in my lives right now."
I started to cry again, but this time they were tears of joy. "I'm finally free," I said through my tears. "I haven't felt this good in five years, and it's all thanks to you guys."
Then everyone was hugging me. Danny, Mrs. Cash and Mom started crying, and soon every female in the house was weeping (Riana and Renée joined in soon after, though I don't know why). Even Andrew started crying, but I have a feeling that was because Riana pinched him. I knew why I was crying though.
It was finally over. I was free from Jack forever (or at least for 7 to ten years). Not knowing why, I hugged Cole, burying my face into his shoulder and probably soaking his tee shirt with my tears, but he didn't seem to care. He tilted my face up to his, and then we were kissing gently, as if there weren't six other people in the room with us.
I remember thinking, If this is what freedom feels like, I could really get used to it.
~*~ FINE ~*~
Author's Note: Well, there you have it. This story is completed. Wow, I feel so special; this is the first story that I've ever finished. I've ended fanfictions and stuff like that, but this is the first actual original fiction story that I've ever finished. YAY! Go me. Okay, well, anyway.please review!