Court hearings are not exactly what you would call entertaining and what was there? If it was a civil case, it would usually be the tragic case of divorce, heartbreak and the loss of millions. If a criminal cases, it would involve either the perpetrator being punished rather severely or him getting away with that sleight of hand. If anyone would like to attend it, there were two things in their kind- either they were the involved or just some sadistic people who enjoyed seeing a tarnishing one at hand.
Of course, lawyers counted in neither. Their hearts were hardened to such shocking situations, and who would not blame them? It was a job after all- and all jobs need their detachments.
And such a situation did take place- it was the early spring of probably March or April- who knew and who cared? Being forced out of their warm comfy beds to attend such a boring, explicitly evil thing like a court session was not exactly an ideal way of life for many and well, it became pretty apparent by the time everyone got there, even the judge himself was groggy and groaning, dreaming of garlic toast and milk.
Over ten thousand people had attended, or at least that was what the world felt. Dressed in boring, drab colours very unlike spring and with the solemn faces of a funeral, nobody was happy, period. The judge's cold glances only darkened the brown panelled court room with lawyers looking determined, yet groggier than ever and waiting for the clients, who not surprisingly, took their own sweet time, much to their displeasure.
Suddenly, a voice appeared from behind. "They have arrived!" by now, the whole room was in relief- things were moving faster. Everyone turned in curiosity to see who today's distraught souls were and they certainly were no sight for sore eyes. A tall, lanky man dressed as drably as them, yet fashionably arrived first, with an almost indifferent stare in his fair face which contrasted to his red hair. He seemed bored, if not callous and just plopped himself onto the chair near his lawyer while staring into space like a drug addict. A contrasting gentleman indeed was he.
Right behind, a classy yet slightly deranged looking woman appeared. Dressed conservatively in olive browns and Italian stilettos, she seemed quite sober, albeit an awkward air around her spoke otherwise. She sat with her lawyer and was clenching her fists- who was she, a classy outlaw? Curiosity kept heightening as everyone stared. And at final last, the innocent young perpetrator of everything had arrived. A short, blonde haired boy arrived, his hands almost burying his face. Seemingly stained with tears, he withdrew from everyone around while shuffling his elbows into his dark red jumper while staying away from every possible human contact. Clearly traumatised, he chose to stay in the far corner, away from the other two who arrived. This sight disturbed, frightened and disheartened many. Yet this was a professional case, so emotions had no place in there.
Or did they?
"So" the judge began. "Court proceeds." he slammed that hammer thing onto the table. "Here we discuss the apparent custody problems to do with Mr Salter Flanagan. Begin." The boy cringed when hearing his name. Nobody ever thought of him without hate. It scared him no end.
One lawyer got up and spoke "I would like to testify on behalf of Mr. Walter Flanagan. As per his relations, he is the father, albeit by his words, he has decided against taking custody for the boy. That is all. He says he is no longer interested as they are legally separated and he does not want joint custody."
The judge heard sternly, reminiscent of giving such an order before. "In that case, he has it granted, am I right?" he asked while the lawyer nodded.
"Then why are we here?"
"That is because..." the man began as he pointed his finger to the woman "the female parent has been claimed unfit to raise him." All eyes were turned to the lady who was seated there. She seemed placid, but some part of her just seethed of evil. "She has been medically claimed to be unstable! I have been asked to place a restraining order against the mother." he claimed proudly while all looked at him in shock and disbelief.
"I object!" another lawyer yelled. Once his attention was acquired, he spoke out rather voraciously "She has been in a temporary state of trauma and sorrow, but she seemed to have been over it post the divorce. It hasn't been very serious, so there is nothing to worry about. The father doesn't want the child, his wishes are respected. But must we really discuss the case any further? The mother already has custody of Salter, so why worry?"
There was something mildly unprofessional about this statement.
"Oh really?" the other lawyer smirked smugly. "If that is the case, then what is THIS?!" he waved a prescriptive piece of paper in front of the disgruntled man who was reading it with keen interest. The details were shocking and did not prove anything right to any sane person in this civil battlefield.
"See? It reads she is mentally unstable and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia." The man snubbed. "In your face!"
"I must win this case." The other guy thought and then he used a portion of his charm. "That says so, but that doesn't deem her unfit for motherhood, does it? Many children have had unstable parents and even lived with them! Besides, they say this is a mild fit! Read carefully for once!" On having it read, he was tempted to burst into satirical laughter- it seemed so stupid.
"I doubt you are using any sort of sense or logic in this. The child must go to the foster home for here it is clinical proof enough that she is insane. Must I bring the doctor in here to prove everything? I can bring him, no problem!" he laughed. The other man seemed angered. "Insane she is, but she seems to really love her child, the amount of haggling she did in this case, is I not right, Miss Laura?" he said turning to the woman, who looked as if he was in an entranced high while the child was only withdrawing further.
"Oh really; is that so? What kind of mother would possibly try to beat her child on the head with a baseball bat and attempt to poison using carbon monoxide? An insane one, that's what!" Salter's eyes were looking deader and diffused than ever hearing only a fragment about all the abuse that he had been through. By now, everyone had sympathy for the boy, but was it really going to work in his favour?
Right on the top row, in the gallery, there stood six rich girls who were watching this entire trial. Dressed in some of their finest silks and gowns and rather fashionably dressed, they were watching everything in silence and solemnity. One of them in particular, was quieter than usual and seemed to be in deep contemplation, almost as if she felt of herself as an intervention, not a word was spoken by her. She seemed indignant and perturbed by everything in spite of having the young, fresh face of a teenager. Things were just not getting right in there.
"I do not understand why you would file a restraining order if you cannot stand the child himself!" Laura's lawyer poured to Salter's father. He just raised an eyebrow and rolled his eyes. "It's to do with my profitable ethics." He said very quietly. His lawyer nodded- for right there, was a man who looked burly and respectable, but with a cold, deviant gleam in his eyes. He seemed very kind to all the adults, but the girls shuddered on seeing him. Tall, fair and having an old face of about 60, he was the director and head of an orphanage that Mr. Flanagan seemed to really adore by the looks of his face.
Salter was still scared, which helped very less, but his father's lawyer seemed to be much unperturbed about everything saying "I hold a restraining order against my ex-wife and would wish for my son to be put into a foster home. I have no possible want or need to provide for him, she herself said that and by the looks of it, he does not recognise me at all."
"Come over here, boy! I'll take good care of you!" the old man cajoled with contempt practically dripping from his mouth, all sugar coated in fatherly affection.
The girls seemed very uncomfortable seeing this trial- it was no surprise that this man was once said to have murdered his wards, but was acquitted, yet there was something so wrong about everything; shaking their heads in disbelief while the last girl just stared on pensively. If there was anything the last girl knew, it was that this whole case was built up on sheer hypocrisy, lies and unfair advantage. She only hoped that the judge would be fair enough to consider the child's wishes in this trial, especially after she heard Laura's lawyer's proposition.
"Let's have an honest, open draw to see how much she wants the boy..."