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Annette woke up with a start, and fell off the small bed with the sterilized white sheets in the all white room. She thought it was as if to say, “ Hey look, we have to be a clean, respectable place because nothing is stained even though everything is white.” She let out a miserable sigh, but she knew she had it good. With her uncomfortable white gown (issued to everyone there) she sat on the bed, smiling. There was no need for her to be medicated, unlike the rest of the women there, but having all of that free time when you’re sane becomes a drag. Most of the time, when she wasn’t doped up on medicine, she loved to reminisce on the events that got her here; because, whether she liked it or not, that was the best time of her life. With no regrets, those words, “We find Annette Alexandra Hobson not guilty by reason of insanity,” were like a favorite song that was stuck in her head…
Annette had met Lawrence in college, but she knew by then who she did and didn’t like, and she just decided not to say anything. The college’s most admired football player was the perfect addition to her disguise, even though she hadn’t really planned it. He continued to pursue her, and she let him take her on dates, but she wasn’t really paying attention. Soon, months turned into years and before she knew it, things took a huge turn.
“ Hey Annette?” Lawrence asked smoothly on the phone on one sunny day in May, “ We need to talk.”
“Okay,” Annette said in a cold, monotone voice, “What’s going on?”
“ Well I would love to ask you this in person, but I had to go to the NFL Draft with my friends, you know…”
“Yeah, whatever. What could you possibly want?”
“I wanted to know if you would marry me…..”
Annette froze for a minute and wanted to scream and throw the phone across the room. She knew Lawrence was an idiot, but she had dismissed it as common idiocy men always have. But since she scared as to what would happen if she left him, considering he knew some valuable information, she had no choice but to say yes.
The years of engagement went by, and Annette was the one holding it off. Lawrence had become more and more persistent, but she always used her demanding job as a scapegoat when asked about her marriage. Even her family started to worry.
“Annette?” her mom said to her when she came to visit, “Do you want me to plan your wedding? If your job is making you too busy I can always help.”
“ No, Mom,” Annette said shortly, “Please just leave it alone.”
“You could lose him,” her dad said sternly, “Then what will you do?”
“I don’t need a stupid guy!” Annette replied furiously. On that note, she stormed out of her parents house, never to see or talk to them ever again.
Even though she had ruined her relationship with her parents, other family members still pressed for the marriage. She felt like there was no way out, like she was being pushed into a corner, until she met Brooke. It was storming that morning when Annette went to get her coffee. She had gotten her normal cappuccino when she noticed someone was standing at the side of her car.
“Hi,” the woman said, “I’m sorry, but I side-swiped your car just now…..I guess you’ll want my insurance information?”
“Oh,” Annette said faintly, looking at the damage. She stared at the silver streaks and scratches on the car and wondered why this had happened to her.
“I am so sorry, by the way, I’m Brooke.” The lady extended her hand. As Annette reached for it, she finally looked at the person who struck her car. Brooke had a short haircut, and was wearing some baggy jeans and a t-shirt. Something clicked in Annette’s mind.
“Uh….it’s….okay,” Annette said, still trying to suppress her anger over her car.
“I can get it fixed, I know the best place for paint jobs.”
“Uh…alright that sounds great. I’m…Annette.”
Brooke stared at her for a second and said, “Hey, could we…exchange numbers? So I can get in touch with you….for your car.”
“Yeah, of course,” Annette said, a little quick.
The car got repaired, but they continued to talk and became quick….friends. It seemed as though the more time Annette wanted to spend with Brooke, the more of a tyrant Lawrence became. Even though she as happy with Brooke, she didn’t know what to do with him, and it was stressing her out.
“Look,” Brooke said one afternoon after Annette told her about another fight her and Lawrence had, “you can’t do this forever. You’re not even married to him yet.”
“ I really can’t just leave, but what can I do?’
“Well,” Brooke said, in a contemplating way, “There is one way.”
It was a cold November that year, and apparently there had been an increased amount of robberies in the immediate area, at least that‘s what Annette heard on the news. She hadn’t slept since Brooke put the marvelous plan in her mind. She would look at Lawrence sleeping and wondered how much longer she would have to wait. The next week, the plan started to come alive.
“Are you sure this will work?” Annette whimpered to Brooke the hour before they would strike.
‘Of course, I’m doing this for you,” Brooke whispered, “Can you think of something better?’
“No, and I don’t want to,” Annette said, laughing.
Annette’s phone showed that it was midnight, so they snuck up to her house’s back door with their all black outfits. Lawrence was in the bedroom and Annette typed in the security code to let her and Brooke in. Their adrenaline was rushing, but their first mission led them to the bedroom. Lawrence had left the bedroom, and when he returned, Brooke and Annette (disguised), were waiting for him.
“What’s going on here?” Lawrence said shakily, “How did you get in?”
Without answering his question, the two took out pistols, equipped with silencers, and shot him at a point-blank range. Then they got to the second part of their job. Annette took all the money, as well as any valuables she knew Lawrence and her had. Brooke was going to lay a note on the bed, saying that they had “kidnapped” Annette, but Annette thought that would be too much, and that it should look like kidnapping the girl was not in the plan. They wrecked the place and left without a trace.
Annette was staying at Brooke’s place, and she couldn’t have been happier. The “gruesome” robbery at her house, and her kidnapping had Brooke and Annette rolling on the floor laughing. They waited a couple of days and then Annette walked down the street in her purposely ripped and dirty clothes to a police station. Unfortunately, the police had an ample amount of questions for her, and acted as if she was a suspect. How did the robbers know the security code? Why didn’t they kill you if they killed your fiancé? Where were you when all of this was going on? By the end of the interrogation, they arrested her for the premeditated murder of Lawrence Walter Hampton. After that, she blacked out.
She woke up at a hospital a day later, with Brooke at her side. Brooke had obviously been crying, but the police had no clue that she was involved in any way. Her court-appointed lawyer visited her as well, and suggested they go for the insanity plea, because of the “terribly abusive relationship” she experienced with Lawrence. The trial started months later, and Brooke was the only one who visited her, or even vouched/lied for her on the stand.
“Ms. Brooke Symthe, how is the mental stability of your friend Annette Hobson?”
“Well,” Brooke said slowly, “That man Lawrence really ruined her, but I mean no disrespect to the dead, of course. I’m sure that she was already ‘damaged’ by the time I met her. It’s a shame that nobody could have prevented her from snapping.”
After deliberating for days, the jury came back and said, “We, the jury, find Annette Alexandra Hobson not guilty, by reason of insanity.”
With her release coming in two years and Brooke visiting as much as possible, Annette wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.