Christina Mavis, Please Take a Stand

December 6, 2007
By Damola Oreyomi, Houston, TX

“Christina Mavis, please take the stand,” the judge said.
I stood up slowly, frightened, I looked around for a familiar face, but all I found were harsh stares and disgusted looks. Melinda, my lawyer, squeezed my hand and nodded at me. With that, I walked up to the stand where I swore on the holy book that my words were the truth and nothing but the truth.
As I sat down Melinda got up and walked briskly towards me.
“Mrs. Mavis, can you please tell the jury about your life with Andrew Mavis?”
There was a silence, I looked around and saw that everyone’s eyes were on me. Strangers were waiting on me to tell the story of my courtship and marriage. They were waiting for me to explain why I let him beat me and way I finally killed him instead of running away. They wanted me to explain why I suffocated my children and tried to kill myself. But I could not explain because I did not know where to begin.
“Christina, if you please we’re waiting” scowled the judge.
Melinda coughed and looked at me. I looked at the jury, some were rolling their eyes, others were staring at their watches, five minutes into the second half of my trail and they didn’t believe me.
“I met Andrew in the ninth grade and we later became high school sweethearts. ……we got married a year after Andrew finished college. I didn’t go college my parents couldn’t afford it and Andy always said that he wanted me to be a stay at home mother…..”
“Mrs. Mavis, please try to get to the point.”
“Two years after we got married that’s when it began. He came back from work and I hadn’t finished making dinner and we started arguing. “
“And then he slapped me, I was so stunned by it that I didn’t feel the other slaps. But then he started punching and kicking me. After, he told me that if I tried to leave or run away that he—he’d kill me. It went on for years and it got even worse after I had my girls. He said that I disgraced him in front of his “peers” that he was no longer a man. On the eve of our tenth anniversary I walked in on him and his mistress and he beat me after he finished …with her. By then I had had enough, enough of him beating in front of my girls, enough of him blaming me for his problems. I had enough of him coming home reeking of another woman, bringing her to our home in front of my girls…….so I – I …….oh god I –I shot him and when I turned around and saw that my little angels were watching……my joys……my little girls were watching I didn’t want them to suffer for my mistake so I …..”
I started crying heavily. My girls were my world and I killed them.
“Mrs. Mavis if you can not control yourself I will be forced to remove you from…….”
“MRS.MAVIS STOP THIS BEHAVIOUR THIS MINUTE, that’s it bailiff take her to her cell.”
And how I am and will be for life with only the ghost of my little girls to comfort me.

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