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'I can't'.I can't do it.'
She turned her tear streaked face away from me gazing out the open window. I could see the fear in the way her whole body trembled when she thought about the question; could hear the hurt in her strained voice.
'Susan, sweetie, you must tell them exactly what happened.' I walked up to the bench and placed my hand on top of hers next to the microphone. Her big blue eyes caught mine and for a second I swear I could feel their pain. I closed my eyes and sighed deeply.
'Sweetie, you need to tell them, it will help you so much.' I sighed. 'You'll feel so much better once you get it all out of your head.'
I smiled at her encouragingly. I didn't know what to do. There was nothing I could say that would change the way she was feeling. I could not sit there and demand that she tell the room exactly what had happened. I could not explain to her why this had happened in the first place. I could only try and persuade her to tell the room what had happened so I could put this creep behind bars where he belonged.
' How could he do this to me? How could he put his hands on me the way he did? Why did it have to be me?'
She pulled away from me and the microphone. She pulled her legs up into the chair and wrapped her arms around them as if she were freezing. I could tell she was frightened, she was ruined. She sobbed for another minute and then as if she had been hit with a sudden wave of courage she began to speak.
'I remember what it felt like, the way his cold clammy hands crept along my skin. The way he breathed in my ear and told me I was so pretty and so smart. The way he said I was'special.' She cringed at the memory, drawing her legs up closer to her body. 'I'll do it. I won't let him get away with it this time, I'll testify against him.'
'Are you sure sweetie?' I smiled once again as if telling her it was all right to go on.
She nodded her head wildly. 'I am sure. I don't want to have to live the rest of my life in terror of this monster and what he did to me.'
She dropped her legs and sat up straight. She leaned into the microphone and locked her gaze on the jury.
'People of the jury, this man, this monster, formally known as Jason Wells molested me.' She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before she went any further. 'He took advantage of me when I was in need of a helping hand. He forced me to keep my mouth shut by threatening to harm me if I spoke a word to anyone about what had happened.'
She sat back in her chair calmly and waited for the judge to send her back to her seat.
'You may step down Susan.' the judge said with a way of her hand.
Susan immediately ran into my arms and hugged me with all of her might. 'Thank you,' she whispered , ' You were right I do feel so much better and I hope he gets what he deserves.' She ran off to join her mother in her seat.
The jury left the room and was back in less than five minutes.
'Has the jury reached its verdict?'
'Yes your honor,' the juror stated,' The jury finds Jason Wells guilty as charged.'