Like Minded - Series 2 - Episode 8 - I'm Coming Home

And so the brave warrior returned to her battlefield, ready to take on the world.

But she wondered to herself, just what was this battlefield going to be like, after so long?

Voice: You can’t leave! Y-you just can’t!

Girl: Please! Think about what you’re doing!
Boy: Believe me, I have thought about it many times.
Girl: If you go, I’ll never take you back! I swear!
Boy: Do what you wish. I’m not intending on coming back.
Girl: Kevin, please!

Kevin: You know what Collette? You had this coming for you for a long time. I’m not going to sit back there and let you treat me like a plaything!
Collette: W-what?
Kevin: I’ve done your deeds, got my hands dirty, and now I’m walking away from it! I can’t do it anymore!
Collette: How…how…how dare you!

Collette: You know what?! You can rot in hell!!
Kevin: You see? Just because the little princess doesn’t get what she wants, she intends to throw a huge tantrum over it. When are you going to grow up, Collette?
Collette: Shut up! If you ever come back, I’ll get my dad to…to…
Kevin: To what?
Collette: To come and shoot you!
Kevin: You make me sick.

Collette: Where’re you going?! You can’t go home; I’ll get my dad to destroy your contract!
Kevin: I don’t care, I’m leaving Flint City. I might never see you again, so I’ll say this once: you and your dad are in for bad news.
Collette: Go away then! See if I care!

Winston: What’s that? A trial? Who for…oh. I see. Yes, I’ll see what I can do. Yes, it’s been a long time. Alright, I’ll talk to you later. Goodbye.

Collette: (sniff) Dad…Kevin’s gone.
Winston: I think I gathered from the amount of screaming outside.
Collette: Who was that on the phone?
Winston: A friend. It seems a certain Nurmel Rosetta is going to stand trial for the gypsy camp fire.
Collette: What? But I thought she’d been locked up in some loony bin?
Winston: There were…complications. But now she will stand trial for her crimes.

Collette: Dad…?
Winston: Soon, she will get the punishment she deserves…

The day of the trial was a sunny one. It seemed so ironic when I stepped out onto the pavement. Being escorted into the courtroom to the sound of paparazzi and chants. I couldn’t decide if the majority of the crowd were calling “Guilty” or “Innocent”.

Simon: How are you feeling, sport?
Nurmel: Er…I think I’ll cope. I just won’t think about my desire to barf.
Simon: Say no more.
Nurmel: I can still hear the crowd outside.
Simon: Don’t worry. The court will be a private one, open only to people connected to the case.
Nurmel: …that’s what I was afraid of.

Mr Crowe: Nurmel, you have nothing to fear.
Nurmel: No offence, sir, but they have a solid case against me. The gypsies will most likely be witnesses, and since there was no one else who saw what was happening, it’s going to be decisive.
Mr Crowe: No one else? Are you sure?
Nurmel: Huh…?
Simon: Nurmel, it looks like it’s time.

Simon: I’ll try and see if I can wangle my way into the courtroom to support you.
Nurmel: Thanks. I think I’ll need it.
Mr Crowe: Ready, Nurmel?
Nurmel: (sigh) I’m ready.

Staring down that long corridor gave me the chills so bad. I knew that one way or another, my fate would be decided on the other side of the door.

As I entered the courtroom with my lawyer, Mr Crowe, there was a deathly silence. I struggled hard to look at Mr Crowe’s back rather than stare back at the faces currently fixated on me.

Every footstep I took echoed throughout the spacious room, like the sound of impending doom. My breath got quicker at every step, and if I were honest, walking to my seat at that moment was scarier than walking onto a stage to recite a monologue.

Mr Crowe: You did well.
Nurmel: I did?
Mr Crowe: Yes. You focused on the task at hand. I’ve had some people who faint during that first walk down.
Nurmel: Really? Wow.

I wasn’t surprised. I felt slightly light-headed myself, walking down as if to my doom. And yet I knew every eye that was on me.

Sitting at the back were Winston and Collette Benning. I could consider them my enemies, as they made my life hell in Flint City. Winston, the grumpy landlord and Collette the cunning little “darling”.
I guess you could have said they were the ones who had got me into this mess…

Two rows in front of them were Rose and Kimberly, the women whose home I supposedly burnt down. Despite the fact I saved the little boy Handel’s life, risking my own life, they seemed pretty eager to accuse me. The father, Jimmy was sitting with the prosecuting attorney on the other table.

And seated on the other side of the room, my side…were my parents. Harris and Leona Rosetta. In new clothes, I noted. Perhaps after chucking me they saved enough money to buy decent things. They didn’t look in my direction.

Judge: Court will begin for the trial of Nurmel Rosetta. Will the prosecutor please give her opening statement?

The trial was a blur, now that I think about it. I remember standing in the witness stand, being glared at.

Fingers were pointed at me. Accusations were thrown. Snarls and glares flew at me from every angle. If blame were an object, I would have been hit unconscious from the amount of times it hit me.

There were cries and sobs from the witnesses, wailing of their pitiful loss, of losing their home, and how I, driven with rage and jealousy, burnt their lives down.

Kimberly, in particular, seemed the most affected. She cried of how I betrayed her trust by destroying her life, of how I broke her heart with my mindless deed. Her face was cold and her voice was shrill.

To which I smiled at them all with sad eyes. I did. I smiled at them all, the horrible backstabbers. I smiled at them with every effort of my heart, and spoke. “You all say I’m guilty, but everyone here in this room is guilty of something else. You blindly follow other’s people views just because you’re too stupid or distraught to think anything else or work it out for yourself. I know that I am innocent. I know from the bottom of my heart. But I can see that everyone here wants to believe that I am a criminal. You’re all scared to admit to the fact that it was someone else, or a natural disaster. You search for the nearest possible suspect, and latch all your emotions and frustrations out of me. But I can understand that. Because I’ve done the very same thing to some people too.”

There was silence in the room, and the judge called for a recess.

Mr Crowe: Nurmel…that was very touching what you said in there.
Nurmel: I was only speaking the truth. They won’t stop until I’m behind bars, because then they can release their guilt at never finding the real culprit. That’s what I think, anyway.
Simon: I don’t think it’s very far off the truth.

Mr Crowe: Do you remember saying how there was no one else at the scene?
Nurmel: Yes.
Mr Crowe: An anonymous contributor submitted a testimony yesterday. I haven’t shown the court yet, but I feel…now would be a good time to do so.
Nurmel: Why didn’t you say so at the beginning?
Mr Crowe: I wanted to see what the prosecution’s case was like, in case it was full of holes. Now, 10 minutes are up, it’s time to go back in.

Mr Crowe: If it would please the court, I wish to present a new testimony.
Judge: A new testimony? What is the meaning of this?
Prosecutor: Exactly, John. Why did you not submit this testimony at the beginning?
Mr Crowe: I apologise. I thought it was not needed, but now I see I have no choice.
Judge: Alright then. Who submitted the testimony to you?
Mr Crowe: An anonymous contributor. They happened to see the events unfold that night.

There were murmurs from everyone in that room. The seemingly decisive testimony could maybe shake things up.

Mr Crowe: Allow me to read out the testimony. “On the late evening of July 3rd, in the gypsy camp, I saw someone light a match and set fire to the rotting barn that was uninhabited. Turning around, I could clearly see his face.”
Judge: “His”?
Prosecutor: What is all this?!
Mr Crowe: “The starter of the fire turned out to be none other than Winston Benning, the former landlord of the defendant.”

The whole court gasped, causing the judge to bang his gavel and yell out “Order! ORDER!”

Winston: What the bloody hell is this idiocy?!
Collette: Oh no…
Winston: I demand to know the name of this contributor!
Mr Crowe: I’m sorry, but they never left a name, and I never saw them.
Winston: But you can’t prove it! For all you know, they could have started the fire!

Mr Crowe: Then by all means, Mr Benning. Please take to the witness stand, and proclaim your innocence.
Winston: I shall do so!

Mr Crowe: Now let’s hear your testimony. Where were you on the evening of the fire?
Winston: I told the police this! I was at home, until I got a call from the police to tell me that the gypsy camp was on fire! Then I went round to see my houses, to check they were alright and to gather help!
Mr Crowe: And what time did you talk to the family Rosetta?
Winston: Around 10 o clock! I swear! I remember the city tower ringing.
Mr Crowe: So why were the Rosetta family the only present family who came to help?
Mr Crowe: Could it be that you were aiming for them to see someone, and then, I don’t know, blame the fire on a certain someone you knew would be at the camp?
Winston: I don’t know what you’re talking about-
Mr Crowe: Mr Benning. You do realise that the police received the call about the fire…but at 10.20?
Mr Crowe: So how could you know that the fire was happening before receiving the call from the police? And if you were so eager to get people out of their homes, why was the Rosetta family the only one present?

Just goes to show you just how good lawyers are these days.