Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hard and Soft (04/23/09)
TITLE: Just the Facts Please
By Judy Webb
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“Well, no, but I saw the black eye!” she said. Connie Blake, a tall red head, was friends with Melissa James. She wanted to help her friend escape this madman, but Melissa was not willing to speak out. Connie had no problem; she was fearless when it came to situations like these. As a former victim herself she knew that nothing would ever change until Melissa took a stand, planted her feet firmly and said, “Enough, this has to stop.”
“I understand,” the officer added, “But the only thing I need right now is what you saw him do to her. I need hard facts in order to arrest him. Soft conjecture based on what you saw after the fact is not enough,” he explained.
The police department worked many domestic violence cases. This one was just like many others, people heard the altercation, saw the aftermath, but no one actually witnessed the event except the victim, and she was too afraid to speak up.
Connie approached her young friend and smiled at her, “Melissa, you have to do something. You can’t go on like this! The next time he might hurt you much worse.” She hugged her friend and holding her by the shoulders pleaded, “Press charges against him. At least you can get one or two good nights sleep. Tomorrow morning when we can both think clearer we can come up with a plan.”
Melissa finally agreed and the abuser was loaded into the cruiser and transported to the police station. Connie gathered up her friend and said, “Come, you are staying with me tonight.”
Sitting at the kitchen table in the morning Connie asked her friend just how she became involved with such an animal. Through her tears, Melissa told this story to her friend.
“In the beginning, it was good. Our relationship was exciting and breathtaking. I loved every moment we were together. He was so attentive to my needs. His smile melted my heart and gave me a warm-all-over feeling. Jonah was very convincing with his endless complements while his enticing good looks captured my interest and my heart. I thought that God was answering my prayers for a kind and loving man I could fall for and spend the rest of my life with.”
Sniffing, Melissa continued, “I lost all common sense and pride even. When Jonah Cartwright asked me out, I fell all over myself to accommodate his schedule. I fell hard and fast and before I realized it, I was totally in love!
The end came when reality hit yesterday. While at work, I received a call from my bank. I was shocked to discover that my accounts had all been drained and my savings gone; the only thing left was the inheritance I had just been awarded from the distribution of my grandparent’s estate. I never thought to tell Jonah about these funds.”
Connie remained silent while her friend finished her story. “When I confronted him tonight he angrily spat words at me that I have never been called before. I ordered him to leave and that is when he hit me, over and over again. I have never been so afraid of anyone before. I can’t imagine allowing anyone to get close to me ever again.” Melissa added as a reflection.
After listening patiently without interrupting her friend, Connie asked, “Do you have enough money from the inheritance to live on for a few weeks; enough to get you far away from here?”
Through her tears, Melissa grinned as if she had a delicious secret, “Do you think two millions dollars will do the trick?”
Connie and Melissa giggled at the same time, “God is good!”
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