by Lydia D Crouch
Amelie stood in the spacious courtroom. The flags, the guards, the very railings that separated those on trial from the judge spoke of countless lives who had stood exactly where she stood, legs trembling, awaiting the judge’s ruling, the definition of the rest of their lives hanging in the balance. She wore her best wool suit. It was Irish wool with brown leather buttons. She secretly wondered if she would be able to keep it if she were to be sentenced for some crime she didn’t know she had even committed. The tapered waistline and double breasted seams that modestly hugged her form could not seem to contain the anxiousness she felt as she faced the angry lawyer. She was slightly above medium height for a young woman in the 1930’s. Across the aisle was a lawyer. She immediately knew she never wanted to be in a room alone with him.
And suddenly, the judges words were spoken. It was all so surreal, Amelie could not even process what had just happened to her.
Dazed, she looked at the lawyer. She tried to put it into a thought. What was it she felt. He was now yelling, and it was frightening, but as she looked, really looked at him, well n was just small and sleezy.
She looked around the courtroom trying to focus on the dark, thick finish of the ornate woodwork. And even though the case was concluded, the judge remained on his dais. He took his glasses off and observed the scenario she became the unwilling focus of. She looked at the judge’s robe, the way he held his glasses half folded in one hand. She saw the wrinkles on his face that gave him an air of wisdom and sharp wit.