“I hit her. I hit her.”
That’s how I imagined I would say it. But I didn’t. My lawyer told me to deny everything. It’s her word against mine. She didn’t come forward for another four years. The event never happened, so says my defence.
“William, did you hit your ex-wife with a wrench?” my ex-wife’s lawyer asks.
“No,” I say, and I shake my head.
I can lie on the stand, right? In the movies, everyone does. It’s normal. No one wants to lose and why should I? Why should I help her? Her, my ex-wife. She sits on the opposition bench and stares into her lap. She can’t look at me, I know it.
“William, you are under oath. Did you hit Susanne Murray, your ex-wife, with a wrench?” he asks again.
“No. I have never hit Susie,” I say.
“Susie?” he asks.
“Yes, that’s her name.”
“Okay William, I will ask one more time,” he says.
“Objection, judge,” my lawyer finally interrupts. “Asked and answered.”
“Sustained,” the judge says.
My ex-wife’s lawyer grumbles to himself and walks back to his bench. He converses with my ex-wife behind his hand, and she chucks glances at me like Santa throwing candy at a parade.
The lawyer stands up and straightens his cheap suit jacket. He slides his hand through his greased up hair and smiles at the judge. The judge, Holland, as she is addressed, gazes down at him with a frown.
“Have you any more questions?” she asks.
“Just one, Judge Holland,” my ex-wife’s lawyer says. “I’d like to bring out the wrench in question from evidence for this issue if that’s okay judge?”
She nods. I gulp. I have nothing to fear, but seeing the wrench again makes me lick my lips. My ex-wife’s lawyer walks to the side of the courtroom and picks up a plastic bag.
“Do you know what this is?” he asks.
“A wrench,” I say.
“Do you know where this is from?”
I try to look bored. My lawyer told me that they have nothing on me. The so-called evidence is the wrench from my garage that has a spot of blood on it from my ex-wife.
“And do you know what we found on it?” my ex-wife’s lawyer asks.
“Susie’s blood,” I murmur.
“Can you repeat that louder?”
“Judge, he’s admitted it’s her blood on the wrench. Surely, you as a woman can relate to my client?”
Judge Holland glares down at my ex-wife’s lawyer. She bites her lower lip as she thinks. She looks over at me, and I slump my shoulders.
“Are you implying that I have been beaten?” Judge Holland asks.
“No, of course not. I — ”
“Then I would quit the lecturing. This is not an open courtroom. There are no jurors here to convince. Does the defendant’s lawyer have any questions?”
“But I’m not finished — ” my ex-wife’s lawyer stops mid-sentence as he notices the judge’s gaze on him.
“William, you said that this was your ex-wife’s, Susie’s, blood on the wrench. How did you come to know that?” my lawyer asks.
“You know,” I say.
“I want you to explain to the court.”
“When my wife called me and told me she had hired a lawyer to frame me.”
“You’re under oath, Mr Murray,” Judge Holland says.
“I swear it,” I say and look up to her.
She frowns and looks down at the opposition bench. She bites her bottom lip. “Mrs Murray, did you call your ex-husband and say this?”
Susie bows her head and her lawyer whispers in her ear. Susie whispers back to him behind her hand, and she nods. She looks to Judge Holland and stands up.
“No, Judge Holland,” she says.
Judge Holland sighs. “I don’t have enough evidence to bring this to trial. Mr Murray, you are dismissed from the stand. Please go stand with your counsel.”
I get up and saunter along the room to the bench with my lawyer. He pats me on the back, and we look to the judge.
“All rise,” she says. I’m already standing, so I don’t have to move. “I’m sorry Mrs Murray, but I can’t let this case go to trial. There is an apparent lack of evidence and the blood on the wrench is circumstantial at best. Case number 749237 Murray v Murray closed.”
Judge Holland steps off behind her bench and leaves the courtroom. I shake hands with my lawyer and thank him. Susie runs out of the courtroom with her head in her hands.
I did it. I won.
Originally posted on The Weekly Knob.