The Writers Voice
An Interesting Idea - Chapter 7
“I said I’m sorry,” Justin pleaded. “Doesn’t that mean anything?”
“You tried to kill me!” Will exclaimed angrily. “You shouldn’t have done that in the first place!”
“I can’t change what happened,” Justin said quietly. “I wish I could.”
“I know, I guess I should stop hounding you for it,” Will replied quietly.
“What am I supposed to do?” Justin asked worriedly. “What if I’m stuck here?”
“What are you talking about?” Will asked, frowning.
“If I’m found guilty, I’ll have to stay in jail,” Justin said coldly. “And it’s all because of a stupid mistake.”
“Stop it, it won’t help to keep blaming yourself,” Will said reassuringly.
“But it’s my fault all this happened,” Justin whispered. “You don’t know what it’s like.”
“No, but if you’d just let me help you, then maybe you could...”
“No!” Justin cried. “Just leave me alone!”
“Justin, I just want to help,” Will pleaded, his blue eyes suddenly sad.
“No, I don’t want your help,” Justin replied icily; his dark brown eyes were cold. “I don’t need it anyway.”
“Yes, you do,” Will said firmly. “Think about Justin, you wouldn’t let anyone help you before, that’s how you got yourself into this mess.”
“Oh, I guess you’re right,” Justin paused. “But how do I get my life back?”
“Well, maybe if you let me help you we can figure that out.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Justin replied thoughtfully.
“I guess this means we aren’t mad at each other anymore,” Will said slowly.
“Yeah, I guess,” Justin said smiling. “But now what?”
“What do you mean?” Will asked. “Now you get your life back together and forget about the past.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Justin said slowly. “But what if I get convicted?”
“That’s not going to happen,” Will replied firmly.
“How do you know?”
“I just do okay?” Will said, slightly annoyed.
“How can you be so sure?” Justin asked in wonderment. “I mean, you are the one who got attacked and...”
“I don’t know,” Will replied quietly. “All I know is if you get convicted I won’t be able to be your best friend anymore.”
“What are you talking about?” Justin asked suspiciously. “Of course you will.”
“I mean, I can’t call you, we won’t be able to do stuff together anymore,” Will said, lowering his gaze.
“Oh, that doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends you know.”
“I know, but it won’t be the same,” Will said quietly. “Besides, I forgive you, isn’t that enough, don’t they see that?”
“Who are you talking about?”
“The judge, Jake, I don’t know, whoever is going to convict you,” Will said, his voice shaky. “Why can’t they just let you go if I forgive you?”
“It doesn’t work that way Will,” Justin replied gently.
“Why not?” Will pleaded.
“I don’t know,” Justin said dully. “I don’t know that I’ll get convicted, it’s just a possibility.”
“Yeah, that’s true,” Will said thoughtfully. “But it would be kind of hard not to convict you.”
“I guess you’re right about that,” Justin said with a sigh. “When you assault someone and almost kill them you can’t not expect to have consequences.”
“Yeah, well I should go, I have to get back to work,” Will said quickly.
“Okay, don’t worry, I’ll be fine,” Justin said reassuringly.
“Good,” Will said, “I’ll see you soon okay?”
“Yeah, sure,” Justin said distantly. Will walked out of the prison wondering what would happen. Would he get to see Justin again? If he did would it be in a jail cell? What if Justin did get out, would he ever be the same? Will knew that even if Justin got out of jail that he was still worried his friend would be afraid of him or his dad. It seemed absolutely crazy, but Will wondered if Justin thought he would come after him. Or Jake for that matter, Will knew his dad’s temper was much shorter than his own. He also knew that Jake didn’t like it when people tried to hurt his son. He knew that sometimes it only took one tiny thing to set Jake off. Then all hell broke loose; at least that’s usually what happened.
There was something else he wondered about too. Even though Will had said he forgave Justin he wondered if some part of him still hated Justin for what he had done.
What about Justin’s parents? What were they thinking? Probably about the same thing he was. Jenna was probably worried sick; what would happen to her son? Derek probably was too. Will knew he didn’t want Justin to miss out on life, or time he could spend with his dad. He didn’t want to lose his best friend. Then Will wondered what Justin thought about all of this. Was he scared? He probably didn’t want to spend the better part of his life in jail either. ‘I guess it all depends on what the judge will say,’ Will thought, shaking his head in disbelief.
He wondered what it was like to have such power. The power to put someone in jail for hurting someone else, or in some cases end someone’s life. Fortunately there was no death penalty in Iowa. Hopefully it would be something that would please everyone. But Will knew that you couldn’t please everybody.
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