Recovery, Relapse, Relationship (part 4)

(Continued from the last post. Click here to catch the whole story from the beginning.)

I didn’t know whether he was trying to belittle me, or whether he thought it was a stupid question, or maybe both. I didn’t push the issue any further.

I explained the process to them both. If she decided she wanted to talk to the police, I would arrange it. And she could also have the forensic exam. The more information they got, the greater the chances they would be able to keep him from doing this to anyone else. I also explained that it if Clyde gave a report to the police, that she might want Ted to wait in the hall, because having him there would probably make her uncomfortable, and she would unconsciously tone down her story, and that would give them less to go on.

“Ted, what would you do if Clydene asked you to wait outside while she talked to the police?” I phrased the question carefully, in terms of what Clydene wanted, so that Ted would not have an out, because I knew how he felt about her.

“I’d be fine with that,” he replied.

I didn’t believe him, but he couldn’t go back on it now, not after he committed to it in front of his wife.

Then I added, to Clyde, “I don’t want to push you into anything, but…” I was about to try to do just that. “Most of these cases,” I explained, “are never reported; and even when it is reported, most of the time, the guy gets away with it; and even when he doesn’t get away with it, too many times they get the wrong guy or falsely accuse him. But that hasn’t happened here. We know who did this, and… You have a chance to make sure the right result happens.”

I stopped there. I didn’t want to lay it on too thick. Clyde nodded.

I don’t know why I added that part about them getting the wrong guy or falsely accusing an innocent man, except that it’s true, and I had to come to terms with the moral ambiguity of rape law a long time ago. I’m sure it didn’t bolster my case. But Ted, of all people, seemed to understand exactly what I was saying, as if he had experienced it all before. It wasn’t anything he said or did, more what he didn’t say. He didn’t argue with me. He didn’t ask questions. He nodded.

“Have you ever had anything like this happen to you before?” I ventured.

“No.” He shook his head. He seemed lost in thought.

The police detective knocked on the door and asked to speak with Ted out in the hall. I sat with Clyde.

“I’m still a bit bubble-headed,” Clyde said. “Must be the drugs. What was your name again?”

I smiled, a giggly sort of smile, because in all the excitement, I had forgotten to introduce myself to Clydene. So I did, and I apologized for not doing so earlier.

“Hey, Mira,” she said. It’s true what they say: the sweetest sound is when someone says your name with kindness.

“Yeah?” I said.

“Will they be able to… get him, without my testimony?”

“I don’t know,” I told her. “For now, they just want a statement. That is, they just want you to tell them what happened. The more you can tell them, the better. But they’re not asking you to testify in court yet. Do you understand?”

She nodded. “Will I have to testify later?”

“Again, I don’t know. I’ve seen it go both ways. I guess it depends on the case and on the evidence they have, and probably on his lawyer, too. You should probably talk to a lawyer yourself, if you’re concerned about that. We have time to make that happen, and I know a good lawyer you can talk to. But only if you want.”

She shook her head. “No, I have a lawyer. Ted, actually. He’s my lawyer.”

And Ted started making sense to me.

She suddenly looked upset. “Ted’s his lawyer, too.”

My face wrinkled with confusion. “I don’t understand.”

“Ted got the guy off on his last case,” Clyde explained, “a rape case.”

“The same guy who attacked you?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Clyde said.

And Ted started making perfect sense to me.

(To be continued…)


This story is tangential to The Conscience of Abe’s Turn and takes place in the Abe’s Turn universe. If you enjoy this story, please also check out The Conscience of Abe’s Turn (the novel).

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