As I lay bleeding, still and stoic, I am called out of my consciousness. Here I am defending my actions, she is pressing charges against my participation in said relationship. A trial by fire, a trial I am ill equipped for.
"Will the defendant please rise." The judge orders much more than asks.
I rise to my feet shaken and still aching in pain from the damage done by her withdrawal.
"How do you plead?" He enquires.
"Guilty, your honor." I state, without caution.
The courtroom is shocked. They collectively inhale gasping the air from without the room. I look over and she is equally shocked at my plea. The judge continues through the proceedings, going over my offenses before I am allowed to call any witnesses or simply allow for judgement to commence. The judge states that I am charged with neglect, painful withdrawal of support during states of emotional distress, quiet anger, lack of adoration, and other offenses not acceptable to this court. I have entered my plea and I am at the mercy of the courts harsh punishment. The time has come for my counsel to be allowed to call a witness or simply leave the jury to their job at judging my future. My counsel calls myself to the stand in my defense.
I rise again from my chair, which I have been dejectedly slumped over in and walk briskly over to the wooden gate, push forth and let it swing behind me with that thundering sound of it swinging behind me. That swinging sound is so damning, it brings to mind the gallows, swinging from rope, the floor opening beneath me, its terrifying, but my fate has not been decided yet. I am my last defense. I will have to state my case though I am reluctant to do so because I am guilty of all those things I am charged with and I only want justice for the heart of my love, justice and peace. Anyways I can bring her a smile, or place the hands of justice solely in her hands in my goal.
At first her counsel approaches the bench and asks me again how I plead. Once again I state guilty for the record. The accusing party points to the stenographer and asks the jury to make note of it as well. They stand down. My counsel approaches now and asks simply, "Do you have anything to state in your defense?"
I reply. "I do, and I would like to take this time to have the court and its attendants all hear my last words of apology and defense."
"Proceed" The judge beckons.
"First, I would like to apologize to the court for bringing everyone to such a place where this trial would be necessary. It would be like me to not recognize an issue before it becomes a legal liability and for that I am eternally apologetic. I did not however, come to the witness stand to apologize for that or for specific things I did throughout this relationship that I would like to make atonement for now. It is too late and I recognize that. I am sorry though for things being too late, more of an apology for myself and the one I love. So I am brought here with the charges of neglect, painful withdrawal during states of emotional distress, quiet anger and lack of adoration amongst many more other offenses. I acknowledge these all and take responsibility for this all. Be it my judgement that I should pay with my life, then so be it, that be my fate. The only thing I must say in my defense is this. Although I have failed many times over with the one I have stated to love, I know that there is nothing I can do to retract the pain I have put out. This is my fault and I will live with the guilt of knowing that no matter my sentence here I will always know the pain I have caused her and how I damaged our relationship. Now with all apologies aside I ask of you, (looking at her now as she has her head hung down), to look at me and remember some things with me. They might not be so noteworthy and you might not know about everything I am talking about, they might not even be of consequence to you but to me these things meant the world."
"If you could recall the times when I lay there motionless in the middle of a dark night, sleepless and utterly tired just so that you might be comfortable with your leg wrapped around me and body close in a peaceful slumber. If you could please recall every time I literally bled for you, either after picking roses or being reckless with myself in order to protect you from the smallest of injuries. If you could recall each time I suffered through tireless toil in order to make sure you were well taken care of. If you could recall each moment that I spent thinking about you and how much I wanted for you to be comfortable. If you could recall each time I lay awake listening to you breathe when we had too much to drink just so I could make sure that you were breathing right. If you could recall the time I have invested in you and our relationship, our love, your well being, us. If you could recall the very day I set aside everything else just to be near you, with you, part of your life. Would you please remember when we first sat alone in dark summer night looking out into the stars, looking into each other, seeing past the exterior and falling in love. I would do all of this all over again, even now as we both stand here to be present at my judgement. I would do it a million times over even if it didn't change the outcome of today. I would live through the struggle, the pain, the uncertainty, the confusion, the anger, and the heartache just to have experienced those things with you. I have sinned and have not been as I should have been in our time together. The one thing I do know is that I love you endlessly, even after the flood. I love you.
"Please step down sir." The judge asks.
I look over at her and she looks away but I almost sense a bit of reluctance to throw me to the hands of those who would judge me so harshly.
The judge asks the jury to deliberate after hearing both sides of each counsel. I look over at the jury and each of the twelve jurors are her. She is there in every persona she has ever exhibited in our relationship. Sorrow, Frustration, Helplessness, Loneliness, Exhilaration, Hysteria, Fear, Unloved, Unconditional Love, Hope, Tolerant, Patient are all present and they exit the room as they get ready to cast their vote on my future.
They sit in the room mulling over all of the evidence that was presented. They each cast their vote weighing the options of what would be best for my future and the state of my heart.
I begin to go over in my mind what the outcome would be. Sorrow as I would expect would vote in favor of punishment. Frustration, another vote against me, Helplessness, another, Exhilaration marks the first vote in my favor. Hysteria, another vote against me, Fear once more a vote against me, Unloved could go either way, for fear of being unloved and feeling that way during our tumultuous relationship. Unconditional love would possibly vote in my favor. Loneliness could go either way, Hope another in my favor, Tolerant in my favor, and Patience the last one in my favor. It is desperation I cling to now.
The jury exits after hours of deliberation. Fear washes over my entire being as I see each one of them reach their seats in complete silence.
"All rise." The judge orders.
"Has the jury reached a verdict?" The judge asks.
"We have your honor they echo in unison." All twelve of her says.
"The votes are as listed; Sorrow votes guilty, Frustration votes guilty, Helplessness votes guilty, Hysteria votes guilty, Fear votes guilty, Hope votes not guilty, Tolerant votes not guilty, Exhilaration votes not guilty, Unconditional Love votes not guilty, Patience votes not guilty, Loneliness votes not guilty, Unloved votes not guilty. We find the defendant after much deliberation not guilty, acquitted of all charges." She says solemnly.
I jump to my feet excited and absolutely thrilled that I am not guilty she has found it in her heart to forgive me and has erased blame from me even though I feel just as guilty as before. I walk out of the courtroom, a bittersweet victory. She has removed the noose from around my neck and as I breathe free once more with no fear of the gallows to claim my life and my neck I feel a slight reprieve. Still the endless tears of nights alone I face, still my heart torn and tattered, still my love lies bleeding, beautiful as the flower itself but my heart can barely bring itself to beat.
As I am leaving the courtroom I am sulking quietly, I feel a tap on my shoulder and quickly turn around. She finally looks at me and we both shed tears out of newfound loneliness, confusion and misery. She kisses my forehead gently we laugh nervously and kiss on the lips softly. We say to each other how much we missed each other and how much we love each other. Its nice to be in your arms again I tell her and she nods quietly in agreement. I couldn't be happier. I fall to my knees and apologize profusely. We embrace again, I am home. Still in each hearts we reside, never have we left this place, dark it was without the rays of beauty that break the coldest waves of fear. Shallow pools of tears would have claimed my life was it not for your gentle embrace and rescuing grace, left without you, memories I did hold onto, grasp, grip, and cling, you forever were and forever will be my everything. Holding hearts hand in hand, never again will this rift expand, closing wounds and sharing souls, in your hands my heart you do hold.
As we walk out of the court together, arm in arm. I am drawn out of myself and land violently on my couch awake again. It was all a dream and she is still gone. I cry again to myself. I has been 89 hours. I don't know how much more I can take.