The following Tuesday was the court date for all the kids. One by one, Jane, Bruce, Roxie, Andy, and Brenda were herded into the juvenile court room, in front of Judge Poston. Just the day before, Jane had been released from the hospital and taken from there to the county juvenile facility. Having endured the longest three days of her life, Brielle, along with the Bennett, McCauley, Andretti, Schmitt, and Baxter families, sat in the public seating area, just behind the defendant’s table and railing.
Brielle could tell that Jane was still sore, seeing her walk with a slow gait and guarding her side and being careful not to aggravate her cracked ribs. She also noticed the dazed look in Jane’s eyes. A feeling of extreme concern overtook her.
Brielle then looked around and saw every member of the old clique sitting behind the plaintiff’s table, where the prosecution sat. All of their children- the bullies of Thomasville High, were also sitting with them in the courtroom, having been kept out of school for the sole purpose of getting to share in their parent’s pleasure of seeing these losers being escorted into the courtroom in chains and jail garb.
Brielle Reads the Room
Brielle noticed how they glared at her and the rest of the families, then looked at each other with smirks on their faces, seemingly filled with glee. The sheriff sat with them, along with Audrey, who smiled at Breanna. Breanna was visibly proud of what she had done, getting off on the power she had to ruin another person’s life. Sadly, that kind of power was highly addictive to narcissistic psychopaths like her.
As all the teenagers, dressed in grey jumpsuits, complete with shackles and chains, took their seats at the defense table, the old clique and the new clique took pleasure in watching the plights of these kids.
Behind the families of the young defendants, sat Raina, Kim, Popeye, Alvin, Eartha, Atticus, Jo, and Malcolm.
The proceedings moved rather quickly. And because the families of the marginalized kids had pooled their money together and hired a smart, bulldog Memphis attorney, Judge Poston had no choice but to grant bail after the kids plead not guilty. Thus, the case would go to trial a few months from this day.
After the families posted bail, the kids were allowed to come home and reunite with their families, which angered the sheriff and the rest of the town clique.
A Shocking but Pleasant Surprise
The families and friends of all gathered at Grandma Bennett’s house for another celebration. Family, food, and fun was top priority at the Bennett house that afternoon. Normally, they had always eaten in the kitchen at the oval oak dinner table. On this occasion, they ate at the long table in the formal dining room, under the crystal chandelier, which was strictly for special occasions.
Grandma Bennett, Marcelle, Brielle, Amy, and Melissa, the wives of Jesse and Jerome helped prepare a huge meal of fried catfish, slaw, white beans, fried potatoes, and hush puppies. As the remaining adults enjoyed togetherness in the living room, the kids gathered outside in the yard or on the front porch.
While the other kids played in the front yard, Bruce and Jane spent time together under the huge oak tree on the corner of the property, about fifty yards away. Bruce gazed into Jane’s eyes as he put his hands on her hips and she slowly ran her hands up his chest and laced her fingers around his neck.
“I was worried about you. When I got word that you were out of the hospital, I was relieved, although I hated that those creepy cops brought you to jail after you got out,” Bruce told her, “I’m sorry I couldn’t keep us from getting hit. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep you from getting hurt.”
A Happy Reunion
“There was nothing you could do. At least you pulled up on the emergency brake. The doctor said that if it weren’t for that, neither one of us would even be here now,” Jane said, “At least you kept me alive.” And they engaged in a long, passionate kiss.
When they finished kissing Bruce noticed that Jane’s eyes looked glazed.
“Are you alright, Jane?” he asked softly as he crooked his finger under her chin.
“A nurse gave me an injection the first night in the hospital. I don’t know what she gave me, but I haven’t felt right since,” Jane replied.
Later, as they were all eating in the dining room, Popeye spoke up.
“I got wind of a few things the other day that the local newspaper isn’t reporting. Those crooked reporters over at the Thomasville Crier and the Glover County Bulletin are silent as church mice about these things, and they’re huge.” Popeye said.
Everyone looked up from their plates and slightly leaned toward the messenger.
“So, what’s the news, Popeye?” Grandma Bennett asked.