ADVISORY: A few words of profanity.
Near the end of the first week of the trial, the prosecution called Sharlee to the stand. She and Noah had been instructed by Noah’s attorneys not to exchange long looks with each other. So Sharlee just briefly met his eyes after she took the stand, and Noah started taking notes.
At first the Prosecutor treated her kindly. He had her recount the events of the night that Mickey died. He didn’t ask many questions. He paused and then asked the judge to declare Sharlee as a hostile witness. The judge agreed.
“Ever since I was a young girl.”
Then he asked, “Was this your first time riding the subway?”
Sharlee answered, “Well, no. I’ve ridden it many times.”
Mr. Thorne objected. “Your honor, he’s badgering the witness!”
“Your objection is sustained, Mr. Thorne.
Mr. Starke dropped that line of questioning and asked Sharlee questions about her mother and her dead grandmother’s past amidst objections from Mr. Thorne. Although the objections were sustained, the negative information about Sharlee’s background was still planted into the minds of the jurors.
By that time, Noah’s hand was shaking as he tried to write. He was furious and wished that he could choke the life out of the DA for the way that he was treating Sharlee. Dedric sensed Noah’s feelings, and he was proud of the way that Noah kept himself under control.
He asked her, “Do you recognize that Ms. Stallworth?”
Mr. Thorne rose. “Objection your honor. Improper foundation. Mr. Starke has not offered into the record whatever that document is that he is showing the witness!”
The judge inquired, “Mr. Starke?”
The attorneys for both sides went up to the judge’s bench. Afterwards the judge instructed, “The jury will disregard any mention of a flyer depicting the witness. That flyer was deceptively produced as the result of a cruel tactic against the defendant by a fellow student at her high school. The witness in no way participated in its production.”
Still the negative information about Sharlee was planted into the minds of the jury just as the DA knew that it would be.
Noah’s attorney, Mr. Thorne whispered to his co-counsel, Mr. Rivera, “You can’t un-ring a bell.”
“Yes, I am.”
“You’re in love with him?”
Mr. Starke continued, “You would say anything to get him off then wouldn’t you?”
Noah’s attorney said, “Objection!”
The judge responded. “I’ll allow it.”
Mr. Starke returned to his seat, and Phillip Rivera questioned Sharlee. He had her explain further about the flyer and the fact that she had never before that night taken the subway to the part of town where the death had occurred.
Noah was at home, expecting Sharlee to arrive at any time. His mother had agreed the day before that Sharlee could visit him after she testified. Melina came into the livingroom. “Why are you all smiles?”
“Call and tell her not to come. She is no longer welcome in my house!”
“What are you talking about?”
“I knew that she was just too good to be true! Are you still blind, boy? She’s leading you on while she sleeps with probably every boy in that high school! Didn’t you hear that testimony in court today?”
She slammed the door in Sharlee’s face.
After Noah’s mother slammed the door on Sharlee, denying her permission to see Noah, Sharlee just looked at the closed door. She felt a deep sadness. She had tried hard to spend some time with Noah, but his mother and this trial were keeping them apart. She understood the situation, but her heart longed to be with him. She knew it was the same for Noah.
Although Anna couldn’t see Sharlee crying, she could hear as Sharlee tried to hold in her sobs. She frowned, but also felt for her. Anna took one last look at the door and sighed. There were the sounds of hushed yelling going on behind the walls, and she could tell it might escalate at any moment.
“ Alright, get in.”
They both got into Anna’s giant red SUV and drove off headed back to Matthew’s place. Just as they were a block away from Noah’s house, Anna could hear the yelling rise to a ‘normal’ level. She was glad they didn’t stick around a moment longer, or Sharlee would have heard it. It would have most likely made her feel worse.
As they were driving home, Anna couldn’t help but look around at the tall buildings, busy streets and people lining up to get into clubs. She looked at the time on her dash and it read 9:34pm, still early in the night. Tapping her finger on the steering wheel, she pondered whether to go out tonight since her friends were in town, and it had been a couple of weeks since she had last seen them.
Since it was the long weekend for her, this had to be the perfect chance. Anna could feel the sadness coming off of Sharlee in waves, which made her minor excitement go away in a poof. Then an idea came to mind.
She asked her blond friend sitting in the passenger seat, “Sharlee, do you have anything else to do tonight?”
Sharlee looked at her confused, “No, not really anymore since I didn’t see Noah. I have to catch my plane tomorrow morning ’cause of exams at school on Monday. I hate that I’ll miss a day of Noah’s trial. Why do you ask?”
Anna explained even though she wasn’t going to take a no for an answer. “ Well it’s a long weekend for my friends and I, and it’s still early in the night for us. We’re most likely going to be going out, and I was wondering if you wanted to come along.”
She asked Anna, “ Isn’t curfew coming up soon?”
Sharlee started, “ Ok, but…”
“ I’m not going to take a no for an answer from anyone, we’re going out and forget about this ENTIRE night and trust me Sharlee…” Anna’s eye darted away from the road and looked at Sharlee, “you need this and it will most likely make you feel better for a little while. Blow off some steam!”
Instead of driving another two blocks or so up to Sharlee’s grandfather’s house, they went to Anna’s place instead.
Edwin whispered to Siobhan, “ Who is that?”
The door opened and Sharlee and Anna entered the room to see two people waiting for them. Sharlee looked at them and had no idea who they were. It was her first time meeting them.
Anna smiled, “Sharlee, I want you to meet my two best friends. They’re cousins, Edwin Ivanov and Siobhan Ivanov.” They both waved with smiles on their faces, “Unfortunately Siobhan’s boyfriend is out and about in Bridgeport somewhere without us. So you’ll probably see him either tomorrow, or whenever my friends are in town again at the same time that you are.
Sharlee was confused, but it quickly went away when she saw Siobhan run up some stairs to, her guess, Anna’s bedroom.
Sharlee looked around and could tell it was only the four of them in the house.
Anna sighed when Harvey was mentioned. While Sharlee just nodded, feeling like an odd person out.
Siobhan excitedly cried from upstairs, “ ARE YOU THREE COMING UP!?!? EDWIN, I NEED YOUR STYLING EXPERTISE… WE’RE GOING TO PARTY HARD BITCHES!!!” You could already hear the throwing of various dresses and other clothes from all the way downstairs.
Siobhan said checking herself out in the mirror, “ Even though Marcus isn’t here, I want something to get guy’s attention and show my cleavage.”
“ I think what I’m wearing is fine. It’s cute and nice.”
Anna plopped her face into her palms.
Siobhan said, sitting down in another chair in the dress she was still wearing, “ I don’t know if you’ve gone out in Mesa Valley but I believe it’s late night life is WAY different from Bridgeport, here it’s all about the sex, alcohol, and the attention from men and women.”
Siobhan explained. “And that is fine… but a girl needs to have fun and be free. We’ll keep the slime balls off ya while we’re out. Actually speaking of men, I should call Marcus to see where, and what he’s doing right now.”
She got up from her seat and left the room with her cellphone in hand. Edwin got up too and grabbed Sharlee by the hand and dragged her to the mirror.
“The one thing I can see about you Sharlee is that you’re beautiful like your mother. I’ve seen her on TV a few times. You have a nice hourglass shaped body in the works and very nice long blond hair.” Edwin looked at her from top to bottom. “I’m thinking something short and tight, tall heels and your hair? Hmm… that’s tricky. I’ll know when I see it.”
Anna said, “ Ok, Siobhan and I will get the drinks. You two go and dance or something.”
Sharlee yelled to Anna and Siobhan. “Just get me a coke or something non-alcoholic!”
Siobhan rolled her eyes.
She nudged Anna, pointing out the bulging pregnant person.
Anna laughed. ” You pregnant… oh that’ll be the day…”
“ I don’t think Marcus want’s kids anyways.” Siobhan added,” I just want to live my life, wear sexy clothing and having blast.”
Their drinks were served to them. They went out to the dance floor and gave Sharlee her drink. It totally wasn’t a coke like she asked for. She sniffed it and her nose turned as she smelled a bit of the alcohol in it.
“ I don’t know…” Sharlee looked at her drink and looked at Anna who also had finished her drink.
A special thanks to Jacqueline for writing Sharlee’s wild night out. It continues in Part Two. I really appreciate it Jacqueline!