the wrong half of a witness testimony
JUDGE: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
WITNESS: I do.
Where were you on the night the assault took place?
A) I was walking back to my apartment. The streetlights shortcircuited last Tuesday
and the repairman hadn’t come yet. I needed to get back to my apartment. I can still
hear the cars screaming like crows. I can still feel the pavement burning my soles. It
burns. It burns I see the skin on my hands blister and swell and I can’t feel anything.
I can’t feel anything.
B) She was walking outside.
Describe the assault.
A) It happened in seconds. The men leered at me like wolves. They saw blood on the snow and clawed until it was all scarlet. I wish I never turned around. I wish I could hold myself together I wish it never happened. It was dark and everything abandoned me, the streetlights turned away from me and the palm trees laughed and shook their heads. The smell, it was awful their hands like gasoline ripping my dignity to shreds. They never set me on fire. I wish they set me on fire but it wouldn’t change anything. I can still smell the gasoline. And the pavement it screamed for help, my shoes trying to run away from it all. That day the sky was so dull, it was like staring into a lake and not seeing your reflection. Like a black hole absorbing everything you know. And then it was over when the tires screeched away. High beams and 7-11 tequila and their talons on my skin. I wish they were vultures instead. At least vultures wait until their prey is dead.
B) She was raped by a group of men. They saw what she was wearing and did what men do. Afterwards, they drove away, under the influence. Your Honor, they were too drunk to have considered the consequences of their actions.
What was the witness wearing?
A) They made me feel like I was wearing nothing. Like I was nothing. Maybe I am nothing more than the clothes on my back. They ruined it. They ruined it all they ruined my favorite dress they tore out the lace like it was a gift to unwrap they ruined my life.
B) She was wearing a tight-fitting sleeveless dress. The skirt exposed her body and left little to the imagination. The neckline was considerably lower than what a woman should wear, especially at that hour. Your Honor, there was more of the witness exposed than covered up. She was asking for it. The witness was equally responsible for the incident, if not wholly at fault.
Does the witness have anything to say to the defendants?
A) Why? Why did you do this to me? What did you want why did you feel the need to prove yourself to me? You made me part of you, you and your disgusting vile revolting evil selves. I only see your hands grabbing my wrists, the bruises on my legs that will never heal. You ruined my life and everyone thinks it’s my fault. I wish I was never born. The blood it won’t wash away in the shower it stains the carpets pink. Pink, the color I was taught to love from birth the color I was supposed to be the color I am forced to teach my daughters and granddaughters and great-granddaughters. All because of you.
B) The witness has no comment.