Will Jamie's father get out of prison? What other surprises will she find after leaving the courthouse?
Home Sweet Home
Part VI - All Good Things
by Barbara Lynn Terry
We walked out of the courthouse to the waiting limo. Jeri opened the doors for us and we got in. On the ride home, we talked about the sentencing and the case as a whole.
"Mom? Aunt Mandy? Why did my father treat us the way he did? I mean, why did he want me to be the family maid and then make mom and Mary go along with it?"
"Well Jamie, your father was what most people would call a control freak. If he wasn't constantly yelling, threatening, or just being plain nasty, he felt he wasn't in control. But they have doctors, even in prison, who can help him, if he will let them. But he is one person who is better off behind bars anyway. If he tries that control stuff there, the other convicts will teach him a lesson he will never forget."
"It would certainly teach him a lesson, wouldn't it?" I said with a slight giggle.
"Yes, it would," aunt Mandy answered.
"Well, anyway young lady, tomorrow is school so I think when we get home, you should pick out your clothes for tomorrow. Okay?" My mom said sternly.
"Yes mom. I know exactly what I want to wear."
We pulled up in front of the house and Jeri got out and opened the door for us. Then she opened the door to the house and we all went in except for Jeri who had to park the limo at the garage, so Doug could check the fluids and gas usage. I went directly to my room and pulled out my clothes for tomorrrow. Tomorrow we were having a formal and we weren't supposed to wear our uniforms. I took out my lavender dress, lavender pumps, and my lavender bra and panty set. I also took out my lavender full slip and I laid everything very carefully across my vanity bench. The stockings could wait until the morning. I then went downstairs.
"Dinner will be ready in about two hours, Jamie."
"Thank you, Martha. I'm going for a walk outside by the flower beds. I enjoy seeing all the pretty colors."
"All right. I'll let your mother and aunt know."
I walked down by the flower beds and just looked at the pretty colors of the different flowers. I took in the scent they gave off. They looked a smelled so beautiful, I thought they could be used to make perfume.
"They are quite lovely, aren't they Jamie?"
I tured to look and saw my aunt. She was standing there with a smile on her face.
"Is it dinner time already?" I queried.
"No, Jamie. Martha told me you were out here, so I thought I would join you."
"Okay. I was going to go to the stables too and give Brownie an apple."
"That's a great idea. Let's go."
We started toward the stables when my aunt grabbed my hand and we started skipping and singing. That brought Doug and Jeri out of the garage and they clapped as we passed by. I looked at Jeri and she gave me that famous wink of hers. We got to the stables and I gave Brownie her apple and petted her and talked to her. When I said I was sorry for not coming around earlier, she nudged me with her nose. Then she tapped the ground three times and nodded her head while she winnied. I then told her I would see her tomorrow and she tapped the ground three times with her right hoof and nodded. We headed back to the house, skipping and singing and just enjoying each other's company.
When we got back to the house, it was dinner time. We had roast beef with a lyonnaise sauce, three different vegetables, rice and for dessert, we had Dutch apple pie. The adults had wine with their meal and I had grape kool aid to make it look like I had wine. We talked as we ate, but it wasn't anything important, just a bunch of fill in the gaps talk.
After dinner was over, we all went into the parlor for an evening of relaxation due to a very busy day. We watched a movie on a cable channel where a curly blond haired little girl sang "On the Good Ship Lollipop." I was told later that her name was Shirley Temple. That was a very good movie and I told my mom that I would like to watch it again sometime. Then it was time for bed. I went upstairs after hugs and kisses goodnight, and got out my white satin nightgown and after brushing my teeth, got into bed and went to sleep.
Morning comes way too fast and I got up and turned my alarm off. I took off my nightgown and got in the shower. I bathed myself with a rose perfumed soap and made sure my legs were shaved. I didn't have any chest or facial hair, so I didn't have to shave that. I got out of the shower and patted myself dry, then I put on some body powder and went to get dressed. I put on the clothes I took out the night before and made sure my hair was neat and presentable. Today, we didn't have to wear our school uniforms becasue it was a special day. Today we were having boys at the school for a formal. There would be dancing, food, and a live band. I was going to have fun.
What can I say about school? Nothing that everyone doesn't already know; it's boring. Today, however, we talked about the sentencing of my father and what we thought about it. I was the first one asked to say something.
"All I know is this. That I now have a good life, with my mother, my sister, my aunt and her staff, which I adopted as my sisters, aunt and uncles, because they have shown me such happiness that I didn't know existed before I went to my aunt's house. As for my father, I'm glad he got what he deserved. I thought the sentence was appropriate. Now I'm free to enjoy life, instead of living in fear of him every day."
A couple of others said the they thought the sentence was appropriate too and found the court proceedings interesting. When no one else had anything to say, the teacher spoke up.
"All right class, we had a very interesting experience. I think maybe you should write about what you thought about it in a small essay, which will be due two weeks from today. Okay?"
We all groaned, but said yes ma'am. Then we went to lunch and several of us were talking about doing our essays together so we could get feedback from each other about what to write, and since I had been involved personally and had tesified at the trial and saw all those proceedings, the girls were more than happy to have feedback from me. I could give them tips on things they may get wrong.
After class was over and we got our assignments (you call it homework), we went into the dining hall, which had been rearranged for dancing and chairs had been placed neaere the walls so people could sit down without disturbing those dancing. A small stage had been set up in the back of the room for the local group who was going to supply the music. The food was placed on four tables and consisted of everything imaginable for a formal dance. We were all standing around and talking with our friends when the boys came in. They were all immaculately dressed in rented tuxedoes and as handsome as could be. I think my hormones were wroking overtime when I saw a certain boy. He was taller than me by a good six inches. His name was Brian Hampton and he had the blondest hair I have seen on a boy, which was cut very nice and combed straight back. I walked over and introduced my self and asked him if he would like to dance. He said "sure why not?" Then came the boring part.
"All right ladies and gentlemen, it is time to state the rules." Mrs. Richards stated firmly.
"Rule number one! All the girls will behave as young ladies should and the boys will behave as young gentlemen.
"Rule number two! There will be no kissing, no close dancing and definitley no sexual innuendo.
"Rule number three! All students will remain in the dining hall until the formal is concluded. Am I understood?" We all nodded.
After Mrs. Richards was finished the band began playing its first number and everyone got up to dance. Since we couldn't dance close I wouldn't know what it would feel like to be in Brian's arms. But I did get to talk to him and gave him my address and phone number. Then I aasked if he would get mad if I told him something personal.
"No Jamie, I won't get mad. But first let me tell you. I was in the courtroom covering your father's trial for our school newspaper. I don't care that you are male now. It's what's inside that counts and to me you are all girl."
"Thanks Brian. That means a lot to me. I have had nothing but acceptance since I ran away that first night. I no longer have to live in fear. Do you think you wouldlike to come over on Sunday and we could have a picnic and then maybe go into town and see a movie?"
"I would love to, Jamie. You know, you have the cutest expression when you're trying to be serious."
I looked shyly at my shoes and moved my foot like I was digging my heel into the floor, while clasping my hands behind my back and swaying my body slowly from side to side. Then, I don't know why, but all of a sudden, the rules didn't matter. He took me in his arms and gave me a very passionate kiss. I was in heaven. I put my arms around his neck and submitted to his tender passion.
"Ahem!" It was mrs. Richards.
"Just what do you two think you are doing? Didn't I say no kissing?"
"Yes ma'am," I said looking at the floor.
"Well?!? What are you waiting for? Don't just stand there, kiss him again," she said with a wink in her eye.
I looked around and saw others were doing the same thing. So? What was I waiting for? I put my arms around his neck and we kissed, this time longer and more passionately. I was in heaven. When we stopped for a breath of air, Mrs. Richards spoke again to everyone.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the formal is concluding. It is almost four o'clock and we have dinners to go home to. I must say this has been a very nice formal and we will have them again. So, for today class is dismissed."
Everyone started filing out of the dining hall towards the front door. Brian and I walked hand in hand to the parking lot where his school's bus was waiting.
"Jamie? Can I come over tonight? I want to be with you."
"Of course dear. I would love to have you over for dinner. Bring your parents too. I'm sure that my mother, sister and aunt would love to meet you all. Especially after I tell them about you. And, I want to be with you too."
We kissed again and he got on his bus and sat by a window. I stood there watching as the bus pulled out and blew him a kiss which he blew one back. After the bus was out of sight and i couldn't see Brian anymore, I folded my hands in back of me and skipped back to the school to get my books. Jeri was just pulling up to the front of the school and saw me skipping and with a happy smile on my face like you would have when you have just fallen in love.
"What's this sis? meet a nice boy, did you?"
"Oh Jeri, I'm just busting all over. I met this nice boy and he's the sweetest boy anyone would ever want to meet. We danced, held hands and we kissed, oh, did we kiss. I'm so happy. He's coming over tonight and I think he's bring his parents so we can all meet them."
"That's good sis. I think you better get your books so we can leave."
I passed Mary on the way in and she looked at me and giggled. I knew what that giggle was for, but I was in love and didn't care. When I got back in the limo, Mary was the first to talk.
"Jamie, you lucky girl you. Will he be coming over sometime?"
"Yes, Mary. he's coming over tonight and I think he's bringing his parents so we can all meet."
"That is so cool. Your first formal and you've already met someone. I'm so happy for you sis."
"Thanks sis." Then we gave each other a siterly hug.
We rode the rest of the way home just chattering about Brian and how happy I was. When we got to the house, I went in and yelled 'YESSSSS'. Mom came out of the parlor and looked at me and asked what the 'yesssss' was all about. I told her to call auntie and everyone so i could tell everyone my good news. When everbody was assembled, I began talking very excitedly.
"You'll never guess what happened at the formal. I met a boy and his name is Brian and I invited him over with his parents for dinner tonight so we could all meet each other and I could be with him and then he kissed me and we held hands and..." I was interrupted by my mother.
"Slow down Jamie. My God, you'd think you had won the lotto or something."
"I have mother, I have. Brian is the winning ticket and I am rich with love and OH MY GAWD! I've got to get ready they'll be here in an hour! OH MY GAWD!" I dashed up the stairs to my room and began taking off my dress.
"Just a minute Jamie. My God girl, catch your breath. You're all excited and rushing. There's time and I will help you get ready. I know how it is. Go in and take a nice bubble bath and I'll find you some real nice clothes. Okay?"
"Okay mom. Thanks."
I went into the bathroom and ran my bath water putting in some sweet smelling lavender bubble bath and cyrstals. I got in and just sat in the tub letting the bubbles soak through me from my shoulders to my feet. after the water started getting cool I rinsed off and patted down with a thick terry cloth towel. After I was dry I wrapped the towel around me and went out into the bedroom. My clothes were all laid out and they were beautiful. Mom had picked out my white print dress with the roses on it and my sky blue bra and panty set and my white pumps with the two inch heel. She also had a pair of nylon stockings out too. I began to get dressed. I put on my bra and panty set, then my sky blue matching slip and sat down at my vanity to do my makeup. While I was doing that my mother was selecting a nice pair of earrings. Mother of Pearl in a gold triangle. When I was done with my makeup, she cam over and helped me with my hair. While doing that, Donna came in and said that the young man and his parents have arrived. I almost bolted through the door, but my mother held me firm and then she said...
"Young lady, you will finish getting dressed first. Besides, it's a lady's prerogative to be a little late."
I finished dressing and then almost ran out the door but stopped. I then slowed down and walked regally like a queen to and down the stairs. As I came near the bottom, Brian looked at me and whistled. He then came over and took my hand and introduced me to his parents.
"Mom, dad, this is Jamie. I fell in love with her the first time we met."
"Nice to meet you, dear," his mother said giving me a hug.
"Same here, young lady," his father said.
"Thank you, both of you. I want you to meet my mother, and this is my aunt, Amanda MacCreeley and this is my sister Mary."
"Well, we are certainly glad to meet all of you. Jamie, Brian has told me that you have also adopted the entire staf here as an extended family. That is so nice of you." His mother was very nice and very caring.
"I understand," said Brian's father, "that you two want to go on dates. Is that correct young lady?"
"Yes, sir. I would love to spend more time with Brian. He seems so very nice and caring."
"He gets that from his mother," his father said sort of gruffly.
"Now dear, you'll scare the poor dear away. Jamie, I understand that you are actually going to go through a life changing transition. I would love to have you for a daughter-in-law."
"Thank you, Mrs. Hampton. I will be the best wife for Brian that I can be."
"I know you will, dear."
For the next two weeks, we all met at my house, well I guess it's my house now too. We started by discussing how the sentencing proceedings started. Jan, a very nice girl, who wore her school uniform like she was born in it, with long sun colored blonde hair, down to her shoulders and custom made pumps with a one inch heel (for school), was the first to speak.
"Jamie, when you were at home, in New Hampshire, what was it like?"
I related everything to the group and even cried a little at which the group comforted me. I told them about the dreams I had after coming to my aunt's house. I told them about how I thought that my mother and sister were involved and only found out afterward that they were forced to treat me nasty by my father or he would hurt them. I told them about after coming here, the love I found not only in my aunt, but in her staff as well. How my aunt had accepted her staff as friends not merely servants and how I adopted all of them as my extended family.
"Wow, girl," Jan said. "You've had a horrifying experience. I wouldn't want to go through that and don't know what I'd do if it happened to me."
"I would probably kill the bas...well, anyway I'd probably hurt him enough that he wouldn't try it again," Doreen stated emphatically.
Doreen was a simply plain girl that has as much charisma as Kevin Bacon, the actor. She is a likeable girl, with brown hair styled in a page boy and wears very simple clothes. Today she was dressed in an A-line brown skirt with a white see through blouse, turquoise blue bra, white knee high socks and brown penny loafers. She was about my height, maybe an inch taller. Instead of glasses, she wore contacts and had a few freckles on both cheeks.
"So, Jamie, tell us what it was like having to face your father in that courtroom and having to tesify against him?" Asked Kathy.
Kathy was a real siren. Her figure could be on the cover of any magazine she would choose to model for. She also was about my height and wore the latest in fashions. Her clothes she told us were custom made as she didn't like anything off of the rack. She had nice blonde hair to the middle of her back and her face was void of any blemishes. Her makeup was perfect and looked very natural. Her fingernails were one inch extensions covered in bright red nail polish, as were her toenails.
"Well Kathy, I was really all a bundle of nerves. But I didn't let it show, or my father would think he was getting out of this by mistakes I made on the witness stand. As it was, I testified as though I wasn't scared of him at all. But, I was...just a little."
I then looked at the last girl in our group. Her name is Jennifer McAllister and she is an exchange student from Ireland. She had fire red hair with Irish green eyes that sparkled in the light. Today she wearing a tartan plaid skirt, with a lawn green bouse, plaid knee high socks and black penny loafers. It actually reminded me of a school uniform, but it wasn't.
"Jenny, what do you think about all of this?" I asked.
"Well, you see," she started with her Irish accent. "I find your American justice system very fascinating, because in Ireland, things are done differently. The judges still wear powder wigs in formal proccedings and when people are testifying they have to stand in the witness box and face the jury when speaking. If it is a criminal prosecution, the crown's attorney gets to question the witness many times while the defense only can counter the prosecutor twice. So, I find this system very interesting. I'm going to take my essay on this back to Ireland and show my classmates and teachers how things are done over here. Jamie, I think what you did was very brave."
"So, I think we should get started, at least on the preliminaries, so that we can change and correct anything that isn't right," I said. They all agreed.
About two hours later, we were all finished with our first drafts of our essays. We looked over what each other wrote about the sentencing and trial, and found that nothing had to be changed. So, we put our finished essays in our binders and put them away. Then i suggested we all go to the kitchen and see if aunt Martha had anything for us for a snack. As we got into the kitchen, aunt Martha said:
"And, what can I do for you young ladies today?"
"Uhm, aunt Martha, we came to see if there was something we could have for a snack. All that studying made us hungry." We all giggled including aunt Martha.
"Well let's just see what there is." And then, she began rummaging through the over large refrigerator.
"Here is some grape juice. Now girls, this is real grape juice, no imitation flavor here. and let me see what you can have to nibble on. Oh! Of course, here are some Ritz crackers. Would any one of you like a little cheddar spread to go with those?"
We all nodded and sat down to enjoy our little repast. After we were done, the girls all said that they had to go home and I wished them a very good day. I also invited them over for dinner as a group with their parents and siblings. We would make a sort of party out of it. They readily accepted and i told them i would tell my aunt about it so she could send out invitations. With a group that large, you need invitations. I was happy the way things turned out. I now had four more close friends. Who knows, maybe we could all go shopping as a group, or swimming, or dating with our boyfriends. Oh! Speaking of boyfriends, I had better give Brian a call.
I dialed his number and his father answered.
"Hello Mr. Hampton. This is Jamie, may I speak with Brian, please?"
"Yes you may, just a minute."
"Hi Jamie? How nice of you to call. I was just thinking about you."
"Everything nice I hope." I giggled and he laughed a little.
"So how'd the study group go?"
"Fine Brian. We got everything right the first time. I invited the girls over with their families and we are going to make a sorta party out of it. Do you think you and your parents would like to come too?"
"Hey, my precious and fairest of the fair, you know I'd like to come even if it wasn't a sorta party like." I giggled again and he laughed a little.
"Why thank you, Prince Charming, I'm sure. So when we get everything planned I will send out and invitation. Okay?"
"Okay, Jamie. Hey! What are you doing this Saturday night. They're having a concert at the soldiers arena and i would like you to go with me."
"You bet," I squealed into the phone.
"Don't do that girl, I only have two ears, you know."
We continued to talk about how nice it is to know each other and how we'd both like to be in each other's arms and just making out. We talked about other insignificant things too then we each hung up. I was in ninth heaven. I had a nice home, a nice family, very nice friends and real nice boyfriend. What more could a girl ask for?
It has been three months since my father's conviction on criminal trespass and entry into another's home with intent to commit a crime. it was Thursday evening and we were just sitting around relaxing in the parlor, some of us watching a cable channel on television and others just talking or reading. The phone rang. I heard Donna say it was Mr. Manian from the District Attorney's office. I couldn't hear what all was said except for an occasional "I see" and "oh! all right". "Thanks you Mr. Manian, we are so very relieved to hear that. Yes, you too sir."
"That was Mr. Manian the assistant D.A. who prosecuted your father. The Massachussets court of Appeals has affirmed your father's conviction. That means he stays in jail. He still has two appeals left. One the Massachussetts Supreme Court and if they uphold the court of appeals, then to the United States Supreme Court. But Mr. Manian says that the higher courts won't reverse a conviction if the defendant has had a fair trial and no constitutional rights were violated. Mr. Manian said your father's rights were protected with the utmost care. So, there is no way he can get out of this."
"GOOD!" I screamed. "Maybe he'll finally learn that not everything in this world goes his way." Then I started crying.
"Jamie," my mother said coming over and comfrting me. "What's wrong dear?"
"I'm just sad that he couldn't find it in his heart to be a decent father. I really do feel sorry for him that he had to think that by being abusive that he was always in control. Now that control is no longer his. It's just so sad that people have to learn the hard way."
"Yes it is, sis," Mary said hugging me also.
"Well," started aunt Mandy, "What ye sow, ye shall reap. Says so right in the Bible. If you sow misery, misery is what you reap and your father has reaped what he has sown. I myself have known him way too long and what he is like. I do not feel sorry for him at all, as this has been a long time in coming. He was like this even before you were born Jamie. Some families are really blessed when everyone in the family has respect for each other and treats each other like they would want other people to treat them."
"I know aunt Mandy, but I can't help it. If only he had been nicer."
"Well, sometimes we can't help those who don't want to be helped no matter what we do. In a way it is sad that he had to learn the hard way."
Well, I am living in a good home, with a good family. I have good friends and I have a very nice boyfriend. I am very happy with how things have worked out. Maybe I will ask my mother if I can transition before my eighteenth birthday. I certainly hope so.