Jesse's Girl - Cover

Jesse's Girl

Copyright© 2022 by Dyspneic

Chapter 5: Disorder in the Court

As orderly as things appeared, the morning of their hearing went slightly askew as soon as Maia, Jesse, Tina, and Linda tried to enter the courthouse. They were stopped even before they approached the security checkpoint.

Maia was firmly advised that she was not permitted to enter the building by a large black woman in a blue uniform.

“Why ever not?” She asked bewildered.

“You must be wearing shoes to enter the courthouse, ma’am.” The security agent replied pointing to her bare feet.

“Oh for the love of the Goddess! Where does it say that in all that blue and white ... stuff?” She waved at the signs declaring what may or may not be allowed into the courthouse and what the penalties were for violating it.

“It’s there ma’am. Sorry, no shoes—no admittance.”

Turning back Maia stewed as she marched back towards the courthouse doors.

“Here.” TM said and pulled a pair of flipflops out of her bag. “You hippies...” She sighed as Maia beamed back at her and plopped them onto her feet before returning to the checkpoint.

Only to be denied entry again. This time to both her’s and TM’s ire. “What now?” She demanded.

“Sorry ma’am,” The guard replied again, “No open toes allowed. It’s a safety issue.”

“What!” TM demanded and walked up to the board of rules and warnings. “It does NOT say that!”

“I’m afraid it does.”

Maia actually growled as she turned back.

“Now you’re just pissing off the goddess, lady!” TM snapped at the security guard. “You’d better watch it.”

Jesse looked over the board and then glanced back in the lobby. “TM, give her your shoes and come with me.”

“What? Why?” His kid sister demanded. A line was beginning to form at the check point as irritated people were waiting to get inside.

“Just do it.” He said and walked over the side of the lobby desk.

TM grumbled as she relinquished her shoes and pranced after her brother in her pink Taylor Swift socks. He reappeared from behind the desk pushing a wheelchair. “Get in.” He grinned and her eyes lit up as she plopped onto hammock seat and put her feet in the stirrups.

“Giddyup!” She cried as they turned back the check point.

Linda and Maia had already disappeared through the other side by the time they got up to the queue. The guard just gazed coldly at the two and then shoot her head in defeat as she ushered them through.

TM stuck her tongue out at her as she passed.

The judge who presided over their case was surprisingly young looking to Jesse. He, his mom, and sister took their seats behind the podium where Maia stood looking respectable in a pleated skirt and white starched shirt. Jesse did not need to glance down to know that she had kicked off the shoes.

As the Plaintiffs, or complainants, Maia was allowed to presence her argument first and she did so in a methodical and charming manner, leaving no doubts as to what their grievance was and what they expected out of it. The judge even commended her on her presentation and the overlays that she used to corroborate the recent survey.

“Mr. Sinclair what do you have to say for yourself in light of these allegations?” He asked the older neighbor who stood dourly across from her the entire time, fuming at her speech.

“It’s all conjecture Judge!” He spat angrily. “Plain old hogwash!”

The judge frowned at his and leaned forward crossing his arms in front of him. “How so Mr. Sinclair? Please enlighten us.”

“I’m innocent til proven guilty!” He declared. “Your law says so.” He stabbed his finger at the judge earning another frown. “They ain’t proved nothing.”

The judge sighed. “Mr. Sinclair the only thing I need to know right now is this. Is that your fence?”

“I reckon it is.” The old man grumped. “Maybe it isn’t. Who’s to say who’s fence it is?”

“So you are denying that you put that fence up, effectively barring the Morales family from over seven percent of their rightful property?”

“I ain’t denying nothing! I plead the fifth!” He retorted and crossed his arms stubbornly.

Maia crossed her arms and rested her chin on her chest as she bit her lip in disbelief.

“Ooooh!” Tina cooed snottily. “He’s pleading the fifth!” Her tone was not as quiet as she thought, and it didn’t help that Jesse snorted loudly at her jest.

“That’s enough!” The judge reprimanded calmly as he tried to keep a straight face. He frowned again and looked bewildered at the old man. “Are you sure about that Mr. Sinclair?” He asked. “Know, that you certainly have the right to plead your fifth amendment rights in a civil matter, but by doing so you leave me no choice but to draw an adverse inference from your refusal to testify.”

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