The courtroom was silent. All eyes were focused on the Judge. He looked up from the notes he was writing and glanced at the defendant. Elizabeth tried to avoid his eyes, but she needed to see in them a sign of the verdict to come. She felt a chill, and unconsciously clutched her lawyers’ hand. The judge cleared his throat and announced his decision.
“Will the defendant please rise.” Elizabeth slowly stood up. She was trembling, and tears flooded her eyes.
“Elizabeth Ashley Smythe, I have reviewed the facts in this case, and without any reservation I find you guilty as charged.” Elizabeth could not hold back her tears, and she sobbed pitifully. Her lawyer reached out, and held her close, but he could not relieve her utter despair and shame.
“It is clear that your behavior was without malice aforethought, but nonetheless the damage incurred by the plaintiff, Mr. Politane was brutal and enduring. It is the decision of this court that you be required to return all gifts given to you in good faith by the plaintiff. The includes but not limited to photos, CD’s, albums, tapes, and other mementos of your relationship. In addition, you are hereby ordered to make a public apology to Mr. Politane. The apology is to be announced in Court on May 12, the anniversary of your initial date. This court is now adjourned.”
The plaintiff, Mr. Anthony Politane was seated alongside his attorney. Anthony avoided looking at Elizabeth, and despite his feelings of anger, and hurt, he knew that his love would not die easily. Anthony was the first case ever tried in the “Relationship Court”. The entire procedure had been painful and costly, but he had to do it. Anthony could not suffer the abuse of his love without some restitution. He had to see her punished for the hurt she caused him, but still he loved her. He wanted revenge, and the law had finally satisfied that need.
Perhaps other tormented lovers would follow his lead. For one moment they too would have the pleasure of knowing that to love in vain will not go unpunished. No man or woman would ever give of their hearts and soul and be treated with callous indifference. Lovers everywhere would be on notice that the law of the land would punish fickle and thoughtless lovers. The law had finally caught up with those who would “play” with the feelings of others and thereby cause more damage than any theft, property damage or larceny could ever cause. Crimes of the heart would not go unpunished.
Tom Golden, 2008, Writer’s Cramp