The trial had begun, and listening to everyone talk about how great of a kid Justin was, how he always got good grades and never got into trouble, was harder then Julia had ever imagined. Sitting in the court room day after day felt like her heart was being ripped apart piece by little piece. Julia just wanted to tell her story and get it over with, but the judge wanted Julia and Justin’s statements to be last. So she had to sit there while everyone praised Justin and made Julia look like a liar.
Keira had found out about Julia, but it wasn’t as bad as Julia had imagined. Keira was there for her, gave her support, held her hair when she was sick at 3 in the morning and sat right next to her each and every day during court. They started having their midnight chats over cookie dough ice cream again, but they were different, more serious. They no longer talked about boys, makeup or Keira’s current crush. They talked about Julia’s rape, her HIV and what might happen to Julia in the future. In addition, Julia told Keira that if anything ever happened to her, don’t ever wait to tell someone or to go see a doctor, because if you wait, by the time you do it might be too late. It felt good to have those talks, almost as if things were back to normal. That’s what Julia needed most those days, normality.
Julia had been preparing herself for the worst when it came to the trial, with all the testimonies from his friends, family and admirers it did not look like things would end well for her. Julia’s lawyer told her what she needed was some people who didn’t like Justin, somebody who knew all of his secrets and wouldn’t be afraid to tell them.
“Dig up some dirt on him,” Mrs. Barton had told her.
“Like what?” Julia had replied, confused.
“Anything that I can use to break him on the stand, to get him talking.”
“Nobody likes me, who’s gonna tell me anything?”
“I am sure there are people out there that are just dying to tell their story.”
“Even if these people are going to talk to me, where would I even find them?”
“I don’t know!” Mrs. Barton replied getting angry.
“Fine! I’ll do what I can!” Julia said as she stormed out her office, slamming the door behind her.
Julia didn’t know how she was going to do it, but she would. She wasn’t going to give up, she wasn’t going to let him win without a fight.
When Julia got home she went straight to the computer, you could find anything on the internet these days. She started with typing his name, Justin Black, into the search engine. For the first five or ten minutes all she could find were his MySpace , Facebook, MyYearbook and Twitter pages, those were no help. But then she came across a blog titled “The real JB”, it had been written by some girl, Julia had no idea who she was, but it was definitely about Justin. Not only was there plenty of evidence in the blog, but people had commented on it. There were over 200 comments! It was very clear that Julia wasn’t the only girl Justin had raped. The blog was all about how Justin had raped this girl and given her HIV, how she hadn’t told anyone what happened cause she knew they wouldn’t believe her and how hard it was to live with what he had done. And the comments were the same:
“You’re not alone! He did it to me too!”
“I told him to stop but he wouldn’t listen! Now I have to suffer for the rest of my life! However long that may be!”
“I told my friend and she laughed, she said that Justin would never do that! So what I am a liar?!”
“How many of us are there?! When is he going to STOP!!!”
“He did it to me last night, should I tell or keep quiet? Please help me!”
And that was just a few of the comments on the board. Julia felt stronger after reading about the blog and the comments. She wasn’t alone anymore! And there was a chance that Justin might have to pay for what he had done. For the first time in months, Julia felt hopeful. Genuinely hopeful.It was a great feeling, like finally seeing it rain after a long drought.... knowing that you have a chance.
Julia printed it all, the blog, the comments, all of it! She was going to take it down to Mrs. Barton’s office first thing in the morning, but for now, she had to contact these girls. She had to get them to testify, it was their only hope. If they wouldn’t do it, Justin would be set free, he would be given the chance to do it to someone else and teaching him that he could get away with it. Julia thought of Keira, of her friends, she couldn’t let Justin go free, she couldn’t let him hurt another girl. To take someone else’s life away.