The morning of Carlyn’s testimony was very chaotic. Carlyn’s fears were definitely resurfacing that morning; she would actually have to face Justin, instead of just sitting in the same room as him. She would have to get up in front of everyone and tell people, in detail, what Justin had done to her. Not only would she be telling that story in front of strangers but also she would be telling it with Jason in the room, staring at her. She wasn’t sure if she could do it, she knew she had promised Julia and that she had to follow through with the trial, but she was frightened beyond belief of getting on that stand. In front of Justin. It was her worst nightmare.
“I can’t do it! I just can’t!” Carlyn exclaimed, pacing the kitchen.
“Yes you can sweetie, we believe in you.” Chani had told her, with more love in each word then Carlyn had heard from her own mother her whole life.
“But I don’t believe in me!” Carlyn told Chani, her voice barely a whisper.
“Carlyn! What did I tell you the first day we met?” Larry asked her.
“To tell Justin to kiss my ass if I ever saw him.” Carlyn told him.
“That’s right. Just do that when you’re on the stand and you’ll do fine.” He had told her, an impish grin on his face.
“Larry!”Chani scolded, trying to hide her smile.
“Okay, so maybe you shouldn't use those exact words.” He told Carlyn, that grin still on his face.
“So what do I do?” Carlyn had asked Larry.
“When you’re up there telling your story, don’t even look at him, just look at one of us. Don’t give that barbarian the satisfaction of you even glancing in his direction.”
“But that doesn’t help me with my fear Larry.” Carlyn told him, still not believing in herself.
“You want to be less afraid? Then think of it like this; you’re afraid of some punk that was so pathetic he had to rape a whole bunch of innocent little girls just to get some action.” Larry had told Carlyn, looking her in the eye. Carlyn could see all the pain that Larry was feeling because of what had happened to his daughter right there in his eyes and she knew that she would get up there and tell her story so that they could all finally get past this.
They arrived at the courthouse. Carlyn was trying to prepare herself, remembering why she had to do this, while Julia's family spoke with her, reassuring her. The last thing Julia said befor she entered the courtroom sounded like begging. "Please," Juila said, just one word, but it gave Carlyn the most reason to do this. Looking into Julia's begging eyes gave Carlyn the last push she needed. She nodded to Julia. If she was doing this for anyone, it was for thsoe girls out there who longed to see Justin put in jail.
The judge called her up, and Carlyn walked, slowly and surely. Remembering to only look at Julia and her family. She aslo remembered her story like it had happened that night. Which, it had. The experience re-occured in her nightmares almost every night. Carlyn didn't want to relive it again, but she made a choice. She sat down, and began her story.
“It was a Friday, my friend and I had been invited to our first high school party, so after school we went to my house to get ready. I didn’t usually take my friends to my house because my mom’s an alcoholic, but we knew my mom wouldn’t ask any questions and if she did ask she really wouldn’t have cared. We spent hours trying on different outfits, doing our hair, our makeup, we wanted to look nice but we also wanted to be fashionably late....to arrive stylishly. Lizzy wanted to look especially nice because the boy she liked was supposed to be there.
“When we got to the party it was in full swing; the music was so loud you couldn’t hear yourself think, beer bottles and cups everywhere you looked, people were jumping around, dancing to the music, a couple of people were even fighting. Lizzy went straight for the keg, she said she’d need a little liquid courage if she was going to talk to Derek. She tried to get me to take a cup but I refused, I don’t like the taste of beer and I don’t want to turn out like my mother. After Lizzy got her beer we decided to mingle a bit, only a few freshmen had been invited so we figured this could be a good way to get in with the popular kids.
“We had been at the party for about an hour when we ran into Derek, Lizzy was happy, the three beers she had definitely given her courage; she started talking to him about some school assignment she wanted his help with. I excused myself after a couple minutes. I wasn’t in the mood to hear her gush over this guy, plus it was hot in the house and I needed some air, so I went outside and walked over to Tempe Beach Park. I was by myself and I liked it that way.
“I had been sitting there for 45 minutes, maybe an hour, when I heard footsteps behind me, I thought it was Lizzy finally coming to find me. But when I turned around there was a guy standing there, I didn’t think I was in any kind of danger, a lot of people were at the party, I figured someone must’ve had the same idea as me. I started to get up, I knew that if this guy had come down here to be alone he wouldn’t want me here.
‘No don’t go. I could us some company’ he told me
As soon as he spoke, I instantly knew who it was, Justin Black, the pride and joy of Corona Del Sol High School. I was flattered that he wanted me to stay, I was only a freshman after all.
“We didn’t say anything for a long time; we just sat there, staring at the waves, playing with the sand. He finally looked at me and said, ‘You’re Carlyn, right?’
“I was too shocked that he knew my name, so I just nodded
‘I’ve been watching you for a couple of weeks now. You’re really pretty.’
‘Thanks.’ I was stunned, nobody ever called me pretty before.
“He leaned over and kissed me and I kissed him back. All I remember thinking was Justin Black thinks I’m pretty. But then something changed; his kissing became more aggressive, more hungry, his hands were up my shirt, trying to take my bra off. I tried to pull away, but he pushed me to the ground and held me there.
‘Justin! Please don’t do this!’ I begged him.
But he wouldn’t stop. He took off my shirt, and then my bra, he unbuttoned my pants and pulled those off too. While I lied there in nothing but my underwear, he took off his pants and boxers. I tried to get up, tried to run, but he grabbed me and shoved me to the ground even harder than the first time. I screamed for help as loud as I could and Justin just laughed.
‘Nobody can hear your screams you crazy bitch, so shut the fuck up.’ He told me as he yanked off my panties.
“Then he thrust himself inside me....He raped me, as I lay there, crying, screaming, begging him to stop, he just laughed and laughed. It didn't seem like it would ever end. That's how it always is though. When you never want something to end, it ends all too quickly....but when your begging to God, pleading with Father Time, shouting at Mother Nature for a thunderstorm....what you want to end the most, it seems to take forever to come to a stop. But he stopped eventually....And when he finished, he stood up, put his clothes back on and said, ‘You could use some practice. I’ve had better’
“After he left, I put my clothes on and just sat there, waiting for Lizzy to come find me, to help me. But she never did, so I walked home, by myself. When I finally got home two hours later, I took a scolding hot shower, threw my clothes in the trash, crawled into my bed and cried myself to sleep.”
When Carlyn had finished her story, she took her eyes off of Chani for the first time and looked around the court room. She looked at every face except for Justin’s. Everyone was crying, including Justin’s lawyer and the judge. Even Julia’s family was crying, though they had heard her story before. Carlyn decided to chance looking at Justin, she wasn’t afraid of him anymore and she wanted him to know it. Carlyn had expected him to be smug, but what she saw surprised her, what she saw looked like guilt. For one second, his face seemed to be brought down with a sadness that could only be caused by oneself. His eyes had the agony which is created by your own torment. But he recovered so quickly she wasn’t sure if she had imagined it or not.