256 Words

Difficult to Remember

M. Stanley Bubien

Today, I would have justice. Finally.

I waited for the prosecutor to enter the courtroom, purse below my chair---a chair I'd sat in for eleven months---just like countless others I'd used for the last---how many?---seven years. You'd think I'd have gotten better after so long. But no.

"We're heading for another mistrial," the prosecutor had said yesterday as I approached the stand. "Keep it simple."

But the defense attorney went for the throat. "Describe the evening in question."

"I was raped."

He shrugged, "Details, please."

I looked toward the prosecutor, but he was unwilling to object. "I'd rather not," I said bluntly.

"And why is that?"

"Because it's hard... Difficult to remember."

"Difficult to remember?" He turned to the judge. "Your honor, this woman has trouble with her memory. She's not a reliable witness. I move that charges be dropped."

"No!" I interrupted, "I meant it's difficult on---"

"No more questions!" the attorney blurted. "Please step down!"


"Please step down!"

I returned to my seat, mouth a thin line, begging for tears to come, but seven years had dried them---not seven years of mistrials, but seven years of being forced to remember, to relive everything---his face, his hands, his reek. Never allowed to forget.

The prosecutor entered, and as he greeted me, I said, "I'm dropping the charges."

"You can't!"

"I can. I need justice---maybe not for that... rapist---but for myself."

Before he could respond, I lifted my purse, stood, and walked away from my chair forever.

Copyright ©1997 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

Please contact the editor for free text versions of this very short story formatted for e-mail, usenet news, or ftp.

Story Bytes


April, 1997
Issue #12

256 Words