The cost: Part one

    "I plead guilty Your Honor." The judge looked at me with a mixture of shock and confusion. The walls of the court house seemed to be pressing in on me. I could feel a tightness in my chest, I tried to breathe slowly as the judge spoke, "Do you understand what you are confessing to Miss Taylor?" I nodded.
     "Yes I understand, your Honor." The judge looked at my lawyer sitting next to me, he shook his head in disbelief. The Judge opened his mouth to speak but closed it, his eyes held something like remorse for me in them as he looked anxiously around the room. The tightness in my chest returned as I started trembling; beads of sweat collected around  my wrists where metal handcuffs connected me to the table where I sat. The hours passed like centuries until finally the jury filed back into the room once again. 
      "Have you reached a verdict?" The judge asked a man standing in the front row.
       "We have your Honor," He paused and looked at me for a brief second before continuing, "We find the defendant, Nicole Taylor guilty of all charges." The room was silent. The only sound to be heard was the pounding of my heart. All eyes were on the judge as he delivered his sentence. 
         He spoke slowly almost hesitantly, "Very well, I sentence the defendant to a life in prison and to face capital punishment."
         The silence that followed was practically deafening. A police officer tried to escort me out of the courtroom but I was numb; paralyzed the realization of my inevitable fate. The judge pounded his gavel and the sound echoed through out the entire room. It was the sound of finality and condemnation. 

                                                                   ---Two weeks earlier---

"Nikki! Wake up!"
     I opened my eyes to see a tall boy with bright blue eyes and dark shaggy hair standing over me.
     "Luke what are you doing here? Its five in the morning!" I yawned.
      "Its noon actually." He said as he walked over to my window and pulled back the shades. Sunlight flooded the room of my small apartment . "I came over to see if you were ready to go but when no one answered the door I got a little worried. Is everything okay?" 
      "I was sleeping." I mumbled and rolled over, trying to forget the bad dream. "How did you get in here anyway?" 
       "You left the door unlocked Nikki. Now get up we're already late." I could hear in his voice that he was concerned but he knew I wouldn't want to to talk about it. He was right. I pulled the blanket over my head and said nothing. In response he went to my closet, picked out a black dress that was on a hanger and tossed it onto the bed next to me.
        "Nikki, you know we have to go. You can't miss your own father's funeral." Luke said softly, pacing  back over to the window. "Wow, great view." He marveled at the sky scrapers that pierced the sky and the street that was full of people. "Your father always loved New York, he called it the greatest city on earth." 
          With that I got out of bed, grabbed my dress and went into the bathroom, grumbling complaints all the way. When I looked in the mirror I did a double-take, shocked by my discheveled appearance. My eyes were puffy and slightly swollen, long auburn curls spiraled around my face at every angle. I looked like I had aged ten years. I groaned and pulled the black dress over my head. It hung loosley on my shoulders and barely covered my ankles. 
           "You've lost weight." Luke observed as I opened the door. I grumbled something under my breath in response. He was eyeing the bottle of pills that sat on my night stand next to a glas of water. 
           "Its asprin Luke!" I snapped, "Let's go!" Without another word he followed me down the stairs and to the busy street.
             The sun reflected brilliantly off of skyscrapers and taxi cabs, it was mother nature's final insult. How could the sun possibly shine on a day like this? I wondered as I followed Luke down the street, ignoring the familiar chorus of car horns and people shouting. Today these once familiar streets felt like an alien planet, cold and hostile. 
              Luke and I walked in silence for what seemed like an eternity. We walked block after block until finally we arrived at the church. A beautiful white building accented with marble and stained glass. We stopped at the stairs and Luke turned to me, "Its going to be okay Nikki. I promise." He put his arm around me and we walked through the doors together.

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Novel / Novella
writing jazzkat53
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This is a story I started awhile ago and finally decided to do something with it! Please let me know what you think!