This is as far as I ever got with this so technically it’s the last chapter..
And so it was two weeks later when Paul, Marie, Cal and Emily arrived at the courthouse to witness Greg’s trial.
Zoe was standing in the foyer, Emily’s face lit up when she saw her Mum and she went straight over to her.
“Come on I’ll introduce you” said Cal to Paul and Marie.
“Hey Cal” Zoe walked over to her ex husband and they shared a warm embrace. The divorce was behind them and they had managed to remain good friends.
“Zoe, this is Paul Weston and his bird Marie” Cal grinned and Zoe whacked his arm.
“Cal!” she admonished him “Hello Marie, take no notice of him”
Marie laughed “I don’t. It’s nice to meet you” the two women hugged and Zoe gave Paul a peck on the cheek.
“What is it with bloody older men?” Cal grumbled.
Paul laughed “You either have it or you don’t my friend”
“Humph. Zoe can I have a word over here a minute?”
“Sure” and the two retreated a short distance away, leaving Emily chatting happily to Paul and Marie. She wanted to know all about Paul’s daughter as they were roughly the same age. Ten minutes later she had found Rosie on Facebook and added her as a friend.
“Are you sure you’re okay with me doing this Cal? I know you haven’t known him that long but he’s still a friend of yours. I take it his lawyers don’t know that?”
“It’s fine with me love I already told you. He deserves whatever he gets, and no as far as I know they don’t know. I think it might be better if they don’t find out. I wouldn’t want there to be trouble for you”
At that moment the case was called “Showtime” said Zoe and she disappeared into the court room.
Paul, Marie, Cal and Emily sat together in the public gallery. Emily and Marie craning their necks to get a proper look at Lisa Cuddy. Paul and Cal were doing the same if they were honest about it, but they were trying to be a little less obvious. Four jaws dropped as the click of five inch heels on the wooden floor heralded the Dean of Medicine’s arrival in court. Both Paul and Cal let out a quiet whistle and both were rewarded with a punch on the arm. “She’s smokin’!” hissed Cal “No wonder Greg was so hung up on her” Paul choked back a laugh and then pointed at Greg sitting by his lawyer and steadfastly looking at the floor. Suddenly the mood became a little more serious. “He looks bloody awful” Cal whispered, Paul nodded his agreement “I hope Zoe makes this quick for him” he whispered back.
Greg did indeed look “bloody awful” he hadn’t eaten properly since his arrest, he hadn’t slept properly either and it showed. He heard the click of Cuddy’s heels on the floor but he dared not look up, if he looked at her he felt sure he would lose it completely. He was in enough trouble, he didn’t need a contempt of court charge as well.
“All rise” the Court Official called and the case began.
To Greg the proceedings passed in a total blur. He stood when he was told, sat when he was told and spoke only to enter his guilty plea. To his immense relief the prosecution lawyer didn’t seem to want to make meal out of the case, sticking only to the facts and not making any grand speeches. He didn’t know she was Cal’s ex wife.
Then his lawyer presented his defence, stressing his clients remorse for his actions and how completely out of character it had been for him to do something like that. He also stated that since Greg had pleaded guilty almost straight away that should be taken into account when the sentence was passed. The Psychiatric Evaluation was read out again much to Greg’s annoyance, but again he tried his best to keep a neutral expression for fear of what he might do if he lost his composure.
Cal couldn’t help but notice that both Greg and Cuddy looked ready to fall apart at the slightest thing, they must have been very in love at one point he thought. Maybe they still are. A bit like him and Zoe he mused. Although he may have gone out and got blind drunk on more than one occasion after they had split up he hadn’t done anything on the same scale as this.
The sound of the judges gavel banging on the desk bought him back to the present.
Paul was having similar thoughts to Greg, although his own divorce seemed at face value to be a little more acrimonious than Cal and Zoe’s. Looking at the two of them together he wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them get back together at some point. He wondered idly if either of them had ever thought about reconciliation. He smiled to himself as he saw the look of pride on Cal’s face watching her in action. You didn’t need to be a “Lie Guy” to figure that one out.
Greg was ordered to stand and he leaned heavily on his cane. The judge began by summarising the charges against him, noting his guilty plea and obvious remorse. Here it comes thought Greg. Paul, Marie, Emily, Cal, Zoe and Lisa Cuddy all held their breath.
“I hereby sentence you to 12 months in jail, with the time you have served already to be taken into account” he banged his gavel again to signal the end of the case.
“All rise” the court official called again and the judge left the room.
Greg and Cuddy stared at each other across the court for what seemed like an eternity before she turned and clicked her way out. Paul was sure she was crying.
Then Greg noticed his friends in the public gallery for the first time. A very surprised look crossed his face, he hadn’t expected anyone to turn up for him. He managed a small smile before the guards led him away. Paul and Cal nodded back at him, Emily and Marie remained silent, unsure of what to say. Then they too filed out of the court.
Zoe was waiting for them on the pavement outside the courthouse, Cal and Emily immediately went over to her and the three stood in a huddle in the middle of the street. Paul slipped his arm around Marie’s waist and gently pulled her into him. She rested her head on his shoulder “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine” he smiled at her “Do you think we should suggest going for a drink?”
“That’s a bloody good idea” replied Cal without looking up.
“Well I could certainly do with one” admitted Zoe.
“That’s settled then, come on”
“What about me?” asked Emily.
“Coke for you” her parents chorused “You’re driving”.