Sunday, June 10, 2012


Viv watched from the corner of her eye as the guy in the green plaid chewed away at his nails. The lady next to him was still wearing her ring. She was twisting it around and around. Viv was wearing hers, too.
The good-looking blonde behind her was steaming. Whatever her situation, it was fresh on her mind. Viv scanned the crowd and soon discovered the blonde’s husband. It wasn’t hard to figure out who he was, if you were paying attention. He kept a close watch from across the room. In contrast to the majority of the group, he looked pleased with himself, as if he were still very much in control of her emotion. He was boring a hole into that blonde. And although she was aware of his presence, she paid him no mind.
Most people looked worn thin.  Some were scowling. Some were restless in their seats. One lady looked like she hadn’t slept in months, definitely distraught and on the verge of tears.
Right beside Vivian was a young girl with a “YOLO” tattoo on the inside of her wrist. You only live once.  Funny, considering the circumstances. Weren't they all getting a second chance?
The slouchy man, directly behind Viv, kept invading her space and mumbling to himself: shifting his weight back and forth in his seat.  It felt as if he were breathing down her neck. She wanted him to sit back. Be still. Quit breathing so hard. Fucker. No wonder you’re here.

Everyone sitting in that darkened jury room had a story and no one wanted to be there, especially for the next four hours.

In that room, you were either a Leaver or a Leavee.

With that thought, Vivian scanned the room once more and attempted to stare into the souls of those strangers.  Which one cheated? Who was the deadbeat? Wife-beater? Alcoholic? Chronic gambler?

Maybe that wasn’t fair.