The Dreaded August Day
“On July 17, 2009, the Englewood Police Department responded to a
report of a possible sex offense. Upon investigating, it was learned that Lyons, who at
the time was eighteen years old, had engaged in intercourse with a fourteen-year old
female.” This was how it all started. The reason I was trembling and sweating as I stared out the window. My mom was driving down the highway on the way to Dayton. I felt sick. Maybe it’s the nerves, or the fact that I was six weeks pregnant and still one week away from my fifteenth birthday. My hands were clammy. I had been to downtown Dayton many of times but never ever in my life had I had to go to court to testify. I had never even seen the courthouse until this day.
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My mom drove until we made it to the parking garage next to the Juvenile Detention Center. She parks the car and I begin having cold sweats. I start shaking almost uncontrollably. The thoughts running though my head were, “ Will he be there? Do I have to see him? Please make this go fast.” My mom was silent and her expression was frustrated. I can tell she was as nervous as I was. We started walking down the stairs and I grabbed the rail because my knees were so weak I almost fell. I was holding back tears, my mouth was dry and all of my body wouldn’t stop sweating. I’m sure I was a sight. That was the first time in my life I thought I was going to pass out. After what felt like forever we made it to the sidewalk. I was a bit sad that I didn’t have something to stable myself on because my legs still felt weak. Walking slowly and carefully trying to take deep breaths, we pass the juvenile center. That wasn’t hard.
Little did I know the Jail was right smack in the middle of the courthouse and the juvenile center. The man who caused this situation for me was housed in the jail, so when I see it I almost puke. Things get a lot worse for me. My mind is going crazy. It was August but my entire body had the chills and the shaking got worse for me at this point. The events that led up to this day are racing through my mind. I grab my mom for support. She reaches into her purse and pulls out a bag of cereal for me to munch on. She had told me that I needed to eat something. I was pale and she was concerned. I opened the bag and got hit with the smell of Apple Jacks in my face. It wasn’t bad so I grabbed a handful popped them in my mouth trying to concentrate on the taste and crunching in my head. My mom knew that I was scared but she didn’t know how to comfort me. I was fourteen, pregnant, and about to testify against the man that had done this to me.
We stopped for a minute so I could regain myself before I lost it. I heard the sound of cars and horns and I wondered what the people were making of my sight. But I was stressed and I knew it was not good for the baby. Trying to regulate my breathing and heartbeat was my main goal. I could not shake the chills all over my body. I take ten deep breaths and continue walking to the courthouse. My stomach was in more knots than I had ever felt in my life.
We made it to the door and had to go through security. I was still trying to regulate my breathing and stay calm. We made it past security and were sent to the top floor where my attorney was. She was a very sweet lady named Linda. We sat in the waiting room for a little bit. To ease my mind and calm down I sat by the window and watched the people coming and going from the courthouse. I wondered why they were there. It helped calm me, and by the time Linda called us back I had color in my face and could breath again. My stomach was still tight but the chills were going away. My mom followed me back into her office where Linda and the detective working the case were. They asked my mom some questions that I didn’t understand. I sat there patiently staring at the floor focusing on not puking. Finally they were done asking my mom questions and asked to speak with me alone. My heart dropped and everything I had worked at to calm myself was gone. I wanted my mom with me. They insisted that it only be them and me. My mom agreed and walked out to the waiting room. Linda got up and shut the door then sat next to me. I tried to look at her in the eyes but I couldn’t keep focus. She asked me how the baby and I were. I told her we were good and managing. Then she asked me if I could listen to a recording. My voice cracked when I responded with a “sure.” I knew this recording. I had made it 3 days prior to his arrest. It’s the tape that he confesses to the act. The detective hands me the transcript and leaves. The paper is shaking in my hand as I try to read it. Linda starts the tape. Hearing his voice on the tape I sit frozen. The sound of my stepbrother, the man, and the reason I’m going through this. I can’t even look at the transcript as the tape plays. I just sit there with my eyes shut and try so hard not to cry. A couple of tears escape my eyes and I quickly wipe them away. I wanted nothing more than for the tape to be over, me to be at home in bed, and to wake up and find this all was a dream. Because that was not the case I sat through the rest of the tape without the slightest movement. Finally after about five minutes the tape clicked off. I sighed and opened my eyes. Linda was still sitting next to me when she asked me to read over the transcript to make sure that it was up to date. I didn’t speak I just nodded my head. She thanked me then took the paper back. Linda then told me that I would be summoned to come before a grad jury to give them my statement so they could go ahead with charging him. Again I said nothing just nodded my head. I didn’t know what to say, do, or even think at this point. She thanked me for my time and told me I could go ahead and go home. I gave a faint smile and stood to leave. She stopped me before I could open the door and told me I was strong for telling what happened. I smiled and walked out the door. Her saying that to me had made me mad. I had told on him and look where I was now, in the middle of a meltdown surrounded by lawyers and cops.
I made it back to the waiting room and stopped dead in my tracts. Talking to my mom was the officer that was called to our house the day I told my mom. My mom looked at me and saw I was pale again. Quickly came over to me and led me out of the building before I could pass out. Making it back to the car I was thinking that I never wanted to go through this crap again. It wasn’t even close to being over.