A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardsson Read Online (FREE)
A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardsson
Originally published: June 4, 2019
Author: M. T. Edvardsson
Genres: Legal thriller, Domestic Fiction, Legal Story
The district courthouse is in downtown Lund, kitty-corner from the police building, a stone’s throw from Central Station. Anyone who lives in Lund passes the courthouse regularly, but most go their whole lives without setting foot inside the building. Until very recently, that was true for me as well.
Now I’m sitting on a bench outside Courtroom 2, and the monitor in front of me informs me that a trial is under way in a homicide case.
My wife is inside, on the other side of the door. Before we walked into the courthouse and went through security, we stopped on the stairs outside and held each other. My wife squeezed my hands so hard they trembled and she told me it is no longer up to us, that the decision is in someone else’s hands now. We both know that isn’t entirely true.
The loudspeaker crackles, and I am struck by an acute wave of nausea. I hear my name. It’s my turn now. I wobble as I rise from the bench and a security guard opens the door for me. He nods, but his expression doesn’t betray a single thought or emotion. There is no room for that here.
Courtroom 2 is larger than I’d expected. My wife is squeezed in among the audience members. She looks tired, exhausted. There are traces of tears on her cheeks.
An instant later, I see my daughter.
She’s pale and thinner than I remember; her hair looks tangled and wispy, and she looks at me with dull eyes. It takes all my strength not to run over and throw my arms around her and whisper that Dad is here, that I’m not going to let go of her until this is all over.
The presiding judge welcomes me, and my immediate impression of him is favorable. He looks alert, yet there is something sensitive about him. He appears to be both sympathetic and authoritative. I don’t think the lay judges are likely to oppose his ruling when it comes. What’s more, I know he, too, is a father.
Since I’m a close relative of the defendant, I’m not allowed to take the oath. I know the court must hear my testimony in full knowledge that my daughter is the defendant in this case. But I also know that who I am, and not least my occupation, means that the court will consider what I have to say to be trustworthy.
The lead judge gives the defense attorney the floor. I take a deep breath. What I’m about to say will affect so many lives for so many years to come. What I’m about to say might decide everything.
I still haven’t decided what I’m going to say.
PART ONE – THE FATHER Chapter 1
A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words, And the deeds of a man’s hands will return to him.