The gang's all back for one last horah. It's time to grow up and move on for this final semester. Relationships will be tried and deaths will follow. This is all part of adulthood. I don't own "Gra...
“Text”= Japanese People Speaking
“/Text/”= English People Speaking
“+Text+”= American People Speaking
“#Text#”= Australian People Speaking
It’s morning in North Carolina. Lexie stood before the big courthouse. She had to do this today. Do this to end her illness. Lexie closed her eyes and took in a breath. She walked up to the big doors.
Subject: Lexie and Shuichi
Nighttime. Shuichi turned to Luke at the bar. “Did she make it to America okay?” he asked. Lucas nodded.
“+Yep,+” he said. “+Called me this morning.+” He paused when he noticed Shuichi’s confused face.
“+Morning over there,+” he corrected himself. The vocalist nodded.
“Oh,” he said. “Think she’ll be okay?”
“+She told me that she would,+” Lucas said. Both men went silent. Luke took another drink of his beer. He remembered how she insisted on going alone for the trial.
“+Will you be okay with this?+” Luke asked her.
“+Yes,+” she said. “+I have to this alone.+” Luke sat back on the bed.
“+Call me, okay?+” he said. Lexie nodded. She wasn’t the only girlfriend miles away. Sid booted up his laptop at his house. He opened his e-mail from Arisu. Jean sent her and their mother back to Mongolia for mental health reasons. Sid hit play on the video.
Arisu appeared on the screen in traditional Mongolian wear. The life-size poster of her in bed didn’t really help anymore; it just didn’t really beat touching and sleeping with her.
“Hello Sid-kun!” she said. “How are you? It’s boring here without you. But don’t worry; it’ll just be eight more weeks.”
Sid sat back indifferent. Did she have to be so far away? Arisu twirled around a bit.
“The weather’s nice here,” she went on. “Ulan Bator is beautiful in the spring.”
Cho and Hong entered the frame again. Arisu grinned at the camera.
“Cho and Hong are here with me again,” she said. “We all have another performance for you.”
“^Hello, my friend!^” Cho said.
“^Hi, Sidney!^” Hong said. Arisu giggled.
“Sit back and enjoy,” she said. The boys began their music as Arisu danced again.
Sid shook his head to himself. Bloody hell, Mongolia, he thought.
Lexie walked into the courtroom. She could easily get lost in the crowd entering the room as well. She felt so tiny. Her phone buzzed at her side. Lexie picked it up and opened it up.
“+Hello?+” she asked.
“+Hey there, baby,+” Lucas said. His girlfriend’s heart fluttered.
“+Luke?+” she asked.
“+Just called to wish you luck on your trial,+” he said. “How are you doing?”
“+Good,+” she said. “Just a little nervous.”
“=You’ll be okay,+” her boyfriend said. “Just take a few breaths.” Lexie pressed her lips together and nodded.
“+How is Shuichi and them?+” she asked.
“+Good,+” Lucas said. “In fact, Shuichi’s here with me. You want to talk to him?”
“+Okay,+” she said. The woman listens as she heard a whisper before the phone was headed over.
“Hey Lexie,” Shuichi said. Her face brightened up if only for a moment.
“+Shuichi!+” she said.
“Good luck, okay?” the vocalist told her. “And come home as soon as you can!” Lexie nodded.
“+Alright,+” she said.
“I’ll give the phone back to Luke,” he said.
“+Okay,+” she said.
“+Just breathe and don’t back down today,+” Lucas said once he got the phone. “+We all believe in you, okay?+” Lexie nodded.
“+Okay,+” she said. “+Bye.+”
“+Buh-bye,+” Lucas said back. Once she hung up, Lexie went straight into the courtroom.
Shuichi glanced over at Lucas.
“I’m going to propose to Yuki,” he announced. Lucas glanced over at him.
“+Okay…+” he said as if he had expected as much. The vocalist grinned to himself.
“Cassie’s going to propose to Nick as well,” he said. Lucas nearly spat out his drink when he whipped around to him.
“+What?!?+” he asked. Shuichi grinned at him.
“Cassie and I made a little bet,” he bragged. “We’re going to propose to our lovers and see who gives down the aisle first.” Lucas gave him a funny look.
“+Are you serious?+” he asked. Shuichi nodded at him.
“Yep!” he said. Lucas blinked with his mouth open.
“+Will he even go for it?+” he asked. The vocalist shrugged.
“Yuki will say no at first,” he said. “But knowing Cassie and myself, we won’t give up.” Lucas raised an eyebrow at him.
“+Is that right?+” he asked. Shuichi nodded, grinning. Lucas turned his eyes back to his drink.
“+Good luck with that,+” he said. “+Both of you, I mean.+”
“Thanks!” Shuichi said.
Right…, Lucas thought.
They did opening arguments at noon. Lexie’s eyes met with the killer of all the children in the mental hospital. Eleven long years led to this point. He hadn’t really changed a bit during that time. Yet, he was only the second monster she had to face for this trial.
This isn’t his trial today. He’s only testifying against the big bad director of the psychiatric ward that he and Lexie both stayed in. That old man sat in the defense chair before her. He didn’t look like that monster that haunted her nightmares for years at this point. The doctor looked like a dried up shadow of his former self. Lexie swallowed hard as the defense lawyer presented its open. This was going to go on for a week or so too?
I don’t think I can do this, she thought. The woman lowered her head and shook it. She felt herself disconnecting from her body again. Suddenly, her phone buzzed at her side. Lexie looked down in jacket pocket. The name puzzled her almost into mental shock.
Nicole?, she thought. Why is she…? Suddenly, the little doubt in her stomach thinned itself out.
Nicole looked at her phone in her bed. That should do it, she thought. She paused when she felt a rustling next to her in bed. The dancer looked over to her left.
“/Oh, you’re still awake?/” I asked. Shawn turned his head to her.
“/Who were you texting?/” he asked. His girlfriend smiled to herself.
“/Lexie,/” she said. Shawn turned his head to her.
“/Her trial’s today in the US, right?/” he asked.
“/Yeah,/” Nicole said.
“/Think she’ll be okay?/” her boyfriend asked. The woman shrugged.
“/Don’t know,/” she said. “/Maybe this text will work./”
“/And Luke’s not going with her?/”
Nicole shook her head. “/She wanted to do this alone./”
“/Oh,/” Shawn said. Nicole only nodded.
Morning in Japan
Lucas pulled out his cell phone. He sat back on his couch as he waited.
“+Hello?+” Lexie asked.
“+Hey baby,+” her boyfriend said.
“+Lucas!+” she gasped.
“+How are you holding up?+” he asked.
“+Not so good.+”
“+Awww, what’s the matter?+”
“+I keep seeing his face and it scares me.+”
“+Hang in there, girl. You’ll pull through on this.+”
“+Do you think so?+”
Lucas nodded. “+I believe in you.+”
Lexie closed her eyes. “+Thanks, Luke.+”
“+Is there anything else?+”
Lexie smiled to herself. “+I would like to get some sleep now. The prosecution opens their case tomorrow.+”
“+Okay,+” her boyfriend said. “+Good night. I love you.+”
“+I love you too,+” she said. “+Bye.+” Lexie hung up her phone and went to sleep.
Japan at 10:00 a.m.
Shuichi sat in Lexie and Lucas’ kitchen. “How was she?” he asked. Lucas took a drink.
“+She sounded shaken up,+” he said.
“Oh,” Shuichi said. He himself took a drink. Luke turned to him.
“+How’s your proposal plan going?+” he asked. Shuichi sighed.
“He’s been too busy lately,” he said. Lucas kind of smirked at him. The vocalist noticed his face.
“What?” he asked. Lucas really grinned now.
“+Maybe he’s trying to avoid you on purpose,+” he said. Shuichi’s eyes widened at that suggestion.
“No…” he murmured. The American man nodded.
“+Yep,+” he said. “+He’s trying to run from getting married.+” Shuichi shook his head.
“No,” he said. “No, that can’t be it! It can’t be it!” The poor man looked like he was about to cry now. Luke frowned.
“+Come on, I’m joking,+” he said. “+It’s only a joke!+” Shuichi glared at him.
“THAT’S NOT FUNNY!!!” he snapped. Lucas put up his hands.
“+Calm down, it’s a joke!+” he snapped. Shuichi snorted.
“It wasn’t funny,” he said. Lucas waited until his friend calmed down enough to talk to him again.
“+But seriously, you and him will do fine in marriage,+” he said. Shuichi’s face changed at those words.
“You really believe that?” he asked. Lucas shrugged as he nodded.
“+Hey, if Lexie and I can survive this long, you and Yuki will just have to walk down a straight line from there.+” Shuichi nodded. Made sense… Sort of.
North Carolina at noon.
The prosecution ripped open holes in Lexie’s heart all over again. It hurt to relive every detail of the blood-filled morning. She even wanted to throw up at one point. Right now, the court went into recess. Lexie washed her face in the bathroom sink. She stood her head to herself. She looked up in the mirror.
I can’t do this, she thought. Suddenly, her phone rang. Lexie reached into her skirt pocket and pulled it out.
“+Hello?+” she asked.
“+Hey baby,+” Lucas said. Lexie quickly stood up straight.
“+Lucas?+” she asked.
“+Just thought I would call and check on you,+” he said. “+How are you holding up over there?+” Lexie sank to her knees on the bathroom floor.
“+Luke, I’m afraid I can’t do this,+” she whimpered. “+I’m going to have to pull out of the case. I have to!+”
“+You need to stay in it to help put that monster away!+” Lucas said.
“+But what if he’s found not guilty?+” she asked. “+What if he gets away?+”
“+You won’t know until you testify, will you?+” he asked. Lexie pressed her lips together as she fought back her tears.
“+But…+” she whimpered.
“+When do you get called to the stand?+” Lucas asked.
“+Okay, I’ll be right there by then. Hang in there!+”
Lexie paused at those words. “+Luke, wait!+” He had already hung up. His girlfriend lowered the phone to her chest. He’s just made it feel worse…, she thought.
Japan at sundown
Lucas looked at his phone. Shuichi watched him from the kitchen.
“How was she?” he asked. Lucas lowered the phone to his side.
“+Pack your bags!+” he said. “+We’re going to North Carolina!+” Shuichi made a face at him.
“You mean…” he began to ask. The American man nodded.
“+Yes,+” he said. “+She really needs us now.+”
North Carolina by afternoon
Lexie sat in the packed courtroom, waiting. This was it today. She would be called up to take the stand against that old monster that had haunted her for so long. She looked around before holding her breath to calm down. No sign of Lucas yet. She lowered her head.
This is bad, she thought. I can’t do this. I want to go home. The prosecution stepped forward.
“+I call Lexie James to the stand,+” she said. The witness trembled and shut her eyes. She rose to her face and walked up to the front. Lexie opened her eyes and placed her hand on the Bible.
“Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” the bailiff asked. Lexie looked out among the crowd. The sea of faces reminded her that she was never go in front of crowds of people. She swallowed again. Maybe I should…
Suddenly to her surprise, the doors blew open.
“+Lexie!+” a familiar voice called. The woman looked up with eyes wide open with shock. Shuichi and Lucas walked through the door. Lexie just gasped. Boys…, she thought. She turned back to the bailiff.
“+I do!+” she said.
“+Please take your seat,+” the bailiff told her. Shuichi and Lucas took a seat in the audience. She bowed her head at him. The prosecution walked up to the bench.
“+Ms. James,+” she said. “+I know this has been hard for you, but the court what happened on that night.+” Lexie drew in a breath.
“+In was summer that night,+” she began. “+I couldn’t sleep that night.+”
“+Go on,+” the lawyer told her.
“+I went to the bathroom,+” Lexie said.
“+And then what happened? Take your time if you need to.+”
Lexie nodded. Her hands trembled at first as she tried to dig through her mind all of the details of that horrible night.
“+When exactly did you hear the gun shots from the bathroom?+” the prosecution asked.
“+11:05,+” Lexie said.
“+How long did they last?+”
“+About thirty minutes.+”
“+So you escaped from being shot by hiding in the bathroom?+”
“+Did you leave after it all went quiet?+”
“+And why is that?+”
Lexie breathed in heavier. Lucas frowned in worry at her. Shuichi nudged him on the arm.
“This doesn’t look good,” he whispered. The boyfriend nodded. Yet, he can’t help her right now. She’s on her own for this one.
“+The shooter walked into the bathroom,+” Lexie confessed.
“+How did you know it was the shooter?+” the prosecution asked.
“+He dropped the gun to the ground,+” she said.
“+Was he alone?+”
“+How could you tell?+”
“+There were voices outside the stall.+”
“+How many voices?+”
“+What were they saying?+”
Lexie breathed harder. Her heart pounded against her chest. The defensive lawyer rose to his feet.
“+Objection!+” he yelled. “+The witness is clearly unstable and her testimony should be thrown out!+”
“+No!+” Lexie cried. “+Please let me do this!+” The prosecution lawyer turned to the judge.
“+She can do this, please. Let her get it all out,+” she said. The judge sighed.
“+Overruled,+” she said. “+The witness will continue her testimony.+” The prosecution bowed her head.
“+Thank you, your honor,+” she said. She turned back to Lexie.
“+You can do this,+” she said. “+Do it for all your friends and yourself.+” She held onto the woman’s hand. “+Take deep breaths now.+” It took a little while, but Lexie felt calm enough to speak now. The prosecution leaned into Lexie’s ear.
“+Do you need me to hold your hand for this?+” she asked. Lexie nodded at her.
“+Okay,+” the lawyer said. “+Now, what were the two voices saying?+” Lexie shut her eyes.
“‘+I… I… I didn’t mean to.’ ‘That’s okay, son. I’ll make this all disappear.’”
“+Did you see their faces?+”
“+Who were those people that you saw talking that night? Don’t worry, I won’t let go.+”
Lexie squeezed her hand as tightly as she could to get the truth out of her head after so long. “+Emmitt Gold and Dr. Parks!+” She clasped over, panting afterwards. The lawyer leaned down to her ear.
“+You did good,+” she whispered. The woman turned to the judge.
“+No further questions,+” she said. The defense didn’t have any questions either and Lexie left the stand. The rest of the trial went on without any more trouble. Six days later, Dr. Parks was handed a guilty sentence. Lucas turned to Lexie in the crowd afterwards.
“+Do you want to stay for the sentencing?+” he asked. His girlfriend shook her head as she leaned it on his shoulder.
“+I just want to go home,+” she whimpered. Lucas patted her on the head.
“+We’ll catch the next flight out of here,+” he said. Lexie drew her eyes closed.
“+Thank you,+” she whispered. Luke just patted her on the head. He, Lexie, and Shuichi took the next flight back to Japan in the next morning.
Japan at sundown.
Lexie had her head leaned against Shuichi’s back in apartment yard. Shuichi smiled to himself.
“So it’s over, right?” he asked. Lexie shook her head.
“+I start therapy tomorrow,+” she said.
“I see. How will you hold up?”
“+I’ll be fine. I have to do this alone to get better from now on.+”
“Yeah. I’m going to propose to Yuki soon.”
“+Is that so?+”
“Yes. Cassie and I made a bet to propose to our loves and get down the aisle this year.”
“+Will Yuki and Nick even go for it?+”
“Who knows? But we’ll try anyway.”
A soft breeze blew over the grass. The cicadas buzzed through the night. Shuichi kept his knees to his chest.
“School starts back up tomorrow,” he said.
“+Last semester for us, right?+”
“+I see.+” Lexie paused and glanced up at him. “+Thank you.+”
Shuichi paused. “For what?”
“+For being there for me, you and Luke. I don’t know how I would’ve coped otherwise.+”
“Shhh, don’t speak now and focus getting better.”
Lexie nodded. “Yeah.”
Shuichi only smiled to himself in a tired way.