Closing Arguments

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My Lord, Members of the Jury,

My client is not at fault in the matter at hand; without a doubt he has fulfilled his duties as a caring husband in every situation. He has given a pledge a long time ago and he has stuck with it until this day; to honour and to love, to support and to cherish his wife in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health until death do them part. Why he is being prosecuted and blamed for the end of his marriage is beyond me.

In the situation of interest here, the vacation in the Italian hotel with the cat in the rain, my client did not only listen to his wife attentively, he also offered to fetch the cat for her that she so desired. How could he know that she would decline his offer so harshly and without any sign of gratitude? It cannot be held against him that he then replied to her rudeness with equal rudeness. For he noticed that his spouse had no interest in building bridges over the abyss that had opened between them; no she made them collapse. Investing in someone who has no interest in doing the same for her partner is not only frustrating but also pointless. When faced with someone who doesn’t speak their mind honestly, who doesn’t express herself clearly but expects her husband to know what she wants without telling him; powers of divination are required. A marriage is not a world of fiction and fantasy though; it can only rely on communication through language. If one of the partners is not able to interact in a way that causes understanding, communication breakdown will occur. My client’s wife’s inability to communicate successfully due to her immaturity and inability to address reality, has led to this communication breakdown in this situation.

As the prosecution has argued, the cat was not the issue for the separation, but it served my client’s wife as a tool of expressing discontent about her life in general. It might have, it did not, however, enable my client to lessen the burden of his significant other, as she spoke to him about a cat and a cat only. If she meant to express her frustration with her life or her marriage, she should have done so directly, instead of metaphorically. My client literally did not know what his wife meant when she spoke to him about her desire for getting that cat in the rain.

He nevertheless generously offered to get the cat for her because he wanted to satisfy her, he wanted to fulfill her every wish. Even though he could not grasp the underlying meaning of his wife’s utterances about the cat, he was still perceptive enough to grasp that she was unhappy in this situation and as he believes it is his job as a husband to keep his wife happy every second of every day, he tried to do so but wasn’t able to, as she rejected his help. Precisely at the moment where he offered his support, she seemed to have decided that she didn’t want or need his help and, thus her nagging about the cat and her underlying motive of him getting it for her, seems to serve no purpose at all, other than being an annoyance to her husband. Therefore, I argue it is her fault and her fault only; that this marriage has come to an end.

Thank you for your attention.

 

Red and Yellow

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For the first time, she really was aware of the city noise. Was it the man passing her, screaming into his phone, his voice swallowed by the cars driving by; was it the thundering underground train that connects people with their work place; or was it a mixture of all? It was funny, she thought, she had always lived here and never once thought about the noise before. In fact, there were parts of the city that were completely calm, expecially in autumn. She liked it when the leaves turned red and yellow. They made her think of Alice. She pushed the thought away. She wasn’t going to dominate her thinking today. She wouldn’t let her. How do you go on when everything ends? She had learned that there was always an end to pain, the body just couldn’t cope with it for ever. There had been darkness, something she’d been afraid of all her life, for an eternity and then someone had somewhere made a joke and she had laughed. Just like that there had been this joke, this silver lining, and this strange sensation of laughing that she had felt in her body. And at the end of the darkness she had seen light.

Smoking on the balcony

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I could tell from looking at her. I could tell she was falling apart on the inside. She was standing there with a cigarette in her hand and a smile on her face, smiling away the hurt. She had always done it like that. Tony had always smiled away everything; she had that invisible wall around her that protected her. That was the difference between us. When I was hurt, I dived into it. My sister though chose to be invincible on the outside. Even as a child she had avoided showing her emotions whenever possible. She had hidden somewhere, listened to music, taken a walk, always alone. After fighting, we never talked about it; we just pretended it hadn’t happened. We made amends, like we were supposed to; we made amends like we had to. Watching her now through the glass door, having a smoke on the balcony, I had to think of a poem I had once written about her but never shown her.

I love you

I hate you

I need you

I want you

I love you

Those five lines were truer than anything else I had ever written. Sometimes I hated her for all the things she had done to me, but most of the time I adored her.

D’s Room

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D. was late. This wasn’t surprising, he usually was but on this day it was particularly annoying. He arrived twenty-five minutes after the agreed time, running and sweating, an apologetic smile on his face. When he finally opened the door and we entered his parent’s house and eventually his room, the warmth of the radiator was enormously pleasant compared to the icy temperatures outside. Tea?, D. asked. Yes. He left the room and a couple of seconds later the sound of a kettle was audible. There were posters on the walls, Chuck Norris, Dwayne Johnson and Harrison Ford, remnants of a teenage boy’s admiration. He had a dusty bookshelf. The novels looked untouched, as if he had never read a single page. There was Hemingway, Hornby and Hardy, the rest was covered by a yellowish fabric that had been washed far too long ago. D. returned with two steaming hot cups of tea. He put them on his desk. He had four pens, a pencil, a crayon and two quills; they lay neatly next to each other, on a piece of paper that had a drawing on it. He was a gifted drawer, always had been, he only drew with pencils and quills, recently he had added a little bit of colour here and there. He took his mug and took a big sip then he started to talk about his neighbour’s dog that was keeping him up at night because it just didn’t stop barking, which was good because he was most productive at night and could use that insomnia time to draw. He had many commissions to fulfill. His room had a smell like chalk and milk. His hands were moving quickly while he was ranting about that odious dog and his curls leaped a bit up and down in the rhythm of his steps. D.s collection of DVDs was impressive. He had every important film in his shelf, watching them all would take a lifetime, but then again D. was remarkable, he could do things nobody else could do. He had stopped talking and took another sip of his tea, he briefly touched his lips with his tongue afterwards and his face was reflected in the shiny surface of the mug. His angelic appearance, the eyes that had the colour of the sky, the blonde curly hair, the puffy cheeks, that big smile and that clueless expression he wore so often. His voice though didn’t fit. It sounded –nails- on- a- blackboard -raspy. D. now started talking about how he had made money a couple of years ago. A guy had approached him on the street and asked him if he knew how to make fake IDs. He sat down on his bed and seemed like he wanted company in there.