Write What You Know, Part 23
By Stephanie Thompson, 1,527 words
Read: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22
Waiting for her bail hearing was exactly like waiting at an airport only with more uncomfortable seats and smaller spaces overall. But mainly it was noisy and forever taking. It originally sounded like good news that she’d be out of police custody that night but what Lyndsy really meant that she would spending most of the night trying to get out custody. Or at least waiting around while other people worked to get her out. IT was like the world around her was moving at a hundred miles per hour and she was standing still.
An eternity later some one asked her how she pleaded and she answered not guilty even though she hadn’t paid attention to what she pleaded too. Then there was still some wrangling between lawyers objections and your honors tossed out like she was at a live taping of Law and Order. Until at last she was out processed. She was never happier to see Stella waiting for her with her suitcase.
“Well, hat was a day, she said.”
“Lots of material for a book, uhn?”
Well, Christie knew now that Stella hadn’t learned anything new about her past, otherwise she would know that for the most part this was old hat for her.
“What’s next, where to now?”
They wheeled their cases out to a waiting town car. “Right we got a brownstone for you IN SOME BURROUGH unfortunately the publisher isn’t paying for anything at the moment. At least until you get this cleared up, so it’s on your dime. The tour is suspended until further notice, at least you got that part of what you wanted. They still want their pages though.”
“Awesome,” Christie said, because writing was the furtherest from her mind. The only thing on her mind was sleep. Actually, a shower first, then sleep. So not that different from the night before her arrest.
“Look, I know it looks like a shit storm right now but Lyndsey Sawyer is the best criminal defense lawyer and town and look on the bright side, you can write a biography after this or tell-all trial experience.”
“Could stop talking about books for one fucking moment please? I don’t give a hit if I write another book ever again. They think I murdered like 12 people, which I didn’t…”
“Of course you didn’t.”
“AND my oldest friend in the world is some how involved too. Books and writing and the publishers can all rot for what I care right now. Just stop talking and get me to some place without cops, criminals, and journalist.” (Oh yeah this is probably all over the news right? There should be swarms right?)
“Ok, no problem.”
“I’m sorry to bother you but did I see you reading a newspaper earlier?”
“Yup, old fashioned I know.”
“Was there by any chance a crossword puzzle in there?”
“Oh yeah, do you want to give it a try?”
“Yeah, you have a pencil too, I thought I’d give it a go. My battery is dying and I’m running out of ways to play Eye Spy by myself.”
They laughed together and Cassandra knew she was all set up, in like Flynn, and all engines go.
They finished the crossword together. When the coffee shop closed they went to a diner. Coincidentally the same place Sylvie took her. And at the end of the night, they exchanged numbers and went to their seperate homes.
She walked back to the hotel through dark and dirty streets. People were few and far between and traffic moved quickly instead of bumper to bumper. The air was the same though, stinky and repulsive but tolerable now. She could almost dance down the streets now. She found her WHATEVER THE RIGHT CHARACHTERS NAME IS. All right was with the world.
The brownstone they’d rented on her behalf with her money was exactly the sort of place she would have chosen for herself. The neighborhood was quite with an almost suburban feel. There wasn’t a person or car moving on the street, save Christie and Stella and the town car that dropped them off pulling away from the curb.
The door opened on a pre-furnished open living space with a quant living room and a a dining table for 8 behind that. She couldn’t see the kitchen but she was more interested in getting to a bedroom alone so she could stop listening to Stella micromanage her life.
“It’s a six months lease right now, with an option to renew,” Stella said, being the standard agent. “It’s probably best if you don’t go out much, you know keep a low profile. We can get food and groceries delivered or anything you need really. Except cigarettes and alcohol, I guess.”
“I don’t smoke,” Christie said absent-mindedly ignoring that since her second or third day in the city she’d done little else.
“All right, well, when you do you have to do it outside, there’s a tiny back patio. Also, if the need should arrive, I can get you an assistant to run errands for you, pick up whatever you need. The press will be unpredictable at this point, Lyndsey doesn’t want them hounding you every step.” She check the small gold watch on her left wrist. “It’s pretty late. I think I’ll crash on the couch tonight. Lyndsey will be here first thing to go over some legal intricacies and your case. Why don’t you head up stairs and try to get some rest.”
“Whatever,” she said all ready have way up the stairs with her suitcase.
The entire car ride had been nothing but instructions and information and listening to one half of various phone calls that started with ‘Sorry it’s so late’. All ‘give a shit’ had been used up and exhausted, she didn’t even want to yell at Nikki now you had been hanging out all evening but not saying anything. She couldn’t remember any time that had happened before and quickly decided it was more annoying than her constant commentary, berating, or other usual antics.
There were two rooms upstairs and a bathroom. Using her best guess she ended up in the master bedroom and promptly crashed on the queen bed.
The morning came too soon. This room didn’t have black out curtains like the hotel did and even though the sun was already setting by 5:30 pm, it still rose around 6:45.
It wasn’t the sun alone that woke her. She could hear Stella moving downstairs, brewing coffee and making phone calls already. She didn’t grumble or try to go back to sleep, she rambled to her feet like a zombie on automatic and dragged her suitcase in to the bathroom. She need a shower to wash off jail grime, a toothbrush to obliterate the day old taste of her mouth, and an outfit that said not guilty. She could probably already use that assistant Stella mentioned the night before to run to a store and find her exactly that outfit, and a pack of Camel 100’s.
Nikki followed her downstairs, still silent. She really didn’t know what to make of that. She wasn’t speaking, she wasn’t glaring, she wasn’t starting shit, or knocking things over or threatening, any fucking thing. She watched Christie eat breakfast and listened patiently while Stella made phone call after phone call like her life depended on it. She was literally the specter at the feast and on top of shit hurricane her life had become, this new development was the probable the most unnerving.
“Are you listening, Christie?”
Of course she wasn’t listening, she was too busy watching Nikki watch her. “Yup.”
Stella continued talking. Christie continued not listening. Nikki continued watching them both.
Helen and Jennifer met at SOME HOSPITAL. It was Jennifer’s first day. Helen had been there the longest of any of the kids. Or that was the rumor anyway. Helen didn’t talk then. That was Jennifer’s favorite thing about her. She was so quiet. They were together for 18 month that time and Helen never said a word.
She didn’t have anything for or against Lyndsay Sawyer or almost rhyming name and occupation. Lawyer Sawyer. Lawyer Sawyer. Lawyer Sawyer. Still Christie wished she didn’t talk so much or ask so many questions. In fact, since breakfast, she wished both Sawyer and Stella would leave and let Christie get on with it.
They kept acting like there were all these things to do. Statements to be made, Tweets to compose, blog posts to be written, motions to be filed. Once again casually ignoring everything she wanted.
She wanted to let it blow over. She wanted to find Helen. She wanted to be left out of whatever had to be done even though she didn’t agree that anything needed to be done.
She was innocent. Maybe, indirectly guilty, but certainly not legally liable. And honestly, the indirect way this was her fault, people wouldn’t even blame her because all she did was write the books. She didn’t even really break up with Helen, the state did that for her, and that was on Cassandra anyway.
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