Distracting Features by Dalia Lance

To Whammi and whatever happened in 2006 🙂

She knew this day would come. She lay in bed and waited for the alarm to go off, thinking and thinking about what was going to happen.

When Jade got out of bed after sleeping for only a couple of hours, she didn’t even want to see what she looked like in the mirror. She knew that the bags under her eyes would be terrible. Deciding to forgo the initial shock of her appearance, she got in the shower and turned it on as hot as she could.

Something about getting really clean in the shower seemed to be able to lift anyone’s spirits. She brushed her teeth and began the morning routine to make her look amazing, even in her sleep deprived state.

She decided to wear a black pencil skirt, a tight sleeveless black top, and a grey blazer. She wore patent black stilettos. She draped her neck with a series of chains that started at choker length and ended up plunging into her neckline alternating between yellow and white gold.

When she looked in the full length mirror, she was pleased. She was tall, almost 5’10 without the heels. She had a slender frame with curves in all the right places. Her long auburn hair cascaded down her back in a tight ponytail which held it back from her face. The only make-up was black eyeliner, mascara, and a plum lip-gloss that perfectly accented her pouty lips.

She knew how hot she was. Jade had learned early on how easy it was to get what she wanted using all her assets. She felt that women who wanted to be measured only on their intellect did quite know how the world was intended to work. After all, women would not have been given such distracting features to use at their whim. Jade was nothing if not distracting.

She grabbed her purse and headed for the door.

The car was waiting for outside as she knew it would be. She actually couldn’t remember the last time she had actually driven herself anywhere.

The drive took about 45 minutes. She debated reading the news on the way, but it seemed pointless as she didn’t really care.

Her phone rang right as she pulled up. She gestured to the driver for him to wait to open the door.

“Yes, Martin?” she asked.

“I am not sure you should get out of the car. I think you should pull around back,” he said, sounding worried.

“You’re kidding right?” She hated cowards.

“No, look at them, I am afraid… Well… I am afraid you may get hurt or worse. There are so many.” His voice was trying to be imploring. Since she had already made up her mind on how she would handle this exact situation when she was unable to sleep at 3am, she just let the silence now on the line speak for her.

“Fine,” he finally said. “Wait ’til I open the door at least.”

She hung up the phone and gestured for the driver to open the door. She put on her sunglasses and grabbed her bag. She was done waiting.

She emerged from the car amid an explosion of flashes. There really was a mob. She could hear the voices throwing questions at her, asking her to look this way and that but due to the sheer number of them, they all seemed to blend together.

Her driver attempted to move the crowd back out of the way but there were simply too many. Martin finally arrived with several officers in tow. “I told you to wait,” he said when he was standing right next to her. “I know,” she said with a smile.

The officers began to clear a path towards the building and Jade sauntered forward. She made sure that each step was deliberate and confident. As she ascended the massive steps of the courthouse, she turned to the sea of reporters and waited for the one question she was willing to answer.

“Why did you do it?”

“Are you worried about the verdict?”

“Did you know some are calling you the Black Widow?”

And on, and on, and on. The same stupid questions.

Everyone believed in her guilt. Everyone was expecting a death sentence. After all, her husband had died, her husband had been poisoned, her husband had left her everything. She sighed, disappointing she thought as turned and headed into the courthouse.

As she entered the courtroom, she had her eyes fixed on just one person: Judge Edward Smithton. He held her fate in his hands. Of course, she mused, for the last few days, he had held more than that in his hands.

The room was stunned by the not guilty verdict. So much evidence, way more motive, and yet they hadn’t factored in the one crucial piece of the puzzle…… the distracting features.


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