TRIGGER WARNING: This chapter may be a trigger to some who have experienced child and/or sexual abuse. If it is a chapter you would like to skip, please do. Nothing in this chapter is vital to enjoying future chapters.
Colleen sat in the courtroom telling her story. This was the same courtroom she had been sentenced to death in years before. Then she had been unable to tell what happened. Now she could.
“My mother and father brought the first man home to meet me on my sixth birthday. I had been scared, but my mother gave me something to help me not be scared. She said it was special candy. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I knew what my parents and the men they brought to meet me was doing and that it was wrong.
She looked over at Izaiah before going on. They had talked about this in South America.
“If I tried to fight back against them, I was punished. I was beaten and tied down so I was unable to fight. I was told that if I told anybody, I would be punished. I was afraid to tell. I had seen my father kill people. I was afraid he would kill me. Sometimes I wished he would just so it would stop.
Colleen looked down at her hands. She hated knowing she had hurt Izaiah.
“I thought it would end when I got married. It got worse. Not only was my father still sending men, but my father-in-law was one of the men. After that, he also sent men. He threatened to tell my husband if I didn’t do as he ordered. After my father killed one of his other girls, they framed me for it. The judge and lawyers were paid by my father to find me guilty of the murder that he committed. My father-in-law promised my unborn child to the judge if I was given a death sentence. My son was taken from me three hours after he was born.
Colleen looked at Zaiden setting beside Izaiah.
“I missed out on watching my son grow up. If it wasn’t for my husband’s brother finding out what his father was doing, I would be dead today. He managed to get me away from here and somewhere safe. The price of my life and freedom was never being able to contact my husband or son again. In order to save my life, I had to give up my life.”