"Not guilty." Those words echoed throughout the Jefferson Township courtroom, as the jury of eight men and four women, found Steven Houseman innocent of all charges.
I stood next to my mother, both of us in shock, too angry to shed any tears.
We watched like spectators, as Steven hugged his lawyers, and smirked like the Devil, after realizing he had just gotten away with rape.
His dream team of attorneys portrayed me as a psychotic, all because I was on an anti-depressant, and saw a psychiatrist once a month.
Poor Steven Houseman, they said, whose father owned half of downtown in real estate,who would never assault a girl as ugly as me; especially when he could have his pick of the litter at Jackson High.
A Star athlete, who had just received word that he had been accepted to Penn State on a full baseball scholarship.
The jury took one look at me, with my thrift shop dress, and decided, that they only needed forty-five minutes to determine that he was innocent,and I was just some small-town slut who was looking to get rich.
Look at that smug face of his, perfectly chiseled, and hair styled to look like a GQ model. He had them all fooled, but then again, so was I, at one time.
How I carelessly left my wine cooler sitting next to him at the party, as I went to freshen up, never for a second, thinking, he would slip something into my drink.
I remember the feeling as if it were yesterday. The room spinning in a euphoric high, and watching, as Steven's face became a blurry cloud.
Then the drowsiness took over, and my eyes grew heavy as saddlebags, and that was all I could remember.
I awoke hours later, with my clothes lying next to me, sprawled out on the floor of the walk-in closet of Steven's best friend's bedroom.
My best friend, Lisa, warned me not to go to the party with him, but he was so cute, and so popular.
I spent seventeen years being the nobody, but when Steven Houseman showed interest in me, I felt like I was somebody.
It was senior week, and for once, I wanted to get out of my daily routine and see what the other side of the wall held.
I was sick of my ordinary life, and I longed to see how it felt to be part of something greater than hanging out at the bowling alley on a Friday night with Mom.
Now I would give anything to go back in time and change it all, to when I was just that ordinary girl; the freckled face with ivory skin, and an awkward walk, but at least that's all I was.
Life had been hard at school with the occasional bullying, but it was nothing compared to the way I was treated after I accused Steven Houseman of rape.
The gossiping and ridiculing had gotten so bad, in fact, that Mom took me out of school, and I was forced to finish out my senior year at home.
I couldn't even attend graduation, or prom--not that anyone had asked me--and they especially didn't ask me after I became known as the slut of Jackson high.
Mom, placed her hand on my shoulder, but I quickly pushed it away. "Sarah?" Mom said, "are you okay?
She was trying her best to comfort me, but it was useless, because Steven was walking out of that courtroom a free man, and I was left to pick up the pieces of my shattered life.
"I just want to go home," I said. An older woman seated on the Jury, looked over at me, and shook her head. I can see by the sadness in her eyes that she believed my story, but apparently, she had been outnumbered by the remaining eleven.
Steven glanced over at me and grinned, as he was led out of courtroom by the sheriff's office and his attorney.
It was the smile of a sadistic narcissist, who there would be no cure for.
Steven Houseman may have walked out of here today a free man, but he would not remain one, not while I still have air in my lungs.
There was no way I could let him destroy another girl's life, and with him heading to college, it made it even more likely he would. I decided at that very moment... Steven Houseman would die.