Chapter 25

Cooper’s hand tightened around mine, trying to control the shaking but it wasn’t working, I was still scared.

The room that we were sitting in was small, confined and just made me feel uncomfortable. My leg was bouncing up and down of its own accord until Cooper gently rested his warm hand on my jeans.

“Calm down, you’ll be fine,” Cooper whispered and his voice soothed my nerves. My eyes darted around the room at the desk, the dark walls and the metal door to the side of our seats.

Sadie was talking to the man behind the desk and was glancing over at me occasionally. She was fidgeting with a pen on the wooden surface, I knew she was nervous and I had told her that I was okay to go in on my own, but she had insisted on accompanying me for moral support.

“Allison Scythe,” Inspector Marks strolled through the door with a piece of paper and a small smile. He wasn’t going to be the one taking my statement because he knew me, but he would still be in the room.

I glanced over at Cooper and he kissed my cheek, whispering ‘good luck’ in my ear. Reluctantly, I took my hand from his and got up.

Sadie followed in closely behind me and gave my shoulder a reassuring squeeze. The interview room was extremely small and only had one window. For some, that window was the last that they were going to see of the outside world, which made me wonder if my dad had been in that room when giving his statement.

“You’ll be fine,” Inspector Marks told me in a kind tone just as another policeman walked through the door. He was holding three files and he threw them down onto the table where there was a large recorder and a microphone. I looked into the corner and there was also a security camera. Apparently my statement had to be given via video as well, just in case I didn’t feel confident enough to go into court.

“Good morning, Allison, we’re just going to ask you a few questions,” the man replied and Sadie put her hand on mine. It was warm and reminded me of my mothers. I clenched my eyes closed and took a deep breath.

“Okay,” I replied and Inspector Marks settled into the chair on the other side of the table, next to the other policeman.

“Statement by Allison Scythe, victim of child abuse case, evidence to be given against suspected defendant, David Scythe. Inspection completed by Inspector John Marks and Inspector Robert Tiles.”

I sat back and waited for them to finish before Inspector Tiles cleared his throat and sat forwards against the table.

“Allison, I have it here in front of me that you have told Inspector Marks that the abuse started at the age of ten, is this correct?” he asked me and I nodded.

“Yes, that’s correct,” I answered in a clear voice and Sadie looked down at her lap.

“Approximately a week after your mother’s funeral?” he asked, flipping through the file and looking up at me through his piercing grey eyes.

“Yes, sir,” he nodded before snapping his head up to look at me.

“Would this be a plea for attention? You irritated your father so much that he turned to violence just so that he could grieve peacefully?” he inquired, his voice was solid like stone and every ounce of my blood seemed to cool. What was he on about?

“What? No, definitely not,” I replied. Sadie didn’t look very impressed with his form of questioning and I was certainly more worried than I was when I had first entered the room.

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