Readers Gazette Short Stories

Short Story Heads, We Get Married

HEADS, WE GET MARRIED by John Dalglish Romance short story

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“Heads, we get married immediately.”

“Very funny! You probably have a two-headed coin.”

I’d pouted while trying to look innocent, but she didn’t buy the act. We were sitting outside the courtroom, waiting for the jury to come back. Sarah was the key witness, and her biggest fear was a retrial; she didn’t think she could face a second ordeal.

“Vegas is only an hour away, you know. Just sayin’! When the creep is found guilty, we could get married to celebrate.”

She turned toward me, brushing back a lock of brown hair from in front of her hazel eyes. She was a little thing, less than five feet, but with a big smile. Despite her size, or maybe because of it, she had a fearsome will and it had been on display during her testimony.

“You know how I feel, Dave. There’s still the penalty phase, as well as sentencing. I’ve got to see this through before I can think about us.”

I reached over and took her hand. I did understand and I’d wait as long as she needed. “I just wanted to make sure you haven’t forgotten how I feel.”

She caressed my face. “I haven’t forgotten, and our day will come, I promise. I won’t forget how you’ve been there for me through all this.”

By all this, she meant the attack, the investigation, and the trial. It had been the most difficult year of her life and the strain showed. Just twenty-six, she had aged ten years since this all happened. Back then, before the dark afternoon when it happened, she was a vibrant twenty-five year old woman with big plans and endless energy.

These days, her smile came a little slower and her bad days outnumbered her good, but she remained determined. I was equally committed to helping her see the other side of her nightmare.

I kissed the tip of her nose. “I’m sorry. You know I don’t mean to put extra pressure on you.”

“It’s okay. This will all be over soon, and we can start our life together.”

A burst of activity interrupted our conversation. The prosecutor, followed by his team, rushed through the swinging doors of Courtroom Seven. The defense attorney was right behind them.

I flashed a look toward Sarah and the anxiety on her face was obvious. She started to get up, but I laid my hand on her shoulder. “It may be nothing; they’ll let us know if we’re needed.”

Sure enough, a few minutes later, the prosecutor came out looking for Sarah.

“The judge has called us back in.”

We followed him into the courtroom, taking a seat two rows behind the prosecution table. Shortly, the judge came in, followed by the defendant through a side door.

Judge Clayton had been no nonsense from the start, but he looked especially agitated as he sat down. Calling the attorneys to his bench, he delivered a few terse words too hushed to hear, then dismissed them back to their tables. There was still no sign of the jury.

Judge Clayton looked at the court stenographer. “Are you ready?”

She nodded and he continued.

“It has come to the attention of the court that a juror was seated improperly. Juror number seven was directly asked if she, or anyone she knew, had ever been sexually assaulted. Her answer was no. I’ve been informed this answer was false. Five years ago, her sister was raped and killed in Florida.”

He let the words settle on the courtroom before continuing.

“Therefore; it is the opinion of the court that this information taints the jury and is prejudicial to the defendant, leaving me no choice but to declare a mistrial. Prosecutor, you may re-file the charges. The defendant is remanded to custody.”
The gavel fell with a thud and the judge was gone. As her attacker was taken back to his cell, the prosecutor turned to Sarah. “I’m so sorry, Sarah. I had no idea.”

Sarah stared back grim-faced. “Do we have to do this all again?”

He shrugged. “It’s up to you. I can offer a plea deal instead of re-filing the charges.”

Sarah didn’t blink. “Re-file!”

The prosecutor nodded and turned back to his team.

Sarah looked at me. “You still have that two-headed coin?”


Her face lit up with the biggest smile I’d seen since this all started.

“Flip it. Heads we get married!”

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“Heads, we get married immediately.” “Very funny! You probably have a two-headed coin.” I’d pouted while trying to look innocent, but she didn’t buy the act. We were sitting outside the courtroom and waiting...

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