Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Leisel By Nicholas Bulmer

S: Are you sure? You don't have to do this.

M: I do. Yes.

S: You have the right to regular contact with all four of your children. The court will recognise this.

M: It's hurting them.

S: What is?

M: This

S: Your children are not here in court with us today. Its just you and your ex-husband and when he arrives, your counsel. He rang my office and left a message to say his train had been delayed.

M: I can't protect them.

S: From what?

M: From us.

S: I have to warn you that if you concede contact to that which is agreed to by your husband, he can stop you seeing your children. Given his track record he will stop you seeing your children. For good. And probably take them out of the country.

M: Not forever. One day, they can come back to me.

S: You won't see them grow up.

M: I hope...

S: I'm sorry. I have correctly advised you.

M: Yes. Thank you. It's ok.

There's a knock

C: Hello, is this 14D from today.

S: Counsel?

C: Yes! Good morning, hello there, long way London, train delayed, sorry I'm late. I took the time to read the file. I'll cut straight to it as time's short, I've spoken to the Usher and the Judge is nearly ready for us. Your ex. He's been a bit of a shit to you hasn't he.

M: He is very good with the children.

C: Yes? Yes. But thats no reason or excuse. There's a good chance we can win this for you if we arrange a short report for the court detailing how his behaviour makes him an inappropriate role model for the children.

M: How long would that take?

C: Oh, we could be back here in 2 months.

M: Its been two years already. Each time makes him more upset. He talks to the children. They look haunted. Leisel talks in her sleep begging us to stop arguing, her older brother is only 9 but keeps a piggy bank to buy his own house. The little ones, cry whenever they hear a raised voice. They were all so happy. It's breaking my heart to see their minds so stressed. It needs to stop. It needs to stop.

C: I see.

M: And after I've stopped it, me, I have to survive to be there for them knowing that my children, my babies, may never love me back. But they will be free to grow. I cant do any more. I love them so much. My own mother has threatened never to speak to me. My friends say its the right decision and how brave I am but their eyes, in their eyes I see them, they say 'How could you.'

U: The judge is ready for you now.

M: Oh god.

C: It'll be alright. We'll see this through. Ready?

M: Ready.

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