67. Courthouse“C’mon, Jon,” his father said. “The sooner we get there, the sooner this’ll be over.”

Jon knew his dad meant well, but he also knew that it wasn’t true. Their schedule — their lives for the past 10 months — had totally dependent on the schedule of the courtroom. Dependent on the judge, on the lawyers and on Edward Spilling.

Always Spilling.

For the rest of his life, Jon would always remember his 16th year as the one Spilling stole from him. He stole his mother and the notion that good always beat evil. On the day Edward Spilling burst into their home, looking for a place to hide after a gas station robbery gone wrong, Jon stopped seeing the world one way and started seeing it another.

He was glad that Spilling was being sentenced today. He had seen him every day for a month as the trial went on. Jon saw him yawn, saw him stink-eye witnesses, saw him joke with his attorney, who returned the laugh.

Jon wanted to kill them both right then and there.

He knew, that he’d see Spilling again after this, when he went for parole — and the prosecutor warned them that there probably would be parole hearings — Jon and his dad would have to testify if they didn’t want him to go free again.

After three hours of waiting in the courtroom, the judge finally came to read the sentence. Twenty years for taking Jon’s mother. He felt his father wince beside him.