It's a bit complicated.
A young man stayed behind the witness box, looking weak and broken. He must have gone through a lot of torture, his eyes said it on his behalf.
The judge adjusted his mic, cutting a cold stare across the almost empty court room from the bench.
Just ten more people were in the room apart from the court officials, and the young man couldn't have been more than 21, his lips looked swollen with bruises on his neck and dry blood, sticking to the side of his face.
The judge had listened to him talk for over thirty minutes laying an excuse upon another and he was ready to talk.
"I understand the girl is still in coma and I can't tell if all you have said here is true." He shrugged as he touched his table gently.
"With what has been said about you, I might be left with no choice but to sentence you to serve a long jail term. I still do understand this talk to be only from two sides... But the girl... emmm... she can't talk now. And nobody else knew what might have happened between you two."
It happened a month ago and things have moved so fast. The young man was in love with a 16 year old girl and she had been to his house that afternoon to see him. They watched movies, and a thing led to another then the girl got deflowered. She liked it at first. In fact she had imposed the idea when the young man was going to stop himself after the touches was going to lead to the act.
The whole feeling died out when she reached orgasms and she hated the fact that she had done it. With blood still running down her legs she hit the street before he could stop her and she was away.
It came in wavy, news that a cab knocked down a girl down the street was the talk all evening.
And it was in the papers the next day, that the girl had been raped and she was trying to run away when she got knocked down by a cab. She had been in coma and she could not give an account of what had happened, but investigation spanned and her parents confirmed they had run a virginity test for her three days before the incident. That grounded the rape fact and it took two more days to fish out the young man who was caught in another part of the town running.
Denying he never raped the 16 year old girl was undeniable, with all odds against him. He was 21 then and he would have been able to force himself on her. He claimed they were in a relationship and that made matter worse.
"How would I have raped someone I claim I love. I didn't rape her. We made love, at her wish." he had said during one of the trials.
With silence dashing across the court room, the judge called on order and he coughed with a plan to declare his judgement.
"The doctor reports states she might regain her consciousness in 2 months time. Do you know that?"
The young man nodded remorsefully.
He felt his clothes getting into his skin as he fought hard to keep his forehead dry.
"Let's make all things clear. I won't be biased, I only want you answering some few logical questions. The first would be this." The judge adjusted his spec and he sneezed with a thick handkerchief, shielding his nose. He never must have expected that but he looked so weird under his wig. He was a thick and dark man and another profession would have been a bit fitting. Like he being a bishop. His bulged belle would have gone a lot way at helping him suspend his crucifix.
"You said you love her right?" The judge asked.
"Yes I do love her Sir. That's why I would never have raped her." The boy replied slowly, picking a word at a time.
"This is it. Right now, I could give you a 14 years jail term..." He shrugged again adjusting his fat face around the mic. But if you would sign this now." The judge stopped talking as he passed down a sheet.
"All it says is that you would be legally married to her. You would arrange a court wedding immediately she wakes and you assume position as the first of this baby and her babies to come..." The court went damp cold and the only set of people who felt amazed and happy with the court's decision were the parents of the girl. It felt save that their broke ass had seen a place to share off one of their problems. They knew the young man was a graduate of Microbiology and he was already working in a big firm around town.
Not like they had planned. The girl got conscious a month after the final verdict and she was made to get married to her lover who they had lied had raped her. She knew no rape occurred, but it was so late.
She lost the baby to miscarriage a month after her health system was proclaimed balanced and the young man made things clear. The marriage was locked and the love grew stronger. The young man helped her get waec and when she was done he ran his Masters program for two years. All through they lived like brothers and sisters never letting any more baby come between till dey were fit to take a third person.
On 4pm one August, the young man was already 28 and a father. The baby came an hour ago but the young man was without a wife no more. The lady said to have been raped years ago, died 30 minutes ago. It was after her child birth.
The whole world was coming down on this young man as he sat in the lobby thinking of how complicated every thing had been.