MidReal Story

Unveiling Shadows: A Daughter's Pursuit of Justice

Scenario: A story about a young girl who is in college to become a lawyer like her father who was murdered. Meets a mysterious man on her way to class, not knowing he is responsible for killing women
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A story about a young girl who is in college to become a lawyer like her father who was murdered. Meets a mysterious man on her way to class, not knowing he is responsible for killing women
The first time I saw him, he offered me a ride in his shiny black car.
I should have said no.
I should have kept walking.
But I didn’t, and by the time it was over, he had left me with a warning no one else would believe.
He told me I was in danger.
He told me the truth about my father.
And he told me he was the only one who could help me.
The problem is…he was also the one who had to destroy my father’s life.
I’m a law student with a passion for justice.
And this is my journey to uncover the truth about my father’s murder.
The first time I saw him, I was on my way to criminal law class at NYU.
It was my first day of law school, and I was running late because I’d spent too long staring at myself in the mirror, trying to decide if I looked like a lawyer yet.
But my dad was dead now.
And so were his clients.
On the morning of my first class, I got a text message from Jess, my best friend and roommate, who was also a student at NYU.
It read: “Don’t let this destroy you, okay?I know how much this means to you, but promise me you won’t let it become an obsession.”
I texted back, “I promise,” even though I knew it was a lie.
Jess had been the only one there for me when my dad was killed.
She’d been there through all the therapy sessions and the nightmares and the way I’d fallen apart, piece by piece.
She knew how hard it had been for me to put myself back together again.
And she was right to be worried, because if I was going to find my father’s killer—or killers—I needed to be willing to go to any length to do it.
On the morning of that first class, Jess was still in bed when I left for school.
She’d stayed up late at a party the night before, and when I’d left her, she’d been laughing, her blonde hair falling over her shoulders as she danced with some guy whose name she probably wouldn’t remember in the morning.
Jess was smart and kind and absolutely gorgeous, with big blue eyes and long legs that made her look like a model.
She was also the most loyal friend I could have asked for, and I knew that no matter what happened, she would always be on my side.
As soon as I walked into our apartment, I went straight to her door and pushed it open.
The room smelled like stale beer and perfume, and the bed was unmade, but Jess was sitting at her desk, typing on her computer.
“Time for your first class,” she said without looking up.
“I’m so excited for you!You’re going to do amazing.”
I sat down on her bed and leaned back against her pillows.
“I wish he could be here to see it,” I said.
Jess turned around in her chair.
Her pretty face twisted in sympathy, as if she could still see the jagged cracks in my heart.
“I know,” she said.
She got up from her desk, came over to me, and wrapped her arms around my shoulders.
I loved the feel of her, the smell of her, the simple comfort of her.
“Just try to enjoy it, okay?”
she whispered in my ear.
“I want you to have fun with this.
I want you to let yourself.”
I nodded, even though it would be years before I felt whole again, before I would feel okay letting myself enjoy anything.
Jessica Morgan had been my best friend since we were kids, but we couldn’t have been more different.
Where I was quiet, she was loud.
Where I was serious, she was fun.
And where I had always been too afraid to take risks, Jess had never been afraid of anything.
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And the first time I saw him, I was thinking about how it was a horrible thing that my father wasn’t there with me on that beautiful September day—the sky as blue as the ocean, the air warm with the promise of an Indian summer—because he would have been so proud of me walking into that lecture hall as a student at NYU School of Law.
That would have been the moment he told me we’d finally made it, that he’d be there to see me graduate summa cum laude, as he always told me he knew I would; to see me follow in his footsteps as a successful attorney with clients just as powerful as his had been.
It would have been the proudest day of his life.
But he wasn’t there with me.
He was gone.
And now all that was left of him were memories that made it hard to breathe, memories of a time when things were different than they were now—before he lost everything that mattered to him—before he lost his life.
The problem is that when you lose someone you’ve loved—not just anyone but someone who has meant everything to you—it’s not just that they’re gone; it’s that your whole world changes, as if everything is different now.
Everything that matters becomes less important, and everything that doesn’t matter becomes more important.
Like studying at a stupid park in New York City with people yelling and dogs barking and the sun shining too bright on your computer screen.
It was my first day in criminal law class at NYU Law School, and I was already lost.
I’d left my apartment late, and by the time I got to Washington Square Park, Vanderbilt Hall was already full.
So it wasn’t until after I’d taken a seat on the grass and set myself up with my computer that it occurred to me how strange it was to study at a park.
It wasn’t like our apartment was far away; it was just that my mind had been somewhere else.
Now that my father was gone, all that was left of him were memories.
And the worst part about memories is that they’re always there even when you don’t want them to be.
Right then all I wanted was for him to go away.
Especially today, on my first day of law school.
It was bad enough I had to do this without him.
Now I had to do it with him.
It was a wonder I could concentrate on anything else.
As I walked through Washington Square Park, I couldn’t help noticing how pretty it was inside its concrete walls: with its arch and fountain, trees covered in leaves that would soon change from green to orange and red, surrounded by NYU buildings where thousands of students came to learn every year.
But mostly I couldn’t help noticing how many people were there—students studying or smoking or making out on benches; families picnicking; people playing Frisbee with their dogs.
There were so many people.
It was funny how alone you could feel even when you were surrounded by so many people.
But as I walked to Vanderbilt Hall, I knew I would probably never feel so alone again.
When I got to the lecture hall, it was already full of students.
The lecture hall was flat with an incline so all of us could see the professor standing in front of us.
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I kept my head down as I tried to figure out if anyone else had joined the class today.
I sat in the first row of seats.
Partly because it was the only place left when I arrived; and partly because I believed in giving your all, no matter what you did.
My father used to say that a job worth doing is a job worth doing well; and if you’re not going to do it well, why bother doing it at all?
I tried not to think of him.
I tried not to think about anything except what I should be doing right now.
But then Dr.
Landon started talking and everything changed.
“The adversarial system,” he said.
“Sometimes we forget how important conflict is in our pursuit of justice.”
As I stared at him up on his podium—framed by a chalkboard with nothing written on it—I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach.
The adversarial system was important all right.
Because if it wasn’t for the adversarial system—if attorneys hadn’t been so busy fighting each other—maybe someone would have been fighting for my father.
Maybe if it wasn’t for the adversarial system, my father would still be alive.
My chest tightened as I tried not to think about that.
“The adversarial system,” Dr.
Landon continued, “is what makes it so we can uncover the truth, so we can get at justice.
It’s what makes America a bastion of fairness, where everyone gets their day in court, no matter what they’ve done.”
Everyone got their day in court except my father.
And everyone had gotten away with his murder.
“Lawyers are warriors,” Dr.
Landon said.
“They fight for justice, for their clients’ rights, for the truth.
Attorneys are the heart of this country’s legal system.
They are the ones who protect the innocent, and ensure that even the guilty are treated fairly under the law.”
He paused for a moment as if to let his words sink in.
It made me feel like I was going to throw up.
Landon held out his hands as if embracing us in his words.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “welcome to the legal profession.
“Sometimes we forget how important conflict is in our pursuit of justice.”
My father’s murder had awakened something inside me, something that had been there all along.
It was my passion for justice.
Ever since I was little, I’d wanted to be a lawyer like my father.
And even though he was gone now, and even though it was too late for him to see me become one, I was still going to do it.
I was going to get my law degree and pass the bar and work as an attorney.
Because that was what I was meant to do.
It was what I had always wanted.
And no matter how hard it was going to be or how long it took me to get there or how much it cost me to go, I would not stop until I’d made it happen.
“I want you all to remember this,” Dr.
Landon said.
“Especially now because you’re all students and you’re going to learn so much here over the next three years and it’s going to change you, change the way you look at the world and change the way you think about things.
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But always remember this: law is not about following rules.
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