Shared Guilt

When the jury announced the guilty verdict, Rob’s stomach turned. His client had just looked at him, eyes tearing up, mouth open. “I’m sorry,” was all Rob could think to say, and the words rang hollow in his ears. He finished placing his papers in his briefcase and left the courtroom. Rob was surprised to see Andrew, the prosecuting attorney, waiting for him in the hall.

“Tough case, Rob,” Andrew said with a smirk.

“Screw off, Andy. That trial was a joke. You and I both know my client was innocent. You just sent a guiltless man to prison.” Rob began to storm off, but Andrew grabbed his elbow and jerked him back.

“Let’s get one thing straight, hotshot. All I did was my job. It is your job to present your case and get your client off the hook. So don’t even think about projecting your guilty conscience on me. I didn’t succeed in there. You failed.” Andrew punctuated the last word with a finger in Rob’s chest, turned, and walked away.

Rob stood there for a long time, alone with his shattered pride.

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