Authors: Nikki McWatters
Tags: #Fiction, #Psychological, #Retail, #Suspense, #Thrillers
I’d never been a witness in court before so I was nervous and yet I really wanted to say my piece to help Chris out. I just hoped it wouldn’t backfire or something so that I did more harm than good. The lawyer dude was tossing up between putting me on the stand or Julie and in the end decided on me but Jules made a statement to the cops about that night. For the last couple of months, or is it weeks, I’ve lost track, months I think, everything has been about THAT NIGHT. That fateful fucking night when Chris went mad, completely out of character and got loaded and screwed a couple of groupies.
I’m no saint. I’ve been there. More times than I care to share with anyone but I’m pretty stable now with Julie. I haven’t cheated on her. Not since we were married anyway. In the early days I was still getting the fame and groupie thing out of my system. Man, it’s hard to resist temptation when you spent your youth begging chicks for sex and then bang at the age of twenty-five or six you hit the big time and become like rock legends and girls, hot, really, really, hot girls, start begging you for sex. What’s a guy gonna do? She busted me once in the early days and that was it. Never again.
Out of all of us, the whole band I mean, only Chris kept it in his pants. He’s totally devoted to his woman. He and Megan are tight. The real deal. He had plenty of offers. Chicks used to hide naked in his room. But he just rose above it and was always gracious and respectful and when he told them how much he loved his wife and how faithful he was, they’d want him even more. It was insane. He was a total chick magnet and a complete monk. I don’t know how he did it. Really.
Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that this was the first and only time I ever saw Chris drop his guard around groupies.
The girls were hot and even Julie agrees that they did not look fifteen and sixteen. No way. It was slut central. Stilettos, mini-skirts, tits hanging out and they arrived at the party with a bag of tricks. The little one, the one who caused all this fuss, she had a handbag full of uppers and downers and E’s. She was handing them out like lollies. I had an E and so did Julie, mind you I didn’t fess up to that on the stand.
Anyway, I wore a suit. Me in a suit? It was pretty hilarious and even raised a smile on Chris’s lips.
When I was shown into the court-room I was more nervous than when we’d played that gig at Wembley Stadium. Everyone was so terribly serious. A Magistrate up on the bench. Cops and dicks everywhere and poor old Chris up the front with his sharp lawyer. He’s a good guy and fixed up a little matter when our guitarist got busted with some pot a few years back. Got him off that so I was pretty confident that he’d get Chris off. We were hoping that after that day the Magistrate would not proceed with the charges. They were totally bogus.
It was quiet and the dude swore me in and I took a seat in the witness box thing. There was a little microphone on the podium in front of me. I wanted to give Chris the thumbs up but just tried not to look at him.
‘Can you tell us how you remember the evening of the 4
of April of this year, the final performance on your tour. Start from when you finished playing and went backstage,’ the silver-haired lawyer asked me.
Tim was pretty friendly usually but that day it was all business. I was the only witness called for the defence and apparently it was not usual to have one but the Magistrate had agreed to listen to me because I was there that night and there wasn’t much evidence.
I told them how we were really exhausted after a fourteen week tour around Europe and the US and how we were all keen to get home and chill. Chris had a baby on the way and wanted to get back to Megan and his little girl. I told them that there’d been a lot of fans and friends backstage and that after a clean-up and a few beers we headed back to the Intercontinental in the city where some of us were staying. My wife, Julie was there and we went back to the hotel for a party before going home to our terrace in Newtown. Chris and some of the roadies and Doug our keyboardist were staying in the hotel because they lived out of town. Chris considered driving back up to the Mountains that night but I talked him out of it because it was late and he was really exhausted and recovering from a bout of food poisoning that he picked up in Texas.
‘Was it usual for you to invite women back to parties at your hotels?’ he asked me.
‘Sure. Not for sex but just like rent-a-crowd, I guess,’ I laughed. ‘It’s nice to meet our fans and basically most or a lot of them are female.’
‘Was Chris Bergin in the habit of inviting women to his hotel room?’
‘Sometimes but only for parties when there were other people around. Not for sex. Chris never, and I mean, never picked up or hooked up with groupies. Never.’
‘The two young women, Abigail Proudfoot and Elizabeth O’Neil, who Chris invited along. Did you see them? Speak with them?’
I flinched. I really wanted to avoid talking about drugs. My Mum might read about it in the papers. There was a journalist that I recognised sitting up the back of the court-room scribbling notes.
‘Yeah, Chris introduced them and said they were fans. The blonde was knocking back the champagne and getting loud and the little one was running around offering everyone drugs. I don’t know who was taking them but both the girls seemed pretty loaded. Not comatose loaded. Up. Zingy. Speedy and they were pretty full on. The blonde tried to crack on to me but Julie put her in her place. She actually groped my crotch which was something of a surprise.’
‘How old would you have guessed them to be that night if you’d thought about it?’ I was asked next.
‘Oh…at a guess nineteen or twenty. They had plenty of makeup on and were well developed if you know what I mean. They sure didn’t look like kids or school girls.’
‘Was Chris flirting with the girls, engaging in any intimate behaviour?’
I paused. This was where it got tricky.
‘I can say with some surety that the girls were making moves on him. Touching him when they talked to him, patting him, stuff like that. They were being pretty obvious. You know, like they were trying to seduce him.’
‘And how was Chris responding?’
‘He was tolerating them. That’s how I’d put it. Chris is not terribly assertive and he is not the type to tell them to get lost. He was tired and just sat there ignoring them for a while. I guess he was friendly enough. Talking to them.’
‘Was this still continuing when you left to go home?’
I took a deep breath.
‘Not exactly. Chris started acting strangely. He was tired and slack early on but then he started becoming louder and laughing and being more affectionate with the girls. He was paying some attention to the blonde girl.’
‘Attention?’ he asked.
I looked at Chris. He looked broken, man. Just gutted. He’d never cheated on Meg and I believe him when he says that. Until that night. That night.
‘I remember that he bumped the blonde’s glass of champagne and she got wet and then she pulled down her top, it was like a singlet-tank-top and she pulled down her bra-cup things and showed her tits…I mean breasts…sorry Your Honour…and…’ I swallowed hard. ‘And she asked Chris to lick off the champagne and…he did.’
There was silence for a while. I didn’t like recounting that shit but I was in a court of law, talking to lawyers and cops and I was scared to lie and anyway Chris had admitted he’d…you know…with the blonde.
‘And the other girl, Elizabeth, or Libby, what was she doing at this time?’
‘It was weird. At that point she seemed to get the shits and went out on the balcony to get a smoke. I decided to have another smoke before I went home and Julie and I went out on the balcony too. I didn’t want to watch Chris making a dick of himself.’
I went on and told them that the girl had apologised for her friend’s behaviour and said that the blonde chick was a total slut. She didn’t seem like much of a friend. The girl was not as wasted as her friend. More serious. But she didn’t seem fifteen. I asked her what she did and she said she was an actress and I figured she was on
or something. She was pretty enough.
‘And when we left, Julie fronted up to Chris and told him to stop being an idiot and to think about Meg,’ I added. ‘But he seemed so far gone that I’m not sure he heard or understood us. I figured he’d kick them out and sleep it off.’
‘And when you left it was just the two girls and Chris.’
‘Yes,’ I nodded.
‘And this was completely out of character? You’ve known him for ten years. Yes?’
‘Totally out of character. He was like someone else. I think because he was weak from the stomach thing that any drink or drugs that he took must have had a bad reaction.’
‘Did you at any time see Chris give drugs to the girls or encourage them to drink?’
‘No, sir. I did not. Those girls were good at taking stuff all by themselves. It seemed like the dark haired girl, Libby had the drugs in her bag and her friend was on a mission to take them all.’
We went through a few more things. Talking over the same things over and over again.
I told him that he was a good bloke and I’d never seen him be rude or rough or anything with any woman. Or anyone at all for that matter.
When I started telling them how he’d just delivered his own baby last week and that he and Meg were in marriage counselling and that this was affecting his daughter who was getting into fights after being bullied at school, I could see Chris wiping the tears from his face. The girl’s parents were in the front row of the court and they were shooting daggers his way. If looks could kill.
I don’t know what that fifteen year old kid’s home life is like but they’ve got one sick puppy on their hands. She’s out of control. On drugs, seducing grown men and then crying rape. It’s sick. How is it that Chris could remember screwing the blonde and remember her going to the bathroom, remember that younger one going down on him and them leaving but not remember actually humping the dark-haired one? It’s bizarre. It occurred to me and I told Chris that it might be possible that the girl spat his…you know…spunk…into her hand and put it up her fanny herself to deliberately get pregnant. I know that sounds far-fetched but it’s a fact that it happened to that tennis player dude, Boris Becker. Maybe that kid stumbled across the story. If that was true, then she’s a certifiable nut-job and she should be locked up.
When I told Julie that theory, she hit me over the head with a newspaper and told me I was being a dickhead!
Then the other lawyer got up. She looked at me like I was the devil and she went for my jugular, twisting everything around. I was sweating. But I think I held it together okay.
We were on our third latte. Meg was having hers decaf and with soy milk. I watched her nurse little baby Harrison, slipping a nipple discreetly into his desperate little gums. It’s hard to believe that we are sitting at a café four days after she gave birth on her own living room floor.
‘You should be at home, with your feet up, recovering,’ I told her and carved my fork through a thick chunk of carrot cake.
‘I’m not sick,’ she smiled although the pain and heartache showed in her slate grey eyes.
I’ve known Meg Bergin a hell of long time and I don’t think I’d ever seen her so sad and it was heartbreaking because she should have been so very happy at that time. She’d tried for years to have that little baby and suffered three or four miscarriages and now she had this little angel in her arms and she was broken and dull. Like someone had turned off her light and let the fire go out.
Meg’s a writer. A damn good one. She writes young adult novels and her last one was really quite successful and won some major literary award.
I’ve known her husband, Chris, a long time too and I love them both to pieces. I only wish I had kicked those two little sluts out of his room that night. It never occurred to me that he would have sex with them. I trusted Chris as much as Megan did. They were the archetypal perfect couple. They finished each other’s sentences and were always touching and looking at one another with the greatest of awe. It was like Chris was possessed. I don’t and never will understand it.
She wanted him to move out permanently. How did it get to that…from paradise?
‘It’s been hours,’ I said. ‘I’m so nervous I feel like peeing every five minutes. Well there is another reason I’m peeing so much…and I haven’t wanted to tell you with all the drama but…’ I leaned forward. ‘I’m brewing a playmate for little Harrison there.’
‘Oh my God,’ she smiled. ‘Are you serious? You’re pregnant? Oh, Julie that’s brilliant and Clayton will be such a great Dad. Is he excited?’
‘He’s over the moon. He’s always been a bit jealous of Chris’s bond with Olive and he’s already reading Baby Name books.’
‘I’m so happy for you,’ she said but her face didn’t look happy.
‘Please forgive Chris,’ I said, just blurting it out. I couldn’t contain it any longer. ‘He loves you and Olive and Harry. He adores and worships you but he’s human.’
‘He impregnated a fifteen year old child,’ she said flatly. Coldly.
‘We don’t actually know that. Not a hundred percent,’ I tried and watched her frown.
‘It takes away the magic a little bit, you know? The magic of this little fellow. We tried so many times and failed and got back up again and he knocks up some kid…’ she shook her head and dabbed at her wet eyes.
‘Can I play the devil’s advocate here for a minute?’ I asked and didn’t wait for an answer. ‘For fifteen years this man has loved you and been faithful. I know he has. Clayton knows he has. And God knows he’s had ample opportunity not to be faithful. He’s just a man although he’s lived with that kind of discipline for so long.’
‘So what happened? What did I do for him to stop being that way? I keep asking myself that. For him to be so cruel and to hurt me so badly…what did I do? Is it because we couldn’t have sex during this pregnancy? I couldn’t. The doctor said after my …with my history but Julie…I looked after him in you know…other ways. I was still intimate with him. You know what I mean?’