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Justice For Mrs. Millicent Meeks
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Justice For Mrs. Millicent Meeks
[1,428 words]
Literary Fiction
Timothy Houlihan
I am forty-seven years old and live in Idaho with my wife Treva. My hobby is sitting on the top of the mountain and watching the elk and the deer graze in my pasture.
[March 2003]
[email protected]
From The Glow Of The Gaslights Comes A Prayer (Short Stories) The prayer of a man who has seen the lie. [738 words] [Literary Fiction]
The Belch Of A God (Short Stories) Kids learning to fit in. [2,586 words] [Literary Fiction]
The Silver Ride (Short Stories) Obsession. Insanity. Murder. [2,264 words] [Mind]
Justice For Mrs. Millicent Meeks
Timothy Houlihan

Mrs. Millicent Meeks sat in the gallery of people on the side of the bar with her attorney, Mr. Jack Debas, and silently recited all of her own virtues, compared others to herself, and waited for her trial to begin. It wasn’t a trial, really. It was a divorce proceeding, but to her, Mrs. Millicent Meeks nee Bolan, wife of thirteen years to Mr. Samuel Meeks, mother of his two children, always ready to help friends, kind, devoted, not a spendthrift, good to the help, careful to entertain at the home, attentive and dutiful in bed, yes, the same Mrs.Millicent Meeks who, by her own loving persuasion, led her husband down the path to the goodly profession that he now enjoyed, the profession that gave them the advantages in life that they all so richly deserved, to her, Mrs. Millicent Meeks, it wasn’t just a divorce proceeding, It was her time for justice.
Mrs. Millicent Meeks crossed her legs and tried hook the foot of the top leg behind the calf of the bottom leg, but couldn’t. She remembered that she used to be able to do that. ‘ Oh, well,’ she thought. ‘ After bearing two children what does one expect?’
From their vantage point, Mrs. Millicent Meeks and her attorney- at-law had a clear and unobstructed view of the doors that led into the courtroom, and when they opened, and Mr. Samuel Meeks walked in with his attorney, and a woman, Mrs. Millicent Meeks poked Mr. Debas on the shoulder with her finger.
“ There they are,” she said. “ He’s brought her with him.”
She smiled, and glared across the room at them. She watched them sit at the back of the room in the last row of seats, and then, reached into her purse. She withdrew a compact, opened it, pursed her lips, tilted her head back and to one side, and rubbed her finger across her chin where she had found a hair growing earlier that morning, She found another small one, and pulled it.’ Having a man’s children for him throws a woman’s hormones way out of balance,’ she thought. ‘ I don’t know why we allow them to do it’.
She dug to the bottom of her purse and extracted a tube of red lipstick, peered into the small, round, mirror, and applied another thick red coat to her lips, then rubbed them together. She dropped the tube back in her purse and pulled out a hairbrush whose bristles were full of hair, then, looked in the mirror, and fluffed her brown curls. Satisfied, she dropped the brush back in the purse, snapped the compact shut, and dropped it in behind the brush. She straightened the round, red, plastic, bead necklace on her bosom, smoothed her red polka dot dress, and then, folded her hands on her knee.
She looked across the crowded, noisy, room full of bickering men and women at Mr. Samuel Meeks. She saw him smile at the woman, and noted that he had lost weight since he left. He was wearing new clothes, a more casual, and relaxed style than the kind he wore a few weeks ago. He looked younger to her, somehow, too. She remembered when they were first married how she loved to see him naked, and how she loved to have him do all of those things to her. She shuddered. ’ Men should have to go through two weeks of aching, bleeding, hell every month,’ she thought. ‘ Then I bet they wouldn’t be so anxious to display that repulsive appendage of theirs.’ She shook her head, and clicked her tongue.
Next, she examined the woman that was with Mr. Meeks. She was maybe a bit younger than he was, but not much. The gray pinstripes on her black slacks highlighted her figure. Mrs. Millicent Meeks bounced her red high-heeled foot up and down. ’ You would guess he would have at least found someone younger,’ she thought. She sat and watched her husband, and the woman he left her for, laugh, and talk with each other. She despised the way Mr. Meeks looked at her.
When the bailiff finally called their names, Mrs. Millicent Meeks dove her hand into her black bag and took out a lacy white handkerchief. She stood up and walked to the swinging gate in the middle of the bar, and allowed her attorney-at-law, Mr. Jack Debas, to hold it open for her. She walked through and took her seat at the plaintiff’s table. She squeezed a tear from her eye, sniffed, and dabbed her other eye with the handkerchief. She glanced over her shoulder just as Mr. Meeks pecked the woman on the cheek, and looked away when he stood, and walked to the front of the courtroom. He took his seat at the defendant’s table with his attorney.
 A door opened on the oak paneled wall behind the bench, and a tall, gray-haired woman in a black robe stepped through it. “ All rise,” the bailiff said. “ The Family Court of the State of Texas is now in session, the Honorable Nancy Dinkus presiding.” The Honorable Judge Dinkus walked up the steps behind the bench and sat in her tall, leather, chair.
“ Be seated,” said the bailiff.
All of the people in the courtroom sat down with a clamor while Judge Dinkus shuffled papers on the bench, and perched a pair of reading glasses on the end of her nose. Mrs. Millicent Meeks sat down at the table next to her attorney-at-law, sniffed, and dabbed her eyes. Judge Dinkus instructed the bailiff to read the case number out loud for the record, and the first trial after the lunch break began.
Jack Debas attorney-at-law stood and began to make his presentation when Mrs. Millicent Meeks interrupted by shoving on his forearm. “ Tell her honor that Mr. Meeks is an adulterer,” she said.
Judge Dinkus tapped her gavel lightly on the bench and crooned. “ Patience, patience, all in due time. Mr. Debas, proceed,” she said.
While Mr. Debas, attorney-at-law represented her, Mrs. Millicent Meeks looked out of the corner of her eye at Mr. Meeks. He had his elbow on the table with his chin resting in the palm of his hand, he wasn’t wearing his ring, and he was smiling. ‘You won’t be smiling for long,’ she thought. At the point where her attorney-at-law explained that Mr. Meeks was engaged in a year- long adulterous affair, she sobbed, and dabbed her eyes. Judge Nancy Dinkus looked at Mr. Meeks and said, “ Sir, are these allegations true? Are you engaged in an adulterous affair?” Mrs. Millicent Meeks sobbed loudly behind her handkerchief and looked at Mr. Meeks.
The smiling Mr. Meeks stood and addressed the court. “ Yes, your honor. I am,” he said. “ Gladly.”
Mrs. Millicent Meeks turned crimson. A smattering of laughter rippled through the assembled gallery like a receding wave, and Judge Dinkus tapped lightly with her gavel. When the laughter faded away, she continued. “ Mr. Meeks, if this is true, I have no choice but to find in favor of Mrs. Meeks,” she said. Mr. Meeks sat down and folded his hands on the table in front of him, and smiled.
In a matter of moments Judge Nancy Dinkus awarded everything that the Meeks’ owned to Mrs. Millicent Meeks, with the exception of Mr. Meeks’ clothes. While the judge recited her verdict Mrs. Millicent Meeks sat with her head held high, with the look of the vindicated righteous glowing in her eyes. Finally, they were dismissed.
As luck and Mrs. Millicent Meeks would have it, after the parties exited the gallery they met face-to-face in the hall at the top of the stairs. Mrs. Millicent Meeks flared her gaze like a blowtorch from the top of the woman’s head down to the gray leather high heel shoes on her feet, and back up again. Then, she turned her attention to Mr. Meeks. “ I will never understand how you could do this to me, Samuel. Thirteen years of my life I invested in you, in us,” she said, and dabbed at her eye. She sniffed. “ Why? Why have you done this?” she said.
Mr. Meeks shook his head at her. “ Because, Millie, you’re a spoiled, self-righteous, fat, bearded, domineering, frigid, biddy, and you disgust me,” he said.
He turned and walked down the stairs, arm-in-arm with the woman. Mrs. Millicent Meeks poked Mr. Debas attorney- at- law with her finger, and said,” I want you to take note, Mr. Debas, of how abusive he is.”



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© 2003 Timothy Houlihan
March 2003

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