The People VS Joshua Pent – Interview

This entry is part 7 of 14 in the series Equanimity

Helen sat quietly in the Pent living room, listening to Miss Pent talk about her son.

Although the woman hadn’t seen her son in over a year, she was more than willing to help with his defense. She had therefore agreed to this interview and made herself available to take Joshua in under her wing if the need arose. For now, Helen had explained, Joshua would remain in custody until his trial was over.  Miss Pent was upset by this, but understood the necessity.

As the interview began, Helen noticed she hadn’t seen Steven since their argument about the plea.  Although this annoyed her, she also saw it as a blessing.  The last thing she wanted was for Miss Pent to be bullied and pressured by a young and intimidating defense lawyer trying to find more evidence that her son’s mental issues were to blame for this situation.  Helen wanted to know more about Joshua’s background, and thanks to Miss Pent’s attention to detail, she got just that.

***

Miss Pent loved her son unconditionally in the way that only a mother could.  She loved him on the days he grew in her womb and loved him on the days he lay in her arms, hungry and crying.  She loved him on the day he began to walk, on the day he said his first word, on his first day of school and the first time he lost a tooth. She would keep on loving him through his high-school and college years, and soon – almost too quickly – the young boy she loved became a man.

This man had a life of his own.  He had a job, at which – even though Miss Pent didn’t fully understand what he did – he was very successful.  He also had a home, a small 2 bedroom condo located in the middle of downtown, which he’d bought a few years earlier.

This man also had a love, the kind of love that made his mother jealous.  After all, it wasn’t easy when the woman in your son’s life changed from one’s self to some stranger.  To her credit, however, this new woman was smart, beautiful and madly in love with Joshua.  They were, Miss pent explained, a perfect match.

With a new life, a great job, a house and a future wife, everything was looking up for the man. Miss Pent, now pushed to the sidelines of her son’s life, kept fond memories of the child he had been, and appreciated the success he had become.

That was until the accident.  After that everything had changed, and Miss Pent’s life had been flipped upside down.

The flesh and bones of what she had once called her son were lying in a hospital bed about half an hour’s drive from her home.  The body seemed almost unrecognizable, with scratches and cuts everywhere from its head to its toes.  Joshua’s eyes seemed as though they had been pushed back into his head, and his whole face had been burnt, to the point where he had lost all of his hair.

As though that wasn’t bad enough, when the man had regained consciousness and looked at his mother, he did not recognize her.

“Who are you?” He asked in a raspy voice that chilled Miss Pent to the bone.

“Joshua,” Miss Pent spoke with a wary, tired voice, “I’m your mom.”

The man looked at her blankly.  After a few moments he asked about his father, and Miss Pent had burst into tears before explaining to Joshua that his father had passed away several years ago.

Joshua quietly turned his head to the side after hearing the news.  He was tired, didn’t know this woman, and at the moment didn’t want anything to do with her.

This broke Miss Pent’s heart, and under the advisement of the doctors, they began spending days sitting by his side, doing their best to jog his memory.

Over the following months, the man that had once been Joshua Pent would undergo strenuous rehab and therapy.  He would regain some of his strength, but not all.  His memory would also improve, though not by much.  It took him a while to finally remember something about his parents.  His sister, on the other hand, he remembered in great detail, but only up to her twelfth birthday.

After a while Miss Pent began bringing pictures from home, in an attempt to help her son regain more of his memory.  By this time, Joshua was walking on his own, although with a limp, and the pictures brought back memories of his childhood, his old job, his friends and family.  As he remembered these people, he started asking about them, wondering why they hadn’t shown up at the hospital to say hello to him.  His mother tried to reassure him, but asked herself the same question almost daily.

Then one day, Miss Pent brought with her a special picture, one which she hadn’t wanted to bring but was coerced by her daughter to do so.  The picture was of a beautifully young blonde girl dressed in bright white clothing, with a beautiful large smile and deep, burning blue eyes.

The picture struck Joshua almost immediately – the beauty was almost overwhelming – and then he remembered her laugh, and her smile, and her smell.

“Aimée …” he said under his voice, his mother’s eyes tearing up.  “I… loved her.”

“And she loved you very, very much,” his mother nodded, a tissue at her eyes.

“Where is she?” He asked, “I need to see her, I need to speak to her…”

“Joshua honey,” his mother started, her eyes red with tears, “that won’t be possible. She died in the crash.”

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