So much for plans

After all the years we’ve lived here, I finally got chosen for jury duty. In the fifteen years I was eligible for the duty in my hometown, I rarely got called, but when I did I had to serve. In the seventeen years we’ve been here, it seems like I get the call annually, or pretty close to it, but I’ve never had to serve–until now. Until the busiest month of the year for me. Funny how the court doesn’t really care if you had other plans, like the book signing in Rusk tomorrow.

I saw something yesterday that stuck with me for some reason. I was sitting on a bench in a narrow hall lined with those of us waiting to go into the courtroom. A young woman–no older than twenty-one, I’m sure–had to walk past us to get where she was going. Although she maintained her full height of probably five-seven or five-eight, her shoulders curled in just a bit as if to shrink her size. She kept her arms straight, and she held her purse with both hands in front of her, pressed against her lower abdomen as she walked. Her head was slightly bowed and she peered at her goal from underneath her brow. Her cheeks were tinged with red, and her smile was shy and charming.

I’ve seen timid people walking through crowds before, feeling like they were the center of unwanted attention as they went, their shyness shining like a new copper penny. I don’t know why this lady stuck in my mind, but she’ll be tucked away just in case I need a character like her someday.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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9 Responses to So much for plans

  1. Lisa Grace says:

    My husband watches me people watching. Every now and then he’ll make a comment, “That person is showing up in a book.” I’m always open to character traits and watching how people react to situations.

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  2. I’ve only been called up for jury duty once, and I was lucky enough not to get selected. But I did have my eyes and ears wide open for research opportunities.

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    • Linda Yezak says:

      Jury selection is a great place to see a cross-section of your local society. Jury duty is great brain exercise. Personally, I get a kick out of it–I just wish they could’ve waited until October!

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  3. joannesher says:

    Looks like a great character for ya, Linda. Always a benefit to inconvenience, right? 😉

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  4. I have only been called for jury duty once. After the defense attorney discovered my husband was a well known Sergeant with the Sheriff’s department, he wanted me off the jury. He kept up the interrogation. His final question: “If you were my client, how would you feel having yourself as a juror?” I replied honestly. “Nervous.”
    The judge thanked me for my candor and asked me to leave the court room. I was disappointed. I thought the trial would be interesting….Oh well. Hope your trial is either very interesting or very quick!

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    • Linda Yezak says:

      Giggle! Well, I guess you’ve got a built-in “out,” don’t you?

      I’ve been tempted to go back to some of the cases I’ve been called to just to see how they play out, but I’ve never done it. One in particular was a civil case in which parents were suing each other for custody of the kids. My prayer was that the judge and jury (I didn’t even know they had juries for such cases!) would determine *neither* parent was fit. From the sounds of things, they were both horrible people.

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