“It’s a ‘yes or no’ question, Mr. Avery,” the lawyer said.
Beads of perspiration were forming on Tom Avery’s forehead. He looked helplessly at the judge, who was sitting at the large desk on his right.
Having run out of patience, the attorney also looked up at the judge and said, “A little help, your honor.”
“Answer the question, Mr. Avery,” the judge said sternly.
Tom sighed. “It’s not a simple question.”
“Yes, Mr. Avery,” the attorney chided, “It is that simple. Yes or no?”
Tom cleared his throat, looked up at the judge, then over at the jury, and finally at the lawyer. “It’s not just black or white. There are gray areas. It’s complicated.”
The lawyer threw both of his arms up in the air out of frustration. He didn’t want the members of the jury to think he was badgering the witness, but he needed an answer. “Your honor,” he said, pleading with the judge.
“Answer the question, Mr. Avery,” the judge warned, “or I will hold you in contempt.”
Tom was now sweating profusely. He weighed his options carefully. Finally, he looked past the attorney at the plaintiff sitting at the table behind the lawyer.
“Okay, fine,” Tom said. Focusing his eyes directly on the plaintiff, he said, “Yes. My answer is yes.” A murmur ran through the courtroom. “Yes, Amanda, those jeans do make you look fat.”
Written for today’s one-word prompt, “black.”