The first I met Caitlin Schaefer was in my second year of law school.
At the time, I was a prodigious student who’d constantly have top grades within the university. And Caitlin Schaefer was a genius great enough to constantly take the very top without fail.
If I ever scored high on an exam, she’d be the one to score perfect, and if I spent sleepless nights writing my thesis, she’d do it over breakfast, and get it published in an academic journal.
By the way, never has the day come when my thesis graced any printed publication.
And in the summer of my second year… we gathered in the small classroom on the law school’s third floor, and carried out a mock trial.
It was a crushing defeat. I’m not bragging, but that was my first defeat.
Even now, I can remember every detail of the scene.
The trial ending, and the jurors handing in their ballots one by one.
Those jurymen selected from the student, even though some of my best friends were among them, no one put in a vote for me.
Of course, in an impartial trial, dishonesty is unforgivable, and their verdict was an extremely natural thing, but even so, I remember the shock of having no one siding with me at the time.
From that time onwards, she was my natural enemy.
Caitlin Schaefer chose the prosecutor course, so normally, she didn’t even have to participate in civil suits, yet for some reason she went out of her way to stand before me in a divorce mock-trial.
One time I asked her why she participated in a mock trial completely irrelevant to her. And as she focused on me with her merlot eyes, she answered this.
“Daniel, your losing face is a laughable sight. I never get tired of looking at it.”
I got the feeling I lost out by asking. Henceforth, I became enthusiastic to make this woman lose someday, but I never won once all the way to graduation.
And my matches with her (all losses) continued on through legal apprenticeship.
Of course, when it came to it, unlike when we were students, there were more things we had to do in order to become lawyers, I couldn’t carry on our disputes so frequently.
She was the same, and by the time we finished our apprenticeships, we barely ever saw one another.
To be totally honest, at the end of it all, I was filled with a cheery sensation that I was finally free of her.
She was a prosecutor. I was a civil attorney. We were both in different places, and we’d never have to see each other again.
I thought. Yet here at this moment, I encountered her again.
“I-it’s been a while, Cate.”
I played it calm to the best of my abilities, calling her just as I did in our student days.
Cate stood imposingly, touching a hand to her hip, making an especially gloomy expression. With her long black hair tied back, her form in a suit was strangely fitting.
“It really has been so long, Daniel. And so? How’s the prison life?”
“Please don’t go making me a prisoner. My record’s clean as snow.”
“Oh? Is that so?”
“I mean Daniel, I never hear anything but bad rumors about you. Even today, I just heard about you from my friend in the labor standards supervision office.”
“What? I didn’t do a thing.
“Yes, we have a liar! That’s no good, you shouldn’t lie so easily.”
“I-I didn’t lie or anything.”
“But Daniel, you didn’t pay your employee’s salary, did you? You sure it’s fine to do such a thing? Should I use the prosecutor office’s privilege to conduct a search of your house and offices? I’m sure some other offenses will come to light.” (｀・ω´・)
“I’d rather you not. And if it’s about the salary, I just paid it this morning. So there isn’t a problem.” ヽ(´Д`；)ノ
“I see, but a part of became a prosecutor to slam the hammer of justice down on the bad guys, so it really makes me want to punish the evil before my eyes, you see.”
I felt a sweat on my back.
Of course, I’ve never committed a crime in my life. Not a single illegal act, and I’ve never even gotten the urge to.
So nothing troubling would be found if she searched my house. The problem would be the fact I was searched in itself.
In this world, trust is everything. Being an attorney the clients can trust is the first condition towards success.
It’s true I’m still a novice, and I’ve no personal connections to speak of, but by building up from small jobs, I’m gradually starting to gain results as a lawyer.
If my house got searched at such a time, it would all be for nothing. Where in the world would you find a client bringing a case to a defendant marked by a prosecutor?
If you lose your trust once, it’s difficult to start over in the world.
This woman truly was troublesome. After I gave thought to various things, Cate suddenly burst into laughter.
Her eyes watched me as if she was seeing something interesting as she snickered.
“That’s it. That’s the face I wanted to see.”
When they grow up, most people have a positive change in personality. Even more so if they’re in an upright profession. But it seems that the woman called Caitlin Schaefer does not go by that rule. Her growth had come to a full stop in her student years.
In the same exact tone she gave in our days in law school, she spoke on.
“As always, a wonderful losing face. Seeing that face, I’m as happy as I’ve ever been, Daniel.”