Friday, June 23, 2006

Mission Accomplished, For The Moment

The last 72 hours were intense, and looking back on them now, it seems impossible that everything that happened within them happened only in 3 days. It seems like Tuesday was weeks ago, not days. My partner and I worked like mad finalizing the expert reports and my clients' affidavits, writing the brief, and getting exhibits together, while trying to get the girls into a safe location, prepped, and ready for their interviews. In between I had to fend off a few other demands for my time at the firm, but effectively and firmly put the kabosh on them.

On Tuesday, there was a time when we did not know what had happened to my clients, and if the interviews were going to happen. They were not at the meeting place we had arranged when they were supposed to be, and for 5 nerve-wracking hours, my partner and I sat in the back of our car waiting for the girls to call my cell phone and tell us where they were and if they were ok. We feared that had been unable to leave their home and were scared that they might be hurt or afraid. I felt like throwing up, and by the end of it had ripped my nails down almost to the quick.

Then, miraculously, they called and told us they were on their way to meet us. They had waited until they felt like it was safe, and during that time they had not had any access to phones. I cannot express the feeling of relief when I finally saw them and ushered them into the car.

My partner and I then got the girls settled, read through their affidavits with them, and then prepped them by asking them the hard questions that they were going to face the next day. After hours of that, we left the girls in their hotel room and told them to try to get some sleep. Of course, they did not. They were nervous, sad, and also excited to watch TV, which they had not seen in six months, and to be in a hotel, which they had never done. I would have felt the same way if I was them.

After leaving the girls at around 10:00 pm, my partner and I went back to the the office and started working on getting all of their papers together and finalized. We finished at around 6:00 am, which gave me just enough time to run back to my house, brush my teeth, throw on a suit, and kiss Raj hi and goodbye, before I jumped in a car to pick up the girls and take them to their interviews. The interviews went well, and we will hear the results in a few weeks.

After the interviews, there were details to take care of in terms of getting my girls to a safe location. When that was done, I went back to the office briefly, and then before anyone could see me, ducked back out and stumbled back home on the subway. By 3:00 pm, I was in bed. By 3:05, I was out like a light, and didn't get up until 7:30 pm when Raj came home.

Do you know what he did? He brought me flowers. Great big gorgeous red flowers. And he told me he was so proud of me. It wasn't until then that I started to cry a little, overwhelmed by the last few days, and my feelings of stress, relief, nervousness, fear, anxiety, and hope for the girls, along with feeling love towards Raj for being such a great support these last few weeks. After waking up, I relaxed on the couch, channel surfed for a bit, suddenly remembered that we had HBO, and then started to watch "Antz." I got up to make a berry smoothie, and to have some tomato-carrot soup. Other than that, I didn't move, and was absolutely contented. I was in bed by midnight, and slept for a solid 8 hours for the first time in what feels like weeks. Before going to bed, I talked to the girls and they were doing ok.

I am so impressed and amazed by my clients. Despite dealing with tremendous stress and a host of difficult emotions, they held themselves together. They are truly incredible young women, with an unbelievable amount of inner strength. I think they're going to make it, and I feel so lucky that I was given the chance to try to help them.

This is what life is about and how it should be.


gravelly said...

Buttercup!! Life is also about strong, incredibly determined, loving individuals who work extraordinarily hard and give of themselves so others can see and experience the beauty of life: you have saved these girls and they will always be thankful to you. YOU, Buttercup, are AWESOME!

wordnerd said...

Buttercup, I think I'm not alone in saying that we were all waiting with baited breath for this post. I am glad it all went well.

You are a truly inspiring woman and I am so glad that you were able to accomplish everything you set out to do for your clients. They are lucky to have found representation from such a passionate, intelligent and dedicated counsel.

Enjoy your flowers and your weekend!

Ally Bean said...

"This is what life is about and how it should be."


Buttercup said...

You all are so sweet, and it means a great deal to me to have your support.

Thanks for the comments today, as well as during the week when I was too busy to write. I appreciated them all very much, and am touched by them.

It's nice to be back among you. :)

Tracy said...

Yea, Buttercup! I'm so glad the interviews went well and that you survived the last three days. Raj sounds like a sweetheart!

Rest well,


Bean said...

Rock on Buttercup. Sounds like everything went well. So hopefully this weekend, you keep in touch and make sure they are doing alright and try to RELAX! Love you. Talk with you soon.