"On the count of tax evasion, I find the defendant not guilty as charged."
The still courtroom exploded with noise. Chairs scraped back, papers shuffled, and voices filled the room. I remained sitting, relief flooding through me. This had seemed an impossible case, but my client and I had gotten through it by reminding ourselves that hope was not dead until the final verdict.
Through the commotion, I could see a beaming Darren picking his way towards me, fending off the suits all eager to offer him their congratulations.
"Good job on your first win, Jenny," he said, coolly extending his hand for me to shake. "Keep this up and you'll go a long way with Grady & Grady. This only proves that I made the right decision signing you on to the upcoming Sydney Herald case."
I was overwhelmed to hear such praise from a man I had revered for so long.
Since I had watched him deal with the infamous O'Keefe case in the news back when I was in high school, I had admired Darren Grady's ability to balance business success and integrity.
"You've been working non-stop on this case, haven't you? You deserve a break. Why don't you come out with the team tonight to celebrate?"
I left the celebrations early, citing my early flight tomorrow as the reason, but really feeling a bit drained from spending so much time with the stuffy lawyer types who I was forced to work with, yet who were so different from my fun-loving friends.
I was almost home when I realised. My ticket for tomorrow... in all the activity, I had forgotten. It was still on my desk back at the office. Groaning to myself, I turned the car around and began the long drive back to the firm...