So Christine went along with her life, trying to pretend that her reality actually wasn't happening. She was a sharp attorney- she defended many abusers who'd she considered scum of the earth. But to her, that happened to other women, not to her. It would be too hard to admit what she was starting to suspect- that she was in fact in an abusive relationship.
The honeymoon periods were wonderful. Tony could be so sweet and so charming when he wanted to be. The problem was, he tended to save his charm for other people. Only Christine knew he had a dark side, and part of her still wanted to protect him. After all, that's what you did when you were in love, right?
Sometimes she would look in the mirror and hate what she'd seen. Maybe if her hair was longer, wasn't so tall, maybe none of this would be happening to her. All she could think of was that she knew that Harry Stone never would have never laid a hand on her. He was so kind, so gentle. Why couldn't Tony be more like Harry?
Part of her really wanted to confide in Harry, let him know what was going on. But she knew him too well- he would risk his life and career to protect her. She knew how hard he'd worked to become a judge, and she wouldn't let him throw away his livelihood for her. Maybe she wasn't worth it. She was starting to feel that way, anyhow, and to confuse things by allowing herself to acknowledge her true feelings for Harry, well that was just too complicated.
One night, she found herself sitting alone at a lunch table, and who should walk up to her but her good old friend, Harry?
"Hey Christine. A penny for your thoughts. You seem like you're a million miles away. What's the matter, Jack Frost nipping at your nose?" He reached over to playfully tweak her nose, but she jerked back abruptly.
"Hey," he said, his voice changing to a concerned one. "What's wrong? Did I do something wrong?"
She couldn't even look at him. Maybe he wouldn't feel the same way about her if he knew what she was allowing in her personal life. "I'm sorry, Your Honor. I just am a little tired, that's all."
"Your Honor? Hey we're on break. Whatever happened to your good friend, just plain Harry?" he smiled at her.
"I don't know...I just don't know.." she started to cry, neither of them sure about her sudden mood swing.
Harry knew that he liked to be a class clown most of the time, but he also had a huge heart, and if one of his friends was hurting, then he was hurting too. "Hey, Christine. Is there something you would like to talk to me about? I hope you know that I consider you a close friend and I care about you very much. I haven't known how to bring this up, but I think I should now. You seem a little out of sorts these days, is there anything I can do to help?"
For the first time she almost felt like completely breaking down. She knew that Harry was the only person she could trust, but she had no idea of what Tony was capable of doing. If he'd ever hurt Harry then Christine knew she could never live with herself.
"Your Honor...Harry...can I ask you a question?" she asked softly.
"Hey," he took her hand, and this time she didn't pull back. "You can ask me anything. I would hope you would know that by now."
"Have you ever wished...I don't know, this might sound silly to you...have you ever wished you were someone else? That you were living someone else's life?"
"Are you kidding? I'd give my left leg if I could be Mel Torme's doorman!" Harry laughed, before seeing how serious she was. "I don't know, I'm sure there are things in my life I can change. Human beings have an incredible gift for changing when they put their minds to it. Is there a reason you asked?"
"No, I was just thinking," Christine sighed.
Harry took her chin and nudged her to where she was making eye contact with him. "Miss Sullivan," he said in his most authoritative voice. "Is there something wrong in your life that I should know about?"
Oh how she wanted to tell him. But Harry wasn't a big man, and Tony was all muscle. If he would hurt a woman surely he wouldn't think twice about injuring another man. "Oh Harry. I just...I think I miss you. Does that make any sense?"
"Yes, Christine. That makes all the sense in the world. In fact, there is something I've been meaning to discuss with you for some time. I know that you're seeing someone, and I'm happy for you. But I've been doing a lot of thinking. I, too, miss my old friend. And seeing you in tears, well to be honest it breaks my heart. Now Christine," he said reassuringly. "Are you sure there isn't anything I can do for you?"
"There is one thing," she whispered. "Can I get...can I get a hug?"
He was more than happy to oblige. As she leaned in against his shoulders she couldn't help but thinking that this was what real love felt like. For a minute she thought he was going to confess to something, but he hadn't, so apparently she was back where she started. But for now she had her friend, and she wouldn't trade this moment for all of the money in the world.