Brianna decides she needs to go to Mesa, where she and Ethan are from. She asks for some alone time and her bodyguards let her go for a walk.
Conrad didn’t like it, but he understood. He gave her an Arizona Diamondback cap and sunglasses to wear on her way out the door.That is the foolproof method for hiding inconceivable beauty.
A couple people ask if she's Brianna, but she gives her birth first name + Ethan's last name instead ("Mandy Dawn Anderson"). She apparently wanders around the city for several hours fielding these questions, and finally lands opposite the courthouse. She calls Sonya and decides she's going to turn herself in for falsely accusing Ethan.
Sonya is uncertain, but Brianna is ready -- ready with a Christian platitude, that is!
“I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I’m sure who holds tomorrow.”And now that we've all crossed that off our Cute Christian Phrases bingo cards, Sonya asks Brianna to wait until she gets there. Brianna agrees, and plays one of her songs in her head to calm herself:
You were there all along,
Waiting to pick me up...
You came shining,
Just as I knew you would."You came shining"? That's a terrible line.
I'm sudden bugged by how Brianna-centric Brianna's music is. Not in the Taylor Swift sense where she can only write songs about herself, but in the sense that she literally doesn't care about any music that's not her own. She claims to be so in love with music, but she doesn't actually listen to music (of any kind that we know of) because apparently only hers is actually good enough. When she listens to music, it's her own. Even on the few occasions when other songs might be playing, such as in a church service, she only ever hears her own music.
Do those people even exist? Even musicians with massive egos must be fans of other people's music. If they weren't, if they really only listened to their own songs, we would laugh at and mock them like I am for Brianna right now. I'm not even sure how you would get to be this tremendously talented, passionate musician without ever giving a crap what other musicians are making. "Nah, I'm pretty sure no one else's music is as good as mine."
Conrad suddenly shows up, and Brianna realizes he was following her the whole time. Then Sonya shows up and they all go into the courtroom together, where she introduces herself again as Mandy Dawn Anderson, until people recognize her as Brianna Bays.
“My name is Mandy Dawn Anderson. Brianna Bays is really someone else... someone I once knew. As a child, I was Janna Anderson.” Her piercing eyes showed the gravity of the situation."Next week, I'll be known as Lucretia Dorgalorp. Who knows who I'll be next month. And by the way, note how piercing my eyes are? GRAVITY-LEVEL PIERCING. That's how you know I mean business."
Brianna meets with the Evil Woman Prosecutor, who remembers her and comments on putting "that pervert" away.
Brianna’s heart sank when she heard the negative accusation about her father."Oh, no, not you too! Did EVERYONE believe the super convincing lies that I told? I thought you'd have just realized the truth by now!"
Brianna confesses and explains it's because she's a Christian. Prosecutor Carol says she's a Christian now, too, and, ya know, I thought she might be because she still had a job and was healthy and didn't lose everything by virtue of Not Being a Christian like some of the other characters in this book.
Sonya asks that the charges be dropped because 1) Brianna was a kid, 2) people claimed things Brianna didn't say (even though they really didn't), and 3) statute of limitations even when "the law is vague," because I guess perjury isn't a well-known enough crime for that to be legislated or anything.
Prosecutor Carol agrees that she has no idea how the statute of limitation works:
“There is what we call a statute of limitations. That means a person cannot be tried for something that happened more than seven years ago. It’s been over ten years. I’m not really certain if that would apply in this case, but as the prosecuting attorney, I am the one who submits the court cases.”I feel like she should be aware of this. She's been practicing for over a decade. It's not like nobody's ever lied and put someone in jail before. The only thing that makes this unique is that they're finding out about it later, and because Brianna turned herself in rather than because she got caught.
At least Arizona's statute of limitation laws are clear. Nearly all felonies are seven years, so kudos to our author for getting one detail right, even though his desire to present Brianna as a Mary Sue who has Such Unique Legal Problems makes the super experienced lawyer sound awfully stupid. She probably wouldn't be this stupid if she'd only become a Christian earlier.
Prosecutor Carol says they're not going to pursue legal action because there'd be an internal investigation and it'd reflect badly on their department. (Way to pursue justice and Christian ethics.) But she points out that Ethan could still sue her.
Now, hold up. There's a statute of limitations on civil suits, too, and Ethan is definitely way beyond that. False imprisonment and slander (the best two options he has here) both have a statute of limitations of one year for a civil suit. Absolutely nothing stretches 11 or 12 years back. He knew she was lying way back 11 years ago, and he's been out of prison and aware of her public identity for at least four years, so I'd say he way lost his chance to do it. Even if she turns herself in now, I'm pretty sure he can't legally pursue it. (I could be wrong on this, so anyone who knows more about this than I do can feel free to correct me.)
But Prosecutor Carol knows zilch about any of this, so Brianna's just like, "Oh, hmm, OK, maybe Ethan will sue me then."
Brianna decides she needs to call a press conference, possibly to confess. But we'll end it there on that cliffhanger because I cannot read this anymore.
84% of the way through the book. 53 pages to go. We're chugging along!