'It's the truth', she said.
'I just want to remind you that within these walls you can speak the truth and nothing but the truth. Look around, think it over, and say it again'.
'It's the truth', she repeated.
'Okay, then, we've listened to both sides now, and what I feel is that your husband never tried to rape you'.
She felt the blood in her body turn white in an instant.
'But what about Mary, the girl from the house across the street?'
'What about her?'
'She heard my screams'.
'Mary is your friend and therefore cannot be considered a credible source'.
'But what more can I do?'
'Besides, medical examination…’.
‘The doctor did not care!’ she protested. ‘The doctor did not care because I’m a woman!’
‘Please, don’t interrupt me’.
‘Medical examination showed no signs of rape'.
'But there was no rape! I did not let him rape me. He was coming towards me, and that’s where I stopped him'.
‘You mean you killed him?’
‘I didn’t. I just threw a vase at the bastard’.
'That kind of language is not permitted here'.
'That's an aggravating factor'.
'I'm truly sorry. But who knew his head was made of glass? And what were my options anyway? Was I supposed to let him rape me?'
'The evidence is devastating. We've seen the vase with your DNA and we haven't seen any signs of rape'.
'But that's because...'.
'Ah. That's enough. We've been going over this again and again. Enough! You're acquitted. Forgiven, that is'.
'Thank you, father'.
'Be gone, my child'.
At which point she walked out of the confession box and out into the busy pavement of Dublin. With a restless feeling that every man in O’Connell street had the face of her dead husband.