Judge Brown rubbed his temples, this case had been a headache since the very beginning, and he raised his eyes to the prosecutor, “Continue Mr. Collins.” he said drearily.

Mr. Collins tossed a bagged knife onto the desk in front of the jury, startling the entire courtroom. He looked up at the woman on the stand, “Have you ever seen this knife Mrs. Parson?” he pointed to the bloodied bag, waiting for a response.

“It’s from my kitchen set.” she shuddered, rubbing her shoulders and staring at her knees.

“And how did it end up here, covered in the victim's blood.” He asked never looking away from her face. She said nothing. “Can I tell you what I think happened? Based on the evidence of course,” he smirked toward the judge hoping to avoid objection. “I think you were upset Natalie, I think you slaved away all afternoon making Marcus a steak, and he didn't react the way you’d expected.” She looked up at him for a second, lips pursed. “Can you tell me what happened next Natalie?”

Natalie's eyes wandered around the room looking for someone who believed her, finally meeting the prosecutor's heavy gaze she sighed. “He always hated my food, so I followed his mother's recipe.” she paused, “I was so excited for him to enjoy my cooking, I had the table set, candles lit, and everything was perfect.” She looked down again, glaring at the only pair of shoes nice enough for a trial. “He came home two hours late. He shoved his pointer finger into the center of his plate,” she stopped again, struggling to get the words out. “He started screaming at me, telling me a good wife would make sure the steak was hot when her husband came home.” she began to cry, sobbing into the long sleeves of her sweater. Wiping her eyes, she continued, “You might think I’m a monster, but he brainwashed me, had me believing he was a god and I, his servant. So when he left me in the kitchen crying I sat down to eat, I’d spent all day making sure the steak was properly marinated, cooked perfectly, and seasoned to perfection. I figured I deserved to eat something since he wasn't going to, but… as I cut into my steak, I watched the blood leak onto the plate, felt the flesh cutting under my hand like butter.”

The silence was deafening, every eye in the room was on Natalie. Mrs. Thomson, her defense attorney twirled her miniature frog under the table, which she kept in her briefcase for good luck. “Mrs. Parson?” she said. Natalie looked up at her lawyer, who nodded her head in approval.

Natalie nodded back and took another deep breath, “I just wanted to be appreciated, and he never cared enough to say thank you when I do something right, only enough to scold me when I wasn't perfect.” She lifted her head and wiped her eyes again, fixed her hair, and sat up straight, she looked at the jury, “My name is Natalie Parson, I was married to Marcus Parson for six years. After he scolded me over a cold steak on a Tuesday night, I went into his office to apologize and watched him send a sleazy email to one of his coworkers about how much better a cook she is than me.” She began to cry again, “So I stabbed him, four times… maybe he could eat his mothers cooking in Hell.”