5. BENJAMIN (part I)

“My name is Ian Hurts and this is how I killed Benjamin Webb.”

“… I wanted to be a bit more careful that time, cause I had the feeling that Lavinia was suspecting something. I was dying to reveal everything to her; my thoughts, my idea of justice. I knew she was the only person who would understand me. I guess people can be wrong, right? Back then I needed to gain her trust…”

Ian, after Dr. Kull’s advice, decided to start his Master Degree in Clinical Psychopathology. I’ve always wondered how people who have spent most part of their lives involved in the field of Psychology, cannot psychoanalyze themselves and identify their flows and weakness. But apparently this is just another myth.

“So, Ian, I was thinking that it’s time for you to have your own first session with a patient,” said Lavinia, while taking a sip of her hot latte. Ian, who was sitting on the other side of the desk, lift his head up and stared at her in surprise.
“Do you have a new patient?”
“Yes. Her name is Jane…something… I read her file and I think that this should be your first case.”
“But… you’re not going to be there, with me? In the room I mean…” asked Ian with great concern.
“No. But feel free to ask my opinion or any suggestion if you feel like struggling with the case. You will give me feedback weekly with a written report. How does that sound?”
“Okay, I guess. So, what’s the deal with this Jane?”
Lavinia passed the file to Ian and continued drinking her coffee. Ian opened it and started reading the first page. He tried not to show any expression, as the case was too familiar to ignore. Jane Fields, age 22, white female, killed her abusive drug dealer boyfriend in an act of self-defense on a night that got out of control with her ending up in a hospital in a coma from the physical violation imposed on her. She is now committed in Faber Psychiatric Clinic.
Lavinia was looking at Ian intensely while he was reading the file. It was like she was trying to decode his expression, to enter his mind and listen to all of his thoughts. Ian lifted his head, and she turned her look quickly, trying to hide the fact that she was looking  at him.
“Thank you, Lavinia. I will study the case and be ready for my first session on Friday,” said Ian avoiding eye contact. He put the file in his bag and without saying another word, he left the building. He spent two sleepless nights full of memories and reminiscence until finally the day of the big meeting arrived. Black eyes, pale face, weak body but his mind was as sharp as knife. He was so eager to meet this Jane character; a strong person who managed to escape from her worst nightmare and was worthy to gain her freedom, unlike Mia; the unworthy victim who gave up life, gave up on Ian and chose a different path. At least that was Ian’s opinion and maybe yours and everyone else’s who may have heard his statements while in court, but for me there’s nothing more than a murderer and a dead body.

Ian was about to enter the Faber Psychiatric Clinic where Jane was committed, and his heart was pounding like an 18-year-old boy ready to meet his date.
“You must be Dr. Hurts. It’s so nice to meet you. I’m Dr Webb, head of Faber Psychiatric Clinic,” a man twice the size of Ian with dark hair and dark eyes welcomed him into what seemed like a modern museum of art rather than a Clinic. Gigantic, gold chandeliers, purple leather furniture, ancient Greek statues here and there. The only normal thing in the eyes of Ian was that all doctors were still wearing their white uniforms.
“Shall we?” said the Dr. Webb, pointed at his office at the end of the hallway, with a big smile of satisfaction on his face. It was the exact reaction of astonishment that wanted to achieve from every doctor, guest or patient visited the Clinic.
“Jane Fields is the kind of patient that I would describe as unconventional… There is an element in her that I have seen before, although rarely, that I haven’t managed to… how do I put this? Hmmm… to eliminate. And this is where you Dr Hurts enter.”
“I’m not following…” said Ian confused. Benjamin Webb smiled and stayed in silence for a few seconds. He chose to ignore Ian’s confusion and continued with his vague speech.
“Lavinia… I’m sorry Dr. Kull was an intern in this Clinic when she first started working as a psychiatrist and I was her mentor. Sadly, she decided to choose a different kind of… path into psychology, which I respect. I’m assuming that you must have a lot of commons with Lavinia, but the fact that she sent you here makes me really… glad.”
“Thank you,” said Ian as if this were the only thing he could answer.
“I would like you to meet Jane and spend some time with her today and by the end of your session I will give some notes of mine that I would like you to study and come ready with those on Monday. How does that sound?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Perfect. Shall we see the lovely Jane?”
The two men walked silently, and all Ian could think about was Mia and how much she had disappointed her and now he would finally find what he was looking for in Mia. What he wanted in Mia. Who Mia wanted him to be.
Dr. Webb opened the door to Jane’s room. She was sitting on the corner of her bed waiting for them. She was blonde, with green eyes and beautiful lips. The air around her was so fresh, almost smelled like life. Ian was instantly attracted by her charm. He sat on the white chair opposite of Jane and Dr. Webb without saying a word closed the door and left the two alone.
Ian stayed silently for a few minutes, looking intensely at Jane. She felt uncomfortable and covered her legs and pulled them near her body.
“Good morning, Jane. My name is Ian Hurts,” he said with calm voice.
“Good morning,” she replied in the same tone.
“How are you feeling today?”
“Would you like to tell me what was your day like? Your breakfast for example. Did you take a walk outside, did you talk to anyone?”
“You’re new.” She said sharply.
“Excuse me?”
“I’ve never seen you before. You are new.”
“Yes…” Ian smiled nervously. “…It’s my first time… Yes, I’m new.” He felt the need to talk to her about his own day, his own fears about his first day as an independent psychiatrist. He desperately wanted to share with her the fact that she had the honor of being his first patient. But he didn’t.
“Are you staying in this hospital? Are you going to be like them?”
“Hmmm… if by them you mean the doctors, yes, I’m like them, I’m a psychiatrist, but I’m not gonna be here every day if that’s what you mean. We will have three sessions per week, more if necessary. That will depend on you.”
“It will depend on you. Not me.”
Ian felt more confused than he was in Dr. Webb’s office. He had forgotten all about Mia, and now he was trying to figure out what was going on.
“Jane…” the sound of her name called by Ian warmed her whole body; she felt more comfortable. She took her feet off the bed, and she was now sitting like a professional in an office.
“… what we’re going to try to do together is that we will help you gert through this. Together. You and I are going to help each other, so that you can earn your freedom back. Do you understand that? Do you want that? Do you want to be like you used to?”
“Excuse me?”
“Not like I used to.” she said quietly.
Ian smiled with satisfaction. Their first meeting has gone unexpectedly well in his opinion. He could spend hours talking to her if it weren’t for Dr. Webb’s interruption. The hardest part for him was to write his weekly reports as objectively as possible. He didn’t want Lavinia to understand the amount of connection he felt and the comparison he couldn’t help but making with his last victim. Little did he know, that for a professional and a woman as Lavinia, no suspicious behavior could pass by, unnoticed.

It was Sunday afternoon, a day of rest and relaxation, which was about to be disrupted by an unexpected visit. Ian heard the doorbell and ran to the door. He looked by the window, and he hardly recognized the beautiful figure on the front porch. He opened the door and his eyes almost rolled when he viewed Dr. Lavinia Kull standing in tight sports leggings and a gymnastics top that was slightly revealing her abs.
“Lavinia? WOW… I mean… what a pleasant surprise. Come on in…”
“I hope this is not a bad time,” she said while entering the house.
“No, of course not. Is everything ok?” Ian led the way to the living room but could not take his eyes off of her. It was unusual for Lavinia to dress up like this, and Ian had only seen her in a formal suit or dresses, and always during work. He had almost forgotten that she was also a woman and an extremely attractive one. Lavinia sat on the sofa and took a quick glance at the room. Like the rest of the house, it was minimalistic, only the necessary; A sofa, a table, and a big lamp.
“Would you like to drink something?” Ian was extremely polite with his guest.
“I can’t stay long, I’m afraid. I wanted to give you this. It’s an extended diagnosis for Jane’s case. From tomorrow you will give all your written reports to Dr. Webb. He will be a great mentor to you.” She left a big dossier on the table.
“What about you?”
“I’m going to take a little break, Ian. About a month or so. I’ll be on sabbatical. O need to figure something out until I’m completely sure about…” she stopped.
“About what?”
They looked at each other straight for a few seconds. The atmosphere was uncomfortable and intense.
“I just need some rest when I’m ready I will be back. Dr. Webb will help you with your degree and your career.”
“Like he did with you?”
Lavinia stopped. She grabbed her rucksack and stood up.
“I wish you all the best, Ian.”
“Lavinia. It sounds like you’re saying goodbye. What’s going on? You can tell me anything.”
“Can I?”
“Of course.” Ian took a step towards her; she took a step back.
“I have to go,” she turned to leave but Ian grabbed her arm. He pulled her on his body. Their noses touched. Lavinia was breathing hard but did not move. Ian felt the need to hug her and kiss her but didn’t. She raised her head and looked straight into his eyes. They did not talk but they communicated. Ian let her go. She stood for a few seconds and then left. 

“She knows…” whispered Ian.

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