“…The first time I suspected that something wrong was going on, was the day that Jane suggested we have our session in the yard. I thought it was a good idea to take a walk outside the clinic. It’s good for patients to feel free, you know… not like prisoners locked up in a cage and we doctors try to examine the guinea pig…”
While Ian and Jane were walking around the backyard of Faber Psychiatric Clinic, Dr. Webb was in a session with another patient of his.
“Are you okay, Jane? What’s going on?” asked Ian, watching Jane looking suspiciously around her. When in her room, Jane was surprisingly calm and co-operative. Some would say that she was acting like a robot programmed to behave exactly like she was expected to.
“Jane?” he repeated with a louder voice. She stopped and looked at him.
“You need to get me out of here,” sobbed Jane. Suddenly the robot-like face turned into a canvas of emotions that she couldn’t control.
“That’s what I’m trying to do, Jane. Through our sessions…”
“No, you don’t understand,” Jane looked around her once again, “Look, we don’t have much time. You need to save me. To get me away from this place. You have to. I know you care. You’re a good man, Ian.”
“Of course, I care. But… to save you from what, Jane?”
Ian’s eyes rolled. His ears buzzed. He could barely hear the guard screaming and running towards them.
“What the hell are you two doing here?” the guard screamed out of breath.
“Oh, hello. I’m Dr. Hurts, Jane is my patient, there’s nothing to worry about.”
“I know exactly who you are, and this is exactly what I’m worried about. You need to come with me.” The hefty guard grabbed Jane’s arm and pushed her. Jane resisted, giving Ian a worried look.
“Hey, hey, now calm down.” Ian tried to separate the two and defend Jane. “What’s the big deal. She’s under my supervision. We’re in the middle of a session.”
“She is not allowed to get out of her room during sessions.”
“By cell, you mean room?” said Ian offended.
“Yes, whatever. Now come with me, I said.”
“Ok, buddy I think you need to back off. If you ask Dr. Webb, he’ll reassure you that…”
“This is Dr. Webb’s orders. She’s not allowed to get out of her room during sessions.”
“It’s okay, Ian. I’ll see you back inside,” sighed Jane and followed the guard.
Ian stood in the middle of the yard trying to comprehend everything that happened in the last few minutes. After a while, he returned to Jane’s room, in hope, that he would continue the rest of the session, but he was in for another surprise. Dr. Benjamin Webb and the hefty guard were closing the door to Jane’s room when Ian was getting closer, and he got a fade glimpse of what seemed to be Jane wearing a straitjacket. He rushed his step looking for an explanation.
“Benjamin? What the hell is going on?”
“Oh, hello, Ian. So good to see you. I thought you left.”
“Left? My session with Jane is not over yet.” He took a step forward to open the door, but the guard got in his way.
“I think it’s enough for today,” said Benjamin.
“Why? What happened?” snapped Ian.
“Why don’t we go to my office? Have some privacy? Ha? It’s a bit… unprofessional to yell in the middle of the hallway. Don’t you think, Dr. Hurts?” Benjamin’s fun voice changed into a dark, scary one. Ian looked around him; nurses and patients were passing by. He lowered his head and followed Benjamin to his office.
“Now, Ian, would you like some water? A cup of coffee? A glass of fine bourbon, perhaps?” giggled Benjamin.
“No, thank you,” replied Ian.
“I fancy myself a little bit of this devil every now and then. It keeps me alarmed you know,” He said while filling his glass with the half empty bottle of bourbon. Ian sat on a chair nervously. It was one of the few times in his life that he was overwhelmed by his emotions and could not think straight. Well, at least that’s what he told me. His words, not mine. Personally, I can’t imagine someone killing a human being and not being overwhelmed by whatever it is they’re feeling.
“What happened to Jane?”
“Jane Fields has a quality; an element, you might say. She is an unusual patient, nothing like the rest in my clinic. I trust you with her although you’re an inexperienced doctor. I see something in you. So did Lavinia, and I trust her opinion.”
“I’m not following.”
“Jane is suffering from a very vivid imagination. She hallucinates, screams at night, she sees things that are not there. She creates stories in her mind that have never happened and believe them. These early signs of schizophrenia are something to worry about, I must admit but after the shock she experienced, I’m just trying to give her some time to recompose herself.”
“Early signs of schizophrenia? Are you fucking kidding me? Where is that written on her file? Why was I never informed about something like that? How do you expect me to have my sessions without knowing something like that?” screamed Ian.
Benjamin looked at him with a wicked smiled.
“On your way out, Lydia our beautiful receptionist will give you the updated file. Under no circumstances, is she to leave her room during sessions, especially without my permission. Do you understand that Dr. Hurts?”
“Yes, sir,” whispered Ian exhausted from the whole conversation.
“If you need any help Ian just ask. If you’re struggling with the case… it’s completely understandable. You are barely a doctor; this is your first patient. No one is judging you for making mistakes. I’m your mentor after all. You’re supposed to do as I say, right?”
“Yes sir,” replied Ian feeling the blood on his head burning.
“After all you want to be a successful psychiatrist like myself, or Lavinia? Right? You don’t want to lose your license or something unfortunate like that?
Ian rolled his eyes in shock. “No, no sir.”
“Thank you for your time, Ian. You may go. See you next week,” said Benjamin and showed him the door.
“No session on Friday?”
“I think it’s better if you and Jane take some time apart. Study the file and be ready to come back next week. Is that a problem?”
“No sir, no problem at all.”
Ian stood up and turned to leave. Before closing the door behind him, he heard Benjamin speaking.
“Oh, and Ian… a bit of advice, which I’m sure you are sure already aware of. We never let our patients call us with our first name. We are not friends. We are doctors and they are patients. Remember that!” said Benjamin and lowered his head to his computer.
Ian nodded without answering and closed the door as calmly as possible when all he wanted was to snap it. He stood there a few seconds, contemplating on whether he should enter and kick Benjamin’s ass or run to Jane and find out the truth. Instead, he walked with his head down all the way to the reception.
Ian was more than prepared for his next session with Jane. He was ready to discover the truth, whatever that was. During his time off from the clinic, he was trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. He couldn’t stop thinking about Lavinia. He tried to contact her a couple of times but in vain. He desperately needed her advice. He entered Jane’s room with the hefty guard and came across to a helpless, frightened, and weak creature lying on its bed. After they were left alone, Ian didn’t know what to say, how to start; as if it was their very first session.
“We haven’t seen each other for a while, Jane,” he finally said.
“How are you, Dr Hurts?” Although Jane’s figure looked like a sick person, her voice was more vigorous than ever. He was really surprised to hear her calling him Dr. Hurts.
“I’m fine, thank you very much. And what about you?”
“It was a tough week but I’m glad we are back into our sessions.”
“Would you like to tell me why it was tough? What happened?”
Jane smiled and stood up. She started walking up and down the room talking about her mood swings and her nightmares and how Dr. Webb helped her, when Ian wasn’t there. After almost five minutes of walking and talking she finally stood still against the wall on the right corner of the room. She stretched her arms up in the air and with her finger pointed something on the ceiling. She continued talking about her nightmares and Ian was carefully observing her every move. He glimpsed what Jane was pointed at on the ceiling and then quickly swift his look on the floor. The rest of the session was a pointless theater performed only for the sake of Dr. Webb. After all, that was why there was an illegal camera in the room and that’s why Dr. Webb insisted they never get out of the room during sessions.
Ian left straight to Dr. Webb’s office after finishing his session with Jane. To his surprise he saw the hefty guard standing in front of the closed door.
“Is Dr. Webb inside? I need to talk to him.”
“He is busy right now; you need to come later.”
“I want to give him my report and then I’m leaving. It won’t take long.”
“You can give it to me, and I’ll make sure he gets it. Now you need to go,” said the guard and pushed him gently away.
“What’s the matter with you? What is going on?” Ian was frustrated but before he finished his angry burst, the door opened to a repulsive view. Another guard was holding patient full of bruises after falling unconscious in his arms.
“What happened?” said Ian and tried to help the woman.
“She’s fine. What the hell are you doing here?” screamed the guard.
“I tried to get rid of him…”
“Ian. Come on in,” Benjamin shouted, giving Ian a wink, and inviting him in.
“What happened to this girl?”
“Oh, she’s fine. She was self-harmed, and I tried to calm her down, but things got a bit out of hand again, so I gave her a sedative. She’ll be fine, she just needs some rest.”
Ian stood there looking at him without saying a word.
“Did you want something?”
Ian passed his weekly report and left the building. He could hardly breath. His senses were alarmed and there was only one thing to do. But this time he needed a bit of help.
2 days later…
“Jane? I want you to tell me something about your worst enemy. The man you want to escape from, but you can’t…” Ian looked at her intensely hoping than Jane will understand his plan. “The man you killed. Your boyfriend.”
Jane smiled in a way that let Ian understood that she was in for whatever the plan was.
“There was no other choice but to kill him. He had to die. Otherwise, he wouldn’t stop taking advantage of us. All the helpless women… drug addicts.”
“Did he hit you?”
“Did he rape you?”
“Do you feel guilty for his death?”
“Do you think that murder can be an act of justice to people like him?”
“Yes. Yes,” screamed Jane and started crying.
1 hour later…
Ian was sitting in the cafeteria of the clinic taking his lunch. He was speaking with another doctor, when suddenly he heard screaming. Lydia, the receptionist appeared on the entrance of the cafeteria, pale and trembling.
“Dr. Webb…” she murmured. Everyone stood up. “…Dr. Webb is dead…” she exhaled and fainted.
“You Honor, this is the autopsy of Dr. Benjamin Webb. He was found dead in his office from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol. Before the accused admitted to his crime, there was no evidence that this was a case of murder.”
“Thank you,” replied Ian sarcastically.