4. ANDREW

            “My name is Ian Hurts and this is how I killed Andrew Deltorn.”

            Two years had passed since that horrible night that Mia was found dead, after being pushed from the sixth floor of Lavas University building. Ian was never accused back then. When the police found him, he simply stated that he was away on vacation at this particular time and had left his key to his dorm room to his friend Mia. Strangely enough, he found witnesses to support this statement. He was even offered medical psychiatric support to deal with the suicide of his beloved friend. The psychotherapist Lavinia Kull hired Ian as her assistant after he had finished his BA degree in Psychology.

Ian was sitting on the corner of the ridiculously white room of Berg Psychiatric Clinic. The wooden chair he was sitting on was extremely uncomfortable causing him a great deal of back pain. An attractive woman was sitting with legs crossed further away and opposite of them a young man with beards and a knife-scar on his right cheek.

            “Hi, Andrew. It’s been a long time since our last meeting. As you can see Dr. Hurts will be present in our today’s session and I would like to ask you if you feel comfortable with that,” said Dr. Kull with a calm voice.

            “Yes, no problem, Lavinia,” answered the patient giving an intense stare at Ian.

            “So…” Lavinia began to say looking at her patient directly into his eyes, “… you are hospitalized once again two days ago, and I was informed by Dr. Simmons that you have stopped your medication. Which is why you had experienced the panic attack and the incident of rage that led you in custody and then here. Am I right?”

            “Sure,” answered Andrew looking at Lavinia’s legs. She was wearing a black skirt reaching down to her knees. Ian despised Andrew from the very first minute he met him. Dr. Kull didn’t allow any notepads during session. She used to say that she wants the patients to feel like we are there for them and listening and not examining them like experiments and taking notes. So, Ian was really trying to stay focused and remember every little reaction the patient had to each of doctor’s question. Of course, with Andrew, it wasn’t that hard. He made it so much easier for a specialist to analyze him due to his inappropriate behavior.

            “Tell me, Andrew, what did you feel when you hit that man?” asked Dr. Lavinia Kull.

            “Well, he annoyed me…” he answered shortly.

            “In what way, may I ask?”

            “I’ve explained that a hundred times to your little friend Simmons.”

            “Well, yes but you refused to cooperate, and you requested me. So, would you mind telling me on last time?”

 After much huffing and puffing, he agreed to respond. “We were stuck in traffic… and he wasn’t moving… Car horns, yelling, the man could not understand. It was so hot that day… I just lost it. Don’t tell me he didn’t deserve it Lavinia. Come on.”

            “Can you describe me what do you mean by saying I lost it. What did you do?”

            “I got out of the car, really pissed. I ran and opened his door, pulled him out of his BMW and started punching him in the face.”

            “And then what happened?” asked Lavinia without changing any expression on her face or tone in her voice.

            “Well, there was a police car a few miles away, people around us… the drivers… I dunno…”

            “Do you think you deserved to be arrested for what you did?”

            “No.”

            “So, you think it’s ok to beat a man and stay unpunished for that?”

            “I had my reasons.”

Lavinia did not answer. Once again, the expression on her face was remarkably blank. Ian felt like punching the guy, so he could stop talking.

            “Why did you stop your medication?” she then asked.

            “They had side effects.”

            “What kind of side effects?”

            “Sexual…” answered Andrew and moved playfully on his chair. He gave a wicked smile to the doctor and waited for her response.

            “Then why didn’t you request from Dr. Simmons to change your prescription, Andrew?”

            “I like when you say my name,” he replied ignoring her question. Lavinia rolled her eyes and tried to remain calm. Her mind travelled one year ago, when the same words came out of Andrew’s mouth right before he attacked her and sexually assaulted her in her office. After the incident, which she didn’t report exactly as happened, she requested, even begged the medical board to continue the sessions with Andrew on a regular basis. It was a feminist issue for her. She had sworn to protect and heal her patients. She was not going to give up just because she was a woman, and such things can happen by mentally ill male patients. She couldn’t let another man take her case.

            “I think we’re done for today. We will visit again in 3 days. I would like to see some effort on your part, Andrew. I know you don’t want to stay in this clinic forever or end up behind bars. See you in a few days.” Lavinia stood up and left the room. Ian followed her in a hurry, leaving Andrew laughing alone in his room in the psychiatric clinic he was hospitalized in.

They returned to Lavinia’s office to discuss about the patient’s progress. Ian wasn’t interested in his progress, it was pretty clear anyway, but rather in what happened the day of the assault. The day Andrew Deltorn sexually and physically assaulted his own psychiatrist.

Lavinia opened her big dossier with Andrew’s name on it. She put on her glassed and examined the facts one more time.

“Regarding the incident of the last week, I believe our patient…”

“What happened that day, Lavinia?” Ian interrupted her. Lavinia rolled her eyes, stomped by Ian’s question.

“Ian, please…” she hesitated.

“I want to know. I need to know all the information about this patient, otherwise we cannot move on.”

“This is a private matter.”

“It’s no longer private.” Ian raised his voice. Lavinia blinked and lowered her head, unable to find any more excuses to avoid the subject. She was sitting on her side of the desk, but she felt like a patient herself, or even worse like an offender being interrogating.

“Okay Ian….” She took a deep breath and started describing the most horrifying day of her life. Ian crossed his hands, sat comfortably on the big leather armchair, and listened carefully.

“We were here… in this room. I was sitting here and he… exactly where is you now sitting. It was just another session; I could definitely see more progress on his part. Now, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I hadn’t seen some flirting on his behalf. You know… the way he looked at me, some inappropriate jokes every now and then… But I just… I didn’t…”

“You just what?”

“I’m not a woman when I’m in a session. Or a man for that matter. I am a psychiatrist. It’s so unfair for me to have to…” she stopped. She left a weak giggle and exhaled slowly. Ian stayed silent. He listened patiently without interrupting this time.

“It was a few minutes before the session was over. He was my last patient that Friday afternoon. He got up and approached… He came near me. I tried standing up, but he forced me down. Before I even realized what he was trying… what he wanted… Lavinia’s eyes were soaked. Ian was moving uncomfortably on his chair. He wanted to hug her, tell her that everything was okay but that would be inappropriate, at the very least.

“I kept looking at the door, hoping that someone will enter. Another patient or…” she shifted her gaze and changed the tone in her voice. “…You know, Ian, I never cried. Unhealthy as it sounds, I kept it all in. As a patient and a psychiatrist of my own self, I think I did a horrible job in treating me.”

“Lavinia, did he…”

She gave him angry look, forbidding him to say the words…

            “You didn’t tell anyone? You just let him walk free on the streets like a sane man? Like an innocent man?” screamed Ian.

            “Ian! You said you wanted the truth. There you go. But mark my words… this stays between us. We continue our sessions with him. We treat him. You’ve seen many incidents, maybe you have experienced one back in the days when you were practicing in university. Patients attack all the time to…”

            “Lavinia, we’re not talking about a scratch by a mentally ill person hospitalized in a clinic. Cause this is what I have experienced so far. We are talking about a man attacking, beating, and raping a woman in her office.

            “That’s enough. I’m asking you to cooperate and respect my wish to keep this quiet. If you cannot, I’m gonna request your transfer due to your inability to carry out the case. Ian felt like he was framed. He did ask for the truth, but he couldn’t let such a man get away with it only with some anti-depressing pills. He thought what was going on inside Lavinia’s head. Was she feeling embarrassed about what happened? Did she feel weaker, and her pride didn’t let her play the victim? Was it a feminist issue? Whatever the reason, this man deserved a punishment and Ian knew exactly how to perform his own kind of justice to people like him. But he had to wait… patiently until Andrew was out of the clinic.

That day came surprisingly quickly. After they finished their session with Andrew, on yet another Friday afternoon, the two doctors chatted briefly.

            “I don’t understand why you keep defending him. He could be in jail by now if it wasn’t for you. After his wife death – God knows what happened to her, I really doubt it was just a suicide – he started his sessions with you. And then the incident in your office happened and now he beats a man almost to death and… what? He gets to walk happily back to his home, looking for the next victim?”

            “He doesn’t deserve to be in jail. We are doctors of the mind and soul. If we were to send every person who goes astray in jail, then.”

            “You’ve got to be kidding me. There is a fucking limit…” Ian screamed.

            “He can be fixed,” she replied with a calm voice.

            “No, Lavinia. He can’t be fixed. People like him cannot be fixed. I’ve seen it before. There is only one cure.”

            “Jail?” muttered Lavinia. Ian avoided eye contact and stayed quiet. Lavinia looked at him wondering what was on that man’s mind.

“So, what happened that night, Ian?” The whole court was sitting at the edge of their sit, including me, waiting to hear Ian’s fourth statement.

“I left Dr. Kull’s office a few minutes after our last session with Andrew. I felt like walking that day. My apartment wasn’t that far away from the office. I was halfway between the two places, until I realized I had forgotten my phone. Without second thought, I ran back hoping that Lavinia was still there.” Ian took a long pause. He glanced everyone in the courtroom and then he stared at me. I was frozen for a moment, I must admit, but I didn’t look away.

“When I arrived, I saw something really strange. I saw him. Andrew. He was on the other side of the road, smoking a cigarette looking at the office’s window. The light was still on, so the doctor was still there. I knew he was waiting for her. I remember Lavinia’s words: everyone deserves a second chance; you have to give the benefit of the doubt; you can condemn everyone; were doctors of the mind and the soul. Well, screw that. I had to act immediately. Cause I know that if I weren’t there that day, that man would have repeated the same action and probably still be unpunished. What do you think about that? Especially you, the women…”

Ian’s directed to the court and to all women. No one replied. After one minute of silence, the attorney asked,

            “How exactly did you take act, Mr. Hurts? Did you call the police?”

            “I took my pocket knife out and approached him. He recognized me and turned to leave. I didn’t let him. I dragged him in the nearby alley and it him until he was unconscious. Then, I slit his throat and threw his dead body in one of the empty trash cans in the alley. I returned a few minutes later with gasoline and matches and set the whole thing on fire. I was careful although upset. Nobody saw me. I never returned to get my phone that day.”

            “No further questions, your Honor.”         

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