9. BRAD

As many of you might wonder… No… Lavinia wasn’t in love with Ian. Or maybe she was but hated herself for that. One thing was sure, she could not let her principles and beliefs be washed away by the charm of a murderer.

The reason Lavinia left was that she had discovered Ian’s big secret. Everything and everyone at this point were part of her plan except form one thing, Jane. She never thought that Jane would fall in love with Ian and certainly not that Ian would make her a co-murderer – or at least make her believe that she was. Sometimes people are too concentrated or obsessed with something that they cannot see further than that. Although Lavinia was a very smart woman, she chose an opponent that was smarter. Except from smart, she was also a very attractive woman…

Ian was heading to Lavinia’s office, a rainy Sunday morning, with a pile of papers in his hands. He was in a rush when something peculiar to his view made him stop abruptly. A tall, handsome man coming out of Lavinia’s office, kissing her goodbye on the cheek, and left. Lavinia kept watching him until he disappears in the big stairway and got inside with a smile. Ian stood with no expression on his face. He cracked his neck right and left, bit his upper lip, and continued walking slowly. He knocked at the door with his shoe.

“Come in,” shouted Lavinia from the inside.

“Good morning,” said Ian concentrating his look on her eyes.

“How come every Sunday we got so much paperwork than any other day?”

“Since the day you have been in charge, we have a lot of new patients.”

“Well, that’s good to hear. Okay, fill me in on the dirt. What do we have?”

Ian left ten seconds pass with talking.

“Ian?” repeated Lavinia.

“Oh, yes. Sorry, I’m a bit tired. So, here is the list of the newcomers, 6 new patients. They are all in sector D. All with heavy depression, one with suicide attempt. They brought him directly from the hospital. Emma Jemm had allergic reaction to the new medication, so her doctor suggested another, which I think will start giving her hallucinations…”

“Who is her doctor?”

“Lawrence.”

“Oh, right.”

“And Jane has an outstanding improvement and I think she’s almost ready for her release.”

“Says who?”

“Well… me. After you started the sessions with her, she had improved on all levels so fast that…”

“I think she needs to stay a few more weeks, even months. I’m not done with her yet.”

“But if you look at the…” Ian tried to show her all the tests and assessments on the file and the word PASS was written on all the evaluation forms.

“I still need a bit more time. She needs more time.”

“Well, of course you know better, but I just think that it’s unfair to keep her in here. I mean we can discharge her, and she can have regular sessions once a week in your office.

“No,” shouted Lavinia with anger. “She needs to stay in the hospital. Now give me her file and, please, let me concern and decide about Jane. Agree?”

“Okay,” said Ian and looked at her suspiciously.

“Anything else?” said Lavinia in a cold tone while checking at the rest of the files.

“Yes. Hmm… Who has this man?”

“What man?”

“The man who came out of your office a few minutes ago. Before I came in.”

Lavinia froze and avoided any eye contact.

“Oh, that was just an old friend visiting.”

“Old friend? And his name?”

“Why do you want to know his name?” asked Lavinia.

“Is it weird that I want to know his name? He’s a part of your life; your past life and I am a part of your present…”

“Fine. It’s Brad.”

“Brad…?”

“You now want his last name as well?”

“Are you afraid of something?”

“Why would I be afraid, Ian? I just don’t think that it’s any of your business. I have nothing to hide, otherwise I would meet him in my own privacy somewhere faraway from here or you. Brad is just an old friend who finished his degree in Psychology and he’s looking for a job. That’s all.”

“So, it was like an interview?”

“No… well, yes. I don’t know.” Lavinia was getting frustrated and started losing her words.

“Well calm down. All cool. I just wanted to know who was the man who was kissing my girlfriend and touching her waist with such… craving.”

“That’s enough. If you suggest something other than…”

Ian raised his hand in front of her in a way that he was asking her to stop. He then left the office, so as to avoid any more confrontation. He knew that something was going on, and he was sure that Lavinia was afraid of him. He still thought of him as a… murderer.

Over the weekend Ian had prepared a romantic dinner at his house – a way to apologize to Lavinia and make her see that he was a human. Ian was sitting on a chair drinking the fifth glass of red wine he bought especially for her – she would only drink red wine, nothing else. He looked at the clock. Lavinia was 50 minutes late and she hadn’t called. That was not like her. Ian decided to call her and see what was going on. Of course, there was no answer. He started to worry. He called the hospital and a new receptionist named Magda answered the phone.

“Faber Clinic, how can I help you?”

“Oh, hey Magda. It’s Ian.”

“Hello, Ian.”

“Do you know if Dr. Kull is still there?”

“She left an hour ago.”

“Oh… you saw her?”

“Yes. She left with a man an hour ago.”

“What man?”

“Well, I don’t like to gossip but he was waiting for her in the hall and she came down with a big smile, she handed me over some files and left with him in a hurry.”

“Did you recognize this man?”

“Yes, he was also here a couple of days ago.”

“On Monday, perhaps?”

“Hmm… Possible, yeah. Do you want me to check? Cause he had signed like all visitors.”

“Yes, please. Can you also give me his full name?”

Ian hang up the phone, took his car keys and stormed out.

… …

“My name is Ian Hurts, and this is how I killed Brad Orwell.

I arrived at Lavinia’s place an hour later. I saw the light on, so I knew that they were both there. Now many of you may think that this was breaking and entering but we’re talking about my integrity here. You can’t blame a man for acting crazy and jealous when he suspects that his woman is cheating on him, right? …”

I looked around at the courtroom. People were smiling condescendingly. They were feeling for him. They could not see that this man was about to describe a murder, but they were smiling because they understood the jealousy part. They were still seeing Ian like a human being.

“… So, I broke into the apartment and heard noises coming out of her bedroom. I was furious. I didn’t really think… I just did. I took a sharp knife from the kitchen and headed into the bedroom. I was like a robot. I couldn’t think. I opened the half-closed door and saw him on top of her. It was dark, only a candle was lit up. Like the candles I had for her in our romantic dinner…”

Ian took a big breath and continued…

“… I stabbed him four times and I remember his dead body falling on Lavinia’s naked one. I remember her screaming, but I can’t remember what she was saying. She grabbed the knife and tried to take it off his back. I was about to leave when she said something about calling the police or something…

Good luck, explaining how the knife is in your hands. Call me if you need help to get rid of the body.

I think this is what I said and left. She never called me of course but she managed to get rid of him and pretty successfully if you ask me. I was proud of her.”

At this point I would like to add something that for the first time is not a part of Ian’s confessions to me but Jane’s.

“Yes, I remember that night. It was past midnight, when someone has entered into my room when I was still at the Clinic. I was fast asleep and scared to death. It was her. Lavinia. She was pale and quite frightened.

“Lavinia? Is that you?” asked Jane.

“We don’t have any more time. We need to kill him. Now,” said Lavinia and fainted in front of Jane.

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