12. MY TURN

I entered the Faber Psychiatric Clinic for the first time in my life, on a Sunday summer morning, as a visitor and not as a patient. It was the kind of excitement that a little kid feels on the first day of school. Excitement and terror. For more than 30 years I’ve been looking for my brother’s murderer. Ian’s first victim; Jonathan Martinez. My name? Helen Martinez. I was only 10 years old when I saw a little kid called Ian chocking my little brother to death. Of course, no one believed me back then. My parents locked me up in Faber Clinic – mental breakdown they said – but what I keep saying is that they had just found the opportunity to get rid of the last offspring of theirs so they can live the happy life that my brother and I deprived them of.

Following a man’s steps without knowing even his face was a struggle for me. I couldn’t reveal myself, unless I was 100% sure that I could take him. I was there that night he murdered Lavinia’s rapist. I was at next room of the motel, the day he murdered Lavinia. I stayed three days waiting for him to leave, feeling every emotion he could feel. I saw him walking past me, I saw him at the street. Someday… I was thinking to myself.

And that day had finally arrived.

“Good morning, I have an appointment with Dr. Hurts. My name is Helen Martinez.”

The receptionist looked at me. She put the gossip-magazine aside and checked the computer screen. She kept chewing her gum in an annoyed and disrespectful way.

“Sign here, and here,” she said indifferently.

Before I finished all my paperwork, I saw the famous Ian Hurts walking down the stairs. My heart stopped only for a moment, but then I managed to hold it together. Well… if I couldn’t, that would only mean that I wasn’t ready yet.

“Ms. Martinez,” called Ian from the other side of the room.

“Hello, Dr. Hurts. So glad to finally meet you.”

“Shall we?” I followed him in his office.  

After Lavinia’s death, Ian’s ability to act… normal was significantly compromised. He had this weird sense that someone was following him or watching him. He would often lose his words, or act as if he wasn’t in his right mind. I had the advantage and the confidence I needed and there was no better time to make my move than this vulnerable time of his.

I sat at the comfortable chair he had for his patients and looked at him like a high school girl looks at her young attractive teacher. Yes, he was handsome, yes, he was smart, attractive.

“May I call you Helen?” he asked me.

“Of course.” I replied.

“So, Helen, tell me a little bit about yourself.”

“Well, short version story is that I need help.”

“What sort of help?” asked Ian intrigued.

“Professional help.” I replied and looked directly into his eyes. It was as if I was trying to communicate both with language and with eye contact.

“Professional, as in a psychiatrist’s help?”

“Well, yes and no.”

He didn’t answer.

“I specifically need your help Dr. Hurts… and since you are a psychiatrist…”

“I see… so what is it about me that make you want to ask my help? What is it that are looking for?”

“30 years ago, my brother was murdered in cold blood. Since then, I’m looking for his murderer.”

“I hear you…” Ian sat comfortably in his chair crossing his hands. I had his attention.

“I found him.” I said waiting for his reaction.

“And what are you thinking to do?”

“Kill him.”

Ian smiled. He looked at me for a few seconds and did not speak. He made me feel uncomfortable in purpose. He thought that I would break, that I would explain what I meant. But there was nothing to explain. It was as simple as that.

“Since you have decided what you want to do, I don’t see how myself would be any of assistance to you.”

He was smart, really smart. But I was playing a game that I created, could not let him lead.

“The thing is that most people come here to seek for help. They want to kill someone, but they know it’s wrong, so they want you to help them not to do it, right?”

Ian did not reply.

“I don’t want that. I want you to help kill him.”

“How?” he asked.

“Make it easier.”

“I’m sorry Helen but perhaps you’ve misunderstood my profession. I am not a killer; I am a psychiatrist. Unless you need my expertise in that area, I cannot help you at all. In fact, I may make your life even more difficult.”

“How is that?”

“Well, you are confessing a crime here. Although a doctor, I cannot not express my concern and maybe refer you to a professional or even the police.”

“Refer me to a professional? Why? Are you unavailable?” I asked smiling.

“Clearly, there is a misunderstanding here, which otherwise I would investigate or care about. Unfortunately, I have to pass on that.”

“Ian… May I call you Ian?”

“Please.”

“I need you to understand that no matter what you do or don’t, I will kill this man.” I stood up and opened the door to leave.

“It is in my belief that people who commit crimes as such do not deserve to live. Since no one can do anything about that, it is my responsibility to perform the act of justice. I thought you of all people would understand, but I guess the last act of justice of yours was too personal… I hope you find your way back, Ian. I really do. And if you do, please do give me a call. This is my card with my phone and my home address. I will be expecting you…”

Before he managed to say a word, I had already been on my way to the parking lot. I saw him running behind me, when I quickly drove off. He stood on the stairs of the Faber Clinic flustered.

Step 1 was completed successfully.

It was not long than the very next day that my doorbell rang. I smiled. I turned off the TV and got up. I looked through the peephole and there he was. Ian Hurts standing on my doorstep. Could I ask for more? It took me a few seconds until my heart had stopped pounding and then I opened the door.

“Hello, Ian.”

“Helen!”

“I was expecting you, please come in.”

He entered the apartment as if it were an old friend of mine that hasn’t seen me in ages. He sat on the armchair, crossed his legs and through a black notebook on the coffee table. On the front cover it was written:

  1. JONATHAN MARTINEZ   

Game On Bitch.

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