Tribute to Whom Tribute is Due

Chapter 5

It wasn't long after breakfast that the third nurse Tony expected to meet, Monika, entered in to introduce herself, then let him know that Dr. Woolsey wanted to meet with him around one o'clock that afternoon. Tony smiled politely at the woman and then she left, without many words between them being exchanged. Tony could tell that this nurse was much quieter than the others and he was grateful, as the closer the time came for him to speak with the doctors, the more nervous and fearful he became. If he couldn't pull off this elaborate charade, they would find out quickly enough, and he would have purposefully put dangerous drugs into his body for nothing, as well as most likely wind up dead.

One o'clock came around and at one minute after, Tony knocked on the door to the man's office and when the man Tony had met the night before opened the door, he spoke up saying sternly, "Mr. Bacic, you're late."

Tony stared at the man quizzically as he replied, "By a minute? Actually, I was a minute early, but I figured I'd wait a couple of minutes so as to not show my eagerness. No one likes a suck up you know."

"I was just kidding," Woolsey continued. "I figured it kind of helps to break the ice a little, in order to let ease the tension. No one enjoys coming in for therapy."

"Yeah, you're telling me," Tony answered more to himself than to the doctor. "So, where's the big comfy couch?"

The doctor observed Tony's mannerisms as his latest patient sat down in an armchair across from his own, then responded, "A couch is a little to cliché for me. So, Mr. Bacic; I'm sorry, Connor; how are you feeling?"

Tony glared as he asked in reply, "Is that really all you've got for me, doc? How am I feeling?"

"Is that really such a crazy question?" the man asked.

"I guess you're the therapist," Tony answered. "I suppose I'm feeling pretty low. I mean, I'm here for a reason, right doc?"

Dr. Woolsey sat back in his chair as he responded, "You tell me. I'm just here to listen."

Tony shrugged, then took a moment before he finally began, "Things have been rough for a long time now, but it wasn't until recently that I realized how messed up I really was. To be honest, I'm not really sure when it all began; the drugs I mean. I think I might have started back in high school when a few friends call me out on a dare; we experimented a little bit, but that didn't last long. I was injured playing basketball in college, blowing my chances of playing professionally like I had planned. I didn't take that very well, but it didn't really start to get bad until a few years later when I fell in love and got engaged. It wasn't long before she cheated on me with whom I thought was my best friend. It's a common story, doc. Things just kept going downhill from there. The worse things got, the heavier the drugs became. I got expelled from college, lost my job, which really was no loss at all, but only added to the list of problems I was creating for myself, and then on top of it all, the one person that cared about me at all was killed in a drive by shooting. I was the lucky survivor."

"What about your family, your parents?" the man asked. "Was that person you say was the one that cared about you someone in your family?"

"No, my mom died when I was young and my father wanted nothing to do with me," he replied. "When I was a kid, I was left behind at a hotel for two days while my father went off chasing some woman, then he shipped me off to boarding school a short time later and I haven't seen him since."

The doctor waited to speak again while he allowed the information Tony was sharing with him to sink in and then finally said again saying, "You certainly have seemed to been through quite a lot, but I'm getting the sense that there's something deeper you're holding back; perhaps the true reason why you've turned to drugs and have only recently hit rock bottom as you've said. Please, try to dig deeper. What is really troubling you?"

Tony realized that he would have to step it up and show some emotion if he was going to have any hope of convincing this man that he really belonged here; he was going to have to be truthful, which he hasn't even been with those that were closest to him, his boss, his teammate, with anyone.

Tony looked off in the distance as he spoke softly, "I suppose it isn't really a single event in my life that's the reason for me being where I am today, nor is it I suppose all of them together. It's something more. Have you ever felt as though you repel the people closest to you or have you ever realized that the reason why people have a hard time getting to know you is because they think of you as a bad luck charm? I've known I've repelled people for a long time, but it wasn't until recently that someone told me that they didn't want to be anywhere near me because they were afraid I was going to get them killed."

"Why do you think so?" Woolsey asked.

"Why do I think people repel me or why do I seem to believe whoever said I was bad luck?" Tony asked. "I never fully let someone in that I cared about and she died before I could share with her how much her friendship meant to me. It wasn't long before I eventually let another woman in until I pushed her away as well. I hurt her and I thought I lost her until she came back into my life, but despite the love I felt for her; well it wasn't meant to be. She left and nothing I could say or do was enough to convince her to stay. I've hurt a number of people in my life and others are afraid to get to know me, to work with me because they're afraid I'll hurt them too. They've heard the stories. I'm nothing to them, but a jinx and they're right to think so. It's all true."

Dr. Woolsey nodded and then asked again, "This woman that you loved, was her leaving you the reason for you hitting rock bottom; the reason for you finally coming here?"

Tony looked back at the man and answered, "I suppose that could be part of it. Another part of it is because I owe someone a debt because I hurt them too. Being here is a way of finally making things right for him."

"Please, elaborate on that," the doctor responded.

"Not today, doc," the agent now working undercover replied as he looked down at his watch, then stood up and headed toward the door. "Perhaps another time, but I hardly know you and besides, it looks like we're out of time. Thanks for the talk."

Woolsey watched his patient leave suddenly, then pulled out his cell phone as it rang, and when he answered, the voice on the other end of the line spoke up saying, "I see your newest patient just seemed to leave in a bit of a hurry? How does he seem to you?"

The doctor answered, "He appears to be all alone and probably won't be missed if that's what you mean?"

"That's good," the voice responded coldly. "Our next step will be to create a situation where we'll be able to see how he handles himself in a fight. Leave that to me. Just continue to try to get as much information out of him as possible."

"Fine, but I won't be helping you for much longer," Woolsey said in frustration. "After him, I'm done. I won't allow anymore deaths to be on my head."

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.