The rage Within

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Chapter 33

The doctor was staring at Jack as he took a pause in his story. She was gauging him, studying him actually, as he returned his powerful gaze in return.

Does he really believe this or is it something else?

He wouldn’t have been the first intelligent person, who appeared to have his full wits to fall prey to mental disease. No one was completely immune. There was another part of her that was suspicious of Jack. Was he a plant? Was he sent here as part of an elaborate testing process. Emily knew she was walking a fine line with him and she might have at least some explaining to do if he was a plant. Even though it was a real possibility, her gut told her that wasn’t the case.

“Ask.” Jack said, breaking the silent stalemate.

“Are you a vampire?” The Doctor said cautiously.

“Yes.”

“Do you drink blood?” Emily asked. She felt silly right after she said it.

Jack gave a slight partial laugh, where the air blew through his nose in a short burst before he stifled it.

“I’m sorry. That was a dumb question. I...why are you laughing?” Emily asked.

“I’m sorry doc. I’m not laughing at you. It’s just that it was one of the first questions I asked as well. Hollywood really does paint a specific picture.” Jack said.

“They do.” Emily said, feeling a little embarrassed.

Then she felt silly about being embarrassed when it was Jack who just said he was a vampire.

“To answer your question, no we do not. Pure myth.”

“Hmm.”

The doctor shuffled in her seat and appeared to be at a loss for words. She was gathering her thoughts, trying to plot an appropriate line of questioning after this bombshell.

Jack made the decision for her by his next question.

“Do you believe me Emily?”

This was a question a good doctor avoided at all costs. Any answer given could have its own consequences. Emily was still trying to get a read on her patient, who was far beyond stereo typical.

“If I said yes, would you believe I was telling the truth?”

“I would have to hear it.”

“No. I don’t believe you are a vampire.” She said.

Instead of being upset, Jack gave a look that said he expected this, and understood.

“And for good reason. If you took a Pol and asked 1000 people if they believed in ghosts, how many do you think would say they did?” Jack said.

“Couple hundred.”

“Agreed.”

“If you said aliens, the Lochness Monster, or even Bigfoot, I would guess you would still get a fair amount who would believe in them. How many of those 1000 do you think would believe in vampires? Real vampires, not the ones on TV who drink blood from meat packages at the local grocery store and call themselves vampires.”

“One or two.” She said.

“On a good day at best.” Jack said. “My point is this. Without serious proof, no one would ever believe we exist. Our Kind has evolved to the point that we are almost indistinguishable from humans.”

“The same goes for the wolves?” She asked doubtfully.

“Yes. It’s easy for humans to disregard anything that doesn’t fit into a preconceived mold. It’s just how our mind works” Jack said as he stared into the disbelieving eyes of his physician.

“Let me give you a simple, modern day, example. A man walks into your hospital. He is very nice, but he’s dressed in a NASCAR t-shirt, cut off jean shorts, a mullet haircut, bad teeth and a thick southern drawl. He tells your staff he is a visiting physician from another hospital and he would like to work with your staff for a few weeks. What’s your reaction?”

“I would obviously ask to check his credentials, and then confirm it with his regular hospital, as I would any doctor.”

“I’m sure you would. Right after you thought to yourself, bullshit, you’re not a doctor.

Dr. Richards tried to keep a straight face, but failed.

“Okay, okay. Of course, but don’t you think that this is a little different Jack.” She said.

“No. It’s very easy for our kind to co-exist with humans without getting a second look for that very reason. We don’t fit the centuries old folklore rendition of what everyone believes a vampire or werewolf should look like. Therefore we don’t exist. I am not complaining mind you. I’m sure it was designed that way, by whoever designs these things of course. Could you imagine if everyone knew of our existence?”

“I would think it would cause quite a stir.” The doctor said

Jack looked away from the doctor, got up, walked behind his chair and paced back and forth gathering his next thoughts carefully.

“So, why am I telling you this, trying to convince you of something that I just told you we try to keep secret?”

“My next question.” She said.

“There is a reason.”

“Which is?” She asked.

Jack sat back down, eyeing Emily speculatively.

“Please forgive me, but I really don’t want to get into that yet.” Jack said. “I know I seem unnecessarily evasive, especially after my big speech, but this is point I must insist on. You will understand when the time comes I assure you.”

Emily thought hard about pressing Jack further, but thought it better to take another route.

“Okay. When you’re ready then. Do you want to continue?” Emily asked.

Before Jack could answer there was a timid knock at the door. Both Emily and Jack directed their attention to door as it opened slowly.

“I am so sorry to bother you doctor, but you are being summoned to the Kings office.” Nancy said, obviously embarrassed. Nancy silently mouthed the word sorry then left quickly.

Emily knew without even asking that she was directed to interrupt her session by him.

“Who did I kill in my former life to deserve this?” Emily said under her breath.

She had half a mind to not respond at all and ignore him altogether, consequences be damned. She reconsidered thinking of her patient. That would only delay the inevitable.

She decided not to prolong the agony.

“I am so sorry Jack. I will be back shortly.”

“Everything alright?” Jack asked.

“They would be if…” Emily stopped herself.

She would not stoop to complaining to a patient, who had their own issues to deal with, about her petty problems.

“Yeah, it’s fine. I’ll be right back” She said.

Emily made her way to his office, which was bigger and nicer than Mr. O’Rourke’s. She always wondered how he managed that. She couldn’t imagine what this was about, but then again it could be about anything. Spencer never let an opportunity to belittle or scold Emily, for any reason. She knew he enjoyed it.

When she got to his office the door was closed. Just another way of making her feel inferior to him.

She knocked.

Nothing.

She knocked again.

“Come.” Spencer said, leaving off the in purposely to make it more of a command than a suggestion.

Bastard

“You wanted to see me?”

Spencer pointed to the seat in front of him without saying anything. He was still looking at some paperwork on his desk and didn’t feel the need to acknowledge her.

Emily rolled her eyes then sat down.

“I’m very busy doctor, why did you want to see me?” Emily said, trying to get this over with as soon as possible.

Dr. Kaufland continued writing in silence, ignoring her question completely. He finally closed the file he was looking at and looked at Emily.

“I’m taking you off the John Doe. I will be taking over his treatment from here on out.” He said.

“You mean Jack? And why would you do that exactly. He’s my patient.” Emily said, holding her anger as best she could.

“No, he is the hospitals patient, and I decide who treats who. Though you think so, this is not your private practice doctor. There are rules to be followed.”

“But-” She tried to say before Dr. Kaufland cut her off.

“Quiet! I’m not done. You’ve been attempting to undermine me since you got her and I’ve had it. I am still in charge, and while I am, you will do as you are told.”

“Wait just a minute.”

“I thought you were leaving soon anyway? Why do you care about this patient so much? Is it professional, or is there something else I wonder?”

The suggestion was far from cloaked, and insulting.

Emily could feel the tears of anger welling up in her eyes. The last thing she wanted was to give Spencer the satisfaction of seeing her cry. She was outraged, but he was her superior and there was nothing she could do at the moment.

“If that’s your decision, I’ll have the file brought to your office.”

“No need. I’ve already sent someone for it. Now you can spend the rest of your time cleaning out your office. Have fun in Hollywood, or wherever it is you’re going. That is all.” He said dismissively, and insincerely as possible.

Emily got up and walked to the door. Before she left she turned back to Spencer

“I will be making a formal complaint with the board. Have fun reading your file, or whatever it was that you were pretending to do.”

Emily caught a look on Spencer’s face before she slammed his door that almost made the experience worth it.

When she got back to her office Nancy could tell something was wrong.

“That little weasel Tony just went into your office and took a file. Is everything alright?” Nancy asked

“No. Far from.” Emily said.

She sat in Nancy’s guest chair again. Thinking.

“Is he checking your work? You barely got started on treatment.”

“He’s not reviewing it. He’s taking over my patient.” Emily said.

“What.” Nancy said. She was as surprised as Emily.

Emily got up and started to walk out, but came back and leaned over Nancy’s desk and whispered to Nancy.

“If you find yourself in possession of that file again, would you make me a copy?”

Nancy smiled understanding. “Consider it done.”

“I’ll be right back.” Emily said.

Emily grabbed her purse and left the hospital.

She was gone less than thirty minutes before she returned with a large bag and went straight to Jack’s room. She bought Jack dinner from the restaurant across the street, partly as an excuse to see him one last time and explain why she wouldn’t be continuing his treatment.

When she opened the door Jack was lying on the bed. He wasn’t sleeping, but rather looking like he was in deep contemplation as he stared at the ceiling. He got up when Emily came into the room and made his way to the chairs.

Jack could tell right away that she had been crying, but made no mention of it.

“I hope you are hungry. I ordered way too much as usual.” Emily said.

“To what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?”

Emily couldn’t hide the look of disappointment from her face.

“Since I will no longer be your doctor, I was hoping we could have a decent meal together and just talk as friends.”

“Why is that?” Jack asked, wrinkling his brow in concerned aggravation.

This was unexpected as Emily thought he may be indifferent about the change. This made her feel good.

“The doctor in charge seems to think he is a better fit for your treatment and will be taking over. I’m probably not even supposed to be here right now, but I didn’t want you to think I abandoned you, or didn’t care enough to at least say goodbye. I’m really sorry Jack.” Emily said as she set her uneaten food down and ran her hands through her hair in aggravation.

“Is this a normal procedure?” Jack asked.

“Absolutely not...” Emily stopped herself. She knew if she made this about her it would not help Jack. This was about him and his treatment, not about her personal problems at work.

“It will be fine Jack. Dr. Kaufland is an experienced doctor and I am sure he can help you. He just has a different philosophy than me that’s all. C’mon, let’s eat before it gets cold.”

They ate with each other talking only of smaller things and nothing to do with Jack’s story. The doctor enjoyed the company of this young man and she was very sorry not to be able to hear the end of his incredible story. Even though she knew it to be fantastic, she was certain that there were several layers of truth in there. One of which could be the key to his recovery. No matter what happened now though, she would make sure that everything was being done to help this young man. Even if it meant going around the usual channels.

The doctor cleaned up the take-out boxes, then stood up to leave.

“I hope everything works out for you Jack. Something about you tells me you will be okay.” She said.

“Thanks doc. Thanks for dinner as well. Good southern cooking is a rare treat for me.”

“You are very welcome. Is there anything you need before I leave? I’m not sure we’ll get another chance to talk, or see each other before you are discharged.”

“No, I don’t think so. Thanks for listening.” Jack Said.

“My pleasure. Good luck in the future Jack. I mean that.”

“Thanks. The future is indeed of interest. Take care yourself Emily.”

With that Emily got up, almost awkwardly, and left the room. It felt so unnatural to leave a patient without the proper closure. She didn’t like it at all.

She shut the door behind her and had a heavy feeling of sadness that she couldn’t quite explain. She had never had an emotional connection with a patient so quickly and it bothered her that she didn’t understand why.

She meandered back to her office and when she got there she found a Flash Drive on her desk that was labeled with a J and a smiley face.

Nancy was indeed a magician when it came to getting things done quickly and discreetly.

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