The rage Within

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Chapter 4

The doctor looked through the little square window of the door and she could only see the back of her patients head as he lay in bed.

She opened the door slowly, not wanting to startle the new patient. You never knew what reaction you were going to get. Emily opened the blinds, letting in the light of the morning, then made her way to the center of the room and sat down in one of the conversation chairs without saying anything. She turned the chair to face the bed and Emily just sat there waiting for a response. This was her first test. Some patients needed prodding to engage, and others only responded to the emptiness silence.

The young man finally rolled over, squinting as his eyes adjusted to the invading light. He begrudgingly sat up in the bed, put his feet on the floor and focused on his new guest. He sat still for a brief moment before brushing back his collar length brown hair back with his fingers to get a better look at the doctor.

As the light reflected off the patients eyes the doctor couldn’t help but stare at them. She had never seen such a unique shade of blue. Or were they gray? He was striking.

Now I see why Nancy was being coy.

The young man got up, walked over to the vacant chair across from the doctor and sat without a word.

They both studied each other intently and in silence for a solid two or three minute before he spoke.

“Who are you?” He said curtly, bordering on rude.

“I’m Doctor Emily Richards.”

“Are you the one in charge here?”

“Of your care and well being I am.” The doctor said.

“Why am I here? He said taking in his surroundings.

The room was sterile and aside from the light shade of turquoise paint on the walls and small plastic plant in the corner the room was lifeless. No pictures, no carpet and the only pieces of furniture were the chairs in the center of the room and the bed, which was more a cot really.

“Didn’t the other doctor explain everything to you?” Emily asked, wondering if Kaufland actually attempted to help this young man.

“Some guy came in her yesterday but I didn’t like the look of him. He seemed like an asshole to tell you the truth.” He said.

Emily gut laughed, but quickly regained her composure.

“Sorry, that was unprofessional of me. You were saying?”

He began to look around the room as if evaluating everything for the first time.

“Oh, I see. You have me in the crazy house? This is obviously a misunderstanding. Can I get my clothes so I can get out of here?” He said as he stood up.

The doctor was again taken aback by the stature of this young man. Even through the scrub pants and white t-shirt he was wearing she could tell he was above average in the physical.

“Please sit down. I will feel better if you do.”

Seeing that there was nowhere to go and no clothes insight he did as the doctor asked. The aggravation on his face was thinly veiled to say the least.

Emily was observing the young man in detail trying to get an idea of what she was dealing with. She didn’t see any obvious track marks on his arms, bad teeth, or any other sign of a hard core drug addict. He was also well groomed, which was not the norm for the hopelessly addicted. She was serious about her treatment and she made every attempt to leave no stone unturned even before she started her session.

“Do you know why you are here? Emily said.

“I’m guessing it’s because I passed out or something before I made it inside. If you mean Crazyville then no.”

“What were you doing at the hospital?”

“Looking for a job? Why?” He said as if doctor was being rudely intrusive.

“What kind of job?”

“Anything that was available. I had heard the hospital was hiring clerical and management positions, both of which I am way over qualified for, but in this economy a job is a job.”

“What did you do before?” Emily pressed

“I was in the Art business.” He said without expounding on the answer.

“Like at a museum?” The doctor asked innocently.

The young man gave a slight irritated chuckle as he slowly shook his head.

“No, not like in a museum.” He said mockingly as if her statement was insulting. “I was running the European division of one of the biggest art dealers in the world. I was on a first name basis with the presidents of both Christies and Sotheby’s of New York and London. They all had me on their speed dial, when that was a thing of course.”

“Sounds like a very exciting and lucrative job. Why did you leave?”

“Long Story.”

The doctor thought that she should get right to the heart of the issue with this patient. With the change in tone she could tell that beating around the bush was not going to get her anywhere.

“Why didn’t you speak with the other doctor that came to visit you?”

“I told you, He was-”

“An asshole, got it.” Emily interrupted. “Why didn’t you ask him if you could leave?”

A smile creased the face of her new patient. It was thin, but it was there.

“You are direct. I like that. I just didn’t want to talk to him. I guessing you aren’t fond of him either.” He said with a gentle shrug.

“Dr. Kaufland can be abrasive at times, but...”

“No need to hide it doc, I can tell he disgusts you.” He said.

“You’re right. He’s a dick.” She said.

Emily was impressed. Either he was just taking a stab in the dark or this young man was extremely perceptive. She thought it better to move on to another topic.

“Can you tell me what kind of drug or drugs you took just before you arrived at the hospital? This is for your own health and safety, as some drugs do not mix-”

“Why would you ask me that?” He asked, offended by the accusation.

“The file says that drug paraphernalia was found near your body after you passed out. It also says that you were uncooperative with the medical staff during the initial screening. This is not true?”

“Do I look like a drug addict?

“No, but-”

“Check my blood results. I’m sure that was the first thing they did when I got here.”

“If you say haven’t I will take your word for it. But I will check them when they come in.”

Dr. Richards was starting to wonder if this had been some kind of a mistake, or rush to judgment. He sounded very confident in his delivery. Emily could usually tell when a patient tells you to check something when secretly they are praying that you don’t. There is a completely different delivery.

“Okay, drugs aside, what about the note?”

“What note?”

“I was told you had a note on your person and it indicated that you were thinking of taking your own life? Do you want to talk about it?”

“Did you read it? You couldn’t have. Had you read it we would be having a completely different conversation.” He said.

“You’re right; I have not received a copy yet. What kind of a conversation would that be then?”

“Different from this.” He said.

He gave the doctor a very inquisitive look as if trying to figure something out. It was the look you give a stranger when you think you may have seen that person before.

“Why is that?” She said.

“What do I have to do to get out of here?” He said, changing the subject.

Emily thought that this disruption in thought was intentional and not by accident, as it would be with many patients in similar circumstances.

The more Emily thought about the note the more aggravated she became. Outwardly she was controlling her emotions, but inside she was fuming. The on-call social worker failed to make a copy of the supposed suicide note, which was protocol, before the police took it as evidence. She did not like having limited information when dealing with a patient. Not only is it bad practice, but it could inhibit the recovery time of patients. Not to mention that if this was all just some weird coincidence and misunderstanding she did not want to keep someone against their will without cause. Taking someone’s freedom was a huge responsibility and should never be taken lightly.

“You have to let me do my job. Once you’ve been petitioned by the police you are required, by law, to be evaluated for seventy two hours.” Emily said

“Seventy two hours? I assure you doc, I’m not suicidal.” He said.

“I understand and you make a compelling case, but until I am thoroughly convinced you are not a danger to yourself or others I can’t legally, or in good conscience, let you go. I am asking for your patience here, please.”

He stared at Emily, but there was no malice. He was clearly not happy with the situation, but his face read compliance.

“I’m stuck here for three days?” He said incredulously as he leaned back in his chair.

“I’m sorry, but yes.” She said.

The doctor was relieved at his acceptance, which would make treatment much more possible, if in fact there is something that needed treating. She was still uncertain that this patient was in need of help, and if that was the case she would release him early. That information would not be shared until she was absolutely certain.

“I think we need to start over. I’m here to help you, not judge you, but for me to do that I need complete honesty and cooperation from you. And I, in turn, promise not to bullshit you.” She said.

“Will this get me outta here faster?”

“It will most certainly keep you from being detained further than necessary.” The doctor said, trying to be reassuring without making false promises.

“What do want to know?”

“Let’s start easy. What’s your name?”

“Jack.”

“Nice to meet you Jack...?” she pressed, with a slight nod of her head.

“Karness”

Now we are getting somewhere.

“If you do not want to talk about the most recent events, we could talk about whatever you want? I would like to hear about you if you are willing to share. What’s your story Jack?” She said, giving a reassuring smile to help him relax and open up.

Jack gave a half smile back and a quick snort of laughter.

“What’s funny?” The doctor asked.

Jack didn’t answer the question, got up, and walked to the window. He was looking outside at something intently. After a few minutes the doctor broke the silence,

“What is it?”

“Did you know that Blue Jays are probably the most ferocious of all the birds their size? They look very colorful and attractive, but deep down they have a killer instinct.” Jack said.

“I didn’t know that.” The doctor was caught off guard by the odd statement. “What made you say that if you don’t mind me asking?”

Jack looked back at the doc then pointed to the bird bath just outside his window. There was a lone Blue Jay perched on the edge of the concrete bath. One of those ornate baths with an angel perched on the side with water coming out of its pursed lips.

The doctor got up and stood next to Jack. She looked at the Blue Jay, then back to Jack, trying to get a read on him.

Was this young man in need of help or is he a victim of several unfortunate human errors?

Jack turned his attention to the doctor and gave her his undivided attention. Emily had a nervous feeling in her stomach, but not from fear. She made sure not to show any indication of this and fought it as best she could. Though these were just thoughts, she felt as though it was unprofessional and had a surge of guilt.

“Do you really want to hear my story doctor, or did you just say that because in your doctor manual it tells you that if you can’t get your patient to talk about their core problems, find some common ground, get them talking, then revisit the issues once you’ve gained their trust?”

Emily couldn’t be sure what book he was referring to, but she was more than certain that it was a direct quote from a psych book she had read in college. This young man was clearly very intelligent and the usual tactics would be useless as he would see right through them.

“Yes, that is Shrink Trick number one. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear about you.” She said and honestly meant it.

“I believe that you do. I’ll think about it.” Jack said.

Emily waited for a minute or two for anything further, but he remained silent and focused his attention back outside.

“Well?” She asked.

“I’m still thinking about it.”

Emily was off to a shaky start and felt like an idiot for her lack of facts to start with. She knew that she could not continue right now and get anywhere.

“Get some rest Jack. I’ll come back later and maybe we can talk then.” Emily said.

Emily gave him a soft smile and then headed for the door. Emily was hoping for some sort of a response, but Jack didn’t say another word. He was very calm and collected for someone in his position.

Emily left the room and went back to her office. She dropped his file on her desk then went back out to Nancy’s area.

Nancy was eating a donut when Emily sat down next to her. She sat in one of those swivel chairs and slowly moved back and forth like an impatient child fighting boredom.

“What do you think Doc?” Nancy said, as she chewed on glazed chocolate.

“Good question. He claims the drug paraphernalia was not his and he is not suicidal. Did his blood work make it over here yet?”

“It may be done, but you know how long it can take to filter to our section. The patient data in the medical section does not network with our computers yet. Spencer was supposed to get that fixed months ago, but you know.” Nancy said

“Yeah, he’s an asshole.” Emily said without missing a beat.

“What about the suicide note? I heard it was fairly clear that-”

“He is adamant that there was no suicidal content at all and most importantly he didn’t even write it. Of course I can’t dispute any of it because I never received a copy of the goddamn thing.” Emily said in frustration. “How is it that the attending psychiatrist does not get a piece of information like that?”

Nancy knew that the question was completely rhetorical and did not bother to say anything.

“I really don’t know if this is a huge mistake or not. He is far from the normal patient I’m used to dealing with” Emily said.

“No kidding.” Nancy said.

“You know what I mean Jezebel.”

Nancy giggled like a school girl.

Emily got up and started walking away before stopping and turning back to Nancy.

“Is the hospital hiring right now?” Emily asked.

“Yeah, a few office positions I believe.”

“Thanks.” Emily said quickly as began walking, clearly on a mission.

“You’re not going where I think you’re going are you?”

Emily didn’t answer and kept walking. She did not like being made a fool of and she especially did not like when her treatments were hindered by the incompetence and pettiness of the others. She was getting some answers.

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