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Chapter 14

Stan knew not to broach the subject of Bruno’s nightly drives. He assumed he was going to fulfil his needs, as he did on occasions. Although Stan never asked Bruno where he ventured, the excuse of seeing a friend Bruno had at the ready.

Even though he had parked close to Katherine’s the heavy snow accumulating on the windshield was hindering his view of her apartment. He was not in favor of leaving the truck’s warmth, but wanting a better view meant braving the night’s bitter cold. He quickly strode to and stood under a leafless but snow-laden tree opposite the building. The drapes, not quite drawn on the living room’s window, allowed a glimpse of an occasional shadowy figure as it passed. As he stared upward, he could visualize sitting on the couch when last there and looking at the same blood-red heavy drapes.

The chill of the night’s heavy snow awarded him almost no protection as he huddled under the street-illuminated small tree, but so profound was his concentration his immediate surroundings were almost oblivious. Some passing pedestrians looked in his direction, but most were preoccupied with traversing the weather’s severe elements.

Compounding his frustration of not sighting the girl, who occupied his mind every day, was his heavy coat and balaclava not deterring the biting cold. That was his cue to return to his warm apartment, to contemplate his next move.


Barbara had given considerable thought to taking a different approach with Bruno’s treatment. I will keep him at arm’s length for a while, and not be too friendly.

She was still convinced his appearance was the root of his mental issues. His father has a lot to answer for. Every time Bruno looks in the mirror, he will think of his father’s punishment. What kind of life is that? That does not mean I have to take him at face value though. I still have doubts about his visit to our apartment. He did not appear sincere. Something in his demeanor indicated he was lying.

Barbara’s new attitude was obvious to Bruno, and it puzzled him. He was quick to notice the absence of her customary warm greeting, and she had not smiled since his arrival. They were accustomed mannerisms.

Is she aware of my feelin’s for Katherine? If so, why am I still here? No, he thought, as he gave her a hostile look, she doesn’t know. She’s probably upset because I went to her apartment.

“I know I shouldn’t have come to your home, but you’re my psychologist … so who else can I talk to?”

Barbara listened to his words, but was unconvinced. “I try not to have any of my clients come to my home. If someone needs to talk, then he, or she, can ring.”

“I won’t come again.”

Bruno decided to bide his time, but it would be at least another two month before he’d get the opportunity to enact his plan. He voluntarily chose to extend his treatment, even though he had fulfilled the court order. The charade perpetuated on Barbara was to his advantage.

Barbara expected him to terminate the consultations, but was surprised when he willingly extended the sessions.

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