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Chapter 7

No matter how well equipped and safe are, Rehabilitation Centers will never look inviting. Even if the patients got in there on their own responsibility and signature, once inside, the outlook on life changes. Even the smallest and most childish stuff become far more significant than ever before.

Down those halls was walking a familiar ginger towards the pharmacy to take his meds. His hair was sticking in every possible direction and he looked tired but his overall behavior looked like one of a leisure guy. He passed the recreation room from the first floor and took a quick glance inside to see if anyone interesting was out.

No one.

“Dammit. It’s a lonely day.” He mumbled as he scratched his head in annoyance.

Marvin continued his way towards the pharmacy and passed one of the younger nurses. He winked at her boyishly but the nurse didn’t mind him one bit.

“Patient 505, hurry up!” The nurse in charge of the meds screamed after she saw him lag behind.

The young ginger chuckled and ran the rest of the way. He gulped them down and opened his mouth wide for the nurse to check he took them.

“Don’t forget to-”

“The biggest event of the evening takes place at 9 pm. Yes, yes. I’ve been here for six months already, Patty.” He spoke nonchalantly as he turned around and walked back the way he came.

“Don’t call me Patty, Lanchester!” Marvin heard the nurse cry behind him but he couldn’t care less.

The ginger had to pass the recreation room again so he decided he may as well enjoy the silence. His so called playmates were probably in their rooms sleeping from the pills.

Rehabilitation facilities were better than Asylums mostly because people weren’t crazy but lightly obsessed with different stuff. Drugs, alcohol, sex, Marvin wasn’t interested nor had overused any; he was only an 18 years old boy that has been moved from one center to another after he killed his father.

“Marvin,” He heard the soft voice of his doctor speak his name as announcement he arrived. “You’re alone today,” The doctor continued.

When he got checked in, Marvin imagined he will have a female doctor approach him and try to break that attitude of his. Unfortunately, Doctor Leslie was a man with a girly name and an attitude that was pissing Marvin off sometimes.

“Don’t know, Leslie. Usually it’s noisy down here,” Marvin responded as Leslie’s eye twitched. “They’re probably in their room sleeping like the old men they are.” Marvin continued in a softer tone.

Doctor Thomas Leslie sighed and grabbed a chair before dragging it in the middle of the room. It was growing dark so the light was dim. Doctor Leslie invited him to take a seat and forced by the circumstances, Marvin complied.

“Are you going to explain to me how nothing happens when the sun goes down, like before?” The ginger taunted as his eyes sparkled with mischievousness.

The doctor only laughed it off and shook his head, “No. I heard from the nurses that you still dream the scene of you killing your father.”

That sent a shiver down Marvin’s spine. He lowered his sight and crossed his legs under the chair. He was taking a submitting position, ready to beg for mercy and forgiveness or protect himself in case he would get beaten up.

“Marvin, what you did was self defense. I want to clarify that. He killed your mother and almost killed you too.” The doctor started softly.

Marvin was looking down at his hands, flashes of memory appearing before his eyes. The ginger wasn’t flinching anymore but those lively eyes of his became empty.

“Listen to me, you’re making real progress really fast. You only have to stay here for another six months and you are free to go.”

“Where?” Marvin muttered the sound too faint for the doctor to hear.

Leslie leaned forward curious what the young ginger said.

“Excuse me?”

Marvin raised his head and stared straight into the green eyes of his doctor, taking him by surprise.

“I have no one left and the rest of the family doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. I am no one and have nothing.” He explained slowly so the doctor could understand just how lonely he was.

“Go to University. You’re smart enough and can easily get into a boarding school.”

“I don’t have any money.” Marvin cut short.

The doctor sighed and leaned back. He paced around rubbing his eyes tiredly; the kid was right. He’s been living in rehabilitation centers ever since his parents died; it’s been 4 years already.

Even more surprising was the sudden sound coming from Marvin. It first sounded like he was choking but soon expanded into laughter. The doctor watched the young man jump on his feet and laugh like a maniac, no sign of bemusement anywhere on his face.

“I’m a pitiful human being, aren’t I?” He mumbled once he calmed down. “Ah~ it was good that we met down here. I suddenly feel so fresh.” Marvin continued, stretching his back.

The ginger smiled widely at the doctor before he turned around and walked out. Thomas Leslie sighed and sat on the empty chair. If only someone could hold Marvin’s hand through the journey then maybe he could finally have confidence in his own self.

“Marvin? Are you alright?”

The soft sweet voice of Julia Lanchester brought the former detective back to the present. He couldn’t remember the last time he had been so caught up into memories and it was worrying.

“I’m fine.” He answered rubbing his legs nervously.

Julia knew her husband well and knew how a man who’s been reflecting on his life looked; she was a professor after all and had seen that look on many of her students.

“Did something happen at work?” She questioned him bluntly yet with so much concern in her eyes.

Marvin chuckled and invited her next to him on the couch. It was almost midnight and their five years old daughter was sleeping peacefully in her room. Julia frowned but sat next to her husband and accepted his sudden affectionate gestures. He wrapped his hands around her tightly as if he was scared she would disappear.

“Nothing much. Leyland doesn’t want me officially in any case but he lets me investigate the Anonymous case off the records.” He mumbled as he moved his nose into the crook of her neck, leaving a few butterfly kisses along.

Julia chuckled and bathed into his love gestures since they weren’t happening that often.

“Anonymous? That group that threatened Europe?” She asked her tone suddenly rising in pitch.

Marvin nuzzled his nose into her black hair and hummed in approval, “They didn’t use any form of threatening. I don’t know exactly what they meant in their speech but it doesn’t sound like a threat. Besides, they haven’t attacked any busy place and avoided the capitals or cities with many citizens. The attacks have occurred during working hours instead of rushing hours. They planned everything as to not cause many deaths, if none at all.” He explained.

“Then what do they want?” She asked in genuine curiosity.

Marvin shifted until he took a comfortable position on the couch, leaning his head on her shoulder.

“I have no idea.” He mumbled before he closed his eyes, his wife’s fingers brushing through his ginger hair softly.

The next morning Marvin woke up sweating and shuddering. He was expecting a nightmare after he remembered his rehabilitation days but not the memory of killing his father.

Marvin rubbed his eyes and realized he fell asleep on the couch. Julia probably let him there since he was a heavy sleeper and couldn’t be moved on the bed.

He got up quickly and looked around but his wife and daughter were gone. Panic rushed through his veins as he thought about what was worst.

The ginger grabbed his phone as he searched through every room, dialing Julia’s number. It rung twice before he noticed a piece of paper on the fridge: You were asleep and not even the end of the world could have woken you up. Breakfast is in the fridge. I took Carmen to kindergarten. Love ya!, it said. He hung up and sighed in relief. That wife of his was really something else.

“End of the world huh,” He chuckled to himself. Marvin could still not believe how he got so lucky to find her after everything he has been through.

The ginger was ready to take a second trip to happier memories but the phone rang loudly and stopped him; it was his boss.

“I have good news for you, Lanchester. You got accepted in the Interpol.” He announced.

Marvin blinked twice not registering everything since he just woke up and was a bit shaken up by his nightmare.

“Listen, it’s only temporary. They-”

Marvin’s eyes widened and everything the chief begun to say got blurred out, “I got accepted in the Interpol!” He screamed quite loudly in the phone.

“Did you hear what I said?”

“Yes sure. Be careful yada, yada. I am a responsible adult chief.”

“I wouldn’t say responsible. Just come and take your stuff. They want you in Czech Republic as soon as possible.”

“Czech Republic?”

“Yes. It seems they found something there.” There was a silent moment before the chief continued, “You were right. There’s a letter at every scene with different quotes from the Bible.”

“What quotes? Why?” Marvin wondered out loud.

The chief scoffed, “Find that out on your own.”

That was all before Leyland hung up. While Marvin was gleaming with happiness and self confidence, the Scotland Yard doubted its own director and the Interpol’s.

It has been announced that the Interpol has been calling for reinforcements in the Anonymous case. This group has been behind every explosion and ounce of terror in Europe for the past-

Ava turned off the telly as soon as she saw the doorknob move. She pushed a piece of hair behind her ear and wiped her sweaty hands on her black pants before getting on her feet. Her whole appearance became soft and welcoming for her patient.

“How are you today, Isaac?” She asked kindly before inviting him to sit on the couch.

The boy smiled and bent his head quickly as he sat down. He wasn’t uncomfortable in any way but he was scratching his hand nervously.

“It’s been very stressful,” He responded softly.

“Is there a reason to be stressed?” She asked as she sat next to him. “You already got into the college you wanted,” She added making him smile as he remembered.

“That was thanks to you, doctor.”

The boy smiled thankfully and he raised his head in order to peek at her reaction.

Ava chuckled, “There is no reason for you to be stressed.”

“Um-” He looked up at her confused if he should tell her or not. In the end he decided she would be the last person to judge him so he may as well tell her everything that was bothering him. “Remember the explosions happening in Europe? What if-”

“That has nothing to do with you or me.” She clarified that before anything else.

Isaac sighed and looked down at his hands, whatever tattoo he had already gone.

“Remember the khrismon I had a few weeks ago?”

It was very rare for someone with fear of crowds to trust their therapist so much that he would tell her absolutely everything personal. Hearing him open up that subject in particular was just proving that Ava was quite good at making others trusts her even if she wasn’t doing the same.

“The one you got in the park?” She urged him to continue.

Isaac glanced at her for a second before he rubbed his face and nodded.

“There was a guy standing at the tattoo stand. He told me about that,” He stopped and scratched his neck, wondering if he should really tell her. Another glance at her face and he knew he couldn’t hide it for long even if he wanted to, “He told me that darkness is everywhere and shadows are lurking around every corner. He told me that once you look the darkness in the eye, you can see the light at the end of it. It will lead you through and you won’t be scared anymore.” He explained not stuttering once.

It must have meant a lot to him if he memorized it so well. It was also interesting how thoughtful he was of her and how her reaction was. Ava could see it in his eyes; Isaac was craving for her approval or dismissal so he could be assured he believed the smartest one of the two.

“That is a very smart thing to say,” She responded in the end.

He took that as a sign of approval and smiled.

“A psychologist told him that,” Isaac continued.

Ava raised an eyebrow and leaned back, “Really,”

For the remaining time, Ava decided to continue with the discussion about darkness rather than anything about Anonymous. They spoke about these so called shadows and what that light at the end of it was actually about. It was very interesting to hear her give her own explanation on the matter.

“Bad people will always exist no matter how much we’re trying to stop them. There is a balance and humanity will never be able to destroy it. These so called shadows have always been around and will always be. But once you are not scared of them anymore and just pass them by, you find a new purpose and your walk through life becomes meaningful.” Ava explained what she thought that person meant.

“What about Anonymous?”

There he was speaking about that group again.

“Why are you so interested in it?”

Just like before, she was skilled at asking the questions that would make him excited.

“It doesn’t scare me. I think they are right.”

Ava frowned completely confused how he found out whatever was that Anonymous said. Isaac grabbed his phone and gave it to her with shaky hands. He wasn’t nervous at all, he was thrilled.

He logged on YouTube and searched for Italy Advertisement Incident. There were a few videos about something or another but among them was also the recording of the Anonymous incident.

Isaac pressed play and Ava watched it carefully until the end. Whoever he was, that masked man knew exactly what he wanted and what to say to piss off the clergy. He used a common story and gave it a different meaning, one that had a big effect on the youth more than anyone else.

“They cannot be destroyed with weapons created by humans. They must be defeated with the one most powerful weapon of all: the word. Remember that. Remember Anonymous.”

“Remember Anonymous,” She repeated as if those were the most important words in the whole video. “This message is not a threat,” She added before giving Isaac the phone back.

The psychologist jumped on her feet and hurried to her desk. She pushed a few buttons on the classy office phone, getting in touch with her secretary right away.

“Call Marvin Lanchester immediately.” She ordered her employee.

“Um, that’s a bit hard right now. His boss called the office early today and dismissed Detective Lanchester from any kind of therapy.” Charlie’s voice rang through the speaker.

Isaac took a few steps towards his therapist as he saw those genuine and understanding eyes become lifeless. It was both frightening and interesting to see Dr. Atkins become the opposite of who she usually was.

“Why?” Ava asked coldly even though it wasn’t necessarily Charlie’s fault.

The secretary swallowed nervously before giving the news to her boss.

“It seems he got transferred somewhere else,”

Ava’s eyes widened as she felt a sudden chill vibe her body.

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