The 5 Stages of Grief

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Chapter 6, Dr. Alexander

Retrieving the notebook was an incredible stroke of luck. He hadn’t expected it and had no idea whatsoever what they might find in it. They’d known of its existence, having found a ripped out yet neatly folded page in Marcus’s pocket at the time of his arrest, but they’d no idea how significant it might become.

Sam had done the legwork, retrieving it from the Reichmann’s house. It had been there on the bookshelf right in front of their faces all along. There was no doubt, whatsoever, someone had even pulled it out, opened it, looked into it while searching for clues then put it back on the shelf as unimportant, forgotten. The general public really had no idea how often these kinds of mistakes were made – they watched too many t.v. shows, too much C.S.I.. We’re humans—not machines—shit happens!

He felt like Geraldo Rivera, opening the book with Chloe leaning over his left shoulder and Sam sitting next to him, the anticipation palpable inside the claustrophobic room. Chloe was so excited she was pressed up against him and entirely unaware – he was convinced – her breasts were smushed against his back. Since Sam already knew about their dating and it was only the three of them in the room, it didn’t matter. He tried not to notice her nearness, her breasts. It was not working.

The notes were incredibly detailed and though this was obviously only one of many volumes, there was more than enough information for the moment.

Sam was the first to comment. “How the hell are we going to find anybody? I don’t see anything but first names.” Funny how he, the cop, was the one to pick up on that.

“Let’s just look first. We’ll worry about that if we find something we can work with. Did you notice any other volumes while you were there?”

“Not on the shelf – only this one. But Scott – Sergeant Whitmore – said there was a room full of books in the office down-stairs. I’m sure they did the same bang-up job in that room as they did with the wall-unit.” You could hear the sarcasm in his voice. He was not pleased. If Walter were a betting man, he’d bet heads were about to roll.

“My God!” Chloe said reading over his shoulder, her thoughts speaking out, unfiltered. “He just goes on and on and on – like a girl! Why don’t you skip to the back and come forward from there, honey? Maybe there will be more telling news the closer we get to the present.” He turned his head and smiled at her. She kissed his forehead then hurried him back to the book.

“I’ve no doubt what these notes are hinting at, nor do either of you. Am I right?” He asked, looking to the side towards Sam then over his shoulder at Chloe. Each grey face nodded in turn. “However, if television has taught me anything, my guess is we can’t use this – not yet anyway – not without the Doctor’s permission. doctor-patient privilege – right?”

“The lieutenant turned to Chloe, “Well, Councilor? You’re the expert here.”

She sighed, “It’s a slippery slope, this one. We could get a warrant, although, considering the implications of this case – whether he’s sane or not – that could end up slamming the door in our faces. It’s best to get the… ah… Doctor’s – Dr. Reichmann’s permission.” The room remained silent, each in their own thoughts, each understanding how difficult their path had just become.

Sam raised his head, grinning like the fat kid who’d been asked to cut the cake. “Or we could read them? Do a little investigative work and find the clues on our own.”

Chloe looked at him, tilted her head, frowned. “Not likely, Lieutenant. What is that – like one in a million odds?”

“Probably a billion but that’s not the point.” The Lieutenant stood up to leave, searching his pockets for a cigar.

“Well, what’s the point then?” she asked. Walter could see her mind going a mile a minute trying to follow Sam’s reasoning, get the job done, keep the case alive while keeping them all out of trouble.

“The point – my dear,” Sam found his cigar and stuck it in his mouth, “is that it could happen.”

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