Brian parked his car and read the report again; the mental hospital where he has been a visiting doctor for more than 15 years had been rated as the worst mental hospital in the country.
‘Another piece of shoddy research or just brazen politics’…he thought to himself. He could think of dozens of hospitals in the country which are far worse than St. Andrews Home for the Mentally Disabled. He scribbled some of his thoughts into his diary and started walking into the caged corridors of St. Andrews.
‘Dr. Baker!’ the warden called out from the other end of the corridor. A stocky short man started walking towards him with his beer belly dangling from side to side.
‘This is a conspiracy, I tell you. I have been working here for 20 years, what have we done to get this’ he said flicking the two pager story with his fingers.
‘Look at the bright side Ronan, now all the attention will be on St. Andrews. The time has come to make your wish list’ Brian said patting his fluffy shoulders.
He saw a young petite girl coming towards the warden. Even before Brian could get a good look at her, the warden interrupted. ‘Let me introduce you to Natasha, our new intern. She joined yesterday and is very interested about your work. She was been looking forward to…’
Natasha couldn’t hold her excitement and blurted ‘I am a big admirer of your work Dr. Baker, your work on…’
Now it was Brian’s turn to interrupt ‘Call me Brian. I know what you must have read, that’s what most medical colleges in our country refer to these days…so I am assuming that you want to see me talking to my patients to complete your paper?’
‘I was wondering if I could see you talk to your celebrity patient who is on a death penalty’ Natasha said shyly, hoping he would agree.
‘The lady has done her homework Warden!’ he said with a dry smile.
Natasha blushed and couldn’t help but kept on looking at Brian’s simple and yet charming demeanour.
‘All right lady, but remember he is not on death penalty yet. The laws in our country state that you cannot give capital punishment if you are mentally unstable. So our job to make sure that he actually is.’ Brian said with a smirk.
The warden escorted Brian to the solitary room and Natasha to another room where she could listen to the conversation and watch Brain through the one way mirror.
Brian saw the one way mirror and felt someone was looking at him. He smiled at the mirror and felt Natasha smiling back at him.
His little virtual flirting was interrupted when his 67 year old patient walked in. His sedated drooping eyes were accompanied with hanging eye bags and was covered in his own vomit, which was not new. Brian was not surprised to see him in such a state. As soon as his brittle weak body was seated in the chair, Brian switched on the recorder and opened his notebook to make notes.
After the usual formalities and the introductions which was supposed to be given as per the law and as per the medical practice, Brian began asking his direct warm up questions and looking straight into the eyes of his patient.
BRIAN: I would like to talk about the death of your wife 20 years ago. Do you remember what had happened?
PATIENT: She is alive, right?
BRIAN: No she isn’t. The autopsy report here says that you punched her chest, her rib cage broke and died of internal bleeding.
PATIENT: I don’t know. (Rubbing his fingers and palms profusely)
Brian made note of the hand movements.
BRIAN: The autopsy report here also says that you punched her because she looked like a punching bag.
PATIENT: I don’t know what you are talking about. I have a boxing match to fight. I want to be the heavyweight champion of the world.
Brian made notes of his statements. His voice was even louder and shriller, sounding desperate.
BRIAN: So you mean you were practicing your punches on her body? Then how did she have a broken neck?
PATIENT: Ask her…I think she might know.
He noted his eyes; the patient looked around the room and was more impatient than before
Brian moved forward, his eyes penetrating into his patient even more. He forgot the fact that someone was watching his every move at the other side of the glass.
He took out a picture of a lady drenched in blood and slid it towards him
BRIAN: Do you remember her?
PATIENT: Yes I saw her yesterday walking around. She was wearing a khaki trouser and a blue linen shirt
BRIAN: Really? You saw her? In the same clothes I showed in the picture?
PATIENT: Yes. I don’t want to see that picture. I saw her walking all around yesterday.
After a couple of questions Brian concluded the interview, started packing and looked at the one sided window and wondered if Natasha was still watching.
Brian went out to make sure that Natasha was not there in the other room and looked around. As soon has he came back he saw his patient’s eyes. It was not droopy anymore, it was looking at him and Brian started walking towards his chair. They were alone now and the patient knew this.
‘What do you want from me, I can’t be here anymore and do this act of insanity…I am ready to die. Please let me go’ he pleaded.
‘You are a murderer, don’t forget that. You murdered her the day she started living with you, you broke her neck and killed her because she was your punching bag’
Brian placed his hands under his jaws nearly crushing them. ‘Do you think I will let you go so easy?’ He pushed his face and let go of his jaw. ‘It feels so nice to see a world heavy weight boxer loose for so many years’; Brian mocked giving him a wry smile.
Brian did not wait for his reply and left the room, passing by Natasha who looked very impressed with him. He went towards her and asked for her number which she obliged.
He went back to his car, took out his diary and scribbled:
God created man, but not his actions.
God created my mother, but not her care.
God created my father, but not his wrath.
God may forgive him but I will not.
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