When they decided to open a counseling office, Quaid Jennings and Boyd Stanton didn't expect one of their patients to be killed. Though an odious man, Mr. Overman is still dead under mysterious circumstances. The police detective in charge of the investigation isn't very happy to meet them when they go to identify the body.
When they got to the lobby, an athletic, tall, blonde woman was talking to Oracle. She rose when they came out. Her square jawed face was elegant, the color of her dark eyes hard to distinguish in the dull, fluorescent light.
“Do we have an identification?” she asked Jeremy.
“Yes, ma'am. Detective Chelle O'Brian, this is Dr. Jennings and this is Dr. Stanton. They were Mr. Overman's therapists.”
“Doing a bang-up job, gentlemen,” she said, snapping her lips shut.
Quaid, Boyd and Oracle stared at her, appalled. Even Jeremy had no idea what to say.
“Overman wasn't suicidal,” Oracle said. “I'd bet my license on it.”
“You might have to,” O'Brian said, her eyes flashing dangerously. “Three people in charge of his care, and he offs himself?”
“You can see any of our records,” Boyd said. “With the proper warrants. Overman was many things, but he wasn't a suicide risk. I'd more peg him for homicidal than suicidal.”
“And yet you let him go,” O'Brian said, her tone chilly.
Boyd, wisely, said nothing. Oracle started to open her mouth, but Quaid shook his head.
“Ms. O'Brian, are you a medical professional, mental health specialist? A psychiatrist or psychologist? Social worker?”
Quaid bulled over her words, holding up his hand like a stop sign. “So, it's your completely uneducated opinion that my colleagues and I weren't doing our jobs, and that's why he jumped off a bridge?”
“I didn't say that.”
“That's exactly what you said. You insinuated that we purposely put a patient at risk. We did all we could for him, but he was rude, disrespectful, abusive of our staff and, more than once, took a swing at Boyd and me. He should have been in a facility full time, but they didn't want him either. He was a low down, pain in the ass.”
“So, you cast him aside.”
“I gave him plenty of other resources to call upon. I released him to another facility, who were supposed to follow up and continue his care.”
“But you let him go!”
“You want to know what he said to Oracle? Or to Pearl? He called my friends horrible names, called me a faggot....”
“And you let a word bother you? You're a grown man.”
“No, ma'am. I didn't. But I won't hear my sweet, intelligent Asian receptionist be referred to as a retarded slope eye or my elegant, caring social worker be called a nappy headed bitch. Are you saying that their welfare is less important than his?”
He purposely kept several feet away, not advancing into her personal space. She advanced into his, poking her finger at his chest. Before she could touch him or speak, he took a step back.
“Before you commit assault in front of witnesses, maybe you'd better reflect on what you want to say to me. I did my job, as did Ms. Jones and Dr. Stanton. I'm very sorry that Mr. Overman is dead, but I find it very difficult to believe that he killed himself. I suggest you instruct Jeremy to run a complete tox screen—now, because certain drugs break down rather quickly.” He looked at his watch. “It's been what, nearly an hour?” He eyed her over his raised wrist. “Mr. Overman was officious, obnoxious, and had the most toxic personality of anyone I've ever met. What he wasn't—was suicidal. I think you're looking at a murder or a very sad accident, Ms. O'Brian. I suggest you get cracking. Now, if you'll excuse us, we're tired and would like to get home to bed. We'd be happy to talk to you tomorrow.”
“I want his records.”
“Which we'll be happy to release with the proper warrant,” Boyd said. “I already told you we're willing to cooperate. We won't, however, stand here and take anymore abuse from you. Goodnight, Detective. Jeremy, thank you for your consideration. If you need us to sign something, let's do that and get it over with so we can go home.”
“Sure, Dr. Stanton.” He pulled up the paperwork and printed it for them to sign.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes