Dr. Frank Fletcher is a mental health professional who arbitrates what is 'real' everyday. He's heard nearly every possible delusion. However, this newest 'Jane Doe' has a new one. Of course her story is a hallucination because the world just doesn't work that way, right?
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. None of the characters, places, or anything else is meant to be represented by anything in reality. Duh! Fiction, get it? I the author reserve the rights, so please don't go posting this anyplace else without my permission. A very special thanks goes out to Cathy who spent the time to make this story readable. Another round of thanks goes out to all the others out there in BCTS land who have encouraged and inspired me to write and keep writing. Any remaining mistakes are all mine.
Dr. Frank Fletcher looked over the file before him. The 'Jane Doe' was found wearing men's clothing that was much too big for her, as well as having the wallet of a person who, as of yet, hadn't been located, a Mr. Jerry Cole. When confronted by New York's Finest she appeared dazed and confused. During questioning, she claimed to be Mr. Cole. Judge Romero promptly sent her here to St. Luke's for psychiatric evaluation.
'Jane' was in her mid-twenties, and a very attractive redhead. No distinguishing marks were found, but her nails were professionally manicured. She easily could've been a model, except for her delusion.
As she was bought in by Julie and Vincent, the orderlies, 'Jane' was alert and examined the room as well as himself who sat at the table. Given she was a suspect in a disappearance, as well as having a stolen ID and bank cards on her person, she was cuffed. What was out of the ordinary was her startled, focused look at a point in space where nothing existed.
As a trained observer he noted that, as well as the fact she quickly hid her reaction. Additionally, she kept track of the orderlies' locations as well as a slight nod when Julie took up her station by the door after Vincent left.
I'm Dr. Fletcher.” He began and asked “So what may I call you?”
“You might as well call me Jane.” She looked down at her cuffed wrists. “That's what everyone else is calling me.”
“Do you have another name you would rather use?” He pressed, hoping to get her real name.
“I did.” Jane gave him a tired sarcastic smile. “But since it's gender inappropriate, it wasn't well received. Let's just go with Jane.”
“Do you know why you're here?” He marked that she seemed to be keeping to the fiction she told the police, veiling it in deception.
“But of course I do, Dr. Fletcher.” She looked at him as if he was one being evaluated. “I screwed up. Something totally unexpected happened to me and, while shocked half out of my mind, I told the truth.”
“The truth being you're Jerry Cole and you were transformed from a fifty year old man to a young woman half that age?” He looked at her over the top of his glasses. Who was she trying to kid here?
“But of course not Dr. Fletcher.” She replied sardonically. “We 'all' know things like that are impossible and can't happen. The universe just doesn't work that way.”
“No it doesn't.” He agreed, sagely. “Are you willing to give me another name instead of Jane?”
“Doctor,” She sighed. “I have a question for you if I may?”
“Please go ahead.” He shifted his position, noting that she still persisted with this idea that she was this Mr. Cole.
“Let's pretend, just for a moment, that what I'm saying is true.” Her smile was obviously faked. “Nothing, but pure make-believe I know, but humor me.”
“Oh, please continue.” He looked at her over his glasses again.
“Thank you.” She replied with exaggerated courtesy.
“Since this is just play, let's pretend that, every now and then, I get lucky.” Her smile turned into something more like a grimace. “If I'm in the right place at just the right time I can sort of push things along into going the way I want. It doesn't happen often and lot of the times it only works for certain things. Of course I have no clue of what will work or what won't till I try.”
“So you're saying,” He tried to make her clarify, “That you can make your wishes come true?”
“I suppose you could call it that.” Her pasted on smile was back. “But like I said, most times its only for certain kinds of things and not always in the way I want. If it did, I wouldn't be in this predicament. For instance, I might desire a 'lot' of money, and I find a 'lot' of pennies.
“It also has consequences.” She raised a brow, challenging him. “For this bit of directed luck, I get much more than an equal amount of bad fortune. I had to learn the hard way that it's rarely worth it. You're with me so far?”
“Oh, yes.” He replied still taking notes. “Please proceed.”
“That's what happened, but this time I so was lonely and desperate that I wanted nothing more than to not hurt anymore.” Her sad smile this time appeared genuine. “That kind of scared me, since it sort of bordered on suicide, but I didn't want die. More than anything else in the world, I wanted to live.”
“And that's when you 'changed' from Mr. Cole into your present self?” His skepticism came to the fore. This was such a fascinating delusion. It would be very interesting to see the root causes.
“I have another question for you.” She avoided answering his inquiry. “How else do you explain me?”
“You're a very intelligent and, I might add, an imaginative young woman.” He spoke frankly. “However, even you appear to recognize the implausibility of your 'story.' You must understand that in order to help you we must know your real idenity.”
“Let's say I do give you another name and background, but none of it is verifiable.” She took a deep, uncertain breath. “So what happens?”
“Jane.” He sighed. “It doesn't work that way. We only want the truth of who you are and what really happened to Mr. Cole.”
“I've told the truth.” She glared at him. “No one is the least bit willing to even compare my finger prints, much less consider for a moment that reality isn't what they want it to be.
“Well, in that case.” He returned her glower with a frank gaze. “You'll be held here until some sign of Mr. Cole shows up. It's possible you'll be charged with robbery, since his drivers license and other cards aren't yours and are considered official documents.”
“Well.” She exhaled heavily. “It sounds like I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't and just plain screwed either way.”
“Not at all, Jane.” He observed her eyes cutting back to empty space in the air. “All you have to do is tell us the truth.”
“You know.” She laughed, shaking her head. “Jack had it so right. I never really realized that, although he's played so many of the crazy 'guy' roles, that he did that one too.”
“And that is?” He asked, looking over his glasses again.
“You can't handle the truth!” She stood thrusting her cuffed hands towards that spot she'd been surreptitiously glancing at.
Julie darted forward and he reached for the buzzer to summon more help when his mouth dropped open.
Her hands had completely disappeared as if she'd put them through an invisible hole!
With a flick of her wrists, the suddenly visible and opened handcuffs flew at Julie who barely caught them in time to avoid being hit in the face.
“Doc.” Her maniacal grin alarmed him. “I really didn't want to do this since, like I said, it has consequences, but it's not as if any of you gave me a choice. I hope you enjoy seeing how it's like being thought as crazy! See ya!”
Then came this crazy moment, like out of the movies, as the whole room rippled.
She was gone!
Finally hitting the buzzer, he jumped up to see where she went.
“What's up Dr. Fletcher?” Vincent opened the door.
“She's gone!” He shouted, alarmed that she got away so easily.
“Who's gone?” The big orderly asked looking questioningly at Julie. “We haven't brought anyone in yet. I know you like having time to go over the case files after Julie brings them to you.”
“The redheaded Jane Doe that Judge Romero sent over.” He explained testily, looking to Julie for help. “She just vanished!”
“Ah, Judge Romero hasn't sent anyone since last Tuesday, right Julie?” Vincent gave them both a cautious expression.
Glancing at the handcuffs she had in her hands as if wondering how they got there, the tall woman put them away as she shook her head as if to clear it.
“You're forgetting that bum from the park that thought he was King Arthur that came in yesterday.” She corrected her fellow orderly.
Frank froze. Something was not right!
Carefully he walked back to his desk and files, but there was no trace at all of any of anything at all mentioning Jane. A glance at his computer, showed not even it had not recorded anything. In fact there was nothing at all to prove she'd ever been there.
“You're right, Vincent.” He tried to hide his dismay and shock. “I must have dozed off and fell into a dream. I apologize and do hope this can be forgotten.”
“Well.” The orderly appeared to have bought his lie. “You have been working awfully long hours. You're already here when I arrive and still at it when I leave.”
“Maybe I should take some time off.” He really felt like he needed one hell of a stiff drink. Even Julie, who was right there in the room with him, didn't seem to remember what really happened. Reality just did not change itself. Things just don't work that way!
“That's a good idea.” Julie agreed, still a little dazed herself. “You can't let this place get to you. Just because all of them are locked up, don't mean you have to be.”
“You both have made your points.” Frank made himself smile. “It is time for a vacation.”
It'd never felt so good to be back home. Not wasting a moment he went straight to their modest little bar. Ever since the 'Jane' incident, that morning, he'd been mentally off balance. There was no such thing as reality changing or wishes coming true. There just wasn't!
“Dinner will be ready in just a few.” Marta, his wife, gave him a little wave.
She was watching one of her fashion programs that she followed religiously.
“How was the drive home?” She asked, taking a sip of her wine. She'd long ago learned that asking about his job was a dead end. Given patient confidentiality he could only discuss generalities.
“Not bad,” He swirled the expensive brandy about before taking that first mouthful of fire. “I talked with Adam about taking some time off. After all, I have weeks of vacation time built up.”
“It's about time.” Marta gently scolded him. “Our grandson is going to be six soon and we haven't spent anywhere near enough time with him.”
Looking up at the TV before replying, he almost spit the mouthful of brandy all over his wife.
It was Jane!
Are you alright dear? His wife asked, looking up at the set to see what had him choking.
“That's just Jeremia Kovylina.” She giggled slapping him on the back as his nose and throat burned from trying to breath the brandy. “She's a Russian model who's recently moved to the United States.”
“What do you think of New York?” The reporter asked the redheaded model.
“I love this country and city.” She replied in a strong Slavic accent. “Everyone has been so welcoming.
“It is tragic that my own country's policies have turned against those whose only offenses have been to be different.” The beautiful redhead sighed. “I regret this move was necessary.
“However,” She looked right at the camera, and Frank had the uncomfortable feeling she was staring right at him. “There are always consequences.”
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