Testing Times - Chapter 36 "The New Shrink"

Testing Times - A Tommy & Tamara Story  

Part
Thirty Six

 

"The New Shrink"

 
Monday 1st June (Continued)
 

Details were sketchy, who else had been in the library with Lori? She'd been taken by air ambulance to the Raigmore in Inverness once they'd done their best to stabilise her. The police were also on site quickly, Tammy followed them in through the gate. She could see her mum getting into the helicopter, Tammy presumed Lori's mum had been informed, but knew she lived hundreds of miles away.

The library was out of bounds as the police wanted to search for evidence, a solid oak book case does not simply topple over, except it did.

Lori's injuries were extensive, she suffered a crushed ribcage and multiple fractures. She'd arrested and had required an emergency tracheotomy. It did not look good for her.

Tammy asked questions, but these were the same questions as many others, who would do this? Was it a tragic accident? Who would be strong enough to topple that?

Classes were disrupted, sixth formers were excused lessons so they could help and the fire drill was forgotten. Jeri found Tammy outside the library, behind the blue tape, Tammy was crying; it was Jeri's turn to comfort her friend.

"It's awful."

"I know, but we can't jump to conclusions."

"But Tammy, what if they thought it was me in the library?" Lori's choice of clothing that day was not dissimilar to Jeri.

"You were in English? Anyone who knew your timetable would know where you'd be."

"I had double English as we're taking the English Language exam tomorrow, but normally it's a library period followed by a single English lesson. That's what my timetable would say."

Tammy, however, was interrupted and didn't hear all of Jeri's reply. A unformed officer was announcing that anyone who'd spoken to Miss Lori Jenkins that day would need to give a statement to the police.

"Hello again Ben."

"Tammy, Miss Smart, you got back here fast?"

"I do have a Mini Cooper and it hugs the bends just nicely."

"You've only had a licence for two months, most young driver couldn't handle that car."

"They didn't have instruction from a police pursuit driver, did they?" Tammy regretted showing off the moment she said it.

"Where was that?"

"I can't say."

"I guess your sponsorship has some value added features?"

"Come on Ben, do you want my statement?"

"Yes, now what happened?"

Tammy recounted her conversation, it turned out she was the only one who knew Lori was going back to the library, although several had apparently seen her in there before morning break.

The lunch bell went as they were finishing, "sign here, and here."

Tammy went to the refectory to find she'd missed lunch, the bell she'd heard was the one for period five, the first period after lunch. The hatches were all closed but there was a selection of fruit available, she took a banana.

Tammy sat in the empty refectory to eat her yellow fruit and wondered about the mornings events, Lori could die, did someone do this, was Jeri the intended target? There were too many possibilities and insufficient solid evidence to sort it out.

Jeri had elected to go back to the cottage, but it took Tammy half an hour to find this out. She drove herself home, confused and scared.

 
Friday 5th June
 

Tammy was driving Angela and Jeri over to Inverness, they were painfully aware that there was an empty seat in the car that should have been occupied by their friend. Lori was still desperately unwell, they had been told she was being kept in a coma and on full life support. Her mother had arrived on Monday night, releasing Joan.

So, although the girls were only a mile from the Raigmore Hospital they couldn't visit. Tammy had, instead, phoned the gift shop and ordered a bear, it could be put next to Lori's bed when she was moved out of the ICU. How long that would be was unknown.

The police had concluded their investigation and could find no evidence that Lori was attacked, but it seemed the cabinet's feet had failed, unbalancing it. It transpired that a librarian had reported a 'wobble' two weeks earlier when putting a book on a high shelf. What had proved to be difficult for the paramedics was that Lori had been sat in a far corner, somewhere favoured by sixth formers for its isolation, it was almost completely surrounded by book cases. This area was also the only carpeted area whilst the rest of the library flooring was polished wood,

An accident report would go to the Sheriffs Court to examine if a criminal act had taken place, whether through deliberate acts or negligence.

The Governors' meeting on Tuesday could have been postponed but several parent governors were already travelling at the time of the accident. Elsie sent word to the Headmaster that she would not be standing for the Chair but was instead nominating Richard. A minute into the meeting Richard had become the chairman at a time when the school was suffering a major calamity, Tammy queried his judgement later that day.

"The school needs strong leadership, I'll see through the next few months and step down in the autumn."

"You're a parent governor, won't you have to resign when Angela and I leave?"

"I would be able to stay for a year after that, but my status was transferred to a community governor, replacing Harry's seat. That means there's now a parental space on the board. The adverts will go out with the end of year reports next month."

The three girls had arrived in Inverness and were now sat in a café, but they weren't hungry, Tammy was worried they'd done badly in their exams that week. All three had English Language on Tuesday, there had also been History and Business Studies exams for Angela and Tammy respectively.

Rumours suggested there had been another two or three domestic arguments in the school cottage where Jeri had objected to a third day of separate meals or takeaways. The following night she'd prepared a cottage pie, which Helen had finally admitted, tasted miles better than the shop-bought reheat version. She even enjoyed sharing the cooking experience, even if Jeri was doing the bulk of the work.

Finally the three girls left the café for the short walk to Dr Hall's offices. It looked like a normal house, apart from the bronze name plates by the door, plainly several practitioners operated out of the same address.

Jeri went first, apparently it was done alphabetically. The waiting room was otherwise empty so Angela and Tammy could freely talk, but neither felt like it.

It was twenty five minutes by the time Jeri returned and a few more minutes before Angela was called it.

"How was it?" Tammy waited until it was just the two of them, Jeri wasn't comfortable talking in front of Angela, she just didn't know the girl well enough.

"Lots of questions, he had reports from the Birmingham Children's Hospital where my orchi was done, apparently they offered mum several counselling sessions for me."

"You went to one?"

"No, mum was too upset to take me."

"So what does Dr Hall say?"

"He says it's too soon to give a diagnosis but he wants to see me again before school starts in September."

"You need to be seen a month before that, otherwise you won't get a place in the female dorm."

"I told him that, but he had mum on speaker and she didn't seem concerned."

"I'm sorry, Jeri, but doesn't she understand the situation?"

"I don't know, I don't know."

"Look, we'll talk to Joan, she can exercise the 'in loco parentis' responsibility for the female and transgendered students so can bring you to your next appointment, we can also get you to see Professor Roberts in Glasgow."

"Isn't that expensive?"

"Do not worry about that, your well-being comes first. Did he examine you?"

"No, he said he doesn't do physical examinations but would send a request to my GP."

"Good, even on speaker your mum couldn't authorise an examination without your agreement, even though you're under eighteen."

"Don't remind me!"

"Hey, it's not long till your birthday."

"Three months."

"See?"

"Yes, but school restarts a few days after my eighteenth so I wouldn't have time to arrange anything on my own."

Angela was back out of the room in under ten minutes, she did not look very happy.

"He said I was copying you, that I did this to get at my father."

"Those were Jill's arguments last December."

"Yes, he was thinking of stopping me from taking HRT!"

"You've got a three month supply?"

"Yes, I have just over two months left."

"When do you see the Prof?"

"The twenty nineth."

"June?"

"Yes."

"So ignore him."

Tammy was called in.

Dr Hall was a short man with a receding hairline, he was sat in an armchair and invited for Tammy to sit opposite him, a coffee table between them. His accent, wasn't Scottish."

"Good afternoon."

"Good afternoon, Miss Smart, both of the others have the greatest respect for you."

"Both of the other girls, you mean?"

"Did I?"

"Please, Doctor, I am not here to play mind games, I'm also paying the fees for today and expect value for money. That includes respect for my sister and my friend."

"I see Dr Davison has your character profile to a T."

Tammy stood, "I do not expect to be insulted and I should insist that anything that woman wrote is discredited. Unless you're prepared to do your job properly then this is where the farce ends."

"Please sit down, I apologise."

Tammy was still on edge but did as asked.

"Firstly, Miss Smart, I will not take anything by Dr Davison at face value. Secondly I wanted to test you, I was given to understand that you were very protective of your sister and friends."

"I am."

"Does that extend to persuading them to declare themselves as transgendered?"

"No, but it does mean I will always support them."

"There's emotional support in the school, why would you become involved?"

"Angela is my sister, or at least will be when our parents marry in a couple of months. She suffered emotionally due to an abusive father but didn't know who or what she was. It was my coming out that apparently acted as a catalyst, I was as surprised as anyone else."

"And Miss Anders?"

"Her psoriasis put her in skirts but as a male. We didn't know about her other physical and emotional issues at the time, but she came out to me and Angela at a difficult time."

"So you were there at the crucial moment again?"

"I think that implies I wanted to interfere and caused her to make the announcement?"

"No, but it's more than circumstantial."

"If the girls wanted support, would they go to the nearest rugby or shinty player?"

He laughed, "I guess not. Now, what about you?"

"I'm not sure about having my GRS this autumn."

"That's a little presumptuous, Miss Smart."

"No, it's what Professor Roberts said to me."

"Julian Roberts?"

"The same, I'm due to see him at the end of the summer, I'll make sure Jeri goes as well."

"I'm sorry to raise this but Dr Davison wanted to apply the two year rule."

"If I'd known that earlier I would have found someone else."

"So if you don't like the diagnosis you find someone else who'll be more favourable?"

"No, in business you don't automatically accept the first tender for a job, you might examine three or more tenders and choose the best one. I don't like being played by-called professionals."

"Okay, how comfortable are you as a female?"

"I am female, I don't have to judge myself."

"You still have a penis."

"An issue that will be resolved shortly, but what's in my knickers has no effect on what goes on up here." Tammy said, smiling for the first time that afternoon whilst pointing at her head.

"I see, you seem very confident that I will accept, but I can not give in to you."

"Give in to what? You should make a decision based on the evidence available. Fortunately I do not need to go on an NHS waiting list and I have no real need to head off to Thailand. I'll remind you that Professor Roberts has agreed my GRS, I only need one other signature."

"Which I won't give on the basis of a single appointment, sorry but that's an absolute rule."

"I can accept that, are you free tomorrow?"

He ignored the jibe, "even if you didn't, I would not waver. I'll see you next in November, I believe that's twelve months from your first skirted experience?"

Tammy laughed, "I see your records are missing key facts! I was working as a girl for months before that, every Saturday, I just wasn't out on the street like that." Tammy blushed, realising what she'd said. "Oops, sorry."

"I accept some of the history may not be accurate but I have the initial reports and your blood works so the HRT decision was justified, it was just a matter of which way it went."

"Yes."

The Doctor stood, Tammy likewise.

"I understand there was a fourth girl due here today?"

"Unfortunately she's in hospital following an accident."

"Is she also a sixth former in a private boys school?"

"Yes, why?"

"I'm wondering if there's a paper in it? It seems like a high percentage."

"I suspect you won't get the level of co-operation required."

"Probably not, never mind. Thank you Miss Smart."

"Thank you Doctor."

Tammy rejoined the girls, a few other appointments had turned up and one looked very uncomfortable, sat with a parent.

She waited until they were outside before saying anything, "well, I was ready to walk out." She recounted the exchanges, as best she could remember.

"That's what he said to me," interrupted Angela, but I explained I was just petrified what my father would do if he found out. Your own experience and his suspension from school gave me the courage."

Tammy nodded, she recalled the events well. They'd reached Tammy's car, she docked her phone and switched it on. There was a voicemail waiting.

"Tammy, if you're still in Inverness can you get round to the Raigmore?"



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