18 What Was Your Intent?

Max opened his eyes.

His vision was unclear but he could make out the shape of a figure hovering above him. He could not make out exactly who it was though. He heard voices talking faintly all once. A searing pain pierced his head, his eyes rolled back and he lost consciousness again.

***

Jolene sat calmly opposite Detective Judith in her office. Her eyes were unsettled and her lips dry, but she put on a composed posture.

"Good afternoon." Detective Judith greeted. Her face was a combination of serious and upset. She wasn't in the mood to laugh nor play games.

"Let's just get on with why I am here." Jolene shrugged.

"And why do you think you are here?" Judith opened a big book and flipped to a blank page.

"I have no idea. I should be the one asking. You are the one who asked to interrogate me." Jolene crossed her legs and adjusted in her chair.

"I see." Judith said in a voice that downplayed Jolene's statement. This interview was not going to end very well, she concluded. Jolene didn't seem happy about it. And she too wasn't in a positive mood. She grabbed a pen and began to write on the blank page. Her table was a mess made up of pens, a wired phone, lots of disarrayed paper work, two empty bottles of water and a sealed carton. Without looking up, she asked; "How long have you been Max Robinson's therapist?"

"Well over four years now I think."

"You think?" Judith raised her head briefly to look at the woman and returned to her writing.

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"That's correct." Jolene maintained.

"What has he been seeing you for?"

"Anxiety issues. Insomnia. Anger management. Depression."

Judith raised her head again, but this time it wasn't brief. She held Jolene's eyes. "I get that you have memorized the answers to the possible questions you suspected I might ask, but please make it look natural."

"I don't understand." Jolene frowned in response.

"For a psychological expert, you are doing poorly." Judith dropped.

Jolene eased her crossed legs and grabbed her bag. "I won't sit here and watch you insult me. Have a great day!" She got up and headed for the door.

"Well you can leave, but don't be shocked when I turn up at your door with cuffs. I trust you value your license and reputation over a small insult." Judith returned to her writing and began to hum a song.

Jolene stopped just before she reached the door and turned around. "You are threatening to arrest me because I do not want to be interviewed by a salty officer like you? Or is there something else I'm missing?"

"Well, there is poisoning Max and there is James's disappearance." Judith gestured with a touch of indifference.

"I did not poison Max."

"That's why you are here. I'm giving you a chance to prove you are wrongly suspected. But you can walk away if you want. I don't mind honestly. You will have to explain to a court how you entered into the Robinson's mansion unnoticed, and then found Max poisoned. You would also have to explain to the disciplinary boards of your profession, what kind of relationship exists between you and your client." Judith wasn't very bothered and if she could, she would take out all her anger on this woman who had never offended her before. She rubbed the swell on her forehead from two nights ago when she had fought with Paris, and her anger doubled.

Jolene remained in the same position for a few minutes, trying to decide walking away or staying. Then she returned to her seat, looking angrier than she was when she got up. "My relationship with my clients are purely platonic and professional if you are suggesting something else."

Judith smiled to herself. "So what where you doing at the Robinson's two nights ago? It was late."

"I believe when Max regains full consciousness, he will be able to tell you that I am innocent and have absolutely nothing to do with any of this." She set her bag down gently on the table. "Max called me and said he was having his anxiety episodes again."

"Continue." Judith paused her writing and gave the other woman full attention now.

"It was late and I tried to recommend solutions over the phone; things to help him come around and stay calm, but he said he needed me to come."

"Why?" Judith asked.

"You should ask him that when he comes around. I'm not him."

"So you have no idea?"

"Other that I'm his therapist and he needed my presence at that time? No."

"And the front door was open when you arrived?"

"The gatekeeper was keeping watch over the gate. It was he who let me in, you can ask him. But the front door to the house was not locked. It was just closed."

"So he sees you whenever he is having a relapse?" Judith pushed.

"That's not what I said. I said he asked to see me on the night he was having an anxiety attack, just before he attempted suicide." Jolene was losing her patience as the time dragged on.

"Did he mention the attempt to you before he carried it out?"

"No."

"Before I continue, I just want to make sure... are you sure your relationship with this client of yours isn't more than professional, Jolene? Because Max may come around and confess otherwise."

Jolene remained solid. "I have told you what the truth is."

Judith nodded. There had to be something more, she could sense it. Jolene was more than Max's therapist. She just needed her to confess to it. But it was Jolene's words against her instinct and if there was some consensual sex going on between the two, she was not certain Max would reveal much either. She felt somewhat jealous and she didn't even know why. It was just a kiss and a make out session they shared, but why was she now feeling protective of him? "Are you aware his younger brother James has been missing for some days now?"

"Sure." Jolene answered briskly. "I've been Max's therapist during this period. He is really devastated by what has happened. He feels overwhelmed and blames himself for it."

"And as his therapist, do you think he might be guilty?"

"No, not at all." Jolene quickly defended. "Max loved his brothers. The way he speaks about them, you would just know."

"Okay. And you, did you know James personally?"

Jolene shook her head. "No. I saw him on a few occasions but we never really communicated. He wasn't my friend. I just knew he was my client's brother."

"And so you had no intention to hurt him at all."

Jolene scoffed, "Why would I want to hurt him?" She rubbed her face in frustration. "Is this the point of this interview? You expect me to say something to indict myself?"

Detective Judith closed the book in front of her. "Well if he knew something he should not have known; something that threatened all your years of hard work as a psychotherapist, wouldn't you think that was enough motive to get rid of him?"

"You are really not as smart as you think dear." Jolene laughed out loud. "If you are suggesting that Max and I were involved in an unprofessional way, and his brother knew, it would be Max I would get rid off first because he would be the primary threat. But that isn't the case, fortunately for all of us."

Judith smiled to herself again. "Well, thanks for that useful piece of information. That will be all Miss Shrink. Thank you for your time."

Jolene wasted no time getting up and grabbing her bag. "I'm glad it's over."

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