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Target, Part Two
Dr. Janson's office in downtown Charlotte is within walking distance of the Charlotte Police Department which was convenient. All her patients are cops, even me. I'm retired.
"Should I lie on the couch this time?" I asked.
We stood in front of her desk and today she was wearing a black skirt, a white blouse with tiny red buttons and red shoes with improbable high heels.
"I'm surprised to see you again, Bob." She sat in one of two wing back chairs and crossed her legs. "Sit wherever you like."
I took the other chair directly from her so I could look at her legs. I'm sixty-five, not dead.
"I have some issues," I said.
"I hoped you'd come back so we could talk a bit more about the Target shooting," she said as she picked up an iPad off her desk, flipped it open and uncrossed her legs.
"I believe I was somewhat circumspect, when I was here last week." I said.
"If by circumspect, you mean a paranoid jerk wad... I agree."
"Are you married?" I asked.
"We're talking about you, not me."
"Yeah, I didn't think so." I said.
"You're widowed," she said reading from my file on her iPad. "I'm sorry."
I was sorry too but ten years is an eternity, except when it wasn't. Like when someone used the word widow.
" Are you feeling conflicted about the man you killed in the Target Starbucks?"
I smiled which was probably not one of the approved responses.
"I'll take that as a no," she said. "Would you care to talk about feeling conflicted?"
She didn't make the quotations motion with her fingers when she said the word conflicted so I was encouraged.
"Are you a religious person?" I asked.
"Again this is about you, not me."
I stood and walked over to the coffee pot on her credenza and fixed myself a cup. I turned to her and said "What if I told you the shooting at Target was an ambush?"
"Well, you've certainly got my attention..."
So I told her the story. She listened without comment and without making any notes on the iPad.
"Am I nuts?" I asked.
"That's not a term professionals use frequently," she said. "But, if you believe God has chosen you as his instrument of vengeance..."
I sat my empty cup down and walked over to her chair and waited silently.
"You might just be, crazy as a loon."
"They teach you that term at whacko school?" I asked.
"You killed a man," she said as I took my seat. "after thirty years working as a police officer and never using your gun before. You were shot and spent, what was it six days in the hospital..."
"I don't count the first two since I was unconscious..." I said.
"Pumped full of all sorts of pain numbing drugs," she said.
"Second only two sponge baths," I said.
"The point is the whole story you just told me is the result of physical and emotional stress compounded by narcotics."
"I searched the Matthew Chapter five, Verse nine on my cell phone," I said. She seemed unimpressed. "This was just before the shooting."
She swiped through several pages on her iPad before looking over at me.
"There is no mention of that in the police report."
"Don't tell the defense," I said. "but everything doesn't get on the official police report."
"I'm sorry,” she said. “There is some other explanation. I just can't buy it.”
"Would you be willing to bet your life on it?" I asked. "I'm not."
"Don't tell me," she said. "You've seen me in a video on a bar scanner at Target."
"I don't go to Target anymore," I said.
We sat for a bit in silence which was neither uncomfortable nor unpleasant.
"Well?" She said.
"It was an ATM at Carolina Place Mall."
Target, Part One
- Target, A Short Story
An improbable revelation challenges a nameless retired police officer
- Target, Part Three
Retired police Captain Bob Lewis and Dr. Janson face a crazy man at the Carolina Place Mall.