Click to read more about Finnie from the beginning:
“At our last session, we left off talking about your most recent relationship. Care to tell me more, Fiona?”
Staring at the grey wall in the northern corner of the office, I rolled my eyes at the psychiatrist’s exaggerated use of my first name. He was well aware after two years of on-and-off-again sessions I went by my last name, Rylen. The only person in the world who ever came close to calling me by my first name was Tate. It would irritate me he did it as well if he hadn’t shortened it up to Finnie our first year working together.
“Yeah, real conceited prick. Thought the sun came up just to hear him crow. He told me once loving me was like his favorite song. Discover it, get goosebumps, can’t get enough of it. At first. You listen to it until every beat is memorized by heart, then realize after a while it’s not even enjoyable anymore because it’s played out. Predictable. Maybe a couple years down the road it comes on and rekindles the old flame but by then, there’s a new favorite song,” I sighed, anxiously tapping my booted foot against the floor. “I told him he should write that in a Hallmark card and shove it up his ass.”
Scratching a few notes down on a Steno, Dr. Gregson nodded heavily.
“You deal with breakups with anger?”
Looking up at me, his glasses slid down to the tip of his nose. I noticed he’d trimmed his mustache, toning down the grey bushiness that tended to overwhelm his top lip. His hand had paused in his continuous note taking; some days I wondered what he actually was writing. Grocery lists probably.
“Doesn’t everybody? In all honesty, Doc, every relationship I’ve ever been in has ended along those same lines. Not like I had a lot to base it on when I was young. My mom was only in the picture long enough to stick her head in my grandma’s door to ask for money. My ‘dad’ had a garage a couple blocks away but didn’t claimed me when I was born. Grandma was a widow of twelve years when she took me into her home, although her relationship with my grandpa seemed genuinely happy based on the stories she told.”
I fed into Doc’s obsessive need to know my background, easily divulging the details because I’d told the story a million times. I was numb to it. Having no mom and no dad growing up didn’t mean I had an awful childhood. My grandma was the best thing that had ever happened to me.
“I see. Understandable why you use sarcasm to deflect pain,” he murmured, making me grip the arms of the chair tight enough my knuckles turned white. “Now, going back to him, the last time you saw him?”
Now we were treading on dangerous territory. It was different talking about things that had happened in the past; they didn’t necessarily effect my direct relationship with my work. Doc couldn’t request time off for me for things years ago. Recent events, however, could determine whether he felt I was emotionally capable of doing my job. Losing Gabe had been Doc’s in; he’d always seen me as a problem child who he’d love to “take a look at.” Losing my partner seemed to be the catalyst, exposing the monster I had kept inside the first few years I was in law enforcement. My latest trend of anger outbursts kept me coming back every time I made a mistake. It wasn’t as if I was bad at my job, I just didn’t tolerate bullshit. I was not the poster child for public virtue.
“We saw each other was a few weeks ago at a bar in the city. I’d spent all night with a few of my girlfriends, all of us doing each other’s hair and makeup and sharing clothes. You know, girly shit,” I laughed. It was very unlike me but I’d let one of my closest friends drag me along knowing I needed a night out. “When we got to the bar, he was the first person I made eye contact with. He was standing against the bar, two skinny arms locked around his neck belonging to a blonde who couldn’t have weighed a hundred pounds soaking wet.”
I would rather die than admit to Doc how much it got to me but I found myself shrinking inwardly, something Doc never missed.
“It hurt you to see him that way,” he asked, meeting my eyes.
“It hurt me more to know it didn’t hurt him at all,” I challenged, looking down at my boots. “I believe my hour is up, Doc.”
Looking around his shoulder to the clock, he sighed before waving me away.
“Fiona,” he called, before I could escape out the door, “you are an excellent cop. I feel you should be told that every now and again. You never show a single sign of weakness in the field; something I think may not always be a positive attribute but you are highly respected amongst your peers. You do know that, correct?”
“Damn right I do,” I smiled, twisting the knob and releasing myself from the shrink’s office. I breathed in a rush of air conditioning, slipping the aviators down out of my hair onto the bridge of my nose and exited the double glass doors.
Tate’s Chevelle roared to life at the curb just as I realized I was being followed.
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