We’re having a change of venue this week, since Dr Ed Case has own office in a rather affluent location in the City Centre. Much to Annie’s relief – she gets her space back, although she has requested a full steam clean to get rid of the lingering fragrances from CeeCee’s incense sticks. I think the Cedar wood was a step too far for her.
Anyway, Dr Ed’s therapy suite is on the thirteenth floor of the auspicious Rizzolo building, with spectacular views of the city and the River Rizzle. It should make the characters feel relaxed, unless they have a fear of heights, that is.
First up, as is the norm, we have Fern. She’s taking the lift right now and will be with us shortly. She won’t be alone, however. Dr Ed has asked Raven to join her. He has an altogether different approach to his questioning; his focus being on what drives the two young woman in this case and beyond. Eddie, as he’s asked to be called when the duo arrive, wants to be sure they’ll both come through this trial experience unscathed, and for that they’ll need to rely on and support each other.
So, while we wait for them to arrive, let’s take a tour of Dr Ed’s chambers and, if we have time, we can check out his credentials as well.
A steel door opens into a room bathed in natural light as a result of the floor-to-ceiling window directly opposite. The remaining walls are painted in a soft shade of green – I’d hasten a guess at a pistachio blend – with grey fixtures and fittings. Overstuffed armchairs – upholstered in a grey, paisley print circle a low, glass-topped table to the left, another chair and couch, in the same fabric, sit to the right. A steel desk and black, leather chair take the centre stage, with the cityscape in the background.
It’s rather low-key, but nonetheless elegant. Nothing like CeeCee’s makeover of Annie’s office at all.
Dr Ed Case, MD, Psy. D, sits at his desk, reading case notes, I imagine.
A knock on the door alerts him to their arrival. We’ll have to check his credentials another time.
EC: Come on in (He stands and walks to the door as Fern enters, followed by Raven) Welcome, ladies. please, make yourselves comfortable (he directs them to the grey armchairs)
RH: What a stunning view (she wanders over to the window – it’s the artist in her – always a sucker for a view)
FM: Hello, Dr ..
EC: Call me Eddie. It’s not as though you’re here as a client. (He smiles, revealing a dazzling display of expensive veneers)
FM: Thank you, Eddie
Fern’s voice is rather faint. I’m not sure she’s comfortable in this environment. Maybe she’s seen too many doctors in the last few years.
(Raven joins them, and takes a seat, sinking into the well-upholstered seat with a sigh. Fern shakes her head and pulls up besides her.)
FM: I’ll stay in my wheelchair, if that’s alright with you, Eddie.
EC: Of course. Whatever you’re most comfortable with. Now, would you like coffee, tea?
(Fern shakes her head – again) Someone is determined not to relax.
RH: I’d love a cappuccino, or failing that a simple white coffee. (she catches Fern’s disapproving look and mouths “What?” to her)
EC: No problem. This machine can handle that. It’s why I bought it – bit of a coffee connoisseur myself. Fern, would you prefer a cold drink?
FM: I’m fine.
That’ll be a “no” then!
(With coffees poured, Eddie sits opposite them and takes a sip, discreetly observing the two women during a moment of silence)
EC: So, I understand you’ve met with Annie and CeeCee already? What did you make of those sessions? (He directed his question at Fern)
FM: Annie was professional, as you’d expect. CeeCee was … well, let’s just say, we didn’t hit it off.
EC: Why was that?
Oh, Eddie, you’re pushing it now.
FM: I don’t believe in “magic”, Eddie.
Air quotes too. Well, you asked for it, Ed.
EC: Really? And, you, Raven, what’s your experience been like?
RH: Much the same. CeeCee’s attempts to connect with my dad were just too ridiculous for words. when she started talking through Blanche, her spirit guide, I knew it would end in disaster.
EC: Did it?
(Raven furrows her brow)
EC: End in disaster?
RH: Well, she certainly didn’t make any sense. Just spouted some nonsense about it not ending with the trial.
(Both women laugh – at CeeCee’s expense. Dr Ed gets up and fetches his notepad, then sits again and scribbles away. The women exchange glances.)
EC: Then you must have plans. After the trial?
RH: Too right we do. Once this is over, we’ll be focusing all our attention on a new business venture. Won’t we, Fern?
(Fern blushes) Is she as on board as Raven is with this?
FM: Correct. (she straightens her posture – a tad too much, possibly) Once this trial ends, and that creep is behind bars for good, all this will become a distant memory. Despite what CeeCee says, it all ends here, and I – we – get to return to normal.
Methinks she doth protest too much.
EC: Have you worked together before?
RH: (she jumps in to answer) No, but we have complimentary skills. I’m trained as a PI and Fern has the business brains. We’ve got this sorted.
EC: That’s good to hear. All too often, people who have been involved in a crime and subsequent court case, particularly those who are attacked, they struggle to rebuild their lives. Haunted by memories. It takes some people years of therapy to get over it.
FM: (laughs) are you touting for business?
EC: Just stating facts, Fern. You’re lucky to have such great support.
FM: I know that. And we will make this business work. Trust me.
Hmm, famous last words, maybe.
EC: (he bows his head in acknowledgement) Raven, you’ve given up your time to accompany Fern. You must be firm friends?
O-oh. Eddie’s messing with fire now.
RH: (fidgets in her chair) We’ve not known each that long. Certainly not as long as I’ve known Nessa.
(Fern scoffs. Ed makes more notes)
RH: As I was saying, (she glares at Fern) despite that, we have lots in common. We’re both fighters for justice.
EC: You sound like a new superhero duo. (He smiles, but the comment stuns the two young women)
FM: I’m not sure where this is going, Eddie. I assumed you’d be questioning us about the case, not about our future plans.
EC: My role is to examine your reasons for taking on this case, Fern. And to ensure you have adequate support once it’s over.
RH: What business is it of yours to examine her reasons? She was assaulted, left to drown, abandoned. What more reason could there be?
Mother Justice strikes again.
EC: You’re right. But not everyone has the fortitude to pursue a case like this. Especially in person. We all know Fern need not have travelled to Portugal to present her case. The system allows for her to work through a legal practitioner. I’m merely curious why she chose to re-live the assault – your words, not mine.
(Fern remains silent throughout this exchange)
RH: Tell him, Fern. You are doing this because you want to see justice done. Not to hear about it from your solicitor. Tell him. (She is staring hard at her friend by this point)
Fern’s silence speaks volumes. Is she regretting giving her account in person? She has to face him in court to do so. I wonder if she’s really as ready as she thinks.
FM: (She coughs, clearing her throat) That’s it exactly. I want to see the man who left me to drown, who tried to kill me despite only being on an assault charge … I want to see him found guilty.
EC: And you’re sure of the outcome?
RH: Of course she is. What other outcome could there be? I think we’ve answered your questions anyway. Thanks for the coffee. (Raven stands) Fern, are you coming?
FM: She’s right. You know my reasons and future plans. I think we’re done. Goodbye, Dr Case.
(Both make for the door)
EC: (stands and watches them leave) Thank you for coming, ladies. It’s been most informative.
Summary: Fern is more scared than she cares to admit. Raven, however, is determined to see this through to the end. Which is fine, considering she’s not the one in the hot seat, giving a statement. As for the future, can they really work well together. Only time will tell.
Dr Ed will see Nessa and Stefan together for his next session.
His approach certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons this time. Does that mean more fireworks to come?
Thanks for reading 🙂
In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.