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Locked Away (Book #2 in the Love and Madness series)
Locked Away (Book #2 in the Love and Madness series)
Locked Away (Book #2 in the Love and Madness series)
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Locked Away (Book #2 in the Love and Madness series)

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Book #2 in the Love and Madness series. Yet also a stand-alone novel.

A teenage girl jumps out of her psychoanalyst’s window, crashes to the ground and dies. Was it suicide? Or did her analyst push the patient to her death?

Duffino is now a beautiful, successful psychoanalyst in the upper east side of Manhattan, an expert in mother daughter relationships. Yet nothing prepared her for her latest patient: Andromeda, a schizophrenic teenage girl accused of murdering her mother.

As Andromeda’s mind games proceed, Duffino becomes lost deeper in a maze of lies, deception and confusion.

A page-turning psychological thriller, this novel takes us deep into the world of madness, and shows us that all is not as well as it seems.

Book #2 in the Love and Madness series, yet also stand-alone novel. Book #1 (CONFINEMENT) is also available.
LanguageEnglish
PublisherJaden Skye
Release dateJun 7, 2014
ISBN9780976585558
Locked Away (Book #2 in the Love and Madness series)
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    Locked Away (Book #2 in the Love and Madness series) - Gabriella Murray

    LOCKED AWAY

    (Book #2 in the Love and Madness series)

    by

    Gabriella Murray

    Also by Gabriella Murray

    CONFINEMENT (Book #1 in the Love and Madness series)

    Gabriella Murray

    Dr. Gabriella Murray has been in private practice for 25 years as a state-certified psychologist and psychotherapist.  She has lectured at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, JFK Hospital, NY State Psychological Association, The Association for Humanistic Psychology and the Mental Health Association.  She is also a successfully produced playwright, and her fiction has been widely published in national literary magazines.  Her work has been translated into 14 languages.

    Copyright ©  2010 Gabriella Murray

    All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior permission of the author.

    This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locals is entirely coincidental.

    Table of Contents

    CHAPTER 1

    CHAPTER 2

    CHAPTER 3

    CHAPTER 4

    CHAPTER 5

    CHAPTER 6

    CHAPTER 7

    CHAPTER 8

    CHAPTER 9

    CHAPTER 10

    CHAPTER 11

    CHAPTER 12

    CHAPTER 13

    CHAPTER 14

    CHAPTER 15

    CHAPTER 1

    When I left Bingham hospital for the criminally insane 10 years ago, I’d never imagined that I’d one day become a doctor myself, a therapist caring for those with mental illness. My years at Bingham had taught me well. Deep within every cell of my body, I grew to understand what patients needed, and what doctors needed as well. My practice grew and grew, as I cured one patient after the other. I expected a beautiful career ahead of me.

    And then, one day, it all turned for the worse.

    When the news story broke it made the front pages:

    Patient jumps from analyst’s window. Young girl plunges to her death.

    What I objected to most was the phrase young girl. Andromeda was not young. She was ancient. She was ready for her death when it happened. In her own way, she begged me for it.

    The article didn't say much about the analyst:

    Terrified analyst goes into shock.

    That wasn't true either. I wasn't the least bit terrified. Deep inside I was relieved. I knew I had done the best thing for Andromeda. I had sent her home.

    *

    It must have been at least fifteen minutes since she landed and I was still leaning against the office window, sweating, afraid to look down. The window pane had streaks of perspiration, leaving odd patterns, like the trail a bird left behind. It was twelve floors down to the pavement. When Andromeda fell the thump had been terrific, like a boulder coming apart. I knew if I looked down I would see her sprawled out on the dirty street, huge, disheveled, mocking me in death as she had in life. Andromeda, I called to her, get up, comb your hair, wash your face. People are coming. They’re gathering around you. You’re making a fool of yourself.

    I heard the office door open and people enter behind me. Someone came and stood close behind me. He was tall; I could feel him breathing on my neck.

    Officer Riley, he said.

    Others rummaged in my office. Andromeda used to dream about cops. She loved them; said they made her feel safe.

    Dr. Fredericks? he said.

    I  tapped my fingers on the window pane.

    Can you hear me?

    His voice was deep and kind. That surprised me. For a moment, I thought about turning around and gazing at him, the way Andromeda used to gaze at me. But I was afraid I would terrify him, so I just wrapped my arms around myself and rocked.

    I'm sorry, he said softly. These things happen.

    Not to me, I blurted out.

    His voice was overly confidential. It bothered me. Who needed his concern?  I wanted the fierce steel of justice. My breath smoked up the glass, making it harder to see outside.

    The cop leaned closer and we stood there for a moment, suspended in time, strangely connected and strangely alone.

    Then the door to my office opened again and I heard more footsteps enter, scraping my smooth, wooden floor. Get out of here, I wanted to shout, this is private territory, sacred time. But instead I reeled forward to the window pane, and looked down.

    The street below was splattered with glass, blood and assorted debris. Amidst it all was a woman's huge body, sprawled flat and silent on the pavement. Crowds of onlookers had gathered, pushed back my police.

    The cop spoke gently, Is there anyone you'd like me to call?

    I leaned back and tapped my fingers together to gather my energy, but felt my body start to shake. Then his big hands were on my shoulders drawing me away from the window. He led me to a cushioned chair, it was the chair I used for my patients and I didn’t want to sit in it. I pointed to the black leather one I usually reclined in.

    But the cop lowered me onto the chair Andromeda had sat in. As I sat I wondered if I had become sick like she was, if I myself needed a doctor now.

    I  heard someone dialing the phone, then the far-off sirens and put my hands over my ears.

    Shut them off,  I called out.

    Wrap that blanket around her and keep her warm one of the cops said.

    The blanket went over my shoulders and suddenly it became hot, stuffy. I grew dizzy and felt myself slipping down into darkness, looking for Andromeda, trying not to cry.

    Hey Mac, she's fainting, the cop near me called, while, blissfully, the darkness claimed me.

    *

    When I awoke  it felt as though hours had passed. Dr. Judinsky was hovering over me now. He was my former therapist and supervisor and I had no idea why he was here. Big drops of perspiration covered his face, as if he’d raced through a storm. His blue eyes looked glassy.

     Duffino, how are you? he was breathing heavily.

    Andromeda, I whispered.

    It’s over. She’s dead - the minute she fell.

    A wave of relief passed through me. My time with Andromeda was finally finished. I would not have to wonder what really happened, whether she was deceiving me, dream about her, decide if she were guilty or innocent or who her next victim would be.

    I’m frightened for you, Duffino, he muttered, putting his hands over mine.

    If I could have laughed out loud, I would have.

    She was too much for you. I warned you. I begged you to let her go.

    I wanted to tell him to leave, to tell all of them to leave.

    Who knows why she really  jumped? he continued.

    I gathered enough strength to turn to him, look at him fully.

    What makes you think she jumped? 

    CHAPTER 2

    Three Months Earlier

     A group of us, psychoanalysts, had been meeting twice a month for the past three years  to go over difficult cases. Friends as well as colleagues, we’d become inseparable after knowing each other for years, having met at graduate school, internships, residencies. We were comfortable together and after long days of doing therapy it was refreshing to gather, talk over cases, share opinions and view patients with a fresh eye.

    Every other week the case conference was held at a different office. There were eight of us. Tonight Leo was the host. He was a wonderful therapist, who specialized in intimate relationships. In his late thirties, short, fat and balding, Leo lived alone in a brownstone in Manhattan, in the East nineties. He saw patients there, cared for his four cats, and composed music on his baby grand piano. Tonight he wore khakis and an expensive plaid shirt.

    Leo had two floors of the brownstone. On the ground floor, where we entered, there was a huge brick wall along the South side. The room had a craggy, stone fireplace and leather couches facing it, on top of a colorful shag rug.

    As always, we sat there poised, in a loose circle, sipping our coffee and tea. Waiting.

    Rheba Flynn, Helen began, an interesting case.

    Helen was medium height and full busted. Divorced for three years, she lived alone, dated a sad widower, and prepared inordinately for case conference when it was at her place. Helen was overly eager about every case, expecting progress of patients that they seldom could make. She was, professionally, the youngest of the group, having only been in practice for five years.

    The name of the patient gave me a start. Ingrid had said she was going to refer Rheba Flynn to me. I looked at Ingrid across the room; she looked away. She was impeccably dressed,  tall, slender, lanky, with high cheekbones and long, straight, blonde hair. No one would ever guess Ingrid was a therapist. Ingrid and I had been friends for years, recently she’d developed a new pattern in her referrals. I wondered why.

     `Patient is a former concert pianist who hasn’t been able to play for two years, Helen went on. When she first came the case seemed manageable, simple depresssion. In the past few weeks the depression has intensified. Now there is pervasive hopelessness  and a sense of impending doom. She dwells on plane crashes and earthquakes. This week she threatened suicide. I don't think it was a joke.

    It's never a joke, I said softly.

    Helen looked at me for help.

    Why can’t she play the piano? Ted asked. Give me more specifics.

    Ted Meerdorf was tall with ruffled brown hair, green eyes, and always wore a vest. He stood in the corner, rolling a pencil between his hands. Ted was the most senior therapist among us. 

    Her fingers lock when she sits down at the keyboard.

    Hysterical symptoms?

    Could be.

    Helen was clearly out of her league. Ingrid should have sent this patient to me. I looked over at her again, but she looked away.

    The patients fingers have been locking for about three months now, Helen repeated nervously.

    What do you make of her fear of earthquakes? Leo asked gently.

    Fear of her rage and turbulence, Helen said.

    That’s an assumption, Ingrid snapped. We must separate assumptions from truth.

    The room fell silent.

    Helen looked over at me pleadingly.

    Who’s voice is in her head when she sits down to play? I asked.

    Helen’s eyes opened. I could feel the other eyes in the room turn to me.

    I’m sure it’s the voice of a dominating parent, I continued. She’s refusing to perform for them, finally. This is the only way.

    Helen grabbed a note pad and started taking notes.

    Interesting conjecture, Ralph noted. But conjecture only.

    Ralph usually spoke up once or twice during a meeting. He was stalwart and stocky with curly brown hair.

    Patient’s mentioned she thinks of her father when she sits down to play, Helen corroborated my hunch.

    That didn’t surprise me. I usually had strong, immediately flashes about what was going on with patients.

    "The patient complains profusely of a controlling father with whom she lives now and from whom she can’t get away. He monitors her every action, even used to keep a record of how many hours she’d practice her piano at night. Naturally, he used to attend all her concerts.

     Duffino’s on the money again, said Ted.

     She was her father’s prize, Helen continued. Did whatever he wanted.

    She’s sick of it now, I said.

    The room grew silent as Helen wrote.

    The suicidal ideation is increasing, Helen said, desperation in her voice.

    Most suicidal threats are bids for  attention Ted said. Could be she's testing to see if you care."

    Ralph joined in again. Her dwelling on disaster is to let you know  she’s falling apart.

    Tell me about the transference between you," Ted said.

    At first the patient was distant and wouldn't speak much. Now, there’s the beginning of feeling. . .

    Has aggression towards you surfaced?

    No.

    Could be helpful, Ted remarked. If it’s turned outwards towards you, it will not be focussed within. There will be less danger of suicide.

    But if we unleash too much aggression – , Helen began.

    Are you afraid of her hatred? Is it too much for you? Ted persisted.

    Helen shifted in her seat. Not exactly.

    Suicide can be the only way a person can free themselves from unbearable oppression, I said. Free her, Helen.

    Helen nodded several times and looked blankly at the old rug.

    Do you know how? I persisted, wondering again why Ingrid would send such a  case to her.

    I’m trying, she said, looking shaky.

    Leo got up and came to her side. We’ll all trying. We do the best we can.

    Sometimes that’s not good enough, Ingrid snapped.

    A negative, destructive comment, Leo said to her.

    I don’t want to hospitalize her, Helen said.

    Sometimes medication and hospitalization is the way to go. We must be willing to recognize that, give up our ego, succumb, Ingrid said.

    Breakthroughs are sometimes possible, Ted said.

    Inevitable, I added, if we can find out who the patient really is.

    Ingrid put her head back along the couch and looked up at the ceiling, tuning out  it all.

    The group continued the discussion for a little longer. Helen thanked us for our input and we all got up and went into the next room for a snack Leo had prepared - fruit, cheese and marshmallows dipped in raspberry sauce.

    *

    We stayed together another half hour, gossiping, chatting, getting filled in on developments in the field, conferences, papers. Helen cornered me to ask more questions about her patient. Ingrid left early, as usual, and Ted and Leo drank lemonade together, talking in the corner with intensity.

    When the time came to go we all went in separate directions. I walked slowly uptown, thinking of Helen’s patient, of the music she could no longer make, her locked hands and heart. Then I thought of  how flip Ingrid had been, how distant. Our friendship had been unraveling for some time now, though I had no real idea why.

    When I returned home, the apartment was empty. Mark wasn't home yet, which surprised me, since usually he was home a long time by now.

    I undressed, bathed, and went to curl up in bed. But I found a note on the bed. Duffino, darling , don’t wait up for me. It’s a late night at work. Love, Mark.

    I wanted to see him before I fell asleep so picked up a book to read The Art Of War, by Tzung Su. I read this book often to help plot out a course in my battle with patients’ illness. It was a war, and I was determined to win it. Tonight, however, I was unexpectedly tired and let the book lay unopened as I drifted off to sleep.

    I slept strangely that night, tossing in dreams. In one dream I was on an open field. In the distance was an enormous baby grand piano. Overjoyed, I ran to it and sat down to play, but the keys would not move. No matter how I tried, they remained locked. As I sat there pounding, a huge, dark cloud approached in the shape of

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