Another week down, another week closer to Christmas.
At the moment, I’m working on a novel with no name. It’s horror, of course, and you can read the first draft of the first few chapters HERE, but I haven’t forgotten about Serial Saturday!
Last time we learned a bit more about JEFF and his fascination with The Book. This time, we are leaping forward in time again to listen in on Doctor MONTE HILTON’S own therapy session.
Here we go for today…
“So, did you up his Clozapine?” Claire Maskell crossed her legs and placed her hands on her knees.
“No, not straight away.” Monte swept his hair back from his face as he looked up at Doctor Maskell.
“Well at this point, he was already over four hundred milligrams. Plus, I assumed his behaviour was attributable to an overdose. I mean, what rational person behaves like that?”
“Okay.” Claire held her arms open. “So we’re agreed on that. These are not the actions of a rational person.”
“That’s what I thought at the time.”
“And what do you think now?”
“I think he saw something that he couldn’t explain, and it was too much for him.” Monte had begun sweating, and Claire held out a box of tissues for him. He took a handful, wiped his forehead, then his mouth. “Is it hot in here, or is it me?”
Claire glanced over at the thermostat. It read exactly what it always had. “I don’t think it’s hot, Monte. Why don’t you take off your jacket?”
Monte looked about to agree, then thought better of it. He tugged his jacket together and fastened the three tiny buttons. “No. I’ll keep it on, thanks.”
“Fine,” said Claire. “Let’s get back to the book. Did he ever show it to you before the night he came to your house?”
“No. He never really showed me. But I saw it. More than once.”
“You said you thought he had it with him.”
“I know he did. He never brought it out during our time together, but some days, I would watch him leaving my office. Watch him walk across the courtyard below, get on the bus.” Monte wrapped his arms around himself and leaned forward, so his chest rested on his thighs. “I saw him take it out. Sometimes he would sit at the bus stop with the book in his hands. I don’t know what the hell he was doing. He could have been talking to it for all I know. But he wasn’t reading. I could see that much; the cover always remained closed.”
“And why do you think he did that, Monte?”
“I think I underestimated him. I think he was stronger than I imagined. He’d told me himself: he was a no one. No job, no house, no life to speak of. I equated that with weakness, with, with,” He fished around for a word. “stupidity.” He sat back up and looked at Claire. “I thought he was weak and stupid. Well, until the end, of course.”
“And what do think now?”
“Now, I can see his strength.”
“You think killing himself showed his strength?” Claire allowed herself to show emotion for the first time, and she raised her eyebrows slightly. Not much, but enough that Monte noticed it.
“Easy for you to judge him. I can see what you think, but you know nothing about this man. Nothing.” Now Monte stood up and walked to the window. “Nothing of his struggle. Nothing of his sacrifice.”
“Why don’t you tell me what he sacrificed, Monte.” Her mask that had slipped momentarily was back in place; her face was neutral, her voice calm.
Monte continued to look out of the window as he spoke. “His life, Claire. His life.”
“And what was his cause? Why do you think he sacrificed his life, Monte?”
“For this.” Monte swept a hand towards the window, indicating everything he saw. “So you could continue.”
Claire was relieved that Monte had his back to her as she frowned. “Continue with what?”
“With life.” He dragged a hand over his face, and turned back round. “With taking your son to school, with doing your job, with drinking your morning latte, with watching the TV, with all the shit that happens in your life.” He strolled back to his chair and sat down. “All of it.” he finished.
“Why would he do that for me? He doesn’t know me.”
“Not for you, Claire, no, not for you.” Monte laughed and shook his head as he spoke. He saw the confusion on Claire’s face. “Not you. All of us. Everyone.” He once again swept his hand, this time around the office. “I can’t expect you to understand. If I’m honest, that’s probably why he came to me.”
“Why you, Monte?”
“Because I’m strong,” he said, “simple as that.”
“Stronger than Jeff? A moment ago, you said hewas strong.” Claire shrugged.
“He was strong. But not as strong as me.” Monte pounded a fist on his chest. “Someone has to pick up what he dropped.” He paused briefly before continuing. “And I think I’m the man to do it.”
Right, more next week! If you’ve been enjoying Monte’s story, please feel free to share! There will be more net week, so until then… be careful what you read…