Lex sat in the room behind the two way mirror into the interrogation room, watching the man Shanna called Dr. Golden sit facing the mirror. Behind her was another two way mirror into a separate interrogation room, but that room was empty. She’d been sitting there for thirty minutes before the door to the room she was in opened and Danny walked in, closing the door behind him.
“Newman’s on his way,” he said, taking a seat next to her facing the occupied room.
She nodded, not welcoming the break in the calming silence. Fatigue was slowly overtaking her body and no matter how many times she breathed in the oil scented tissues or rubbed the cream on her chest, she couldn’t get the congestion cleared out. She’d resorted to DayQuil a few minutes before Danny arrived and now she was waiting for it to kick in. Man, she wished she still had some of that lemon and honey tea left; her throat was raw.
Why did every conversation she didn’t want to have start with the words ‘Hey, Lex’?
She turned her head toward him to let him know she was listening, even though she didn’t say a word. It hurt to much to speak.
Danny’s eyes never left her face. “I’m sorry.”
Lex dropped her gaze as her eyes filled with tears, tears she didn’t want to let fall. She’d waited two years to hear him say those words. He’d given her many excuses as to why he did what he did that night, but not once had he apologized--till now.
Dang it! She was not ready to forgive him yet, but now she’d be the bad guy if she didn’t.
“It’s okay,” he said. “I know it’s hard for you to forgive me. I’ve struggled with forgiving myself, and then I realized I haven’t even apologized to you. So here I am, doing something I should have done two years ago--the outcome may have been the same back then, but at least I’d have done the right thing and owned up to my mistake. I am so sorry, Lex. For getting drunk and sleeping with Nichelle--I haven’t touched a single drop of alcohol since that night--but mostly I’m sorry for blaming you for everything. And for lying to Todd, saying it was actually you who’d cheated. I hurt more than you with that lie.” His hand touched her shoulder and then fell away. “And I’m very sorry.”
That was nice, and despite how much she tried to remain hardened against him, Lex felt the ice around her heart start to drip off. Maybe forgiving him wouldn’t be so bad.
She sat up and turned to fully face him, and said, “Thank you for finally apologizing, Danny, and I do forgive you, but I’m not sure what that makes us. I’m not Geni, and I don’t want you back in my life--not yet. I can’t look at your daughter and think of the child we could have had by now. I can’t have Nichelle anywhere near me for at least the next seventy years. So yes, I forgive you, but that doesn’t make us friends--maybe acquaintances, if you continue to hang around Geni, but nothing more.”
One side of his mouth lifted in a smile, “I’m not asking to be friends--I figured that was a long shot anyway--I just needed to own up to what I did. Thank you, Lex. And thank you for being a better person than Nichelle, upstairs, and basically every time you two interact. I should have seen how much she hated you in college, but I was so wrapped up in being happy with you that I wasn’t paying attention to her.”
“None of us saw it,” Lex sighed, “she should have gone into acting.”
He was cut off when the door opened letting Detective Newman and Geni into the room, followed by another officer.
“That took longer than necessary,” Geni said as she took the seat Danny vacated for her. “I love Shanna, but sometimes she is very long winded.”
“Get off me!”
Lex turned to the interview room that had been empty till now, as an officer escorted a struggling man who, if Lex hadn’t already known he was in his early twenties, would have guessed him to be in his mid forties,. He was wearing a dark hoodie with scars across both sides of his face and his hair was so dirty it was hard to tell what color it really was.
“Let go of me! I need Dr. Golden.”
The officer dumped the man into the seat facing the two-way mirror and hooked his cuffs to the link under the table.
“Who’s that?” Lex asked.
“Harvey Redman,” Newman said. “He was apprehended in his apartment with Dr. Golden,” he gestured to the man in the other interview room, “along with the box of Vetiver taken during the mugging. Turns out, Mr. Redman here has a rap sheet the size of Texas of petty crimes.”
Geni said, “What was Golden doing there?”
“No idea.” Newman switched the evidence bag with the Vetiver box in it to his other hand. “The good doctor isn’t talking--he hasn’t lawyered up either--so I’m going to take a crack at Redman here and see what he will give us to use on Golden.” he said, and disappeared into the interrogation room with a click as the door between their room and Redman’s shut behind him.
Lex settled in the seat next to Geni to watch the interview happen.
“Mr. Redman, I’m Detective Newman and I’d like to ask you a few questions.” Newman took the seat across from Harvey.
Harvey leaned as far toward Newman as his cuffed hands would allow, “Please, I need Dr. Golden. Only he can make them stop.”
Newman opened the evidence bag and with a gloved hand pulled out the Vetiver oil box, “Mr. Redman, do you recognize this box?”
Harvey’s eyes widened and he licked his lips, “Give me that. I need it. Dr. Golden always makes them stop with that.”
“Makes what stop?”
“The voices that make me do bad things.” Harvey’s fingers played on the tabletop and his eyes gazed blankly into the mirror. “Dr. Golden stops the voices.”
Newman glanced at the mirror with questioning eyes and then turned back to Redman. Lex was confused as well. From what Shanna said about Vetiver, it shouldn’t have those types of properties. Detective Newman opened the little white box and pulled out one of the oil bottles.
He set the bottle on the table and said, “Is this what Dr. Golden gives you?”
Harvey looked at the bottle, and turned his head from side to side agitated. “No. No, no, no. It’s supposed to be a blue bottle, not brown. Brown is bad, blue is good. Where is Dr. Golden?”
“When did you meet Dr. Golden?”
“Years ago. In the study. I need Dr. Golden.”
Newman returned the oil bottle to the box and the box to the bag and then he stood up, “Don’t worry, Harvey, I’ll make sure you get the help you need.”
Once Newman reentered the room where they were all sitting open-mouthed, he said, “Wolfe, I need you to head over to Redman’s apartment to do another search for a blue bottle similar to an essential oil bottle.”
Danny said, “Do you want me to obtain a warrant for Golden’s home and office?”
Newman shook his head at Danny, “I’ll handle that,” he then said to the officer in the room, “Officer Johnson, please get Redman’s consent to a blood test--I want to know what, if any, drugs are in his system.”
“I need to get my kids. Danny, I’ll take Olivia with me and you can pick her up after you’re done.”
“Thanks, Gen.” Danny looked at Lex. “Do you want to come with me to search the apartment?”
“Yes,” Lex said. The main thing she and Danny had in common, was their need to solve a mystery.
Newman looked at the man still sitting straight and calm in the other interrogation room, “And I’ll see if the good doctor can shed any light on Harvey’s condition, and what Vetiver has to do with anything.”
Written by Linsay Ernst