Always Find A Way

Sometimes Love is so strong that it will cross any boundary; distance, race or social divide. Sometime Love is so unique that it will find ways to survive even when in the greatest peril.

Sometimes Love will conquer death.

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16. Always Find A Way

Present Day - Nine Months Later

 

Snow fell softly, making London look quite old fashioned with the fairy lights hanging everywhere, carols drifting on the wind and people wrapped up in woollen gloves, scarves and hats. Then a taxi beeped and splashed slush all over the pavement. JIll sighed as the illusion disappeared. It was nice, imagining a simpler and nicer time where things were so much different. She had a sudden yearning to watch Pride and Prejudice. Maybe she would call... her thoughts hesitated as Jenna's name hovered in her mind. Although she understood Jenna's reasoning behind her trekking to Wales to fill her head with mumbo jumbo she still couldn't shake the feeling of betrayal. The day after she had returned from Wales, and Nev had almost broken her door down in an attempt to talk to her, she had been on the verge of calling Jenna and giving her what-for. Only Nev's steady hands and comforting grip had stopped her. She mused on that night as she walked past the Oxford Street shops, admiring the lighting and the window displays. London, at night, at Christmas was always a magical sight. 

Nev had almost climbed into her bed that night, again. Except that same feeling of betrayal had risen up and stopped him, slapped him and chucked him unceremoniously from her flat. She threw his trousers out of the window. A smile crept onto her face at the thought and she ducked her head so random strangers didn't think she was mad. At least not any more. 

She turned the corner and dug her hands further into her pockets. Despite her mittens she was freezing. But that's what happens when you rely on the Underground in any sort of weather except... Oh wait, there wasn't a type of weather that didn't affect the Tubes. She only lived forty minutes away and as that was mostly on main roads she didn't mind the walk. Plus she got to window shop. It was still three weeks until Christmas but she liked to start early. Early! Jenna had hers done and dusted by the first of December! Jenna...

What Jill couldn't understand about her best friend's behaviour was that Jenna did actually believe everything she had told her. 

Why use your friends scepticism against your own views to help her? Sometimes Jill wished she was a more 'normal' person psychologist instead of one that specialises in Criminology.

Her thoughts began to wander and she wondered in Jenna was on duty that night. As a DI she was hoping that she could leave the paperwork to lower policemen and woman and come and watch Mr Darcy throw himself in a lake.

Mr Darcy... Nev... She could forgive Jenna for her misguided attempt to help but she wasn't so easily forgiving of Nev.

Nev who had so often professed his feelings for her. Nev who had his 'issues'. Nev who always came crawling to her after some girl had left him. Nev who always said he was there for her and yet all he wanted was to get into her bed.

No. That wasn't fair. She had pushed him away just as much as he had her. She sighed as she walked down the road, couples darting around her, holding hands and laughing. Was she destined to be alone?

'Jill!'

Her head snapped up.

'Jill! Over here!'

She looked around before locating the source of the name calling. 

'So good to see you!'

Finally, as the man planted himself in front of her, she saw and recognised him.

'Marc!'

'Hey! Wow! Don't you look ama- I mean, you're looking well!'

Jill smiled and Marc grinned back. His slightly chubby face lit up with the happiness of bumping into an old friend.

'Look, Marc I have to...'

'So it's my mates birthday tomorrow! I know it's short notice and all but, I mean, it'd be nice to catch up!'

Jill laughed. Marc was such an exclamation-mark-after-every-sentence kind of guy. You couldn't fail to feel good around him.

His grin widened at her laugh and she smiled, genuinely, at him.

'That sounds really good, Marc. Thank you for the invite.

'No worries! Say, you're welcome to bring your, I mean, you're welcome to bring Nev!'

'Nev and I aren't together at the minute.'

'Oh.' Marc looked awkward for a second, but his expression cleared and he grinned again. 'Well that's a shame but I'm sure I can introduce you to a few singletons!'

'Thanks, Marc. That would be really nice.' Jill smiled warmly. 'I really do have to go though. I have a really important day tomorrow and my feet are like fucking icicles!'

'No problem! See you later, Tabs!'

'Bye, Marc. Lovely to see you!'

He waved as he walked away making Jill's smile a permanent feature as she continued her journey home.

 

 

The Next Morning

 

Her office looked exactly the same as usual. During her period of 'weirdness', as her mother fondly referred to it, it had been hired out to students who wanted somewhere private to meet their clients. But now it was back to normal with her smiling receptionist, Stella, and her two assistants, Jodie and Derek. She cast an appraising eye over them and wondered if they were still secretly going out and thinking that she didn't know. Their body language was very different to a year ago. Derek was more reserved with Jodie and Jodie was being fiercely independent. She snatched a pen off the floor before Derek had been able to retrieve it for her.

Jill concluded that she would soon be finding another assistant, at least for a year whilst Jodie took maternity leave.

'Hello, Doctor.' Jodie smiled at her. It was strained though, her make up was heavy. Jill suspected troubles in their relationship and bad morning sickness. Derek squeezed Jodie's knee under the desk and she visibly relaxed. 

Correction, no relationship problems, pregnancy complications.

'Good morning, Jodie. Good morning, Derek.'

'Nice to see you again, Doc.' Derek's typically unprofessional greeting settle Jill's sick stomach. She had never anticipated coming back to work would make her so nervous. 

'Your tea is on your desk as is the paperwork on your half nine appointment. It's a confidential client.'

'Mmhmm.' Jill nodded her thanks to Stella and made her way into her office. It had been blocked off from the students, who had used the three , smaller, offices on her floor in the building. It was perfect. She adjusted a picture that had been knocked slightly to the left. No doubt during her last session all those months ago. 

As she gazed around the handsome room the anxiety that had plagued her for so long returned. In her sessions she had learnt how to block out and deal with her dreams. Now she had one rarely, once a month if that. But being back was causing those blocked out emotions to resurface. She gripped her mahogany desk with one hand. 

'...and the paperwork hasn't been sent down form the Station yet. I keep telling them, but maybe you want to get onto your friend at the police station for that...' Stella paused, looking over her glasses at Jill. 'My dear, are you feeling quite alright?'

'Yes. Thank you, Stella. Sorry. It's just... It's good to be back.' Jill forced a smile on her face and silently pleaded with Stella to go away.

'Oh. Now that's lovely. we are so glad you are feeling better. Of course the nature of your absence never went beyond the people in this office. Everyone believes you had an internal infection.'

'Yes,' Jill said distantly, 'I was told...' Internal infection. How true that was. An infection of the brain.

'...so it's really just a matter of communications. And principles. I always say that principles are the very-'

'Stella,' Jill interrupted, 'Sorry. I was just wondering if I could have a minute? You know... Regain my bearings.'

Stella's lined face softened. 'Of course, my dear.'

She closed the door on the way out.

Jill collapsed into her leather chair. The smell was comforting and she breathed deeply. Nine months. Nine months of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Nine months of counselling sessions. Four months of taking anti-depressants, five months of weaning herself off them. Two months of being 'clean'. No drugs, no dreams, just... peace.

She clutched the arm rests and closed her eyes. Why did stepping into her office bring everything back? And so much worse than before. She hadn't dreamt for ages. So why were all the feelings flooding through her body? 

She sat in her chair, thinking, until Stella buzzed her to let her know that her first client had arrived.

'Let them in.'

She sat up at her desk. Composed her face and arranged her clipboard, with pen, in front of her.

A knock.

'Enter.'

Someone came into the room. Jill gestured in the vague direction of her sofa. 

'Have a seat.'

The client sat. Jill got up and walked towards her 'listening' chair. She sat down, crossed her legs, arranged her skirt and motioned for the person to begin.

'Uh...'

More motioning. 

'Um. Right.'

A deep voice, pleasant sounding; a man.

'I was, um, told you were the best for...'

'I'm a criminal shrink mostly.'

'Shrink? Um, yeah... Well I'm not a criminal. I'm ar- ex-army.'

'Right.'

'And I, well I had troubles.'

'Yup.'

A long pause.

'Are you a real shrink?'

Jill felt anger bubble to the surface. Was she a real shrink? Of course she was! It wasn't her fault she was haunted by stupid, fucking, dreams about dead people and fucked up rooms with bloodstained, bloody, men in them. For fuck's sake! How was someone meant to COPE? 

Her head shot up. Fury creasing lines onto her forehead and causing her mouth to turn downwards. She'll tell this man, this stupid man, what was what. She'd tell him that no matter what his problems were her's were ten times fucking worse.

Her neck cracked she moved so fast, her lips formed the beginnings of a sentence that could ruin her career and she stopped. Dead.

The man in front of her, bewildered, caused such strong emotions to explode inside her that for a moment she was physically frozen to her seat. 

Soft blue eyes, looking hurt at the moment, set in a lean, tanned face, short, army cropped, dark brown hair and a body that was obviously in peak condition, wiry and fit.

His expression changed from bewilderment to annoyance. 

'This is a fucking joke.' He got up and walked out, slamming the door behind him and leaving Jill, gawping stupidly, sitting in her chair.

She swallowed and managed to close her mouth. She looked down at the paperwork.

"Confidential", was stamped across it. She pushed the paperclips off and flipped it open.

"For the attention of attending psychologist only".

Well until he found a new one that was her, Jill thought.

"Name: Carl Smith. 

Rank: Captain

Medical reason for leaving: Psychological damage, possibly caused by gunshot wound to the head, inducing nightmarish visions and dreams of a bomb attack during Second World War. Possible PTSD?"

Jill closed her eyes and dug the heels of hands into the sockets. The dreams, the vision - the reality? - flooded into her mind. Bombs. Screaming. Shooting...

 

 

...It was a word that caused a little smile to play around his mouth every time he said it. It was the word he loved more than any other.

'Tabitha...'

Jill's eyes sprung open. The heartache again... Gut wrenching and agonising... It is the feeling that comes when true love is torn apart, when true lovers are forced away and when death separates those who love each other too much to let each go.

That is when True Love will Always Find A Way...

 

The End 

 

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