Serena continued working a little more relaxed than before. She was beginning to put her life back together. However, that’s when the notes started popping up in the strangest places.
The first one said, “Stop trying to find me or you’ll be sorry. I’ll be happy to finish what I started.” Serena found it inside her hospital locker. She had no idea how it got there.
At first she considered cancelling her next hypnosis appointment. She feared her attacker might fulfill his threat. In the long run, though, she decided she’d be better off knowing what he knew. So instead she asked the doctor to take her name off the books and to meet with her in private.
“Serena, I thought perhaps your paranoia would subside some after our last session.” The doctor stared at her with concern.
“It did, until I got this.” Serena handed over the first note and another she’d received that day. It contained words with the same meaning.
“I see,” the doctor returned as he began writing something in her notebook. “I take it you want to continue anyway.”
“I do. I have to know how I made someone so angry with me that he’d want to kill me,” Serena moaned. “Either way, I’m in danger so why not take a leap of faith?”
The doctor proceeded to hypnotize his patient as he had done before. He reminded Serena that she was safe; she was only observing the events as they transpired.
“He can’t hurt you, Serena. Do you understand?”
“I do,” the girl said, letting out a deep sigh.
“You see the man. You are watching his actions. He can’t touch you. Now tell me, what is taking place?”
“He is talking to me with an angry voice. He says I double crossed him. He says he wants the organs I promised him.” Serena began to shake uncontrollably. “Oh no,” she screamed before continuing. “I think I was helping this man steal body parts for the black market. I remember. I remember!”
Serena let loose of a blood curdling scream and then she passed out cold. The psychiatrist moved forward to check her vitals. They were strong in spite of her passed out condition. After a few moments she awoke.
“Call the police,” she said flatly. “I deserve to go to jail.”
“Wait a minute, Serena. Are you certain you actually delivered anything to that man?”
Serena searched her mind and then smiled wanly. “No, I didn’t. I didn’t give him anything. That’s why he was so angry. But why would I agree to do such a thing in the first place?”
“We can find out if you are willing to go back under,” the psychiatrist suggested. “We should know your exact involvement in this situation before we call the police, don’t you think?”
Serena weighed his words carefully and nodded. “Put me back under.”
Within minutes, Serena once again saw herself standing near her attacker. She held her breath as she heard herself speak.
“I told you I wouldn’t do it and I won’t. Now leave me alone,” Serena demanded.
“Your family will pay for your insolence,” the man threatened. “Which one would you like to die first?”
“You won’t hurt my family,” Serena pushed out through gritted teeth. “If you do, I’ll go to the police and tell them all about you.”
“No, you won’t,” the man said stepping forward. Serena watched as he began to strangle her other self. She watched as that Serena fell to the ground. The man searched for a pulse but could find none. He wasn’t smart enough to know where to look.
“He’s taking my body outside,” Serena said slowly. “He put me on the grass thinking I was already dead.”
“When I count to three, you will awake,” the doctor advised. “You will remember everything clearly but you will no longer be afraid. You’ll be eager to tell the police everything you remember. Is that clear?”
Serena nodded. A slight smile broke free of her countenance. It was over and she had the answers she needed.
“One. You are feeling relaxed and refreshed. Two. You aren’t afraid of the attacker. You know you have him where he doesn’t want to be. Three.”
Serena’s beautiful eyes flew open. “I remember everything. The man’s name is Rashid. He approached me to help him steal body parts and organs for the black market. I told him I wouldn’t do it. He threatened to kill me and my family if I didn’t. Still, I refused. That’s why he strangled me.”
“That’s good, Serena. You should call the police and tell them what you know.”
Serena nodded. “There’s just one thing. I suspect he’s approached someone else; maybe at another hospital. He wasn’t the kind of man who would just give up.”
The psychiatrist nodded. “That’s all the more reason to act quickly.” She took out her cell phone and handed it to the young doctor.
Within the hour, Serena was downtown telling the police what she knew. She even agreed to take a polygraph to prove to them that she didn’t take part in the man’s scheme.
“Why do you think he approached you?” A heavyset male cop looked at Serena with suspicion. “He must have thought you’d be receptive to the offer. Have you broken the law before?”
“No,” Serena answered truthfully. “I think he picked me because he suspected I was struggling with my loan payments. Becoming a doctor isn’t cheap. I owe a lot of money. Maybe he thought I’d want release from the burden.”
“That’s probably true of most of your colleagues isn’t it?” The detective’s gaze was making Serena uncomfortable.
“No, it’s not. Some of them had scholarships. Others had wealthy parents. I was the only one putting myself through school alone. My parents are too poor to help,” Serena answered. “That’s it,” she shouted with joy in her face. “You need to look for someone in the same position I am. If you find him or her, you might find Rashid.”
“That’s actually pretty smart,” the detective’s female partner admitted. “There are only two other hospitals locally. It shouldn’t take long to find the proverbial needle in the haystack.” With that, she sat down at the computer.
“There are two residents with hefty loan payments they are trying to make on their own,” she announced. “One of them – Brian Jones – already has a blemish on his record. He was caught stealing as a juvenile. I’m betting that he’s our man.”
“Let’s put a tale on him,” the male detective suggested. “If he meets our Mr. Rashid, we’ll nail him.” Turning back to Serena, he leveled a warning glare. “Keep your nose clean, doc. Stay out of our way and we’ll get your man.”
Serena nodded agreement and then got up to leave. She sighed, hoping her ordeal was finally over. She was right. Two days later the cops grabbed Rashid as he met with the young male doctor.
“You should have left town, low life,” the male detective grinned. “But I’m kind of glad you didn’t. Now we get to watch you stand trial for attempted murder and a whole list of other things.”
“I knew I should have finished off that b***h,” Rashid growled. “I counted on her amnesia remaining permanent.”
“Thanks for the confession,” the female detective laughed. “You really are a dumb one, aren’t you?”
It took nearly a year for Rashid to stand trial. However, once he did, the police had enough evidence to put him away for good. Sadly, the same could be said for the young male doctor too. Brian’s medical career was a short one while Serena’s soared higher and higher. It eventually culminated in fulfilling her dream to become chief of staff.