Breakdown by Jack L. Pyke

Book: Breakdown by Jack L. Pyke Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jack L. Pyke
Halliday said quietly, and the photo was suddenly gone, Halliday now over by me. “It is done at your pace, even if you can’t yet see what pace you need to take in order to order what’s going on inside of your mind. This can’t be for anyone else but you, no matter how long it takes.”
    “I need...” Talk. “I need to talk to Jan... Gray.” Yeah, and how many times over the past few months had Jan and Gray needed to talk? How many times had I pushed them fist-first away?
    Halliday was quiet for a moment. “Jack, you have to prepare for the fact that they might need their space to come to terms with what’s happened. That they might not want to talk to you.”
    My fingers took my attention again. Like hell they wouldn’t want to talk. Jan always needed to talk.
    “Mr. Richards will be made aware of the section three recommendation. If you have any objections, you can discuss them with him, your Independent Advocate, or me. Please be aware that all decisions are ultimately under my care.”
    I wiped a hand over my face. “I’m not going anywhere, am I?”
    Halliday eased into a sad smile. “Your pace, Jack. No one else’s.”
    “And I pick up that photo, you’ll let me go?”
    Halliday gave a small smile. “Can you pick up the photo?” It was back in his hand again, and I backed away.
    “Okay,” said Halliday, slipping it into his pocket, “Along with the therapy we’ve discussed, which I’d like to start this time next week, I’d also like to bring in something else, something that might seem a little... odd.”
    “Odd? In a fucking psych unit?” That didn’t sound too good. “And only one session a week with you?”
    Halliday nodded. “You blacked out after our last therapy session. I need to give you time to adjust, to pace. Slow. Easy. Nothing too fast, no overloading your system.”

Chapter 8
Oh CDs
    For the fourth time in as many minutes, the old man poked his head around the door, flicking over a look, then a nervous smile before he disappeared again. Sat there on my bed, I tried to scare him off with a glare, and it had worked the first time, taking him longer to peek back around the corner than the other times. Then he’d just given me that dumbass grin before diving back out from cover again and smiling at me from over by the door.
    The drugs and blackness of another week made life one long time-lapsed piss-up, and despite the drugs, I still felt like crawling back under the covers and staying down, just sleep. Craig’s ball-busting, regimented
wake my ass
schedule kept me dancing and on my toes but the blackouts themselves had at least earned me some time-out in my own room. Today was the first time the door stood open without someone checking in every fifteen minutes.
    It was getting close to dinner, but the thought of eating in one place with the latest ex-serviceman loonies left a bitter taste, one that made sure a glass of water was washed down. Okay, not glass. I wasn’t allowed glass yet. The plastic mug sat at my feet, and the old man kept peeking around the fucking door, his gaze kept going between me and the cup.
    And there he was again, his little bald patch and pious grin making him look like a priest caught out of his cowl and dancing around in his underpants.
    Christ. “I can fucking see you, y’know,” I said as the door creaked open a little more. The shuffling of feet coated in slippers came a second later, and again a cheeky smile was offered over.
    He looked too old to be just back from doing a tour of duty, too small to reach the hat stand in PC plod land (or CID as Jan would put it), and too fucking noisy to be ex MI5/6. Christ knows what he was doing here.
    “Joe, back to your room,” said Craig, easing the door wide open and smiling his way past the old man. “They’re not here.”
    I looked around my room. “Who?”
    “Sure not here?” said Joe, shuffling a little further into my room. His look was on my cup, then back at me.
    “Jack’s got his

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