The world of psychiatry is a journey into the nether corners of the mind. To his patients and colleagues Doctor Clifford Cowen represented the highest values of the psychiatric field. All paid homage to the man but one—his friend and colleague, Cindy Pietila. But when Cowen began to unravel, Doctor Pietila, against her better judgment, agreed to take him on as a patient—a mistake that will lead her to expose a brilliant mind tormented by demons she’d never fathomed. If she fails in her treatment, not only will her career be on the line but her life as well.
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Writings of Gail Ylitalo
I drove up the old familiar hill, passed the high school, hospital, and shopping mall, and turned into the parking lot, where only a few cars were parked. It was a little past noon so I surmised that the bar Cliff picked out didn’t serve lunch, just alcohol. When he’d called me I’d previously decided not to meet him anywhere but at the office. If he wanted to discuss his problems, he would need to come and see me there. But, per usual, I couldn’t refuse the strong, sexy voice on the phone and soon agreed to meet him elsewhere. Accusing myself of weakness I parked my car and hesitantly walked to the door. I saw Cliff as soon as I stepped into the room. He was at the back booth, sitting so he could see the door and everyone who came in. He once told me he did that because he’d read too many westerns when he was a boy, but I knew differently. Clifford’s face was dark in the dim light, and his eyes watched me nervously. I eased into the seat opposite him.
“I already ordered you a drink,” he said. “Gin and tonic—your favorite, right?”
“Yes. You don’t miss a trick, do you?”
“What’s the matter?”
“You don’t know?”
“Don’t patronize me! I shouldn’t have let you talk me into meeting you outside the office.”
“I can’t stand that place. It’s too stuffy.”
“Cliff, I have other patients, too. I can’t keep rearranging my schedule to fit your whims.”
“Well, here you are,” he pointed out.