|An Unexpected Visit
Author: Linz005 PM
Alicia Gieger has turned out to be a pretty great kid and Jeffrey has gotten things together thanks to her. Unfortunately, he's still got plenty of baggage.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Words: 2,553 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 05-25-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4278877
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: An Unexpected Visit
Summary: Alicia Gieger has turned out to be a pretty great kid and Jeffrey has gotten things together thanks to her. Unfortunately, he's still got plenty of baggage.
Disclaimer: Don't own it, just like to play with it.
Alicia Gieger didn't know who her biological father was. From what little she knew of her mother, she wasn't so sure either. Then Alan Birch had adopted her. She didn't really remember him, but she'd seen pictures and heard stories. Her dad, Jeffrey Gieger, the man who adopted her after Alan's death, had totally devoted himself to her. He'd given up his job in favor of raising her for the first five years of her life. She appreciated that. Not every kid who went through parents as quickly as she had as a baby ended up so lucky. As Alicia had grown up, though, she realized that at least initially his choice had been out of guilt. But that was ok. Guilt isn't the worst motivator especially when it results in two people, a man and a child, ending up better off for it.
When Jeffrey decided to go back to work, Alicia remembered him sitting her down and explaining what that meant. Then she'd had to have surgery. Alicia had never before or since been so scared. Neither had her father. Even as a little girl, she realized something was wrong with him. She was healthy now, but she was old enough to know that it didn't mean she'd stay that way. Alicia was 15 now, a sophomore in high school and still impossibly close to her father. Jeffrey was still working at Chicago hope. Life was good.
Alicia took the bus home from school. She was able to get a lot of her homework done on the way to an d from the prep school she attended as it was a good 45 minutes away what with all the bus stops. It was the best school around, though. She'd tested remarkably well on the entrance exam and she remembered the celebratory dinner she and her dad had after she got her acceptance letter.
"I knew you could do it! I'm so proud of you!" Jeffrey was always proud of Alicia. This was pretty standard Dad Talk. "Alan would be so proud. I'm sure he is proud."
"Thanks." Talking about Alan made her a little sad. She didn't really remember him, but he had made sure she was safe, taken care of. And he'd done it not once, but twice. First when her mother needed someone to take her and then when he died. He wanted her with Jeffrey and he was right.
She received a scholarship to the school, which was the icing on the cake. Her first year had gone well and her second was going the same. She had settled into a routine and it worked well.
Alicia watched TV for about an hour when she got home from school before so much as thinking about looking at a textbook. Usually Jeffery called or she called him. Today, though, there was a message from him on the machine waiting for her.
"Hey, sweetie, I'm going to be in surgery this afternoon. Not sure when I'll get home. There should be some cash on my dresser. Order pizza or Chinese, whatever you want for dinner. Try to include something resembling a vegetable. Have me paged if you need anything. Love you."
There were a few other messages. Aunt Camille wanted to go shopping, Jeffrey had been pre-approved for a credit card, and the last one sounded like it was important.
"Hello, this is Dr. Philip Christopher. I'm calling for Jeffrey Geiger. I'm Laurie Weeks's psychiatrist. There's something we need to discuss regarding Laurie..." Alicia clicked the save message button. Sometimes he got patient calls at home accidentally. It must just be one of those. She'd call and leave a message for him to beep into the machine and get the information for himself.
"Hello, Dr. Geiger's office. This is Monica speaking. How may I help you?"
"Hi, Monica, It's Alicia."
"Oh hi. Your dad's in surgery, but I can page him."
"No, don't bother. I just have a message for him. I think he got a patient-related call here. Tell him to check the messages?"
"Will do, dear. Buh-Bye."
Alicia lounged around watching TV for a while. She had more or less decided on pizza for dinner. Tomatoes were vegetables, she thought. It was still to early to order dinner and she wasn't looking forward to the bit of homework she had left. She wondered over to the piano and decided to practice. She had a piano recital a few weeks away. Uncle Aaron was always joking about how lucky Jeffrey was to end up with a daughter who shared his love and talent for music. He'd even bought the piano before Alicia had taken more than a handful of lessons. Good thing she proved to love it not that he didn't enjoy playing every once in a while. It was almost strange how similar Jeffrey and Alicia were. Even appearance wise they seemed similar enough to be related. She had dark hair and dark eyes like her father. People often remarked that she looked like him, which made her smile. The same people were often embarrassed when she told them she was adopted. It didn't matter he was her dad. She started playing.
She ordered dinner around six o'clock and waited for the delivery guy to get there. Alicia forced herself to focus on her math homework in the interim. The phone rang.
"Hey, honey." It was her dad.
"Hi, Daddy. Did you get my message?" Alicia asked pushing aside her books.
"I did. I'll call back after and get the information." He told her. "How was your day?" He ran through the normal questions and got the normal answers. "What are you having for dinner?"
"I ordered pizza. Should be here soon."
"Well, I suppose tomatoes constitute a vegetable." Jeffrey chuckled.
"That's exactly what I said." The doorbell rang and Alicia looked out the window. "Oh, Dad, delivery guys here. Talk to you later?"
"Yeah, I shouldn't be too much later. Finish your homework."
"Almost done. Bye, Dad."
"9.60." The pizza guy said handing her the box.
"Keep the change." Alicia replied handing him a few extra bills along with the price. She turned to go in, but heard footsteps moving through the grass.
"Jeffrey? I need to see Jeffrey. Where's Jeffrey?" A woman was fast approaching the front door of the house. She seemed upset. Alicia wondered how she knew her dad.
"He's not here." She said still holding the pizza box. "He's at his office." She hoped that would get this lady to leave.
"Jeffrey!" She yelled. "He never sees me anymore, but they tell him all about me. I wait for him to visit, but he never comes. He's jealous of Gilbert, that's what it is. Who are you? Why are you in Jeffrey's house?" This woman was clearly frantic. Alicia didn't know what to do. Maybe she should call her dad. The phone rang once and then stopped. Her dad was beeping into the machine. She wished she could reach the phone.
"Look, if you just tell me who you are, I'll tell him as soon as you get home."
"No, tell me who you are! This was my house first. Who are you?!"
"I'm his daughter. Jeffrey Geiger's my dad." Alicia said nervously. The woman's face fell.
"He married someone else and had a kid. I should have known. Should have known. He never forgave me. Never. That's why I wanted Gilbert because I couldn't stand Jeffrey blaming me. I tried to apologize, but he never listened, Never."
"H-he's not married. I-I'm adopted." Alicia sat the box of food down on the floor. She put her hand on the door. "Look, you can wait if you want, but I have...I have to go inside."
"No! No, no!" The woman pulled out a scalpel. Alicia's eyes went wide. "You replaced Joey. He forgot about us. Forgot about me and Joey. Now, Gilbert's gone too. What would he do if you were gone?"
Jeffrey had nearly forgotten to check that message Alicia had mentioned. He was glad he remembered before he left for the night. If he needed to consult a chart or anything, it would save him time being at the office.
"Hello, this is Dr. Philip Christopher. I'm calling for Jeffrey Geiger. I'm Laurie Weeks's psychiatrist. There's something we need to discuss regarding Laurie..." He hadn't had more than a minimal update on Laurie in years. He had stopped visiting shortly after she was married. He, however, continued to hold power of attorney for any decisions regarding her treatment. There had been no change in the past years. She was as sick as she had been. Medicated, she could just about function, but unmedicated, there was no hope for her. He was already weary just thinking about what this would be about as he listened to the rest of the message.
"I'm afraid Gilbert Weeks managed to get a hold of a jump rope from off the ward. We're still not sure how. He hanged himself. Laurie was understandably distraught. There's no easy way to say this, but she managed to leave the facility. She is unmedicated and we think she may have attacked an orderly with a scalpel. If she contacts you, please call us. We have contacted the police. They are doing everything they can."
Jeffrey hung up the phone. He'd never thought this would happen. He never imagined Laurie would get out legally, let alone escape. What would he do if she showed up at the house? He'd tried so hard to put that part of his life behind him. Adopting Alicia had helped him reorder his life. He still thought about Joey, of course, and wondered what he would be like now a man, but he couldn't dwell on it as he had because Alicia needed him. Oh God...Alicia! Laurie might go to the house and Alicia had no idea who she was. Laurie might have a scalpel.
He ran straight for the elevator and then his car. He didn't care about the speed limit as he drove as fast as he could home. There she was standing on the porch. It was dark out, but the light of the streetlamps gleamed off of the scalpel. Jeffrey's mind reeled.
"Laurie, sweetie, it's ok. I'm here." He walked over slowly. "Alicia go inside. It's ok."
"I said go inside."
"No! Nobody goes anywhere!" Laurie took a few steps towards the patio where Alicia was standing.
"Ok, ok...She'll stay there and you stay where you are, ok?" Jeffrey pleaded. He nodded at Alicia who stood still, terrified. "Tell me what happened, honey. We'll work it out like we did when Joey died."
"Don't pretend you care. You never cared. You would have stopped me if you cared!" She shouted. Her words cut straight to Jeffrey's heart. How many nights had he thought the same thing? Why hadn't he noticed and stopped her? Because he was working all the time. He didn't make that mistake again, not with Alicia.
"I know Gilbert's gone and you're sad, but you don't want to hurt anyone."
"I didn't want to hurt Joey. I'm sorry I hurt Joey."
"I know, I know." He'd kept her talking long enough. He'd called the cops and they pulled up silently so as not to frighten her. Laurie dropped the scalpel and headed over to Jeffrey hugging him fiercely.
"I wish I'd never let you go."
"It's ok." A police officer came up behind them and then grabbed Laurie. There was a brief struggle, but they managed to get her into custody.
"It's ok, honey. They're going to take you home and I'll come see you really soon. I'm sorry I haven't been around lately."
The police were going to need statements from both Jeffrey and Alicia, but Jeffrey insisted he check his daughter over first.
"I want to take you to Chicago Hope." He told Alicia. "Go grab a coat and put shoes on."
"No, Dad, I'm fine. I'm just freaked out."
"I don't care. I want to do an echo. You know what can happen when you have a traumatic experience." Jeffrey reminded her.
"Really, I'm not having trouble breathing or anything. Can't you just like check me over here? Please?"
"Ok," Jeffrey relented seeing the pleading in his daughter's eyes. "But if you're blood pressure is high even the tiniest bit, we're going to the hospital."
"Deal." He took her into his bedroom and looked her over while the cops waited. "Why didn't you ever tell me about her?"
"She'd been institutionalized for almost seven years before you were even born. Laurie married another patient after we got divorced. She wasn't part of my life by the time you came into it." Jeffrey explained.
"Who's Joey?" Alicia had an idea, but she wanted to hear the whole story.
"Joey would have been your brother, sweetie." Jeffrey sat down beside Alicia on the bed. He put his arm around her. Alicia knew there was a flaw in that logic. If Joey were still alive and Laurie wasn't sick, then things would be much different. He might not have adopted her. She didn't say anything. "Laurie was sick, but I was working so much at the time I didn't notice. Schizophrenia..." He got faraway. It had been so long since he'd gone over this chain of events. "Sever Schizophrenia. She drowned Joey. Then we tried to get her medicated properly and I thought, I thought I might get her back, but she never did get better."
"Did you adopt me to replace Joey?" Alicia asked quietly.
"No, no...You filled hole that had been in my life, honey. I can't deny that. But I adopted you because Alan wanted it that way. I wanted to be your father." He kissed the top of her head gently.
"I'm glad that you did." Alicia hugged him in return. They headed back to the living room to talk to the cops. "It's funny."
"What?" Jeffrey couldn't imagine what was funny.
"You said I filled a hole in your life. Kind of like how you fixed my heart when I was born?"
"I guess that is kind of funny." He squeezed her shoulder. "Come on, kid, let's get this over with."