Chapter 8:Madeline Spencer's POV
I had just seen my last patient when my secretary came in and asked if I could see a late visitor. Normally, I would have said no straight away, but there was something with the look Gloria had on her face that made me ask who it was. I nearly fell off my seat when she replied with Henry's name.
At first I wasn't sure what to say, and then it hit me. My ex wasn't the only one out there with that name and I let out a little laugh. That was, until Gloria asked if I wanted her to show my ex in. Now I was worried. Henry only ever called me out of courtesy, for the sake of Shawn. Since our divorce, Henry has never come and seen me in person. And when we were together, never did he come to my office.
I couldn't shake this feeling of dread that had come over me and it was telling me that Henry was here about Shawn. If it was something simple, he would have just called me just like he has in the past. But this time it must be bad for Henry to come all this way to see me face to face.
I nodded to Gloria to show Henry in. My mind was trying to run through all the things that could have happened, all the reasons why Henry could be here for and I tried my best to stop it. After all, I am a logical woman and allowing fear to rule my mind, when I didn't know all the facts, just didn't sit right with me.
Henry was shown in and I walked over to greet him. We shook hands and I thanked Gloria and told her she could go and I'd lock up when I left. I looked at Henry and I could see sadness in his eyes. This was bad, whatever this was. Henry has never shown emotions, not even when our marriage failed. So what has happened; what was so bad that it could move Henry this way? Shawn couldn't be dead; after all, they would have sent a police officer to let me know.
I asked him to sit down and I sat in my chair. As I watched him, I could see he had aged. His hair had turned white and there were wrinkles over his face. He was trying to hold onto his youth though, by wearing the most ridiculously bright Hawaiian shirt and jeans. But, the biggest change was in his eyes, regardless of what he wanted to hide, his eyes showed how old and tired he really was.
I didn't have time to muck around so I just asked him straight out why was he here. That was when I saw it, a single tear running down his cheek. Henry turned his head and looked out of the window, his hand slowly wiping away the sign that he did have some sort of feelings. When he returned to look at me, I could hardly believe what he had said. Shawn had committed suicide.
I guess my reaction wasn't what Henry had expected, as he gave me a strange look and to be honest, I wasn't sure how I should have reacted. Was I supposed to have been shocked? No, I wasn't. Although Shawn hadn't said anything to me about taking his own life the last few times we had talked, I had gotten a feeling something wasn't right. Should I have been upset? Yes, I was upset, but at the same time, I hadn't had much to do with Shawn. Only the few phone calls from time to time and Henry occasionally updating me on what was going on in Shawn's life. So upset, yes, but not that much that I should have broken down into tears.
Instead, in a calm and quiet voice, I just asked him how. How did Shawn commit suicide? Henry frowned at this question, as if he knew what Shawn had done, but at the same time, didn't. I studied his facial reaction as he tried to think of a way to put it into words. I think what shocked me more was the hauntingly sad look deep in his eyes. Henry realised I was watching him so he took a deep breath and started to talk.
I just sat there listening to what he had to say. I felt I had no rights to interrupt him as he told me how this had all happened yesterday; and how he felt that it would be better for both of us if he came here and told me face to face, not over to phone.
He explained to me that while he and everyone else were going on with their lives, none of them had listened to the warnings that something was wrong with Shawn. Not even the big one, when I rang him to ask what was going on with our son.
Henry explained that while he was getting dinner ready for him, Gus and Shawn, Shawn was out there trying to find a way to kill himself and he found one.
When Henry got to the part about the gunman taking Gus hostage, he had to stop speaking for a moment to calm his voice. I took this moment to think about what he had said and tried to work out how this could even lead to Shawn taking his own life. Yes, I know that in the end, Henry would get there, but he seemed to be taking the long way around. I look back up at him and he was looking at me. I just nodded my head and Henry continued. We both knew that Shawn would do anything for Gus and risking his own life to save him, although a rash act was so totally Shawn.
Detectives Lassiter and O'Hara followed Shawn into the alley, trying to stop him. Gus had gotten away and the gunman raised his gun at the Detective but Shawn had pulled the hand and gun down so that he was in front of it. The gun went off; as Shawn fell Detective Lassiter shot and killed the gunman. Shawn had died on the way to the hospital. It was here that Henry had stopped again and looked at me.
I just stared at him, I just couldn't understand how, with what he had just told me, that he had gotten to the point that Shawn had killed himself. After all, he just described Shawn being shot by a madman. Henry must have guessed what I was thinking and he handed me a piece of paper, saying that it was a copy as the police need to keep the original.
He had collected his mail and this letter was amongst it. After reading it, he was just about to go out and find Shawn when Chief Vick arrived to let him know that Shawn was already dead. He was too late to save his son.
After reading the letter, I now understood how they came to the conclusion that Shawn had taken his own life. I told Henry to just let me know when the funeral was and that was the first time he had smiled since entering my office. He told me he couldn't tell me, as he won't know himself, until Shawn's solicitor got back to him. The confused look I gave Henry must have been enough for him to feel he needed to explain.
He told me about the time when Shawn was twelve and his grandfather had died, Shawn had told him that he was going to be in control of his own death and funeral. So he had taken control of his death and last night, Shawn's solicitor turned up and explained that Shawn had already organised his funeral. Henry said he wasn't surprised at all and now he was just waiting to find out the when and where.
I gave Henry a sad smile and said I will see him at the funeral. After I let him out, I sat down in my chair and went over all that I had just been told. And for the first time, I cried for the loss of my son. I didn't cry when I left his dad. I didn't cry when I knew our family was falling to pieces. But this was different, I was crying not for his death, but for all the time I wasted when he was alive and I didn't want to know him.
Thank you for reading and reviewing my story.
Sequel is up, Reflection's Before a Funeral.