Tears In The Rain

Tears In The Rain

by F. Leonard Myers


Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


The bond between a mother and child normally is an unbreakable attachment. What happens when this bond is broken through the unnatural, manipulative actions of a narcissistic father?

"Tears In The Rain" is a novel based on true events. It is a story of love and hate, revenge and redemption. It is the story of a teenage girl betrayed by her father and a psychologist's efforts to rescue her following her attempted suicide.

Sample Chapter


Jack Woodman was furious. Dueling with brain-dead cretins blockading the hospital’s emergency entrance played on his nerves more cruelly than the poor dying souls he so often carried in his ambulance. The routine had become a daily ritual that shook his confidence in the wisdom of pursuing a career as a paramedic. He had climbed a mountain of personal obstacles to achieve his career goal but now questioned his emotional ability to continue fighting this battle with mindless locals in a daily life and death race against time. His personal pride in saving lives was eroding by frustration ignited by the callous disregard of drivers clogging access roads. The oblivious, hollow glare of apathetic robotic drivers was beyond his comprehension but they unfailingly triggered a rage he was finding increasingly difficult to control. “Move, for Christ’s sake, move you dumb-assed shit” he yelled as he leaned on the horn and repeatedly pulsed his siren. Why were these ass holes so damned heartless and casual moving the few feet he needed to pass? How could they not realize the people he carried were critical and near death? He had long ago concluded they just didn’t give a shit.

Without taking his eye off the road he called, “You okay back there?” Kayla Johansson yelled back above the howling sound of the siren and horn, “Don’t know. She’s still losing blood and her pressure’s way too low. You better hurry, Jack.” Woodman just said, “Shit.” He kept swerving around the cars littering the narrow street, a few parked but most occupied with drivers appearing unfazed by the ambulance with a blaring siren, flashing lights, and the driver relentlessly blowing his horn. “C’mon, C’mon, move it, you dip-shit” Woodman yelled as he swerved to navigate the obstacle course.

Norwood Hospital was not located in the most accessible section of town. It was okay for visitors parking on the main street and coming in through the front door. But, if a patient was unfortunate enough to enter through the emergency room it was an entirely different story. Access to emergency was through a series of small, converging roads in various stages of disrepair with several intersections forever clogged with excessive traffic. Woodman could live with that, he understood these old Massachusetts towns were built up around ancient cow paths. It was the dumb-assed class of people taking over the town. They just acted entitled and impervious to common decency. How the hell would they feel if their spouse or child were the one whose life he was desperately trying to save?

Dr. Anna Riccardi was a surgeon and board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician responsible for the hospital’s emergency room. Norwood was caught in the economic polarization sweeping America and as it and neighboring towns struggled to manage change, week-ends at the hospital’s emergency room increasingly flowed over with victims of senseless crime, accidents, and drug abuse. Considering the difficulty accessing emergency, Riccardi often wondered who were the geniuses that decided Norwood should be a regional trauma center. It was not her concern, though, as she prepared for a typical Friday evening filled with victims of heart attacks, car crashes on I95, domestic violence, drug overdoses and a handful of shootings or knifings. She had just gone on duty when Woodman’s frantic voice came over the radio. She thought it strange because Jack Woodman normally suppressed his volatility until he had delivered his cargo. She grabbed the microphone and asked, “What’s going on, Jack?”

Woodman reported he and Kayla Johansson were on their way with a critically injured teen-age girl. He informed Riccardi the girl had deep lacerations on her arms, had lost a great deal of blood, and had apparently consumed an unknown mixture of alcohol and prescription drugs. He reported that Johansson had stopped the blood flow but the girl was unconscious, her breathing very shallow, and her blood pressure was still dangerously low. “What’s your ETA,” Riccardi asked. Woodman informed her they had picked up the girl at her home on East St. in Dedham. They had just turned from Broadway onto Guild Street and could practically see the hospital.

“The traffic is brutal, though, it’s hard to tell how long this is going to take.”

Kayla yelled, “C’mon Jack, we don’t have much time.”

Jack made a quick decision and grabbed his mic, “Shit, Kayla says we don’t have much time so I might need your help with the cops later.” Riccardi said, “Okay, just get her here, we’ll be ready.” She then asked, “Have you pumped her stomach?” Woodman said Kayla had but they didn’t know when she took the drugs so couldn’t tell how much she had absorbed. Riccardi asked if he knew what drugs she took and was told “Oxycontin.” Riccardi exclaimed, “Christ almighty! Just get her here ASAP. We’ll be ready. Gotta go and prep the team. Good luck with all this traffic; it does seem worse than usual.” She flipped the switch to close communications, glanced at her watch and calmly but quickly went to alert her team and make any needed final preparations to a treatment room.

Woodman was inching up Guild Street creeping closer and the hospital was just a few hundred yards away. But, he was forced to a complete stop by traffic backing up from the intersection with Washington Street and the Post Office’s day-shift release. Curses poured from his mouth aimed at the hospital, its location, and the town for not fixing the problem. Norwood was a regional trauma center and Woodman drove here two, three, and sometimes four times a day. It was always the same. How quickly things would change, he thought, if a selectman’s child died in an ambulance stuck, paralyzed in this mess. Kayla yelled, “Jack, she’s going into shock. She won’t make it if we don’t get through this stuff right now.”

Woodman refused to lose this girl because of a goddamn traffic jam so he took a deep breath and yelled, “Hang on.” Kayla grabbed the safety bar as Jack threw the truck into reverse, gunned the engine, and smashed into the car about five feet behind him. He vaguely heard the shocked driver yelling, “Hey, ass hole” but didn’t hesitate long enough to hear more. He switched the siren to a constant scream and turned the wheel as far as it would go, turning onto the sidewalk. Fortunately, no one blocked the way so he quickly drove up Guild Street and turned left onto the small feeder road leading to the emergency entrance. The response team was waiting and burst through the swinging hospital doors just as Kayla pushed open the rear ambulance doors. Two men jumped into the vehicle, released the latches on the portable gurney, and pushed Julia Webster out of the ambulance. They were met by the team who immediately began reviewing her vital signs, prepared her to receive more blood, and checked the status of the saline infusion Kayla had started. His job complete, Woodman collapsed onto the steering wheel giving his adrenalin the time needed to retreat to its normal levels. Several minutes passed before he felt calm enough to leave the truck and find Anna Riccardi.

Sweating profusely, Woodman continued calming his nerves as he walked around the ambulance where he was confronted by the irate driver of the car he had just damaged. He understood the man’s anger so contritely listened quietly as he vented his rage and threatened a lawsuit. When finished Woodman put a hand on each of the man’s arms and sincerely apologized saying, “I am really sorry Mr.?” The man told him his name, “Thompson, Charlie Thompson.” Woodman continued, “Mr. Thompson, I was transporting a girl who may be dying. Her only chance was to get here as quickly as possible. We still may lose her. I didn’t have a choice; she would be dead now if I didn’t do it.”

Thompson’s rage melted and was replaced with a sympathetic look. Woodman continued, “If you can wait I’ll be back in a few minutes and we can do the paperwork. If you have to leave take my card and we can settle things when you have a chance.” He handed his business card to Thompson who looked confused but then nodded and agreed, “Yeah, okay, no problem. I’ll give you a call later. He turned to leave, then stopped, looked at the card, turned back and said, “Jack, I’m sorry for the outburst, you did the right thing. If my daughter ever needs an ambulance I hope you’re the driver. I hope the girl is okay.”

Woodman felt a fleeting remorse for his evil thoughts about Norwood residents. He recovered in an instant, turned, ran up the stairs and into the waiting area where Johansson was still trying to calm herself. She looked up and said, “You look like shit. What the hell did you do, anyway? No, never mind, don’t tell me. I don’t think I want to know. I’ll tell you this, though, my friend, I think I am very happy to be too busy with patients to pay any attention to your driving techniques.” Woodman smiled in acknowledgment then asked, “Is she going to be okay?” Johansson answered, “I really don’t know, I think so. She’s lost a lot of blood, though. And, the drugs and alcohol? I wish I knew. But, we got her here alive and she’s in good hands.” Woodman said, “Yeah, I guess.” He then looked around distracted before returning his attention to Johansson. “Look, Kayla, I need to find Anna Riccardi.” She looked puzzled but said, “Okay, sure. What’s up?” He answered, “Trust me. I know this girl and she needs to be in Boston.” Kayla said, “I’ll go with you, I saw Riccardi head toward the treatment rooms.”

They found Riccardi in her office a few feet from the room where her team was working on Julia. She looked up from her paperwork and invited them in. Looking from one to the other she greeted them, “Hi Jack, Kayla, nice work today. Jack, you look like shit, what’s going on?” Woodman said, “Thanks, you’re the second person in five minutes to tell me that.” Riccardi said, “It must have been hell getting here today. Jack, your foolish stunt on the sidewalk probably saved the girl’s life, though. Congratulations.” Jack half smiled and asked if the girl was going to be okay. Riccardi answered, “It’s hard to say. We’ve only had her a few minutes but it looks like she’ll be okay physically, Kayla did a great job. But, it’s too soon to tell about her mental recovery. She has brain activity but there’s really no way to be sure until she wakes up. We just won’t know how much damage was done by the blood loss or the drugs and alcohol until then. She seems to be in a coma and we may keep her there a few days.”

Woodman nodded that he understood but then cautiously said, “Doc, I’ve got to ask a favor.” Riccardi looked up curiously and waited. Woodman continued, “I have to ask you to trust me.” Riccardi put her pen on her desk, leaned back in her chair and asked, “What’s wrong, Jack?”

Woodman was eager to talk but he didn’t know where or how to begin. Riccardi and Johansson waited, giving him the time he needed. After a short minute he said, “You’ve got to get her out of here.”

Riccardi looked stunned. She said, “What? What the hell are you talking about?”

Woodman told her, “Look, Julia is my neighbor. I can’t say I know her very well but I do know her father and my little sister is in her class. I don’t know him very well either but I know him well enough to know he is dangerous. Julia’s parents are divorced and for several years she only visited on weekends. Then, about three years ago she suddenly moved in with him.”

Riccardi interrupted, “That’s a little unusual but not really so much so that it should cause alarm.”

“No, but I have been around this guy enough to know he has issues. He has personality disorders and I’m almost positive he caused Julia’s problem.” Riccardi made a mental note to follow up on his comment about personality disorders.

Now, it was Johansson, “Problem? We don’t even know what happened or why. Maybe her sister hurt her.”

Woodman replied, “No, you’re right, we don’t know for sure. But, I’m willing to bet that this kid was being abused. I can’t prove it but do you want to take the risk?”

Johansson said, “Jack, other than the cuts there’s not another mark on her. No cuts, no bruises, nothing. If she was abused there’d be something. Unless you mean sexual.”

“No,” said Woodman, “It’s not that. I know it’s unusual but that’s why I’m asking you to trust me.”

Riccardi said, “You said your sister is in her class. Has she talked about her at all?”

“Yes, she has. Judy doesn’t talk much about the kids at school but I once asked her about Julia only because of her father. So, yeah, she has told me a few things.” Riccardi asked what he knew.

“Well, Judy said Julia is really smart, actually she said brilliant, but she also said she is kind of odd. She is the top student in the senior class and will definitely be valedictorian. She told me she’s not a geek but she’s very quiet and mostly keeps to herself. She’s friendly enough but doesn’t seem to have any friends. She usually eats lunch alone and when other kids sit at the same table she doesn’t talk with them very much. She takes the bus home every day but her father always drives her to school in the morning. She always seems depressed.”

Riccardi asked if Judy ever mentioned dances, boyfriends, girlfriends, drugs, or extracurricular activities. Woodman said, “Yeah, she never goes to dances and Judy said she didn’t think she participated in any school activities. Judy wasn’t sure about drugs but said she seemed to be the type. She didn’t say anything about either a boyfriend or girlfriend. I guess she is heavy into Anime, though.” Riccardi asked, “Anime?”

Kayla explained the fundamentals of the phenomenon then added, “For the most part Anime is an addictive but harmless pastime but few parents realize there can be a very dark side to it. There’s lots of violence and suicides. And, it can attract some pretty troubled people.”

Woodman added that Julia was adopted from China. Riccardi asked at what age was she adopted but Woodman did not know. Riccardi said that it could be important information and made a note to find out.

Woodman forcefully repeated his request that Julia be transferred. He argued she needed to be in a Level I trauma center with a locked psychiatric ward. Riccardi responded, “Wow, that seems pretty extreme. Come on, Jack, what the hell is on your mind?”

After a minute’s thought he warned, “This is what will happen if she stays here.

“Her father will show up soon, probably tonight. He will charm the medical staff and convince them he is a loving father totally confused by the situation. He may even suggest the injury was caused by Julia’s sister, Margaret. And, he will be sure to be at her bedside when she wakes up. They will chat for a while and, if it was a suicide attempt she will decide she was totally confused and made a stupid mistake. Then, after about three sessions with a psychologist she will convince the therapist she is fine and will be released to the care of her father who will vouch for her safety and promise to continue the therapy. She will then return to the hellhole that caused her to attempt suicide in the first place. After one or two sessions with a therapist her father will renege on his promise claiming that everything is now fine. So, everything will be as if this little event never happened.”

He stopped for effect then, after a moment continued, “And, you will forget her within a few days but she will return to her miserable life. She will bide her time trying to cope with her depression until she realizes there is no escape. She will tell nobody and silently suffer until she tries suicide again, this time probably with success.”

He emphatically said, “There is nobody here who understands her problem or can help.”

He repeated, “Julia needs to be confined for a while to a level 1 trauma center with a locked psych ward, insulated from her family. And, she needs therapy with someone who knows and understands her situation and won’t be fooled by the tricks she learned from her father.

“I know this sounds weird but that’s why I am asking you to trust me. I really can’t talk much more about it but I do know the pattern. And, I’ll bet a week’s pay I know what happened that caused her to be here in the first place.”

“So, what do you want us to do?”

“As soon as she is stable enough I want you to transfer her to Mass General and get her case assigned to Elizabeth Malone. Doc, you can call her and make the request. I know she will agree, especially if Dr. Malone knows the request is coming from me. I’ll make the transfer on my own time if necessary.”

Johansson said, “Wait a minute, Jack. We’re driving a company ambulance. But, if you can pull it off we’ll go together.”

Woodman said, “It won’t be a problem if Doc Riccardi formally requests an immediate transfer along with a request to file a 51a report.”

Riccardi was genuinely concerned. She was trained to avoid personal attachments but she had known Woodman for several years and had always considered him level headed, reliable, and trustworthy. Now, he was reluctantly revealing a part of himself she knew nothing about. She withdrew into her own thoughts and unconsciously massaged the sides of her mouth with her thumb and index finger. After a short minute she snapped out of her reverie and held up an index finger silently requesting a few minutes. She then turned to her computer and searched “Dr. Elizabeth Malone.”

After a few minutes quietly reading the results Riccardi turned to face Woodman and Johansson. “Okay, Elizabeth Malone is a resident psychologist at Mass General and a tenured professor at BU specializing in teens and young adults who’ve been victims of abuse. She has quite a resume.” She had read more but did not mention it out of respect for what she thought was Woodman’s personal concerns. “I don’t know Elizabeth Malone but I do have hospital privileges at Mass General. Maybe those privileges will buy me a little credibility. Give me a few minutes to make a call.” Her smile served as their dismissal. “You wait in the lobby and I’ll come get you as soon as I finish.”

Riccardi turned back to her computer to get the number and finish reading Malone’s biography. She wanted to spend more time considering the relationship between Jack and Malone but concluded, as Jack said, time was short. She dialed and after two rings she heard, “Elizabeth Malone.” Riccardi introduced herself and explained the purpose of the call. When finished Malone asked, “Who, again, did you say referred me?” Riccardi answered, “Jack Woodman, he’s the paramedic who brought Julia to the hospital.” There was an extended dead silence and Riccardi was beginning to think she had wasted both their time. She had no way of knowing that Woodman’s name had triggered some special memories with Malone. Riccardi was about to hang up when she heard Malone say in a long, slowly rising, almost questioning manner, “Really?! Yes, I know Jack. How is he?” Riccardi, somewhat perplexed, answered, “He seems fine to me.” Malone seemed genuinely happy to hear about Woodman. She said, “That’s great, that’s really great.”

Riccardi was beginning to realize Woodman was, as usual, revealing character when he asked her to trust him. There obviously was more to his story and his relationship with Malone than he had revealed. Malone said, “Anna, I’m sorry for my slow response but I should fill you in a little. Since Jack did ask you to call me I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. Jack must be around 25 now, right? I first met him when he was about 17 and a patient here in our psych ward. As I recall he spent a few weeks with us but I remember very well I was his therapist. He was released to the custody of the state’s DCF, actually it was DSS at the time. He beat the odds by doing well and we kept in touch for a while. Eventually, we lost contact and I haven’t heard anything from him for about five years. I assumed, or hoped, that he made it okay out there in the cold world. But, I must have had my doubts because I am really thrilled by your call.”

Malone shifted her thoughts to Julia. “If Jack recommended me I’m sure he is convinced that Julia’s situation is very similar to his. There aren’t many therapists that recognize the disorder and family dynamic. Most of those who do are child psychologists and there are not many of us around. So, very few victims receive any quality treatment. The results are pretty grim and statistics show that most of these kids will never lead normal or happy lives. Your patient may be an exception. Maybe her trauma actually saved her life, or at least some quality in her life.”

Riccardi asked, “So, what do you suggest? Jack wants Julia under your care.”

Malone said, “By all means, if it’s okay with you please transfer her as soon as she is stable, tonight if possible.” She added, “You have privileges here so it shouldn’t be a problem. I’m sure you already know we do have a locked psych ward so we should be able to concoct something to keep her isolated for at least a few days. It’s Friday night but I will file the 51a report as soon as possible which should assure us a few days to evaluate her without any parental interference. I will also alert DCF and the Boston police. If you can get Julia here tonight, I’ll pull everybody together for a team meeting right away.”

Riccardi responded, “Okay, then. We’ll get her stabilized and send her to Boston as quickly as possible. Jack volunteered to transfer her so maybe you can catch up with each other. I’ll call you as soon as everything is confirmed.” She finished the call and went off to find Woodman and Johansson.

Riccardi decided to play a little puckish. She entered the lobby with a dejected appearance and looked long and hard at them. It worked. Their rising anxiety levels were obvious. And, she noticed Johansson was as nervous as Woodman so she assumed he had sold her on his theory. Eventually, she told them, “Well, unfortunately, my hospital privileges at Mass General aren’t worth a damn.”

She paused to let the news sink in and when the two paramedics looked sufficiently distressed smiled and said, ”But, you, Mr. Woodman, are something of a celebrity, at least with Elizabeth Malone. She would like us to transfer Julia as quickly as safely possible and she requested Jack to personally drive her to Boston. She is eager to see you, Jack, so be sure to call her when you get there. She will also file a 51a report and get both the Boston Police and DCF involved.” She told them to get things arranged with the ambulance company and ....


Excerpted from "Tears In The Rain" by F. Leonard Myers. Copyright © 2016 by F. Leonard Myers. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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