A private peek into the psyche of the protagonist from the Madison Knight Series by Carolyn Arnold:

Office of Doctor Eaton, Psychiatrist, P.H.D

by Carolyn Arnold:

"So just sit back and relax—"
"I’m only here because it’s mandatory.” Madison Knight loved being a cop with its leniencies to act on instinct and be afforded some freedom. She hated being told she had to do something. She remained leaning forward on the edge of the chair, elbows to her knees, her eyes drifting to the door.
The doctor—if you could call her that—either didn’t notice or didn’t care. She crossed her legs, gripping her notepad tightly to her chest as she made the movement. "Tell me more about you, and what makes you tick."
"What makes me ‘tick’?" Madison laughed. "First, you sound like my mother. She loves talking in clichés."
"And that bothers you." The psychiatrist sat back further into her chair.
"Clichés or my mother?"
"Now we're getting somewhere."
The door was only fifteen feet away. That’s six long strides at a quickened pace. In her mind, Madison was already turning the handle and running down the hallway.
“This topic makes you uncomfortable. Why?” The woman’s intensive gaze brought Madison’s eyes to meet hers.
“I just don’t like doing this sort of thing. I’m fine. I have no baggage, as you guys like to put it—”
“Then why so defensive?”
“If I talk faster, can I leave?”
The doctor twisted her wrist to look at her watch. “Your appointment is a half hour.”
“Tell you what. I want this over with, and I’m willing to go outside of my normal character and share with you. But there’s no way I’m staying a full thirty minutes.”
“Hmm.” The glasses that sat perched on the woman’s nose seemed to slide down with her expression. Or maybe it was just in Madison’s mind, the way she was watching her, analyzing her, trying to get inside her mind...what makes you tick, she’d said.
“My mother.” Madison’s stomach tightened. “She’s my mom.”
Madison didn’t like the way she was being led. Her focus went to the door again and the freedom of expression—or non-expression—that existed beyond it. “Things are complicated. She thinks I should be married with babies.”
“But you don’t like babies?”
Now the shrink was judging her. “It’s not that I don’t like babies; I just don’t need them, or a man, to feel complete. I like men, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t need them to make me feel my existence is worthwhile.”
She wrote something in the notepad and looked up. “Continue.”
“In fact, most men will let you down if given the opportunity. Heck, it doesn’t even take that, maybe just time.”
“So getting back to your mother, why is it such a complicated relationship?”
“My grandmother.” Verbalizing each word, in an expose of her life, to this stranger, made it hard to speak. Her throat felt constricted. “She meant everything to me, but she died a few years back. A brain tumor...inoperable they told us.” She paused and looked at the doctor, expecting an expression of sympathy or an apology for her loss, nothing came. “She believed in me and my career. She left me all she had.”
“And nothing to her own daughter?”
Madison nodded.
“I see.” More notes were scribbled down in the notebook.
“You see, my grandfather was a cop, and he was killed on their anniversary by the kid of a man he’d sent to prison. Mom believes my place, as I said earlier, is married with children like my sister.”
“Your sister is married. Does that bother you?”
“No.” The single-worded response touched air, and it was as if it gave birth, churning with the aftermath of acknowledgement and responsibility. She had to make it sound more convincing, somehow. “I’m happy for her. She’s got the man of her dreams and three girls.” She smiled. “I have beautiful nieces.”
The shrink bobbed her head slowly and pressed the back of the pen she held into her chin.
“As I said, I’m not really into kids. Or relationships.”
“And why is that?”
The directness of the question slapped Madison. She went back to calculating the distance to the door and whether to make a run for it. Thirty minutes. If she just started speaking, she could make it out in ten. Surely her life wasn’t that messed up. “I was engaged before but it didn’t work out.”
Madison was beginning to hate that expression. She continued, “I found him in bed with another woman, and now he works for the department.”
“Oh, so he’s your colleague.”
Why did people find it necessary to state the obvious at times? “Yes. But it’s okay; I deal with it.”
“Deal with it? So you still have feelings for him?”
Madison sat back in the chair and let out a deep breath. “I make it work. What else do you want to talk about?”
She held her pen poised over the notepad now. “Your job. Why a major crimes detective?”
“Why not.”
“If you skirt around the questions, this will take longer than thirty minutes, and I’ll have to request you come back.”
Madison let the cliché go. “Fine. I wanted to make a difference and have purpose in my life. Nothing makes me happier than knowing I’m bringing closure to those left behind and justice for the victims.”
“It sounds like a physically and mentally exhausting job. Anything about it you don’t like?”
“The sight of blood.”
“Oh really.” The pen poked back into her chin.
“It goes back to childhood. That would be another visit...if we were ever going to have another—” She stopped there not believing the words spewing from her mouth.
“But you’re able to push past this for your job?”
“That would take a lot of determination.” Her pen was busy across the page of the notebook. “And your partner—”
“Terry, he’s a great guy, a family man.”
“And as devoted to the job as you are?”
A smile tugged at Madison’s mouth. “He likes his job but knows how to turn it off.”
“And you don’t?”
“Not really, but that’s okay. He gets the job done, and when he’s focused, he’s great. He’s like family to me.”
“Going back to your grandmother, she sounds as though she was a large influence in your life.”
“She told me us women have it over men in three ways.” Madison could still envision her grandmother speaking the words. “She said we have endurance, mental focus and we got the looks. She really is why I’m the person I am today. I love my parents, but as we discussed, it’s complicated—” She paused when she noticed the shrink checking her watch. “But with my grandma, it was simple. She believed in me, encouraged me—”
The doctor uncrossed her legs and closed her notebook.
“What are you doing?”
She smiled, pulled her glasses off and held them at an angle in her hand. “Your thirty minutes is up. If you want to come back—”
Madison already had her hand on the door handle. “Thanks.”

DISCLAIMER:The above was written for the purpose of this post and is not found in any of The Madison Knight series novels.

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Carolyn Arnold is the author of several novels in various genres. Her mystery novels, Ties That Bind and Justified, have reached bestseller status on Amazon United States for Kindle. Her FBI thriller, Eleven, released November 2011 and made it on The Miami Books Examiner's 'Top 12 Fiction Books of 2011' list. She currently lives with her husband and two beagles in a city near the well-known Canadian center Toronto.

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