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“I have this fantasy,” Gary said aloud as he lay in his safe place.

“Go on,” the therapist probed.

“I see myself finding the loner who stole my money, hunting him down, and killing him. But I don’t want to kill him quickly; I want to take my time. Really make him pay for it.”

“Do you think that’s a fair consequence? A slow and painful death in exchange for missing some money?”

“That’s what he’s done to me. He didn’t just steal money. He stole everything. He took my life’s savings, my credit, my home, even my good name. I have nothing now. I have no way to get it back. I may as well be dead. So, it’s really just an eye for an eye.”  

“I think that’s extreme. You are very much alive. You are here, now, in my office, talking to me.”

“I know.”

“My advice is for you to put this fantasy out of your head. You will likely never find out who this man is. In all likelihood, it’s some guy in Nigeria or another country, or even a whole team of people.”

“You’re wrong. I found him.”

“You found him? How?”

“My brother-in-law is a private investigator. He’s not a very good one, but he called in a favor with a colleague of his that is. I’m going to go confront him later today.”

“Don’t do this. Call the police, let them handle it.”

“The police can’t do anything. There isn’t enough evidence to convict him. And then what? He’ll get out of jail in a couple of years and just keep on doing it.”

“There isn’t enough evidence for a court, but there’s enough for you?”

“I’ve seen all I need to. If I can’t get my money back, I’ll take it out on his flesh.”

“Have you been taking your medicine?”

“No. I don’t like the way the antidepressants make me feel.”

“How’s that?”

“They just make me feel fuzzy, kind of tired. I’m not myself when I’m on them.”

“But Gary, you need to take them. These impulses that you’re feeling are a direct result of your situational depression. You need help. Let me help you. We can try different ones.”

“No, doc. No more drugs. I’m done with everything. This will be my last therapy session. I’m going to go confront this guy today, then I’m going to disappear. I’m thinking about traveling. I know I don’t have much funds left, but I do have my passport. Maybe I’ll hitch a ride on a ship and go over to Asia, where I can live on the cheap anyway. I’m going to get as many cash advances as I can on my remaining cards and then go.”

He stood.

“Gary, I can’t let you do that.”

“You don’t have a choice. Goodbye doctor. Thanks for your help. Without you, I may never have gotten focused enough figure everything out. You saved my life.”

Before the doctor could respond, Gary left the room. He had such clarity now. Ever since he saw the file and learned about the man who had destroyed his life, he regained a purpose in life.  Before, he felt as if everything was over. Now, he had a plan.

It was only a short drive from the doctor’s office to the man’s home. As he pulled up, it was clear that the house was empty. The thief wasn’t home. He parked across the street and waited. It was a modest ranch style in a moderate neighborhood. Nothing too extravagant, but the man was not living in poverty, either.

As he waited, he imagined all the things he would do to this man. He would ring the doorbell. And when he answered, he would rush in, hitting the man if possible. Knock him down, hit him some more, then tie him up. Gary was not lying when he said that he wanted this man to suffer. He would cut him one time for every dollar he lost. If that did not kill him, he would think of other things to do.

As a bonus, he would rob the man. After all, he was going on a trip, and needed all the liquid assets he could get. A professional crook must have a lot of resources lying around the house. He couldn’t exactly store them in a bank without questions being raised.
Finally, a car drove up. The thief drove a newer audi. Gary wondered if this vehicle was even in the man’s name, or some other poor unsuspecting soul’s. Perhaps he would steal the car. It was a nice car, and if it wasn’t registered to his victim, he might as well flee the country in style.

The man got out of the car. He looked just like the surveillance photos that the detective had provided. He was in his mid-thirties, with sandy brown hair and trim physic. Sizing him up, Gary knew he could easily take on this man in a physical confrontation.

The man went inside. It was time. Gary immerged from his car and headed towards the house. He was so focused on the door that he did not see the swirling lights behind him.

“Gary Marks!” A voice boomed behind him. “Hands up!”

Not complying, but turning to face the cops, he saw a car stopped, and guns pointed in his direction.

“What’s the problem, officer?”

“Hands up!”

Still confused, he did not do as he was told. Another officer rushed him, and he was forced to the ground.

“You are under arrest,” the officer said and read him his rights.

“Why?” he asked.

“You’re therapist told us everything. He has a duty to warn. We spoke to your in-law and tracked your car. You will be held for a psych evaluation and either placed in a mental institute or charged with attempted assault.”

He thought of the injustice. He was headed to jail, while the man who took everything from him remained free.