CHAPTER 11: Eli
The elevator door opens and Eli makes his way to the room designated for him to meet with Dr. Turner and his client, Oberton Lidley. As he gets nearer to the room, he realizes that Dr. Turner is waiting for him in the hall.
“Oh good, Eli. You’re here,” she said.
“Hello Dr. Turner, you looked worried. Is everything alright?”
“Last night, the ward contacted me because he was experiencing a mental breakdown, and when I arrived to see him, he insisted that I record him and that I make sure to provide the recording to you,” Dr. Turner said.
“Is it an admonition of his crime, a plea for insanity?”
“No, neither. You’ll have to watch the video yourself. I couldn’t quite grasp what he was attempting to convey. His messages were directly for you. He’s suffering from delusional tendencies where he would go through bouts of separation from reality.”
“Dr. Turner, that’s fine. Please send me the video and I will look at it to see if it can be contributed to his case. Is he in there? And, is he fit to stand trial today in your opinion?” Eli asks hoping that the doctor would say yes.
“You’ll have to see for yourself, Eli. He’s insisting to speak to you,” Dr. Turner answers.
Eli opens the door to the small conference room that only had one small table and four chairs. Oberton was sitting in one of the chairs; head bowed, and his hands intertwine together as if he in deep prayer. Eli notices the guard standing right behind him.
“Joe, can you leave us for a few minutes?” Eli asks the guard who nodded without a word, and leaves the room.
Oberton Lindley was adopted as a child. He was born to a mother of Yupiak descent, and when she fell ill, there was no one to take care of Oberton. He was kept in a foster home until he was adopted by a couple in their 40s who had hoped for years to have children, and when they were unsuccessful decided to adopt a child. In Alaska, to adopt a child of Alaskan Native descent, a strict process must be followed in order for the adoption to be approved by the Alaskan elders. Oberton’s paternal identity was never known, however, it was rumored that he was a descendant of an Alaska elder, but this rumor could never be verified. Oberton’s jet-black hair had been shaved, his thick eyebrows and almond shaped green eyes contradicted the prison uniform that he is wearing.
Oberton opened his eyes, and Eli immediately recognizes the desperation—a man in need to deliver a message as if he has been assigned to this important task.
“Eli, please believe me. You told me to wake you up fro this life. You told me in the before to wake you up—to wake you up once everything you love in this life is about to change. You told me to wake you, Eli. Wake you,” Oberton said pleadingly.
“Oberton, I don’t know what you mean. Where is the before? We need to work on your case. This is what we need to focus on right now,” Eli said.
“No, it is not. I am only here to cross your path at a pinnacle moment in your life. We talked about this in the before. You must believe me. I am not crazy. Alright, I am, yes, schizophrenic. But, I woke up by choice the minute I felt the sense of change. Eli, you must believe me.”
“I do believe you. But we have a task at hand. I am here to help you,” Eli figures that if he admits to believing Oberton that he will let go of the madness that he is currently experiencing.
In a moment, Oberton’s face became clear, and a certain peace washes over his entire body. He continue to fold his hand on the table, and bowes his head. He fell asleep, Eli is thinking, and just then Oberton raises his head and levels his gaze at Eli. For a second, Eli felt that he recognizes his client as if he had seen or met him before he took on his case.
“My brother. We have gone on many journeys, and you have relied on me as I have on you. You must wake up. He is coming to be with her, and you cannot prevent this. I have told you throughout time that you cannot take what is not yours. Wake up, old friend for your time will not be fulfilled in this life as you had hoped,” Oberton stares at Eli with such intensity that Eli momentarily wanted to step away from his client.
In an instant, some thing deep within stirs in Eli, and he begins to feel a sickness rise from the pit of his soul. It is as if a wave of nausea is about to take its toll. He grabs a hold of the chair thinking that he is experiencing another bout of vertigo—the room is spinning, he is spinning, his life is spinning. He closes his eyes and images were through his mind that can not explain. There are images flashing filled with scenes or memories that do not and could not possible recall, but yet it feels as if they are his and he is experiencing them nonetheless.
Eli opens his eyes, and the room comes back into focus. Oberton is looking at him stoically.
“Wake-up, my brother. I’ve done what you’ve asked. I will release myself from this madness and pursue what I had intended to do in this life,” he said. Oberton closes his eyes, and looks as though he went back into deep meditation.
“Oberton, are you alright?” Eli asks.
Oberton opens his eyes, “I’m fine boss. The doc told me that she’s increase my dosage, and I am starting to feel better already. What do you we need to do for the trial? Just tell me and I’ll do whatever you say.”
Eli blinks twice attempting to comprehend what just happened, and deciphering who he was talking to, “do you recall what you and I were just talking about?” he asks.
“We were talking about the trial, Boss.”
“No, you went on a rampage and told me I needed to wake-up.”
“I’ve been sitting here waiting for you to talk about our next plan for the trial,” Oberton says.
“Did you have a black out of our conversation just a minute ago, Oberton?”
“Look, if I just blacked out just now—it’s possible. This sickness makes me black out sometimes. This is why I don’t recall some of the things that I’ve done, and then I come out of it and I find myself in a place that I had no memory of how I got there. Doc said with the right meds—I should start having less of these black outs.”
Eli looks at Oberton and decides to let it go, and that any form of inquiry will be pointless. Yet, he couldn’t deny the uneasiness that is slowly beginning to alter his mentality. When Oberton began his warnings, the uneasiness felt like an itch that he can’t seem to locate where to scratch, and its presence is slowly, but surely beginning to spread.
Oberton is sick. I can’t believe everything a schizophrenic says. Eli said to himself as he reminded himself to check for the video that the doctor will send him.