Theodore (Teddy) Cavalier was one of the first patients that scared me. I remember the day that I met him; he was staying in room 428B; in the psych ward. I had done this before; mostly talking to suicidal patients. Theodore was not suicidal.
When I walked into the room, he was sitting on his bed, facing the door. It startled me to walk into the room and find someone staring right at me, but I smiled at him and set my stuff down on the small desk by the door.
“Hey Teddy, I’m Dr. Marlene Brovey.” I said, taking a seat in the chair.
“My name is Theodore, please address me as such.” He replied.
“My apologies, Theodore.” I replied.
He had the most impeccable posture that I had ever seen; it made me sit up straighter.
“So tell me, Theodore, how are you today?” I began, writing the date on the top of my notes, along with a note to self; does not like to be called Teddy.
“Are you really here to talk about that? Don’t you want to talk about what I did?” He asked me.
“Sure, but I’d also like to know how you’re doing.” I replied.
“I’m doing very well, thank you. It’s a bit cold in here but they said I had to ‘get used to it’.”
Watching Theodore talk was very unsettling; he remained perfectly still, like a statue. Only his mouth moved when he spoke. I wondered if he was even breathing. I had never seen a human look so still and…dead.
“I’m sorry to hear that, but you do seem to have a coat, so that should help.” I said, smiling at him.
He simply stared at me with absolutely no emotion on his face.
I cleared my throat to interrupt the silence.
“I have your medical history here, and I’d like to get into that. But first I’d like to ask you some questions about your family. Is that alright?” I asked.
“Of course.” He replied.
“Alright then. Let’s start with your parents. How would you describe your relationship with them? Did you like them, did you get along?”
Theodore didn’t move as he responded.
“My parents were people of average intelligence. They could never help me with my problems because they did not understand. I think they feared me because they knew how much smarter I was than them.”
I jotted down some notes.
“I see. What about your sister….Emma?”
“Her name was Emelia. I didn’t care much for her.” Still no movement.
“And why is that? Was it the age gap? Eight years, right?”
“No. She was too messy. And she cried too much; it gave me terrible headaches.”
It was getting more and more uncomfortable as time passed; the perfect, unflinching posture and proper manner of speaking combined with the steady silences between questions were odd. Of course, I knew before I came in here that Theodore was not of sound mind; but no one had really filled me in on his condition.
According to his medical records he had been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and there were notes of sociopathic traits in some of his old therapist’s notes; although that had never been one hundred percent concluded.
“Theodore, how do you feel right now? Specifically. Are you sad, angry…?”
Theodore stared at me for a while, this time I stared back. His hair was perfectly parted and combed over to the left side, and his sweatshirt had been tucked into his pants. Even his socks were neatly folded over. In fact, his entire room was incredibly neat and organized.
“I feel good. I feel happy; a little bit bored though. They won’t let me out of my room.”
“Do you know why that is?” I asked.
“Yes. It’s because of what I did.” He replied.
This time, he nodded his head when he answered.
“We’re going to go through what you did, starting with why. Why did you do it, Theodore?”
I studied his face, looking for any sign of remorse (or any other emotion at all) but there wasn’t one. It was like he was completely hollow inside.
“Because it’s what I do.” He replied.
“Who, exactly?” I asked, glancing down at previous notes.
“Well, me. Theodore Cavalier.” He replied.
“It says here that you told the police someone else had done it, do you remember saying that?”
“Yes, but it wasn’t someone else. It was me.”
“So, did you lie?” I asked.
“Of course not.”
“Theodore, it says you claimed that Jack The Ripper did it.”
Theodore pressed his lips together into what appeared to be a faint smile.
“I am Jack The Ripper.” He said.
“Jack The Ripper as in, the serial killer in the 1800’s?”
“The one and only.” He replied, this time smiling wide.
“Why do you think you’re Jack The Ripper? How is that possible?” I asked.
“You’re ignorant too. Just like my parents. They didn’t believe me either. “
“I’m not saying that I don’t believe you, Theodore. I’m simply looking for more information.”
Theodore simple stared at me; now he looked angry.
“I want you to tell me how it’s possible that you are a person from the 1800s.”
“Jack The Ripper is not a person. It is a spirit and it chooses those who are worthy of completing its mission.”
“Murder? That’s the mission, right?”
I wrote that down.
“Did it pick the sacrifices for you? Or did you choose?”
Theodore laughed coldly.
“You are so ignorant. It chooses those that it sees fit, then it simply uses you to carry out its work. You are only a means for him to act out his plans.”
“Why did it choose your family, Theodore? Your parents? Your sister? Why them?”
“They were easy targets, especially Emelia. She was a baby; they’re defenseless. They can’t do anything but cry as you cut out their organs. It’s pathetic.” He replied.
His words got angrier and angrier.
“Mother was a little bit more difficult but not really. She tried to fight me off a little bit but after a while, she just cried. It was pathetic.”
I watched his face light up as he recalled the story.
“Father was the hardest because he was strong. He was a construction worker, but it helped me. It gave me the extra strength and I was finally able to push him out the window. His death was far more disappointing.”
Theodore spent the rest of his life in mental institutions due to his mental state and belief that the spirit of a killer made him kill his parents and 2-month-old sister.
Yesterday morning, Theodore died at the age of twenty-eight due to some heart conditions. The reason that I’m recalling all of this now, is that recently, I’ve been having dreams about killing my family. And last night, I woke up to find myself holding a knife over my husbands sleeping body.