The following is an excerpt from The Hope Trap, Jean Loxley-Barnard's forthcoming book.
Those closest to Kitty gathered to find out who knew what. The teenâ€™s mother spoke first.
By November, the doctor had started visiting their home, telling them he was having marital problems and was lonely. They were glad to give the poor dear comfort. Then he began showing up every night.
Kittyâ€™s father added a light-hearted moment by noting that his co-workers in the work van had come to tease him about his daily visitor, saying, â€śIs the doc with the caddy paying rent yet?â€ť
Then Patricia described the May Day revelation Rob made to her that he loved Kitty, â€śas a man loves a woman.â€ť
Everyone agreed something had to be done.
â€śSomething has been done already,â€ť we heard Patricia say, falling silent in anticipation. â€śKittyâ€™s GP suggested she see a psychologist.â€ť
Patricia described the psychologistâ€™s shock when she told him about Kitty and Rob. â€śDr. Smith told her to stop seeing him. When she said she wouldnâ€™t was when he referred her to a lady psychologist. Kitty talked to her a few times until Dr. Hood told her not to talk to her again.â€ť
â€śDr. Randolph, the psychologist reported Dr. Hood three weeks ago,â€ť Patricia continued.
There was more. â€śKitty had gynecological surgery from Dr. Frank in March, and after she was home a week, Dr. Hood wanted to look at her stitches. He had her lie down on the couch and he examined the stitches.
â€śGet her away from him tonight,â€ť
Dr. Frank said.
Dr. Frank said.
We sat horrified at what we were hearing. Rob was not Kittyâ€™s surgeon, nor a gynecologist.
â€śThen,â€ť Patricia continued, â€śwhen Kitty had her follow-up appointment with Dr. Frank, Dr. Hood told me not to mention to Dr. Frank that he had done any of that.â€ť
That was enough. â€śI think we ought to get Dr. Frankâ€™s opinion on how serious this is,â€ť I said, calling Dr. Frank. He listened and said, â€śIâ€™ll be there in 15 minutes.â€ť
There was relief that Kittyâ€™s doctor would be joining us, his doctor had the courage of his convictions.
Patricia went over the story about the stitches with the gynecologist as soon as he arrived. Dr. Frank listened intently and then leaned forward. â€śItâ€™s unconscionable, Dr. Hood knew that, you see,â€ť the GYN told Patricia, â€śwhen he told you not to tell me. By the way, Kittyâ€™s records were transferred to another doctor shortly thereafter, eliminating any chance Iâ€™d find out about all this. Until now,â€ť the doctor said softly.
â€śWhat do you suggest we do, Doctor?â€ť Kittyâ€™s father asked.
â€śGet her away from him tonight,â€ť Dr. Frank said. â€śTonight!â€ť