I left the cafe in a daze. For about thirty minutes I had begged and pleaded, cajoled and threatened ... and Dr Jones had not given in. He just looked at me with those sad, serious eyes and told me that he was sorry. But I didn't care if he was sorry or not! I just wanted to see Michelle -- just wanted to know if she was happy.
"Where will I go?" I had asked. Dr Jones shrugged and suggested a couple of places. One was in Scotland. One in Ireland. The rest were further away. France and Germany and Switzerland ... as far from Michelle as I could possibly be.
"I'm sorry, but I have to say this," said Dr Jones. "You want her to be happy, don't you? You want her to recover? This is the only way that she can."
"I don't think it is," I told him. If she was anything like me, the only thing that would make Michelle recover would be to see me again, because that was how I felt. And I knew she was. "Where is she going to live? With her family?"
"Her father -- he was the one that really started all this, that really rejected her -- moved out a couple of years ago. It should be okay for her to go home now. Her mother is with her now in the hospital." He smiled. "So you see, she's well looked after. She doesn't need you."
But he didn't understand that I needed her. "I have to see her," I said again. "You don't understand. You don't understand anything."
"I do understand," he replied. I wasn't going to listen for any longer: I got up, paid for my coffee, shouldered my bag, and left the cafe, all the while looking over my shoulder to see if he was following me. He wasn't, but his eyes watched me until I was out of sight.
Four hours later I was on a flight to Australia. I was leaving Michelle behind, just as I'd been told. But before we left I did one more thing. I wrote her a letter, and into it I poured everything I had never been able to say, because our time together was too short, or it was monitored. It was an outburst of emotion and it brought tears to my eyes, smudging the neat blue ink.
I posted it, then returned the waiting room. I was on my way.
She would never see me again.