My new favorite story is coming along quiet nicely. I must admit, I’m getting attached to my characters… bad sign guys. It means the story might be wrapping itself around my heart. But as per usual, I do hope you enjoy the little piece as much as I enjoyed writing it. xoxo
A week had passed since the appointment. A week had passed, and Ryan Muller had been watching his back since he had left the office that night. The panicked call to his wife was unmade, and his journey home was fraught with shifty glances at the rearview mirror and random sequences of turns meant to dissuade followers.
He had waited until reaching the modest townhouse in Arlington before calmly suggesting to his wife that they go for an evening stroll with the child. There was no way his house wasn’t bugged, after all. Taking heed of her husband’s pleading visage, Lena took pity on him and obliged. Within 5 minutes, they were out the door and taking a “casual stroll”.
“So Ryan” she said, choosing to break the uncomfortable silence as Melody, his 5-year old, slept on,
“Just give me a moment”
She gave him precisely two.
“I’ve got a patient” he began, “Obviously I can’t tell you details or the backstory. But Lena, promise me you’ll be careful with Melody and yourself. Please.” His voice caught,
She grasped his hand tightly and pulled him into a hug,
“I’m always careful sweetheart” she whispered,
“I suppose we should commend him for being cautious” a voice within a stationary postal truck grumbled,
“Could he at least let the initials or something slip” another voice whined,
After a pause,
“Are you making the call?” the first one asked, this time a tinge of fear in his voice,
“I wasn’t planning on it” the second answered, “But I can” reluctance seeping from the voice,
After a Brief Conversation with an unknown
“Change of plans” the same voice repeated, “Active presence as soon as possible”
A week later, the meeting room was quiet. The man sitting in he general therapist chair fidgeted uncomfortably as the second man fixed him with a disapproving glare.
“You were avoiding my agents last week” he said flatly, “Care to explain”
“Not really” Ryan answered amiably, forgoing the fidgets, “Only for the sake of privacy”
Martin passed a hand over his face tiredly,
“What am I supposed to tell my superiors? That my agents are incorrect in their assessment of the probability that you are an enemy agent?”
“Possibly” the therapist answered with a bit of humor, not at all perturbed, “But we’re here to talk about you, not me. The government is paying for it, after all. Best to make it count – my pending arrest isn’t really too important”
“You’re mad” Martin moaned, “I’ve got a mad therapist”
Ryan nodded solemnly. After doing research into the topic, he had concluded the best way to deal with having an absolutely crazy patient was sitting back and let him do the talking.
A few sarcastic comments wouldn’t go amiss either.
“Anyways, I suppose you’d prefer it if I talk?” receiving a nod in return, he continued, “Anything I want?”
“Whatever makes you feel more comfortable?” Ryan responded,
“Right then. I suppose it’s best to just start in March 20th of 2003. Much more recent. By then I’d had 10 or so successful missions, and the Upper’s were beginning for once to see me as a valuable asset. And I was assigned to take a younger rookie with me. Something about shared knowledge. Completely useless if you ask me”
“Why would you say that?” Ryan interrupted, “It is scientifically proven to be an extremely successful learning method… at least as opposed to trial and error”
“See. That’s the difference. There’s something intrinsically different about my field. It’s not enough to watch someone execute a perfect shot. Not enough to watch and repeat like a robot. In my line of work, you have to fail, once, twice. Hell, I failed at least 5 times – and I’m nowhere near done. You need to understand, to really see the consequences of your actions are more than a mistake. It’s the difference between “target terminated “ and “target failed”. And for me, failure is unacceptable”
His eyes had become hooded, and his face tense. Ryan watched these developments carefully before clearing his throat, dreading his next words.
“Would you feel comfortable discussing your failures with me?”
The man was silent for a moment, before nodding slowly,
“Of course. You are my therapist after all. But that is naturally if you stop evading my agents. One favor for another?”