A middle-aged man of decent height and build walks furtively beside the little shops lining the quiet street. It’s late, nearly midnight, and a cold rain falls steadily. He pulls his fedora brim further down his brow, cinches the belt on his trenchcoat tighter and buries his hands into the pockets. His right hand grasps the heavy pistol waiting there.
Occasionally, he steps into the doorway of a shop and looks back where he had been. Where had he been, he thought. 35 years of work and toil for a spy agency and a government that cared not at all for him. A long marriage broken to pieces. A post divorce relationship also left in tatters. He thinks about what lays ahead. He’s hoping for a new start, fresh beginnings. Maybe the woman waiting for him is the one and his long search will finally be over. He just needs to keep moving forward.
After a few more stops, he gets to the border crossing. He has his papers ready. He has talked to the guard several times. She is a bureaucrat with a rebellious streak. Beautiful, despite her drab uniform, she studies his papers, puts her hand out for his passport. She studies the picture, and asks, “What is your cellphone number, Mr. Strummer?”
Too late he realizes he has walked right into the trap. What to do? Shoot her, shoot himself, but those options seem kind of drastic. He edges his finger off the trigger of the hidden gun. He thinks he could just give her his number. Fuck it, he decides, and gives it to her, one slow digit at a time. She smiles and raises the gate. He’s crossing the border and there’s no turning back.
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