For Better or Words. Chapter 4: When in Doubt, In is Out

30 minutes later Charles and Sarah took in the glory that was Don DeWolf's office door before rapping as politely, yet firmly as possible. It had seemed like 30 days and they'd reached the wall of their impatience. “Enter!” Came the booming voice from inside. They walked in together and crossed the room, nervously looking around. “Is everything alright Sir?” Charles said as calmly as possible. “Yes Chuc-, Charles, forgive me,” Don said gesturing at him, “Why wouldn't it be?” “We-we-w-were just wanted, to follow-up about that woma-, about the test results” Charles stuttered. “For protocol!” Sarah added clearly. “...In case we have a situation like that again. Where someone cheats?” she finished unsurely. Don DeWolf looked at the bag in her hands. “We DIDN'T have a situation. You're correct dear, she did cheat. And not in a very clever way either! I can tell you after a brief conversation I was able to deduce what and how she had managed to confuse both you and the program.” Sarah and Charles let out a collective breath and their shoulders relaxed half a millimeter. DeWolf barked on. “I've taken the liberty of seeing the trouble out. Not only myself but the whole organization thanks you for your service to us.” She and Chuck both blushed. She was so elated she almost dropped the woman's bag. “I will personally see that you are both credited for your professional conduct, perhaps a rise in the ranks for your displays of good judgment today? I'll also see that gets back to its rightful owner. You can leave it on the desk, Ms. Connor.” The formal use of her name snapped her back to reality. “That will be all for today. Please see yourselves out and thank you again.” Mr. DeWolf finished. She placed the bag on the desk, they bowed, thanked Mr. DeWolf and both left the room at the speed of light. It was rare and completely unheard of, for recruits as new as them to receive praise much less earn promotion. They flashed their toothy grins again. Except now they really had something to smile about. Don picked up the woman's bag. He reached inside and rummaged around till he found a little plastic tube. He held it up. Inside a beautifully rolled cone waited for him. He reached over, grabbed a beautiful gold handle and opened a large desk drawer. The woman's clothes had been so hastily stuffed in there a piece of her sock was sticking out. He dug around and pulled out jeans. Inside the front pocket, he found a lighter. He opened the tube and proceeded to achieve cruising altitude. As he watched the smoke spiral out for the second time that day he looked around the room for a smoke detector but didn't see one. This wasn't what I was planning on doing today but ‘what the heck right?' Don DeWolf hadn't been planning on what would happen when he grabbed my bare arm with his bare hand either. I didn't know where he went, but he was gone before my empty clothes crumpled to the white wool carpet. I also didn't know who they were. I've heard 'THEY' say: "you only live once". But not how many leaves you could turn over, in that time.

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Angell Kim

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