An End to a Beginning
“I never stood a chance, did I?”
“That’s the sad part.” She wiped the wetness off of her cheek, “You did. Once.”
The rain fell harder. He kept silent. She looked at him, hoping he would open his mouth to say something.
“Did you hear me, Edwin?” She said, urging him to respond, “You did stand a chance. You did.”
Again, he didn’t respond. She watched him from where she stood on the cobblestone street corner. He stood across the street, his eyes down and staring at the puddle gathering at his feet. He had heard her, but he was too upset to respond. He looked up but didn’t look at her. He stared out at the water, gazing at the rough waves in the dim light.
“You were better than the rest.” She said, trying to get his attention again.
The streetlamps shone on them. The sound of rain filled the silence. She stood away from him, not daring to go closer. He took a step closer to her. She looked him in the eyes and could see his pleading stare and felt him gazing into her soul. She couldn’t stand the look he gave her, it made her soul ache.
“Tell me, Marcie, if I stood a chance, why am I here?” He begged.
“I don’t know, Edwin. I thought it would be you.”
“It should’ve been me, Marcie. It should’ve been.” Edwin took several steps closer and Marcie finally looked up, “I’ve dedicated every waking moment of my life to E.N.S.I. My father was a part of it. My grandfather practically started it. From the moment I was born, I had started training to join them. And now-” He scoffed.
“Don’t say it too loudly.” Marcie timidly warned.
“Don’t say it too loudly? I’ll say it however I want! E.N.S.I.!” Edwin shouted, “E.N.S.I., E.N.S.I.! It stands for Elite Network for Secret Intelligence! Founded in 1915 in London! It was made to spy on-“
“Enough!” Marcie shouted, her face twisted into a wince at Edwin’s outburst, “This is hardly helping you. You need to go, Edwin. They’ll be looking for you.”
“You better go too, Marcie. You get caught with me and you’ll get put into the same position I’m in.” He said, sounding half-serious and half-sarcastic.
Marcie sighed. She knew he was right despite the sarcasm in his voice. She looked down at the ground, shoving her hands into her dress pockets, “See you around, Edwin.”
“No. You probably won’t.”
Marcie turned from him. She began walking down the sidewalk, her heels clacking on the cobblestone. She could just barely hear Edwin’s feet take off, his dress shoes making scuffing noises and splashing puddles as he ran down the street.
She hoped he would get away, but, she knew that he would be on the run his whole life if he did. He knew too much, all of the recruits did and that’s why none of them got away. Marcie was happy she had been drafted, but she felt that Edwin had deserved it. He was better than her, better than all of them. He stood a chance. Marcie never had. That’s why she knew he deserved it, and that’s why she knew that he would come back into her life someday, to take the spot he rightfully deserved.