‘I didn’t know what I was getting into until now—the moment I chose you. But as romantic as this sounds, we have always known that our lives would be different. From the day we chose this path, we are living out our vow to leave all normality behind—accepting that one day, we will be given a responsibility beyond our capabilities. Still, the choice is ours. It has always been and it will always be. Thus, you have a decision to make.
‘But… before you do, know this—it wasn’t an easy decision. Choosing you wasn’t easy. Our company has struggled to bring this case to a close, and only the most capable is trusted with the job. Alas, you are the most capable amongst our colleagues—both a compliment and a curse, I’m afraid. So even if you think you are not ready, trust me when I say, you are the most ready. Still, this will not be forced upon you.
‘You do not, in any way, have to feel obligated. I, myself, accepted this task out of choice. Thus you are free to decline. No one—neither those before nor those after you—will pass any judgement. After all, none of us wished to be called upon for this—the daunting quest we all secretly feared. The perilous journey where no man before has ever returned from—that even I can only pray to succeed as to not have the baton passed on to you. But forgive me, should you be reading this. I did try my very best.
‘Now, decide. At eighteen past noon, you are to drop this letter in the blue mailbox at the junction between Geheim Street and Upper Agentin Lane should you wish to accept. However, if you have chosen to decline, do nothing except erase these last words from memory. Once you have made your decision, you will receive your next course of action—either way, what we signed up for has no end.
‘I wish you good luck, my dear friend. I hope that you treasure every moment of peace in this turbulent world. It has been an honour to serve with you, and may you continue to make me and our company proud.’
“Sign,” she ended.
I scribbled my name at the bottom of the handwritten letter—crafted under her dictation—before handing it over.
“If you fail,” she added. “We will have to send this.”
I nodded. I knew the procedure. I had only one reservation—one that reflected on my countenance.
“What, Agent Lee?” she prompted.
“Well, I’m not too sure if the letter is convincing,” I said.
“You shouldn’t be worried about convincing your colleague,” she replied. “You should be worried about the mission, and accomplishing it.”
“Ah, yes.” Of course, succeeding at the mission was my top priority. The day I received my summon in the mail—the handwritten note that was supposedly sent by my mentor—I knew I would be the one that finally infiltrated the nuclear base. Still, a bizarre discomfort had settled in my chest—one that I couldn’t shake. “I’m sorry, you can count on me. It’s just…”
“Just what, Agent Lee?”
“The letter… and the words…” I hesitated. Was it even worth mentioning? It seemed, almost, trivial.
“What about them?” she asked.
“I… wouldn’t call this mission romantic. And I don’t use the words perilous or, say, turbulent.”
“Agent Lee,” she replied.
“It doesn’t matter what you would call this mission or what words you say. The decision will be hers either way,” she stated.
“Yes ma’am.” She was right—the content of my letter didn’t matter. It was, indeed, trivial. It must have been the nerves. After all, I had a mission to accomplish—to do what those before me had failed to do. And should I succeed, the letter itself wouldn’t even leave the room.
“Now, report to weapons. We have a few upgrades,” she ordered. “And agent…”
“Keep your head in the game.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll return with glory,” I said with a firm nod.
Glory—what a strange word. Was that a word Jonathan had used? Jonathan was a man of little words. He barely spoke, let alone write. Clearly he didn’t pen his letter, too. Still… glory—the only word I could recall from his letter. Oddly enough, everything else was a blur. But… it didn’t matter what he wrote—I was on a mission.
A mission so romantically perilous… that I chose to enlist in the fullness of my sanity.
12 Genre Months © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.
(Click HERE for the list of stories in this writing challenge.)