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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 83: Brown 135
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Derek met someone, and it disrupted his entire outlook.
He didnít actually meet her. He saw her. He had seen her photo, of course, among the dossiers provided by C. She wasnít really staff; she was family, so she lived with her parents in the embassy, and at fifteen years old she was older than she appeared in her out-dated photo in the London file, so he didnít recognize her at first. But he heard someone call her name, and made the connection, that this, this vision, was that girl.
He did not introduce himself. What could he say? He was supposed to be three years older than she was, on a temporary internship here. Her parents would almost certainly disapprove of any kind of relationship, and he wasnít here to find a relationship but to find a spy. His boss would be upset if he were to mess this up because of feelings for a girl--and just about anything he did would be likely to mess it up, since the girl in question was the ambassadorís daughter, Samantha Endora Morris. She was cute--not gorgeous, in the sense that she was obviously destined to be a fashion model or actress or something, but attractive. She reminded him of someone, if he could remember who it was.
He remembered. She looked a lot like Dearie, that is, Borellen Terria Condira, a girl he met at school, a girl he was going to marry if he had lived long enough. He missed that opportunity because he died, but looking at Samantha he could see much that was reminiscent of Condira--the same clear complexion, dark hair and eyes, the sweet friendly smile, the same grace. Of course, Dearie had wings and could do a backover more beautifully than any girl he knew, but that was a minor point in the grand scheme of things. Samantha--Sammie, apparently, to her family and friends--had very much the same effect on him that Dearie once did.
This was a problem. He was supposed to be investigating who was leaking information from the embassy, but he had all this surveillance gear and really wanted to investigate the girl, what she liked, what she did, whether there was any chance to get to know her. Rationally he recognized that it was impossible. For one thing, she was fifteen, and in ten years she would be twenty-five and he would not have aged an hour. For another thing, he was supposed to be a secret agent and she was a very public person, and it would be almost impossible to keep his identity secret if it became entangled with hers. He doubted whether they would allow him to have a girlfriend--it would be a security breach on so many levels. And then, of course, he would eventually die, in this line of work probably sooner rather than later, and he would be gone to another world and she would be a widow. Or maybe not--maybe like Shella, she would go with him, but at whatever age she was when that happened. It was obviously impossible all the way around. She wasnít going to find him attractive anyway--at five foot nothing, he was already shorter than she was, and he wasnít going to grow any taller. Sure, he had some amazing skills, but nothing he could talk about or show off to her. It was a doomed relationship. He needed to forget her, to put her out of his mind.
It was not so easy to do, though. It was made the more difficult by the fact that he was making no headway on what he was supposed to be doing, and he had all this technology available to use to spy on someone. Thus he thought about her quite a bit of the time, tried to find ways to watch her, to learn about her, to see what she was doing.
He knew it would get him in trouble, but hoped he could keep it secret, even when he clipped the bug amidst the buttons, pins, and bangles on the purse she took with her everywhere when she left the building.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #243: Verser Redirects. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: