A Secret Agent*

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
He acts very suspicious. What is he doing? Is he a secret agent?

Submitted: March 24, 2019

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Submitted: March 24, 2019

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   A Secret Agent

 

 

He took a quick look at the little window and turned his face. “The old man is staring at me again,” he mumbled to himself. “I know what’s on his mind!”

“Hey, boy!” he then heard the old man’s voice, “Come over here!”

He shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. “It’s the third time,” he thought, “He sure means to get rid of me, somehow!”

He gently got off the bench and strolled towards the small window.

“Ain’t you got nothing better to do, boy?” the old man said as he bent his head to hold it nearer the small window. “I thought I toldju two hours back to go home…and wait for my call! I’ve got your number. I’ll letchu know if somethin come up!”

“Yes, sir, I know!” he answered. “If you don’t mind, I’ll wait a little longer. Maybe …something will come up.”

“Ok,” said the old man, “Suit yourself ! Just don’t say I didn’t tellyu!”

The old man was now back to his seat,  still grumbling.

He returned to his place. The bench made a cracking sound as he sat down. “This stupid thing is getting tired of me, too!” he mumbled to himself.  He took his handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped the sweat off his face. “It’s sure getting warm,” he thought. “A bit unusual…for this time of the year.”

He rubbed his eyes a few times and leaned back. “Now I can go back to reviewing my little detective story,” he thought. “Here is the situation:

“The place is quite dark, and dead quiet. Everybody is supposed to be asleep. The hero of the story, who happens to be me, has been watching the corridor off and on…all night! He has checked the suspect’s room four times already. The guy’s door is unlocked, which is supposed to mean he is at home. He, however, hasn’t been seen nor heard…for quite some time. Does this go to show that…he is a secret police agent!?” He smiled nodding his head. “Does it?”

“Yes!”said Madjid , “I personally think that…it does!”

“Well,” said Ali, “Masood told me about this guy a while back. That’s why we asked Herman not to rent a room in that house. Unfortunately, we told him too late because he had already rented the room, and paid a month’s rent in advance.”

“I know why Herman took that room so quickly,” said Mehdi hooting loudly. “He had fallen in love with the big television set Mrs. Perry has  in the lobby of her house!”

His laughter made some the listeners smile.

“You see,” Masoud, then began to explain, “These SAVAKi secret police agents are everywhere now. Since the demonstration we had in LA, the King of Persia has been very angry. He has sent hundreds of agents to Northern California to watch us …and send him reports about everything!”

Some of the audience burst out laughing. “Yes!” Fredi exclaimed then, chuckling, “They have placed four agents there just to watch the door of Mrs. Perry’s house to help Manoucher keep Herman under surveillance, and three others to make sure that nobody will bother Manucher when he is resting in the toilet!”

They were all laughing loudly now.

“Joking aside, though,” said Herman when the laughter receded. “This guy is really acting pretty odd. Many times, he disappears suddenly, and when we ask him about where he was, he really has no explanation. A couple of times he even said he was in his room doing his  college homework when I had searched everywhere  myself …and I was sure he was neither in his room nor in any other  place in the house.”

 “Well,” said Madjid,  “We’re not really sure about what Manoochehr is, but what we can say for certain is that the guy’s behavior is very suspicious!”

“There isn’t much our organization can do about this though,” said Hamid who was the chief of the student association “I can ask some of our members to help you out if you needed it. But, since we are twenty miles away, in Berkeley, I think you should get the Hayward student association to keep him under surveillance.”

“We can easily watch him on the campus,” said Siamak, “ As a matter of fact, I have been doing that myself, recently. I agree that Manoochehr acts quite…out of the ordinary.”

“Yes,” Herman said, “We really don’t need much help from outside. The only problem is that I’m trying hard to get myself a job to pay the next year’s university tuition, and I don’t have much time to help out.”

“Hey, buddy,” someone suddenly called from nearby. “It’s time for you to go home! It’s lunch time. We’re closin the office. I’ll call you if somehin comes up. Don’t worry!”

“Thank you, sir,” Herman said loudly opening his eyes and shaking his head. “With your…permission, I’ll stay…a bit longer, and then, if nothing comes up, I’ll go.”

The man shrugged his shoulders and closed the window.

He was quite sleepy now. “I’m hungry, too,” he muttered to himself. “It’s time to eat my  piece of bread. I’ll eat my bar of chocolate later.”

He strolled to the water fountain near the office window to drink some water after his piece of bread was munched down. The office clock showed that it was one o’clock. “Silly Masood,” he mumbled to himself with a smile on his lips. “Hundreds of agents…just because we had a little demonstration !?” He walked around for a few minutes before he returned to the bench, sat down and closed his eyes.

 “Sir!” he heard someone yell suddenly, “you can’t go any further. Stay on your side of…the pavement.”

“Yes, officer,” he mumbled as he turned around and began to walk in the opposite direction.

“What the fuck is this?” he suddenly heard someone shout. “You son-of-a bitch!” a big, muscular man shouted as he rushed at one of the picketers and grabbed the stick of the picket sign he was carrying. There was a few seconds of scuffling before the man took the stick out of the picketer’s grip, and began hitting him with the thick bar. It took the others a few seconds to overcome their shock and rush to help their friend. A minute later, however, the police officers around began blowing their whistles and ran forward to grab the attacker and take him away.

They had just begun to form their picket line again when they heard a loud noise coming from somewhere up in the sky. When he looked up, he saw a helicopter flying over their heads not too far from the ground. Then another one appeared and passed pursuing the first one. Now everybody was looking up trying to see where the helicopters were going. He gazed at the sky, too. Some distance up above their heads, in the air, there was a small propeller plane moving gently around. Behind it, there was a line of shinning words pulled around as the plane circled the area. “Need a fix, See the Shah!” it read. Now a number of people around were laughing loudly.

“What does that mean?” asked a young picketer nearby.

“It means, if you need opium or LSD or some other narcotic drug,” said Herman,” you should contact the king of Persia. There’s a rumor that some of  his family members are in drug business.”

“Yeah,” said the youth, “I’ve heard that, too.”

“That’s what made the Shah so mad!”Herman thought. “He has tried so hard to create a revolutionary image of himself, and now they say, ‘Need a fix, see the Shah!’ Poor guy!”

“The thug who beat our friend,” said Ali, “was the guy I saw with Manoocher at the Consulate in San Francisco.”

The helicopters were now chasing the small one-propeller plane away.

 

“Hey man!” he heard someone suddenly scream in his ears, “How come your’re sleepin here? You’re  homeless or somethin?”

He gently sat up and rubbed his eyes. A young colored man was sitting on the bench not too far from him, smiling.

“I…didn’t sleep much…last night,” Herman mumbled.

 “I’m kiddin you, buddy!” the man said when Herman looked at him. “I didn wano  bother you, man!” he said. “Why donchu lie down?  I don say nothing no more!”

“It’s ok,” said Herman with a smile. “I had to get up anyway.”

“Are you waitin for somethin here?” asked the young man.

“Yeah,” Herman answered. “What time…is it?”

“I ain’t got no watch,” the young man said. “But I think the office clock says it’s three o’clock.”

“Has the old man come back?” asked Herman softly.

“Yeah!” the young man said. “He told me to wake you up a couple of time. I says don shit around with me, man. I ain’t goino wake him.”

“Thank you!”Herman said as he stood up and began stretching out his arms and legs.

“Be good, man!” the young man said then. “I think I’m goino beat it. The motherfucker told me to get the shit out of here. ‘We’ll call you if somthin come up,’ the fuckin bastard say. No shit man! They ain’t got no jobs .They’re just fuckin with us!”

“Yeah, I know,” mumbled Herman.

“Take it easy, buddy!” the young man said as he began to walk out of the small waiting room. 

Herman glanced at the office window after the man left. The old office clerk was busy writing something. It looked like he had turned his chair around so that his back was towards the little window now.

“The silly old man is getting tired of me,” he thought. “He doesn’t even want to see my face any more!”

He gently returned to his seat. “I wish I’d brought Siamak along with me,” he thought. “We could’ve spent the time talking about world politics or something. He would’ve enjoy the whole thing , too. He’s told me he likes to get a job in a factory and become a member of the proletariat!”

He returned to his seat and sat down again.

“I think,” he heard Siamak’s voice say, “We should follow up the guy’s case more carefully. Ali told me that he has seen him with the man who attacked us in LA. For all we know, our guy may be their agent, too.”

“We’ve already done something,” he heard Hamid say. “a number of people have reported to me that they have seen Manuchehr go to the Persian Consulate in San Francisco repeatedly. Our student association members in Frisco have also reported that they’ve seen him there four times during the past week alone! Why should he want to go to the Consulate so often if he has nothing out of the ordinary to do there?”

“Yes! It is odd!” Siamak said. “What about his behavior in the house?” he asked after a pause. “Have you seen him disappear again recently?”

“Yep!” he heard himself say. “Quite often !” 

 “Who’s this guy sleeping in the waiting room? A homeless or something?” he suddenly heard someone say commandingly.

“No, Bob,” the old man’s voice was heard to say, “He’s been there since six in the mornin. He came to apply for a job and stayed. I’ve told him  to go home a hundred times.”

“Huh!” he heard the first man say. “How come you’re still here, though?” the voice asked. “You should’ve left hours ago?”

“Yes, Bob, I should’ve,” the old man said, “But Eddy called and said that he couldn’t get here until six. He asked me to stay until then, and I said ok. He should be here anytime now.”

“I see,” said the man called Bob. There was a pause before the newcomer asked, “Didju say the boy has been there since six in the mornin?”

“Yeah,” the old man said. “Do you want me to tell him to go away?”

There was a pause before the other man said, “No, let him stay all he wants. He probably has nothing else to do. Who the hell cares!”

Then there was some noise. Someone said hello and then someone else said goodbye, and the place turned quiet again. Herman gently got up and tiptoed to the office window. Surely enough, there was a new man sitting in there. “The second shift clerk,” he thought. “I hope he won’t start nagging at me!” He gently went back to his seat, sat down and closed his eyes.

He was now in the lobby of his own house, dialing a number. His heart was beating fast. “Hi, Ali,” he heard himself shout in the receiver a minute later. “Hurry out, if you can!”he added, “The guy just left the house again! He was acting awfully odd. He may be rushing to meet his contact.”

“Ok,” said Ali hastily, “I’ll go out and hide some place. I’m goino catch him for sure. Don’t worry!”

“How stupid of me!” he mumbled to himself. “The poor guy was on watch…for such a long time … for nothing!”

He shook his head repeatedly but the thought of what had happened would not leave his mind: He was sitting in his room when he heard a noise. He took a quick look out of his partly open door and saw Manoochehr standing in the lobby looking around, apparently checking the doors of the living rooms. He stepped back so that the man wouldn’t see him. He then heard some footsteps and the screeching of the house door open and close. He waited and listened carefully for a couple of minutes before he gently got up and opened the door widely to look out. There was no one to be seen . He gently stepped out of the room and began checking everywhere. There was no sign of the other two housemates. Their room doors were locked and there was no sound heard from the inside. He tiptoed down the stairs and stood near the big television set in the lobby for a few minutes. He then walked to the small telephone stand, picked up the receiver and called Ali. He was now happy that with Ali chasing Manoochehr, they would soon be able to gather enough evidence to prove the guy’s guilt. He let out a sigh of relief and began walking back up the stairs. Soon after he entered his room, however, he heard a slight noise from some place. He turned around and began listening. The sound was soon repeated. He quietly walked out of his room, stood near the stair case, listening. “This time of the day, there should be no one in the house,” he thought. “The other two tenants and Mrs.Perry are all at work, and Manuchehr has just left. Who can this be, then?” he asked himself. “A burglar?”

He gently moved to the staircase and looked down. The whole place was now dead quiet .  He stood still and listened for some minutes before he finally heard a slight noise. The sound was coming from the kitchen, downstairs. “It must be Mrs. Perry’s…cat!” he thought. “The stupid animal must’ve sneaked out of Mrs. Perry’s apartment to grab something from the kitchen.” A second later,however, he was shaken when heard a louder noise. “It sounds like…someone is opening the door of the ice-box,” he muttered to himself. “It can’t be the work of a cat!”

 He quickly turned around and hid behind a small table which had covered a third of the second floor corridor.

Some five minutes later he heard the sound of someone’s footsteps coming slowly up the stairs. He gently moved his head out as the sound reached the second floor and began to fade away. “My God!” he then exclaimed. “It looks like Manoochehr!”.

He moved his head up to make certain. Surely enough, it was Hanoochehr, now tiptoeing up the next set of stairs, which led to the third floor. “Holly shit!” he mumbled to himself, “I’ve sent poor Ali to follow him in the streets to see where he is going while he is right before my eyes,  going up to the third floor, to Mrs. Perry’s apartment!” He slapped his forehead  a few times. “No wonder he was trying to keep it a secret!” he thought. “The woman is old enough to be his grandmother!” he muttered shaking his head totally confused .

“I’m sorry, Herman,” said Manoochehr early the next morning “I noticed last night that…you saw me go up to the third floor. I happened to take a look back when Mrs. Perry opened the door, and I saw you standing there watching me all confused.”  He took a deep breath and added, “I think…I owe you an explanation.”

Herman, who was sitting at the kitchen table waiting for the coffee to simmer, just shrugged his shoulders.

“You see,” began Manoochehr, “When I came to rent my room here, I didn’t have much money. So, when …Mrs. Perry invited me to her room one night… I thought that was perhaps a good opportunity for me to dodge paying my rent…”

“You don’t have to explain anything,” protested Hooman. “It’s entirely none of my business. You can do whatever you like!”

“I know,” said Manoochehr. “I also know that you are up this early because you want to go apply for that factory job, and I that I shouldn’t take your time because you just have a few minutes to eat your breakfast but…” He paused for a few seconds and then added, “The thing is…that…I pretended to be leaving the house secretly a number of times because I wanted no one to find out about my hush-hush relations with Mrs. Perry. So, now that you have found out about my secret…I have to beg you very humbly to keep the secret between us and not say anything about it…to anyone else!”

“Look!” said Herman shaking his head, “The problem we have now is that…most of the guys around are under the impression that…you are working for the SAVAK secret police and…”

“Yes, yes,” said Manoochehr impatiently, now staring at the kitchen door. “To tell you the truth,” he continued, “I would much rather see them think of me as a secret police agent than a male whore! The fact is that…I need to continue my relations with Mrs. Perry…and I don’t want anyone to know about it under any circumstances! That’s why I purposely made you people suspect that I had a connection with SAVAK. I knew that my cousin who works for the Consulate is a police informer, and that many of you people knew about that. It was for this reason that I went to visit him so often. I even went there deliberately, one day, when I noticed that one of your friends was tailing me!”

“Oh, God!” said Herman flabbergasted. “So, during all the time that my friends and I were trying to find out if you were working for the secret police…you were actually putting on a show to make sure that we believed that you were!?”

Manoocher nodded repeatedly. “Yes!” he then added emphatically. “And now, my dear Herman,” he added, “I would like to ask you again, very humbly,…not to let anyone know about my relationship with Mrs. Perry, no matter how indignant everyone might get about my relationship with the secret police!”

“Ok!”said Herman shrugging his shoulders. “I promise…if that’s what you want!” he mumbled as he looked at his watch. He then stuck a couple of slices of bread into his jacket pocket, and rose to his feet.

“I’m really sorry about all this,” said Manoochehr then. “It all happened for a cold pitcher of water the old lady had forgotten to take from the ice-box to her room!”

“Don’t worry about it,” said Herman as he walked towards the kitchen door.

 

 “Hey buddy,” someone said suddenly shaking his shoulder. “Are you…the guy who has been sitting here since six in the mornin?”

“Yes,” Herman said somewhat shaken, looking up at a big fat guy. “I stayed…because…I…needed a job,” he mumbled. “Do you…want me to…leave…now?”

“Come on!” the big man said shaking his head as he began walking towards the office window.

Hooman gently got off the bench and put the remainder of his bar of chocolate in his mouth.

“Are you comin or not?” the man shouted.

“Yes, yes, I’m coming!” said Herman.

 

“Ok,” the man said when Herman came closer, “Mr. Collins wants to see you,” he added pointing to the office window. He has just kicked out a guy. He wants to put you in his place. Do you still wan a job, or …not?”

“Yes, yes!” exclaimed Herman who was now wide-awake. “I do!

“Ok,” the man said loudly, “Come on in, then! The graveyard shift is startin. Sammy is putting your application on the file!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Herman Azadi. All rights reserved.

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