Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.
He was nodding off at his desk and everyone else had left for the night. His desk lamp was all that illuminated the room and revealed out of the darkness surrounding
him, a mass of papers and files, piling up on the desk. He jolted awake as his training senses set in. He looked around the room for any sign of life. It was silent. Anyone else would be calmed by
this fact, but not him. It made him nervous. As he stood up, he pulled his Glock 19 from his desk drawer and headed towards the window to check the parking lot for cars. Nothing. This made him even
more nervous. The sound of papers rustling behind him made him spin around, gun raised. He was calm as he aimed at the intruder. The secretary was not so calm. She shrieked and fell to the
“Jesus Christ! It’s me! Lia! I’m just the secretary!”
He looked quizically at her, still not lowering his weapon,
“I’ve never seen you here before. Why are you here this late?” He said with his gruff English accent. His voice weathered by years of cheap cigarettes and expensive
Their conversation was cut short.
“Drop the gun!”
The man turned towards the doorway to see the building security guard.
“Special Agent Warren”, the man said, lowering his weapon.
The secretary stood up, and scurried away, leaving the security guard and the Interpol agent alone.
“Ben, what the hell is wrong with you?” The guard asked.
“I’m sorry John. It’s nothing.”
John looked over at the Agents desk and shook his head.
“Ben, you’ve gotta stop worrying about that case. Go home and sleep.” He said, even though he knew his advice would be ignored.
“I will. Let me just gather my things.” Ben said.
He knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep. He hadn’t been able to since the abduction and he didn’t understand how anyone on his team could sleep.
“Don’t lie to me Ben.” His stocky black friend said. He was tall, a giant to some. He was a former Marine who had done two tours in the Middle East as well as some
“Non-Official” Operations overseas. He was honorably discharged from the Marines and quickly got bored with civilian life. He joined Interpol as Chief of Security of their London field office, and
from this, a friendship with Special Agent Ben Warren stemmed.
The guard lumbered over to one of the agent’s desk.
“This is Agent Mulherins right?” He asked Ben.
Ben looked over and nodded, confused.
“Knew it.” He said as he reached down and opened the bottom drawer. Ben heard the clanging of glasses and John popped up from underneath the desk with a bottle of
alcohol and two glasses. He had a massive grin on his face. His thick moustache looked like it was going to touch each of his ears.
John walked over to his friend and after pulling up a chair, he poured them a drink.
Ben took his without any argument and he downed it instantly without thinking. He choked after he swallowed and looked at his friend,
“What was that?” He said, with a disgusted look on his face.
“How should I know? It’s Mulherins isn’t it?”
After his drink, Ben was fully awake, at least he felt like it.
He shuffled what was left in his glass in silence.
“You look like crap man. Why don’t you just sleep this one off?” John said.
The agent looked up, misery written all over his face, and said,
“That little kid is out there. How can anyone sleep when he isn’t safe in his bed?” Ben shook his head.
His friend looked at him understandingly.
“Life goes on Ben. Nobody wants to give up just yet, but they can’t work with a tired mind. If they are over-tired and overlook something critical, they aren’t useful
to this case. This team needs rest in order to find this girl. That means you Ben. You’re barely running on fumes.”
Ben set down the empty glass on the desk and stood up. He walked over to his unkempt desk and cleaned up the files.
“I’ve got some sleeping pills at home.”
Ben knew that no amount of alcohol or sleeping pills would get him to sleep that night. He put his Glock on safe and stashed it in his desk drawer.
“Goodnight John.” He said as he walked out of the room, leaving his friend to finish his drink alone.
© Copyright 2016 Joseph DiPazzi . All rights reserved.