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"Listen to me Darling!" a short-short tale about the life of a spy

Johnathon was about to close the front door of the couple’s duplex, when he stopped suddenly, then turned his neck towards Marlilou and announced in a business like voice:

“Darling, I’ll be late for súper because I have to listen to some conversations.”

The suggestion of a smile tugged at the sides of Marilou’s mouth:

“When do you think we might have a little chat?” Johnathon was silent for a second. So was Marilou. Husband and wife stared at each other as if they had just seen each other for the first time.

“My job is to listen, you know that as well as I do.”

“Oh, I thought it was to listen to me.”

“Don’t say that, don’t, you know I love you..”

“Do I? Do I know that? When there is love couples listen to each other.”

“Oh, come on! You know I am a spy. That’s my job. I listen to people to protect the country and who knows, to protect you, to protect us...”

Marilou broke into uncontrollable laughter.

“Do you really think breaking into who knows how many telephone conversations will save the country? How will it save our relationship? You come home late every night, exhausted, fall onto the couch, drink beer like Homer Simpson, fall asleep at the dinner table, then next morning rush off to work. What do you call that?”

“Are you suggesting I should change jobs?”

“I am suggesting that we need to talk.”

“Have it your way. I’ll ask for time off...”

They decided to go hiking for a week in the mountains.

They had met that way: hiking on the Inca trail, in Peru. She had stopped for a rest on a log and was looking for something in her backpack.

Johathon was about 20 yards away, approaching at a brisk pace. When he saw her he slowed to a stop and eyed her for a moment, with hunger.

“I think I’ve got what you’re looking for.”

That’s how everything started.

Now Marilou was looking at her husband’s curly blond hair. In an assertive tone of voice she let him know that she was willing to make a last ditch effort to keep their relationship from dashing on the rocks.

“Ok. You ask for time off and then we can go back to the Andes, the to Inca Trail, where we met.”

It isn’t easy for spys to get time off, but Johathon convinced his boss by talking about the plan to go to the Andes, an area smoldering with social agitation.

“No problem at all,” said Kenneth White, southern hemisphere chief of electronic espionage operations, “but keep your system open.”

Not far from Machu-Pichu, when the sun was playing hide and seek with the clouds over the green mountain peaks, Johnathon’s blackberry rang.

“Don’t answer that!” shouted Marilou. “We came here to get away from that, to be together!”

“But Darling, it’s my boss. I have to answer.”

“I said don’t answer!”

“That’s not fair. It’s my job to answer.”

“Ok. If you answer, you’ll never see me again!”

“Oh shit, don’t do this to me!”

Marilou grabbed Johnathon’s phone and smashed it to bits under her boots and then jumped to her death down the steep slope on the side of the trail. Johnathon stood there transfixed as his wife’s body bounced and zig zagged down the rugged decline. It was then that he decided to seek refuge in a far-away country and never again listen to people’s conversations, or perhaps he could become a monk; once a spy, always a spy, it wouldn’t be easy but he was determined from now on to listen to people in a different way, to hear their pain, their suffering and their joys in a different way. 

Miércoles, 12 de Junio de 2013 15:52 alfredo #. Cuentos y poesías (stories and poems)

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