«Honey, I’m home!» yelled the woman as she pushed the door behind her, entering the room. She was a lean, middle-aged woman, in her early 40s, wearing a firm beige dress and her big circular earrings were protruding through her straight, chestnut hair that was abruptly cut around her neck. With quick and assertive moves she unleashed her bag from her shoulders, pushing them upwards in discomfort.
«Honey, are you here?» she yelled one more time. With her left hand, she started rubbing over her shoulder, carefully as her face took a painful grimace. She followed the corridor to the bathroom where she found a pain-relief, warmup creme that she salved over her shoulder as she stood against the mirror. Her big brown eyes were covering most of her small head, making them its most prominent feature. Standing there she leaned towards the mirror refining the black circles under her eyes with some makeup.
«I knew I shouldn’t spend the whole night watching series» she whispered with rasping voice.
Once she finished she stood up and got out again walking down the corridor. «Honey?» she asked again. The house was a very spacious, modern structure, filled with vast comfortable rooms, the architecture of which was marked with curvy lines and uniform style. In some cases, you couldn’t detect where one room would start and where it would end. She walked at the end of the hall and opened the middle door revealing another set of rooms that were unfolding to the other side.
At the end of them, she noticed a man talking anxiously over the phone, marching obsessively back and forth. She couldn’t hear his words but she kept observing his movements with a worrisome and daunting expression. She leaned aside in the door getting out of his sight as she continued monitoring him.
«What is going on there exactly?» she whispered.
Once the man closed the phone down the woman fixed her hair, straightened out her pose, and made her way towards him in a relaxed and casual way.
«Honey, how are you? You seem a bit distressed» she said as she pecked him on the cheek.
«Sara..ohh nothing, nothing in particular,” he said somewhat distracted. “Are you ready for tonight’s event?»
He casually changed his attitude to a completely controlled and measured one as his smiling mouth opened up revealing his shining perfect denture. «I want you to have a wonderful night» he exasperated in a warm mellow voice.
The man was in his mid-40s with curly dark hair falling on the sides of his face and a dark skin covered in a trimmed beard.
«Sure I am..» she said reciprocating his loving attitude. But as she turned around to leave her smile vanished giving its way to sheer suspicion.
Within a couple of hours both of them were ready for the little celebratory event, organized in due to the party’s 40-years-anniversary. Sara being a member of the government from a very young age had managed to level up through the years to a respectable and strong card, taking the role of a prominent representative, capable to pass the party’s message and express a powerful voice as a member of the parliament.
But apart from the actual work of analyzing funds and delegating them in the most appropriate places, she had the obligation of participating in the various events and meetings that would take place from time to time. Even though unpleasant it was a price she was willing to pay in exchange for doing work that could make a difference and have a real impact on the world.
In the last few months, she had been working in a revolutionary program that would allow big parts of the unutilized youth to advance their skills and take their first steps as entrepreneurs under the help and guidance of key people that would help them along their way. The program would allow people with untapped talents but little resources to find their way into achieving their dreams helping not only themselves but the whole economy as well. Analysis would display quite vividly that any expenses in the short term would be overbalanced in the long run through the benefits they would bring to the society and the rest of the people. A visionary program that would allow for lots of potentials to be repurposed in the right direction. Alas, the last period the project would consume most of her time trying to analyze its intricacies and million nuances within such a complex system.
«Honey I really think you should take some time off. This project of yours is taking so much of..your time and energy..» her husband would say cringingly, as they were driving along the highway.
Sara smiled back to him and held his hand as she reverted her eyes back to the road while driving.
«I know darling… I know. I hope soon the fund is gonna be authorized, allowing the program to start and all this will be over. Its only a few key people to be convinced and it would kick off any time now..» she nodded at him condescendingly as they glanced at each other.
For the rest of the trip, they remained mostly silenced under the sweet music of some old classic jazz. The music that they so tensely loved and shared as a common passion, throughout their acquaintance.
A few minutes later they reached their destination under the umbrella of a clear sky and a full moon. The event was taking place in a big patio yard, marked with the uniform, short cut grass, and Aeron chairs sparsed all around, providing the guests with comfort on these hot summer nights.
Shots of champagne were shining through, under the elegant tall glasses, as people were scattered around the big pool that was located in the center of the yard.
«Now this should be fun,» said the man teasingly as they entered the room.
«Well, you should make sure not to go overboard with the drinks» she said winking at him. «I don’t want to gather your drunk ass at the end of the night» they both giggled as she caressed his arm.
«Sara and Nick..so glad you could make it..» a tall well-dressed man greeted them as they made their way in. He was a sweet old man with white hair and elegant, gentle manners that welcomed them warmly and made them feel comfortable. The place was filled with acquaintances and friends that both Nick and Sara were constantly alternating over as the night progressed.
Later in the night, Sara found herself in the company of David Serom, a respectable and prestigious part of the party that had supported Sara in various endeavors since her very early start.
«Ohh David I love how you handled the law reformations in the educational infrastructure. Who would have thought that something so deeply innovative and helpful would have been met with so much… controversy..»
«Well never underestimate the desperation of the privileged dear. They would do anything to hold on to their little power positions and keep absorbing the same resources they have for so long.» He moved his head in disbelief. «They would be willing to sell their soul to the devil to keep things unchanged. But thank god with some key alliances and..common sense we managed to convince for the need of our proposal.» He took a deep breath as he exasperated tensely. «Let me assure you it wasn’t an easy task by any means.» he nodded, accentuating his message.
«It definitely wasn’t..» Sara smiled. «But you did a great job..» she uttered in admiration.
«By the way, I heard about the news with the ‘young entrepreneurs’ program. I’m so sorry it turned out like this.» He said with a sympathetic tone of voice.
«Turn of events? What do you mean?» she asked alerted.
«Ohh sorry, you haven’t heard yet?»
«No I haven’t» she asserted. «What happened?»
«Somehow, the news about the program leaked out and the opposition is trying to throw mud and dirt on it to cut it out beforehand. They fear that if something like that succeeds its gonna trigger discussions and negativity for their lack of vision and they are bringing everything upside down to stop it…I’m so sorry..» he said as his face distorted with sadness.
«What are they saying? How can they even argue against something like that?» she inquired.
«Well, their usual agenda. They claim it is a program that we are trying to pass to help our own people and that funds are gonna be delegated to voters to help for the election and so on. Sara, you shouldn’t pay attention to them…»
«But this is impossible..» she exasperated looking downwards. «There is no way they learned about it so fast to prepare such an opposition. There are very few people that know about this. I’m surprised they got their hands on it at all..» she said in bewilderment. «This is impossible..»
«I understand my dear,» said the man as he tightened his lips. «But you know how these things are. Word can come out one way or the other..»
Sara looked up and pierced through the crowd glancing across from her in the far distance. At the end of the yard near the little external storage room, Nick was having a conversation with a small group of people, holding his drink casually as he was engaging with them in a laid-back manner. As he turned on the right and noticed her, he nodded his head, raising his glass from afar. Sara made a small attempt to grin as she raised her glass in reciprocation. And then abruptly switched positions, as she turned over her back to him..
The time passed and the night came to an end with the guests exchanging their last greetings as they were making their way out. As they were walking back to the car, Nick stopped Sara all of a sudden and confronted her as he pulled gently her arm on his side causing her to turn around and face him.
«Honey is everything..ok tonight?» he said with a slight tilt in the head.
«Yes, why are you asking?» Sara responded with a mechanical smile on her face.
«I don’t know it seems like something is bothering you or running in your head. Are you sure everything is alright?»
«Honey of course I m alright…» she said smoothly touching his broad chest with her hand. «It must have been the amount of drink that got into me.» her voice was filled with love and affection.
«No matter what is going on I want you to know that I love you and I’m always gonna be by your side» he declared holding her two hands on top of his.
«Darling you are so sweet sometimes..» she hugged him dearly with her arms. «I love you too» she whispered from atop of his shoulders. But again her face turned into strict seriousness the moment she got out of his sight…
As they returned home they both got down to sleep quite early on, out of pure exhaustion. The night had been long and the event had taken a good chunk of their usual night sleep already. But a little bit after they lied down, Sara woke up and got out of bed. With slow silent moves, she dragged her feet slowly through the room, allowing only her sheer points of her feet to touch the floor, and got out of the room making sure he was still asleep. She closed the door behind her and run into the office opening the laptop. She typed the name ‘Nicolas Colin’ in the browser and hit enter getting a number of reference articles on him about his environmental service and published work.
«Well I know about this stuff but what’s your story before that Mr?» she whispered as she projected into her mind that all mentioning to his past had stopped abruptly up to a few years back to which case all his earlier history was a complete mystery.
She held her head with her hand in desperation as she scrolled endlessly through the pages only to find parts of his recent work for other irrelevant information.
«I can’t believe I never checked any of that.»
She raised up and walked back inside into the room glancing on the side table right next to his head. His phone was resting right beneath his reading glasses but was only a few mere inches from him. With slow movements, she approached the table trying to minimize the noise as much as possible. With her eyes still nailed on him, anticipating the slightest flinch, she kneeled down and picked up his glasses from the top sliding them to the right. With steady movements, she picked up the phone and tip-toed her way out.
As she sat down she tapped into the screen getting presented with the password screen.
«Ohh god!» she expelled «Why do you have to keep everything so restricted.»
She checked both his full name and his birthday but they got declined. She had one last attempt left before the phone was locked down and the whole undertaking was marked as failed. She tried to remember some of his favorites things or habits but nothing would come in mind. Till she noticed a painting of Mile Davis, standing right across from her, depicting him in his album ‘Kind Of Blue’. An all times favorite of his, that he would listen constantly and would talk about with any chance. He typed the title on the phone and it got immediately unlocked.
«Now how about that..» she whispered.
She checked over his mails but nothing suspicious was found. Then she inspected the messages and her eyes got wide opened as she read through them. A number of them had been sent over to a contact with the name ‘Sergey’, that would reveal information about the government plans and various programs or activities that she would happen to mention to him. She covered her mouth with her hand as she kept parsing through them, trying to make sense of it. It was always known that Russians had a number of insiders trying to gather information about their activities but it would seem impossible that something like that would happen to her. She kept reading on with a pounding heart and swollen eyes when suddenly a hand pushed her from the back.
«You shouldn’t snoop into other people’s phones haven’t you been told yet?»
«Nick!» she yelled as she fell in the ground. «How could you do this? You are spying to me. To your own wife!» she screamed as she started crawling away from him.
«Spying on you?» he laughed as he started approaching her slowly. «No no no, honey you got it all wrong. I’m only protecting…» he took a small break, «the rest of the fucking world from this lunatic government of yours that is destroying the rest of this planet for its own gain.» he opened his hands wide open as he let his hair fall back shuddering his head with quick movements. «Don’t you see how your money-making machine is eating the world little by little? How much misery and pain it brings to all the other countries in order for your little banks to continue to prosper and flourish?» he stood on top of her, immobilizing her holding her two hands as he grabbed her cheeks forcing her head to turn and face him.
«Animal species getting vanished every day, environmental issues for which you refuse to obey and follow the recommended rules so that your little factories can continue to produce their products of manipulations» he uttered motioning a gesture with his hand. «You are destroying this planet like the plague. And someone needs to see that.. someone needs to do something about it..»
«So you are spying on me all this time. You were using me for so many years playing the role of my husband and lover, just to get your information. You are disgusting..» she said as she spitted on her side with an expressionless face.
«Now don’t get too excited there. I did what any good person with a good conscience would do. I hope someday you come in terms with it and understand the reasons that..»
Sara kicked him in the belly and start crawling away but he grabbed from her back passing his hand around her neck.
«Easy there now, you don’t want to make a mess do you?» he said as he was choking her while Sara was trying to grasp from anything she could.
She tried to remove his hand but he was much stronger than her. She then passed her hand on her side grasping a glass vase hitting him on the head breaking the vase into pieces. Nick fell down, dizzy as she grabbed one of the broken pieces.
«Hope you burn in hell» she uttered as she crossed him with the cutting glass, cutting out his throat. Holding his neck, pumping blood, he fell on his side passing out as Sara picked up the phone calling for help. She then let the phone dropped as she lost her conscience…0