My vision blurs as I watch former colleagues move off reluctantly. It hurts deeply knowing they leave me behind... I quickly envisage every cloud has a silver lining. The feel of cold steel as it nestles snugly against my thigh helps to make me feel secure.
Tuesday 20th April 2010.
After spending many hours in the air, it felt wonderful to be back on solid ground. I’m also happy to report the children managed to sleep through the whole flight. Kristina retired an hour after being in the air and I cheerfully spent time chatting with the guys. I know time with them is drawing to a close. I also know the new guy Jonathan... is a little bit too introverted for my liking...
At some point I fell asleep.
Once on the ground I start to feel a little insecure, unsure about procedures. I need Jake to accompany me.
The plane’s main door opens and within seconds several people are on board. Kristina obviously knows these individuals and smiles reassuringly in my direction. True to my job I observe every moving muscle. I listen to every whispered comment and I’m also fully aware of Jake’s final duties. I watch as he prepares everyone for his departure.
When Kristina approaches, I realise with gratitude she’s kindly arranged for me to say farewell to my colleagues in private. She advises me she’s going to leave an agent behind who will accompany me later to the senator’s family residence. The remainder of the CIA agents whisk the family off to waiting limousines already parked on the runway.
Finding ourselves in a private room within the airport, Jake informs me he and Eric will be leaving for the United Kingdom on the very next flight. Feeling emotion rise to the surface, I’m touched by Jake’s uncharacteristic show of sensitivity as he warmly puts his arms around me, hugging me tight.
The break in his voice is soon cleared by a cough.
“It’s really good that you’re being kept on with the senator’s family, this is going to be a wonderful opportunity for you Crystal”
“I know Jake; it just feels really strange because from here on in I feel I’m going to be on my own”
A tiny waitress bustled into the room bringing a tray of refreshments.
Eric made himself busy pouring coffee and helping himself hungrily to a sandwich.
Drying my eyes, “I’m sure it will be fine” I mumbled.
During the remainder of our time together, we talk about possible consequences for my future assignment. Jake and Eric spoke of tips and ideas which could be used in carrying out my job as a British protective agent.
I noted for us all hugging goodbye was difficult.
Following the airport representative Eric left the room, Jake hugged me again, this time he whispered softly...
“Don’t turn your back for a second, trust no one, be very sure you always know what’s going on questioning everything and very importantly, don’t be a stranger”
Pulling back to look at me, he further said.
“I’m a phone call away and just so you know lovely lady, you’re gadget works from a distance”
Looking at my wrist... I smile, feeling instantly reassured.
”why didn’t you tell me that before” I laughed.
“You never asked” was his smart response.
Bathed in sadness, I watch as former colleagues walk away... A few minutes later I realise the contradiction between my senses because within seconds, I find myself following the CIA agent and it feels really good... Jonathan the new guy quickly and without emotion turns to look behind, obviously making sure I’m keeping up.
Just ahead of him I see through the airports enormous revolving doors, a black limousine.
Phew... I thought this is so exciting.
Like a true gentleman, Jonathan opens the car door and as I willingly step into the luxuriousness within the vehicle I sigh inwardly, feeling a deep down contentment and then for extra comfort I gently touch the now warm steel lying against my thigh, It confirms I’m on my way to a new life.