Eddie is sitting on my chair, his left hand holding a small cup full of paper clips. His back is turned to me, and I stand in silence. He doesn't know I'm here. My extraordinary ability for stealth has allowed me to creep up on him unnoticed. I should be working for the CIA.
Eddie's right hand moves rhythmically, from the cup, to my computer's floppy drive. He takes one paper clip, and slides it into the drive. When I got here he was already doing it. Since then he has inserted at least ten clips into the drive. I've watched him move his hand methodically back and forth, trying to figure out why he is doing this. I can't.
I was waiting for a word, he says, in a weird calm tone, his speech slow and understandable.
So he did know I was here. There go my extraordinary ability for stealth and my CIA job down the toilet.
What are you doing? I say.
Nothing, he says, as he sinks yet another paper clip into the drive.
Stop that, I say, What is wrong with you.
He pushes sideways with his feet and the chair spins until he's facing me. On his lap there is a package.
Not another one, I think.
So, you didn'tknowanything? He says, Becausethat'swhatyousaidright?That'swhatyousaid?Thatyoudidn'tknowanything? Explain... this.
He throws the package and it lands at my feet.
It cameforyoufiveminutesago, he says.
I don't know what this is, I say, looking at the package on the floor.
And youdon'tknowwhatthatis either? He says, pointing at the binder under my arm.
I ignore the last question while I bend down, and pick up the package.
I look at it. It hasn't been opened. The label is almost like the other one, the one that started this whole thing. It says, sent by me. It says, it's for my manager. Except this time the label also says, Re: Strategic Reports, URGENT.
Eddie stands up, and walks past me.
Bytheway, he says, Ted said themeetingwillprobablybetoday.
Great, I think.
I say, Okay.
See youlater... traitor, Eddie says, and leaves.
I am left standing there, holding the package in my hand, thinking.
We live in such interesting times. You can be a traitor simply for receiving some mail. Good thing that it's not a federal offense yet.
Then I realize something's wrong. Back in the basement, Eddie was desperate to find anything related to strategic plans.
So why didn't he open the package?