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Date Posted: Saturday, April 29, 06:10:11pm
Author: Diane
Subject: "Why Bother?"
In reply to: JayBee and Nell 's message, "Friday Challenge: November 11, 2005" on Friday, November 11, 05:33:45pm

I'm a leetle bit late with this one. 379 words.

* * *

“Has he made contact?”


“Has she accepted his offer?” A beat.

“Yes” Fingernails clacked on plastic keys.

“How disappointing.” More typing. “I can’t say I’m surprised.”

“Do you want him cancelled?” Him. Not them.

“No. Let this play out. Put him on your team.”

“He hasn’t been out in a long time. He’ll be suspicious.”

“Periodic field retraining. It’s been done.”

“Of course.” He turned and climbed the three steps that led from her office. He wouldn’t let this play out. He couldn’t.

* * *

She wasn’t stupid. Surely he knew she had seen right through his pathetic ploys. First the glasses, then coffee. He didn’t mean it. It didn’t change anything. Did it?

* * *

They were both here. She didn’t go. She could have, but she didn’t. Maybe his timing had just been fortuitous. He couldn’t let it happen again.

* * *

“Is it his life you want to know about, or his heart?” She didn’t receive a straight answer. When would she get it through her head that were no straight answers? Only lies and manipulations. So which one was this?

“No one from the outside can understand who we are. We fight all the time just to stay alive. Let’s not fight what’s between us. Let’s take what we can get.”

* * *

“All right, um...well I’ll, I’ll take you out of the virus then.” He hesitated, waiting. She couldn’t do it. He left. Her chance. Maybe the only one she’d ever have. Had she made the right decision? For the right reason?

“You’re riding up front,” he told her. “We’ve not finished securing the building.” She nodded. The virus was so simplistic that Birkoff could have written it in his sleep. Only one set of files had been deleted. He breathed in relief; in sorrow. He could still do it. Now. Erase her from both the primary and secondary databases. The van finished loading. He shut his laptop, leaving her file unaltered.

“Go,” he instructed the driver. Now it was too late. He was taking her back; back to a place where she had no life. And he couldn’t give her one.

He could have given her a new life, but he didn’t. He had no regrets. Did she?

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