That was the message that flashed on my phone for a few seconds then it disappeared.
I didn’t want to go in. I was dreading this meeting with Cobra. I knew what he was going to ask me to do. I didn’t want to do it. I had known this day would come but I hadn’t known it would come so soon.
Mark was already awake, watching me as I looked at the phone. I kissed him, a long lingering kiss that made me want to get back into bed. I couldn’t.
“I have to go,” I said. “The boss is calling.”
Mark said, “honey you are supposed to be on leave!”
“I know but when the boss calls it’s urgent!” I replied.
I entered the shower and turned the knob to ice-cold. The boss calling me on my day off meant trouble. Did he know? If he did what would he ask me to do?
I entered our building through the employees’ back entrance. It had a huge sign on the door written Valentine’s florists. The fragrance of flowers was everywhere. It was a few days to Valentine and we had received many orders. It was going to be a busy day.
At the end of the corridor, there was a sign written flower cold room. I opened it with my key and once inside I went to the far end of the room. There was a steel door that needed a code. I entered my code and fingerprints into a scanner. The door opened silently. I was inside our secret headquarters.
I said hi to a few people and went into the lift. It took me down to the basement. I walked down a blue corridor until I got to a black door written COBRA. I knocked and a panel opened. A mechanical voice asked for my name and identification. It was a voice-activated computer. I said “Sophia, code 684.” The door opened.
Inside a man dressed in white was seated behind a row of computer monitors. He gestured for me to sit down. I sat down, my heart was racing. Does he know? If he does what is he going to do?
Cobra stopped what he was doing and looked at me.
“Sophia, how long have you worked for me?”
“8 years Sir” I replied.
“When I recruited you what was the first thing I told you after training?”
“Nobody is supposed to know about us. We are a secret organization of assassins!”
“Right. So why is Mark sniffing around?” Cobra asked in a menacing tone.
“I haven’t told him anything I swear!” I said
“It doesn’t matter. Mark is an investigative reporter. He will keep digging until he finds something. He needs to be terminated. Those are your orders. Take him to the desert and kill him.”
I knew there was no reasoning with Cobra. I had my next assignment. To kill my husband.
**** Valentine’s Day – 4 days later.
In the desert
Mark and I were picnicking. We had a blanket laid out in the sand with a picnic basket. It was late afternoon and the temperatures had cooled. I removed a bottle of wine from the basket and some juice.
“Mark I have something to tell you!” I said with tears in my eyes.
“What is it?” Mark replied looking alarmed that I wanted to cry. I never cry.
“I am pregnant.”
Mark’s look of surprise and love made me want to cry some more. He reached over and kissed me. Then he put his hand on my tummy.
“I am going to be a daddy.” He shouted into the wind.
He popped the bottle of champagne and poured some into a glass. He gave it to me and I shook my head.
“I am a dummy. No alcohol for you my lady.” He got out the other glass and poured orange juice into it. We clinked glasses and drank.
We laughed about how we had met. That day 2 years ago when it was my shift at the front office. I sold him flowers for his mother. The next day he came and bought me flowers and asked me to dinner. I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with him but I did. He was charming and sexy. I married him a year ago even though Cobra didn’t approve but he did see the good side of it. My marriage would be a cover. Cobra always saw the positive in everything.
I wondered what had made him suspicious. Was it the trips I had to go out of town? I thought I had covered my tracks well. But I guess it is a bit funny when you have to fly around the world to buy flowers. “Oh, Mark why couldn’t you leave things alone?” I thought.
We watched the sunset; Mark’s head was on my lap, next to my stomach. The baby kicked just as the sun set. It was so beautiful. Then the poison kicked in, making Mark spasm. I held him as he died. He didn’t suffer.
I sat there for 2 hours just holding Mark. I told him how much I loved him and how sorry I was.
Then I took my phone and called.
“684 reporting. Flowers have been delivered!”
Cobra said he would send a pick-up for the body. They had been waiting.
I thought about the baby and how Cobra would be pleased that I was pregnant. It would cement my cover. Who would ever suspect a mother travelling with her baby of being an assassin? Two weeks ago all I was worried about was Cobra finding out that I was pregnant. I knew it would be the end of my field career for a while. All that faded and I thought about the baby and what kind of life my baby would have.
I looked at the champagne bottle, whose contents were poisoned. I reached for it!