She watched as his chest rose and fell beneath their sheets. He had been long gone, sleep had grabbed him and didn't plan on giving him back for at least a few hours. It was hard, her job. She had been to so many foreign countries, met so many people, lived so many lives. This life was by far her least favorite. When she had been assigned the case, she had a bit of hope nuzzled in her chest. If she was successful, she would be able to retire, seeing as after this job she would have to be inactive for a long time, as to avoid suspicion. She was still young, very young, only barely 28, but she felt so much older, so much closer to death, and she hated every bit of it. She had no idea that she would be playing this character for almost two years.
He was beautiful, and she had began to feel things for him she shouldn't have. It was best to stay apathetic throughout assignments like these, to ignore and oppress any feelings that one might develop. She wondered if it was some version of Stockholm Syndrome. He hadn't held her hostage, but as the months went by it was beginning to feel that way. She had spent so many nights wrapped in his arms, breathing in his scent, listening to him speak. Romanian was a beautiful language, one that took her awhile to learn. He had been patient with her though, he had smiled as her American accent ruined the way she pronounced some words, and he had corrected her a thousand times, and although she hated it in the beginning, it had become part of them, something she identified with their relationship. It didn't happen as often now, her accent improving, along with his ability to know what she was saying even if she had said it wrong.
He was like broken glass, his hands sharp, his words sharper. But when you held him in the light, just the right way, he seemed to shine, just a little bit. His brown hair often hung in his eyes, when the strands weren't being held behind his ears. His jaw was strong, his eyes mean, and she often wondered why a man so kind looked so hard. She had learned what it was that he liked, and she had helped him improve on his English, although it was pretty much almost perfect, like most of the things he did. She could recall spending summer afternoons walking through the garden. At first their hands were their own, but as days and nights came and went, they began to belong to one another, often mended by the smell of roses, and the glint of the sun.
He was the son of a very important man, one who held high rank in the Romanian government, but he didn't like to speak of it. He and his father didn't get along well, but for the sake of his mother he tried to ignore the hate he felt for the aging man. She wasn't sure what it was that the man had done, but she knew it would have to have been bad for him to hate his father in the way he did. She had met the man once, and immediately understood where his enmity came from. He was a cold man, nothing like his son. His father is why she had been sent there in the first place, but as the years went on she couldn't understand why she had been given the assignment, or why it even existed in the first place. She wasn't able to ask, that information classified.
She watched as his chest rose and fell, and as soft spills of air left his lips. She placed her hand in his, hoping he would wake up, hoping she wouldn’t have to go through with it. She had never experienced love, she wasn’t allowed to, not in her line of work, but she knew this was as close as she would ever get. The skin of his chest was smooth as she covered it with their blanket. It was futile, but she did it anyways, trying to bide her time, she didn't know if it was worth it. She worked for the American people, and even though she didn't understand why the mission had even been filed she knew that it was for a reason. She knew that if she failed the consequences would be steep. Was her happiness worth the lives of innocent Americans? She wished the answer could have been yes.
She recalled a night they had spent together, about a year ago. They had been in each others company often, and she knew him so well that it scared her. Not many people knew who she was, only him, and his parents, who would be dead by morning. She had covered her tracks, she had been careful, and she hated herself for it. She remembered the feeling of his hand in hers, and how it didn't feel at all like thee books said it would. There was no spark, no excitement, not anymore, all that she felt was familiarity. She had memorized the dips of his hands, and the warmth of them. She knew where all of his birthmarks were, and what music he liked to listen to in the shower. She despised him, and she had grown to regret knowing him, and taking the case in the first place. She hated herself for giving in when she said she wouldn’t. She remembered that night, the fireplace lit, snow falling on the earth’s canvas, and she remembered how tired she felt. She remembered the shape his lips made as he told her he loved her, and she remembered the burn in her throat when she said it back.
Her hand slid beneath her warm pillow, and her fingers made contact with the cool steel that lay beneath it. Her hand wrapped around the object, tears in her eyes, her limbs shaking. Her throat was closing, a ball forming in the center of it, and she wished it would just kill her. She would die if she didn't complete the mission. She would be hunted down by the same people she had worked with for years, and they would kill her quickly. She wasn't sure if his life was worth hers. She didn't want to die, not until that moment. So she let her tears hit the pillow, and she let them swallow her whole. She took a deep breath, and looked at her lover, she watched again as his chest rose and fell, and watched as his nose twitched. She let him roll onto his back, and then she acted.
Her body quickly straddled him as she made the fatal cut, and she forced herself to look into his eyes as they shot open. Fear and shock swirled in the brown color she had grown to love, and she remembered that nothing else shared that color, and that after his eyes shut for good, nothing ever would again. That is was haunted her most. Having to remember what he looked like in that moment, and the moments before. She forced herself to watch, a way of punishing herself. His hand gripped her thigh, but he wasn't trying to hurt her, the action was more like a silent question. "Why?" She listened to him choke and she found herself apologizing to him again and again in broken tones.
When it was all over she called the number she had been given, and she informed them of her current location. It took thirty minutes for the clean up crew to arrive, and she had taken the time to shower, attempting to clear herself of her sins, and failing. She dressed herself, putting on the white turtleneck that she had bought the other day, she remembered the jokes they told as they held hands and shopped. Her eyes were red rimmed, and she found herself embarrassed. Agents were trained for things like this, and when she took the case she never expected to feel this way, she never expected to be so affected by the caring touch of just one man. She covered her eyes with sunglasses, and collected her belongings.
A man wearing a black suit approached her, as she walked over to the door of their apartment, trying not to look back. He handed her an envelope containing a plane ticket, a one way ticket to Havana, Cuba, and a burner phone. That’s where she had chosen to retire. He had talked constantly about going there. She never understood his obsession but she did when she got there. She cried the whole way there, she cried over the ocean, and over mountains, and fields. She cried for her lover and for herself. She cried as she watched the sunset each evening, his being reflecting in the warm shades of pink and blue. If there was a color to describe him, it would've been the color of the sky each time the sun rested. A warm glow, one that could be seen for miles, and adored for lifetimes.