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46 is at the very top of the ladder, right Brandon? That’s “I’m not supposed to reveal that information, Mrs. Jones,” wonderful, wonderful!” she continued, feeling again a Brandon responded. But she insisted “Of course, of climbing vine of anxiety growing from the bottom up. course! He’s a secret agent, and the word ‘secret’ means “Tell us, a bit more about him, maybe we can guess what that something must remain hidden.” She wasn’t aware kind of business he’s in,” she added. that her sarcasm was becoming more and more clear and Brandon's eyebrows slowly drew together. He seemed probably was making Brandon feel edgy. Putting the back annoyed. “My dad is not a president; he is the president, of her right hand on the edge of her lips, she whispered, and he doesn’t work in a company. He works for the “We won’t tell anyone.” Then glancing back at the others government,” he coldly replied. she said, still in a whispering voice, “Right, kids?” This time, they finally nodded in agreement, perhaps afraid of Wow, this kid is good! Mrs. Jones thought, but the fact also how her gaze went through them like a blast of ice-cold made her stomach twitch, and her cheeks burned again wind. with his reply. She was running out of responses. What she Brandon did not respond right away. He was taking his really wished to do was to tell him that making things up time to process the suggestion. Analyzing the pros and was unacceptable. She craved to order him to take a seat and cons of his follow up response. Then after giving it some stop talking and to skip his turn. She was angry at how he thought, he came back, “Okay, madam, I guess it won’t was getting smart with her. But of course, she couldn’t say hurt to say I call him ‘Agent Jones.’” Hah! Agent Jones! This or do any of this – especially not on her first day. She had genius couldn’t indeed come up with a new last name, she fought tooth and nail for this job, and she knew the huge pondered. Mrs. Jones felt closer to victory. “Agent Jones! salary and perks of teaching in Laguna Creek Elementary What a coincidence, just like my last name! Who would came at a substantial cost. Dealing with this kind of situation have guessed?” she responded with a wide grin on her face. was something she had been warned about. “Now, you see, Brandon, we all share common names and She had to play it cool, and the finest way to navigate last names. Like me and Agent Jones, and we are not even these waters was to dance along rather than question related!” Brandon did not reply to her comment. him and pursue any further stand-off. “Okay, Brandon, “I tell you what, Brandon, how about we invite Mr. Jones so your father’s not a president but The President. That’s to come meet the class? We won’t take up much of his time. wonderful, it’s a great job to have, well actually, it’s the After all, we are pretty sure he’s super, super busy with all finest role to have isn’t it, kids?” No one replied back. his secret agent work. Let’s call Mr. Jones and…” Brandon “I imagine that you have bodyguards outside this interrupted, “Agent Jones.” “Oh yes! My apologies, Agent classroom waiting for you, right?” she continued. Jones, of course! Let’s invite him into the classroom. He Someone let a short-lived giggle escape, but this time Mrs. will be our guest of honor today!” she added. Jones choose to ignore it. Brandon appeared concerned with the request. He “No madam, I don’t” he countered. I knew it! she thought glanced at the others, the door, then toyed with his smart and smirked. It was a fake smile. She felt proud of how watch for a second. Scratching the back of his head, he 2 she was taking control of the situation and not the other responded, “If I do that, I might get in trouble. I’m told not 2 way around. I’m going to crush him like a cockroach, she to call on Agent Jones, unless it is a genuine emergency.” beamed inside. The only trouble you are getting into today is with me for y 20 making this stuff up, she thought. But then Brandon added, “I don’t have bodyguards. There “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll make certain you won’t get in trouble. is only one special agent in charge of my security, and he’s This is all part of learning and Mr. Jones… I mean Agent ebruarnot outside guarding the door. He had been instructed to F standby beyond the campus grounds, inside his vehicle. Jones’ visit will add some excitement to our learning experience,” she added. “I will make sure you won’t face Having him following me around school would be very any disciplinary action; I promise you!” she said, as her disruptive, uncomfortable, and embarrassing for me. My eyes twinkled evilly. father as well as I like to keep our private affairs discreet.” His reply blew her mind: Creativity on a higher level, she thought. Brandon stared at his smart watch for a few seconds then Mrs. Jones would not give in to this game of wits, so she replied, “Okay, Mrs. Jones, I take your word for it.” Next, was quick with a comeback: “Oh, I see, I see. Wonderful. adjusting his watch to the center of his wrist, he tapped the Very interesting.” “So, I assume this special agent has a screen with a series of strokes, as if calling for an app. Once name, correct? Tell us about him, perhaps the others will be the action was completed, he returned his sight towards interested in knowing his duties, right class?” Again, no reply. Mrs. Jones and said “Done” and sank back into his chair. 202202.indd 46202202.indd 46 2022-01-24  1:25:362022-01-24  1:25:36

Gwangju News February 2022 #240 - Page 48 Gwangju News February 2022 #240 Page 47 Page 49