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47 Mrs. Jones smiled at him, looked at the clock that hung on However, when their gazes met at last, he stared at her with the wall and then peeked at her own watch. She crossed her fear in his eyes; he was in dismay; he was speechless. At the arms, looking relaxed and triumphant, and began humming same time, Mrs. Jones’ contorted face appeared as though a made-up melody. She was planning to let one minute slide she was struggling not to cry, and tears pooled in her eyes by and then move on with the game. There would not be as soon as their eyes met. a confrontation with Brandon for his made-up story. He That night, Mrs. Jones lay in bed next to her husband, was going to feel the embarrassment produced by his own both staring at the ceiling, unable to get a word out. They imagination. Her hands were clean; she had won the game. had had similar incidents at work during the day. Both A minute and a half went by in silence. Other than Mrs. had confronted unexpected situations, affairs that might Jones humming her odd melody, there were no other signs have jeopardized their employment. They both had also of noises coming from outside. No footsteps, no running, discovered by pure chance that they had been lying to each no special agent. Just as Mrs. Jones had expected. other for a while now. Lost for words, they did not know She gave Brandon a final smile as if saying “Game over, how to confront the developments of the day. boy!” then she looked at her list again, ready to call out Mrs. Jones kept rewinding the tape in her head: Brandon, the next name. “Okay, class, Agent Jones might be a little Agent Jones, the frightened students, the shock. Her busy today. How about we move on with our activity, and husband lay flat in bed, still with his clothes and shoes Brandon can introduce us to his special agent another on, both hands resting on his stomach, absorbed in day?” She said with a smirk. Brandon, recognizing the disappointment. sarcasm in her tone, glared at her. Eventually, Mrs. Jones’ husband confronted his wife: “We But Mrs. Jones ignored his eyes and pretended to be agreed not to lie to each other,” he said in a soft and calmed reading the list again. As she was preparing to continue, tone. Mrs. Jones quickly replied, “I know, I’m sorry. But the classroom door abruptly burst open and a large and you lied to me as well.” He interrupted, “In my defense, I muscular figure appeared in the door frame. Everyone can argue that I wasn’t lying. There are certain things I can’t jumped, shocked. The man in a dark suit standing at the disclose to anyone, not even you. They are out of my reach, entrance looked like an alerted, angry Doberman. His and they are important matters for our own safety.” “For enormous nose and pointy ears bore the resemblance your safety,” he added. of an enraged guard dog. Although there was no foam Mrs. Jones remained quiet for a while. The angry face of coming from his mouth, he seemed ready to attack. Agent Jones was still haunting her. But she tried to get back The children were paralyzed with fear at the sight of to the conversation. She loved her husband; she wanted to this husky physique, except Brandon, whose face shifted understand him. Mrs. Jones let a gentle sigh escape her lips. from annoyance to content. The armed intruder quickly It was the reset button of all the emotions she had endured. scanned the classroom, looking for his aim. Once he It was time for a switch from reaction to reflection. Time to found Brandon, his raucous, alerted voice inquired, “Is make things right. “I’m sorry. I didn’t tell you I ultimately everything okay, Mr. Walker?” Brandon nodded, then got the job at Laguna Creek. You see, I worked so hard to looked at Mrs. Jones and smiled at her the same way she get it, and when I finally did, I was amazed. So I thought had done to him just a minute before: with a smirk. about surprising you on the day of my first check. I know But Mrs. Jones wasn’t peering at Brandon. She was staring I told you I was working at a kindergarten, but now you’ve at Agent Jones, her jaw dropped in disbelief. Her face was learned that isn’t true. I feel so stupid. This is not how it was like a mask of alarm mixed with fear and all the color in supposed to happen,” she said. her face had faded to a pale semblance. Her husband took a deep breath, then slowly released it. Agent Jones, after having assessed that Brandon was not With his sigh, his shoulders relaxed and his face lit up. They exposed to any danger, became self-conscious that he both turned on their sides and their eyes met. “No more lies,” said Special Agent Jones to his wife.” “No more lies,” might have gotten a little carried away with his protective repeated Mrs. Jones. F instincts. After returning to a semi-normal state, realizing The Author ebruar that he was in front of children, he shifted his sight from his charge towards the speechless teacher standing by J. D. Wabe is an author and Gwangju expat the blackboard. Feeling a shower of guilt mixed with who has been contributing to the GIC and the y 20 embarrassment, he was going to apologize for the sake of Gwangju News for more than ten years with appearance. His unprofessional emotional display could his work in photography and writing. 2 have put his job on the edge of a cliff. Email: [email protected] 2 202202.indd 47202202.indd 47 2022-01-24  1:25:362022-01-24  1:25:36

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