Author’s Note: In this series, this is the first part I wrote. I got really motivated to write this and the stories connected to it while I read a Naruto fanfiction and stuff about ninjas in the world of Naruto, which led me to thinking about James Bond and spy movies, and then I thought about the implications of all the violence and deception in those films and in similar stories. Spy stories became more boring to me after that thinking session.
Light flashed and thunder rumbled somewhere far away behind her. But she didn’t care about that right now.
Incoming rain wasn’t really as painful as suddenly losing a loved one. And momentary thunder didn’t hurt as much as knowing that you’ve been lied to again and again and for a very long while.
Anna was lying on the ground in the fetal position, unfazed by dirt, grass, and insects. Such things weren’t as disturbing as looking at your truly dead fiancee’s gravestone. She wished that this was just a bad joke. In that case, at least he would still be alive, even if she would just end up punching and slapping and kicking him for being such an ass and making her think that her boyfriend had gotten murdered by some damn spy who was right under their noses. She even wished that her freaking stupid rebound boyfriend (and she wouldn’t deny that she had stupidly thrown herself to him, because she could’ve just pushed him away, but she was lonely, and–“No, don’t think about that right now, please…”) was also an accomplice in her dead fiancee’s prank. She had heard of really bad pranks like this being popular in the Internet. And her fiancee did like making pranks involving him being dead when she would visit his place. He even had enough–or maybe too much–brains to make it convincing!
She sniffled and held her knees closer to her chest as the tears flowed out of her eyes. Anna wished that it was all a prank. The call from the police, the corpse in the morgue, the meeting with “that kind and handsome friend,” the night when she almost let herself be a Bond Girl or something, the fact that her life and her fiancee’s life had been ruined by the damn government because they had top secret information that should be exposed to the world, and she even wished that her life were a prank. She decided to take that last one back after a few seconds of thinking, though, because killing herself wasn’t as satisfying as making her offenders show how much they’ve ruined, letting them know the feeling of losing loved ones and the feeling of being lied to–“No. He wouldn’t like this. Pete wouldn’t like this. Pete wouldn’t want to look down on other people, use violence, or even tear relationships apart to help them be better people. It’s not illogical. Nobody likes being looked down upon, nobody likes being in the receiving end of abuse and violence, nobody likes being lonely, and nobody likes false happiness. We can be better, we can’t live alone, and we all want to be happy.”
Still, Anna admitted that she hated her offenders very much. She knew that Pete wouldn’t be a violent mess if he knew, though. He was a really chill guy. Not like he would like her dark thoughts, but he had a lot of patience. It was one of the things that got her attracted to him. He could handle her short temper, he believed that she could be a good person, and he would do his best in helping her be a better person. He may be dense at times despite all his optimistic outlook in life and his genius in the field of computers and programming, but after eight years of dating him, Anna firmly believed that he was the one that she would spend her whole life with and have a family with.
She sighed, and then she wept quietly again.
At first, she didn’t know a lot. When she asked him personally, after he disappeared for about five days, he hesitated and grimaced before briefly saying that he worked for the government. He was more protective of his computer than usual, too. She didn’t force info out of him, though. He was a very honest man, and he would admit lies as soon as he could. But when it came to stuff about his job back there, he was so tight-lipped, as if knowing about it were something that would kill her.
Ah, yes, and all that secrecy led to her proposing to Pete a few weeks ago, during the day after he came home from his strange disappearance. Anna had become so irritated at his secrecy, she was already willing to risk her life for the sake of his happiness, and he himself once told her that danger should be expected from life. So, she decided to properly procure a steel ring (Because that was more durable and cost-efficient than all those expensive rings in jewelry shops, and besides, she didn’t think that they needed to waste so much money for a reminder of their promises to each other), and she confronted him at his house a few days ago. And then, to her surprise, he took her to his bed and had sex until she got tired and fell asleep. It wasn’t like she didn’t enjoy it, though. And he did ask. She said yes real quick, and she finally got to do the thing she wanted to do with him but couldn’t so much for so long.
But now, all those few weeks felt like many years to Anna. She also wished that he didn’t hold back on telling her the secrets, that he didn’t say “I’ll tell you tomorrow, ’cause I need to rest my body and my mind before I tell you,” that she didn’t see his bloody corpse near the open front door of his apartment unit the next morning–
She sobbed louder and curled up tighter. The rain had already started tapping her body and her surroundings. In her mind, she wished for the rain to wash her away already into her lover’s grave. But she didn’t want it to last really long. Her self had been influenced so much by Pete that she kept on looking for reasons to live, believing that she could still live on and find true happiness.
Pete was a really honest and sensible guy. He wouldn’t throw punches to offenders and then beat them to death immediately. He would try to communicate with them, understand why they commit themselves to stupid ideas. He wouldn’t force people to do what he wished to do. People may have taken advantage of his kindness (and seeing him being a victim of lies damn hurt her), but he kept on believing in people, and he didn’t want to stop. He didn’t see the need to stop. Early on in their relationship, she was often irritated by his outlook, wondering why he would waste time on people who seemed incorrigible and deserved to rot in a dumpster. And then the usual next day after the rare times when he would reach a point when he unleash loud shouts and crying at her because of her short temper and anger issues, it was like he wasn’t so affected by the problems she made for him. No fakeness at all. Maybe a cringe and a flinch and a hiss at his insensitive self here and there, but still.
Those moments made her think. Like everyone else, he had his limits, but there he was, being all chill and friendly again even though he knew how much he sucked. Like everyone else, she could change for the better, but she thought that there were some (including herself) who couldn’t. Nobody liked being looked down on, and she knew that from several experiences which involved her being looked down on and other people she underestimated. Looking down on others killed relationships, looking down on one’s self kept people away, and she saw they weren’t illogical when she remembered the times that she and Pete almost broke up. Like everyone else, she hated loneliness. Like everyone else, she wanted someone who genuinely cared for her. And then she realized that Pete had a point. And so, she tried to listen to him more, with genuine exchanges of “Sorry” and “Thanks” between them happening more often.
Pete’s humility, honesty, and sensibility, they are parts of the reasons behind her great trust for him, even if a lot of people would sneer at his beliefs on how to live on and live happily properly. He knew how harsh reality could be, but he knew that anyone can find true happiness. He may have believed in certain beliefs with little certainty on their validity, but he took it and went on with his relieving calmness, saying that he would learn from imperfections fight against those invalid beliefs if he became absolutely sure that they weren’t things that they were supposed to believe in. He moved forward, believing, knowing that things can get better.
The tears from her shut eyes seemed to flow out more strongly, but the sound of Anna’s sobbing softened and were now accompanied by a smile.
Even in death, it was like he never left her. It was like he was still watching over her.
“I guess I should go talk with your priest godfather,” she told her teary but smiling self and her buried fiancee. She hoped that he was in Heaven already, even though she wasn’t sure about its existence, because she thought that someone like him freaking deserved being there right now. “Maybe God does exist. Hard to believe, but I acknowledge the possibility. And I need some help in getting over this damn annoyance at your sudden exit, Pete. I don’t know if I’ll marry a different guy during my remaining years, though.” She stood up and dusted the dirt, insects, and grass off her. “I don’t know if I’ll ever meet someone as precious as you, let alone more precious than you, even once in my life. If I do end up getting pregnant, though, I’d definitely take care of the kid and tell him or her lots of stories about you. If not, then I’ll adopt a kid. After spending so much time with you, I now think I really need to leave some good lessons to a piece of the future generation, even if I’m just leaving it to a really tiny speck. Heh, not like a tiny speck can’t do anything. Remember your dust-and-sneezing analogy? ‘People sneeze because of tiny, hard-to-see specks, like dust. And if we are like dust, then I don’t think it’s just a sign of our imperfection.'”
Anna laughed. The rain kept on pouring more heavily on her long and disheveled brown (“One of Pete’s favorite colors”) hair and the orange (“Another one of Pete’s favorite colors”) pajamas she wore when she went out of her apartment because of her rage and loneliness, but she kept on laughing with joy, even when her laughing was interrupted by sniffles.
“I’ll miss the warmth of your awesome body, Rockstar,” she said as she looked at his gravestone again. “I really will.”
Images of his somewhat slim and toned body with tan skin flashed in her mind.
“I’ll miss your adorable face, too.”
He had a round face, eyes that were somewhat narrow but reminded her of all those big anime eyes (they weren’t that big, of course), an upturned nose that accented his funny (when he wasn’t doing his infamous corpse prank) personality, and thick lips that would seem disturbing to people who weren’t aware of his really nice attitude.
“And I’ll miss styling your hair as well.”
Pete liked growing his black hair out, usually down to his shoulders, and even though Anna liked keeping her hair short most of the time, she very much enjoyed combing and tying up his hair when she had the chance to do so.
“If it does exist, I’ll see you in Heaven, Pete.”
With a smile, Anna turned around, intent on leaving the graveyard.
Her lips twitched when she saw a certain someone when she turned around, but most of her rage had subsided, and her mind had become clearer.
“Hello, Flem. Learned your lesson already?”
Not like she didn’t stop disliking certain things that were done by that someone, though. And Anna suddenly remembered that she had also gone to the graveyard thanks to this guy, his attempt at comforting her via sex, and his revelation of some bitter truths, which was followed by a lecture from her that contained a punch to his face and a lot of shouting.
“Yeah,” Flem replied, wearing a grimace that twitched as he kept on looking into her eyes. He was also wearing his gray hoodie and pants, which were very much soaked by the rain. “I actually announced my resignation to my boss in Guardian Lights, too. He’s pissed, of course. Probably gonna hunt us down in the future, but a certain hacker already spread all the top secret info that the public needs to know, so he doesn’t have a lot of great ways to escape now. I was asked to silence anyone related to the ones who leaked the info, and I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, Anna. Even though they’re now being hunted down, I pretty much painted a glaringly obvious target on my whole self and all my family and friends and even acquaintances with my rebellion against Guardian Lights.” He seemed to be trying to stuff his hands in his hoodie’s front pockets, but he clenched his hands into fists and put them back to his sides as he tried to maintain eye contact. “Sorry.”
Anna looked at the secret agent for a while, noting his body language, and took a deep breath. She then walked towards the taller man who probably would have passed an audition for a James Bond role with flying colors. She passed by him and gave him a light slap on the back.
“Don’t worry so much,” she told him. “I may be pissed at your murder, your deception, and my possibly numbered days, but Pete presents some really good points. Do your penance, then. Oh, and I highly discourage suicide. It does more harm than good. There are people who care about you, even though it seems like you don’t have such people in your life.”
Anna looked up at the sky, which poured rain, flashed lightning, and echoed thunder. Planning to ask him to escort her back to her apartment, she turned to look at the former secret agent, who was now sitting in front of Pete’s grave. He muttered something that she didn’t quite hear properly, but she had a feeling that Flem was apologizing to his dead colleague, judging from his quiet crying. The rain almost made her unable to hear what he said next too.
“I really didn’t want to kill you, Pete! I really didn’t want to lie to your fiancee and sleep with her! I’m sorry…I’m sorry…”
Anna knew that Flem could be a convincing liar, and now that she could recall her past interactions with him more clearly, she noticed that Flem always acted abnormally loud and cheerful when he was lying.
She had a desire to go home quickly, but she put that aside for now. Considering the job Flem once had, Anna thought that he should be allowed to spend time there for a while, mourn for his colleague, think about what he had done, and think about what he should do next.
The woman in orange pajamas smiled.
“You’re amazing, Pete,” Anna whispered. “I love you so much, and I’ll love you forever.”
Sitting down a short distance behind Flem, Anna proceeded to giggle at the cheesy way she expressed her love for Pete.
Seriously though, she loves Pete so much, and she would love him forever. And as for those who ordered Flem to kill Pete…well, she wouldn’t kill them, but she would give them lessons regarding their stupidity.
She started teaching those lessons by throwing a backhand to the person trying to knife her back. After her attack connected and her target yelped, Anna shook her fist as she hissed, feeling pain and seeing blood on the hand she used for attacking.
“I thought of saying ‘You’re gonna have to do better if you want to kill me,'” she told the man who had fallen on his rear, kicking the knife away from him and then body-checking him, “But that would be encouraging assassination, so now, I would like to congratulate you on failing this attempt.”
And Flem appeared, pointing a gun at the assassin.
“Anna! Are you okay?” Flem asked as he went to take the trembling assassin.
“Mostly,” she replied with a smile, still keeping her eyes on the assassin as she stood up and held her bleeding right hand. “I think my hand got knifed a little, though. It stings. Also, thank God this guy’s bad at assassination. People should be bad at assassination.”
Anna walked to the assassin and squat to have her eyes at level with his. Lightning flashed, giving the stranger a brighter view of her soaked and grinning visage for a few moments, and thunder rumbled.
When the thunder went silent, she began talking again in a gentle tone that was inspired by her Rockstar.
“Don’t worry. I won’t kill you. That’s counterproductive. Let’s be friends instead.”
She had considered the possibility of another backstabbing attempt, but she found pessimism pointless. She’d rather be like her nice and psychologically resilient lover.
Next Part: The Everyday Heroes
Previous Part: The Unwilling Secret Agent