My Monday schedule: wake up, eat breakfast, worry that I didn’t get all my projects done. Go to math class, worry that I didn’t get all my projects done. Read for an hour, worry that I’m forgetting something. Eat lunch, talk to phoebe, worry… well you get the picture.
It’s not that I’ve ever actually forgotten an assignment or haven’t finished in time. I just worry about it. A lot.
That particular Monday however, I had an evening appointment.
The mansion looked so different in the daylight. It was well-kept but the magic of the classical music and lanterns was gone. Phoebe and I hesitantly approached it, senses tingling. Her heels clicked against the stone walkway while my Converse remained silent.
I was about to knock but the door was opened before my closed fist made contact with the splintering wooden door.
“Come in,” Branden himself ushered us inside. Phoebe and I exchange a wary look, but she followed closely at his heels.
“So what’s going on? You didn’t give much of an explanation last night,” Phoebe said. Branden gave her a mysterious smirk, but remained silent.
Jason walked by us in one of the halls. I almost didn’t recognize him, if hadn’t been for those eyes. His hair was a wavy mess and he wore jeans and a V-neck tee. He glanced at Branden quickly, but other than that he remained stoic, not acknowledging me or Phoebe.
I tried not to be bugged by it. Honestly, we had only talked for like three minutes. But we had kind of flirted. Well I flirted. Maybe he wasn’t flirting. Ugh. Whatever.
Branden led us to the overly-large living room. It was still devoid of the usual furniture and there were nine other people there. They all gave Phoebe and I an odd glance, but then continued whispering among themselves.
Branden gestured for us to join the tiny crowd and we did so, as he moved to the front like he had last night.
“So I’m guessing you’ve heard of the CIA?” He started.
Um, was this a trick question?
“And the FBI. And the NSA. And MI6. All those?”
Those of us in the crowd nodded warily, not positive where he was going with this.
“Well you probably don’t know that they’re constantly recruiting college kids, such as yourselves. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, which I’m sure you have or else you wouldn’t be here, my job is to seek out those worthy of recruitment.”
Ok, this had to be some sort of college prank. Branden couldn’t be serious. This was too ridiculous.
“I see your faces, your expressions of disbelief, of doubt. Rest assured, I am very serious. I am an agent for one those agencies, as is almost everyone at the gala last night.”
Jason was a secret agent? A spy?
I glanced at Phoebe to see if she was buying this. Not only was she buying it, it looked like she was stocking up on it, eyes glued to Branden. There would be no dragging her away from this.
“So, why don’t we get started. If you’ll look to the back,” All heads turned simultaneously. “You’ll find a table with a change of clothes for you. You should have no problem finding your size.”
It was obvious that was our cue. As the eleven of us headed back to find whatever he was talking about, he told us that there were plenty of rooms upstairs to change in.
On the table, there were uniform workout clothes, grey sweatpants with dark blue tanktops. Sure enough, it wasn’t hard for Phoebe and I to find the right sizes. We headed upstairs together to get changed.