I glanced up and met the eyes of the woman down the table. She smiled briefly before quickly tilting her head down and flipping a page of the book before her. She had not been watching me; only staring pensively in my general direction. She reached down at her side and lifted a briefcase up onto the table. She wore a yellow pant-suit with a white blouse underneath. Her hair was shoulder length and permed.
I wondered when Lisa would be getting off work. She had hinted that her newest enhancements to the filtering program might put us over the threshold and begin to uncover some promising leads.
Many quarters later and after several trips to the copy machine, I was interrupted by a rumbling of my stomach reminding me that I had not eaten since breakfast. It was now 2:00. I began to collect my things and prepare to leave. The woman at the end of the table was packing her belongings as well. I followed her toward the check-out desk.
The librarian smiled as she took back the documents and said, “Thank you Sir. Will that be all?”
“Yes, thank you.”
“Have a nice day.”
I smiled and turned for the door. I briefly held the door for the lady with the briefcase. She nodded her head sweetly as she stepped through ahead of me into the glare of the early afternoon sun.
“Nice day,” she said.
“Very,” I replied.
And it was too. The late afternoon sun was bright and warm without being uncomfortably so. There was a strong breeze. As I headed down the street in the opposite direction as the woman from the library, a small piece of paper rode on the breeze before me. It hopped and skipped down the sidewalk. I watched the small impromptu kite flitter and flutter as I followed it. We were both headed toward the bus-stop, the kite and I. The wind was sufficient to carry the paper at the same pace as my own gait, although my rate of progress was much more steady than that of the paper, which danced in fits and spurts, until it eventually became entangled in a wrought-iron fence. Here it stayed, a loose corner continuing to flap the breeze.
I reached the bus-stop and did not have to wait long before catching the bus back to my apartment. Once there I saw the sorry contents of my refrigerator and decided to go out for food. I left the X9 documents on the table next to the Pentiums in the bedroom, lending even more height to a dangerously tall stack of papers there, and walked back out the door. I was on my way to the fast-food restaurant around the corner. I had not gone far when a dark green car sped past me and then suddenly swerved into a parking spot along the curb about four car-lengths in front of me. No sooner did the car come to a full stop than did all four doors open and four men in dark suits step out. They immediately turned back and walked in my direction, fanning out as they did so.
I stopped walking. I looked behind me. There were four more men in suits and dark glasses approaching from that direction. There was no doubt in my mind what was happening, especially when I saw another two men crossing the street in my direction. With the four from the car and the four behind me, that made ten all together. And nowhere to run.
The first set of four were upon me. The one closest to the curb grabbed my left arm just above the elbow. Another circled around behind me and put both of his hands on my shoulders. Still another was now saying, “Carl Raymond?” It was a statement not a question.
“We are with the FBI,” he said, stating the obvious. One of the men that had approached from behind patted me from head to foot, searching for weapons. The other one was still speaking as he held a piece of paper up between us. “We have a warrant for your arrest. Please come with us.”