Alright, I'm guilty of a little embellishment here. But berating me for the use of plural when there was just a single ninja is just splitting hairs. And maybe he wasn't a super-impressive ninja, but he was still a ninja!
He was an Asian guy from my office, I had seen him around a bit, but I don't remember his name. Probably Lee Chin or something…
Wait, was that racist of me?
I certainly don't want to sound racist.
In fact, was mentioning that he was Asian, racist? Or would it have been racist to naturally assume that you would know he was Asian? Maybe I should've been more specific like Chinese or Japanese or something, but I don't know that so--
You know what? Nevermind.
He was white.
That was his name. Yep. I remember it clearly now.
So there I am, doing my magic on the collator, when suddenly one of the ceiling tiles gets pulled away and Adam drops through it. He was wearing a white collared shirt and black slacks. His tie was blue and had Garfield complaining about Mondays on it...Hilarious!
I could've asked him what he was doing in the ceiling, but I'm not a nosey guy. I leave my coworkers to their lives and their water cooler talk and their ceiling crawls in peace. Nope. Bland, boring everyday talk is what I use as my defense.
"How about this weather?" I said, realizing I actually didn't remember what the whether was like at that moment.
"I saw you talk to Catherine." He growled.
I felt something growing in the pit of my stomach. It was the E-word and it was coming for me.
"I'm collating her--for her. Yep. Doing some collation. Collatinating, Collatorino. Coll-"
"Stay away from her or I will kill you." He interrupted, leaning in close.
"Uh, I…I don't know why you would say that to me." I said.
"I would say that to you because I'm a ninja and that's what ninjas do. We kill people." He was nearly whispering now.
"You're not a ninja. Ninjas dress all in black and carry katanas. I see neither." I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Now, I wasn't trying to goad him, but I certainly didn't want to acknowledge that I was talking to a ninja. As I saw it, my best bet was getting him to acknowledge the truth of the statement, nod his head, and walk away. It seemed the only way to resolve this situation as mundanely as possible.
"Ninjas never dressed in black. That's not sneaky. No, we blend. Even back in the ancient days we dressed as peasants. That is why I dress how I do. To blend." He said menacingly.
"Doesn't announcing you're a ninja to random people kind of defeat the purpose of blending? And what about your katana?"
"My katana?" He asked confused.
"Yeah. Where's your katana? I mean, I guess you could be right about the way you dress, but you've got to have a katana somewhere." I said.
"I don't carry a katana around everywhere, that would be stupid."
"I dunno. Katanas are pretty awesome. Ipso-facto always having a katana would also be pretty awesome."
"Will you shut up about the katana?"
"It's even a fun word. Katana. Ka-tah-nuh-ACKH" He slammed me against the wall shoving his forearm against my larynx. I was choking; the air shoved out of my lungs in a long, pained gasp…
"Now. I didn't work all this time and steal all this information just to have some peasant screw everything up." He said angrily, but if I didn't know any better, I would say he had tears in his eyes.
I was terribly confused. And also dying. I couldn't breathe at all. It seems I should emphasize that.
"Because you didn't screw everything up." His grip loosened and tears were flowing freely down his eyes.
"Awh, don't be so hard on yourself." I gasped through pained breathes. "I mean, you seem like a great ninja."
"No." He turned his back to me, his shoulders shaking between the sobs. "I've betrayed my country for love. For Catherine. I gave into human desires and I stopped reporting to my superiors. I want her. I need her!"
"Well, that's not good…but I'm…I'm just going to leave now. I think, I'm pretty sure this isn't about me. I'm just an average guy, minding my own business."
"You're right." He said and for a moment I felt some respite. I was right. And he was going to let me go.
"It's not good." He was standing on the copier and reaching into the ceiling. "I've betrayed my people and dishonored my family. It is disgraceful."
He drew a long, wicked blade from the ceiling and I struggled to control my bowels. I didn't want to die with filthy underpants.
Then he stepped down and faced me.
"I don't…you don't…" I stuttered.
He fell to his knees and plunged the blade into his own chest with a anguished cry.
Blood sprayed across the room and onto my face and shirt. I stared horrified at the man as he collapsed. There was a loud, girly scream filling the air.
You might think it was mine. But it wasn't. You weren't there.
Only one thought penetrated the whirlwind of emotions that rose in my head.
'I freaking knew he had a katana!'