Her first instinct was to slam the door in the man’s face. Only the very creepy cold callers knew that names of the people living in the houses they ambushed. Not usually by their first names though. It was this fact that made her stop and think. If it was a cold caller then he would have asked for Mrs Cooper not Rose. The realisation caused a shiver to crawl down her spine. Shut the door Rose, something isn’t right. The man’s smile hadn’t shrunk and he was watching her intently waiting to see how she would react. The problem was she wasn’t reacting. Rose just stood there, not moving. Her hand placed on the side of the door frozen between deciding whether or not to let her curiosity get the better of her.
“I see you’re a little confused, which is completely natural don’t worry,” the man’s smile never faded. His voice was smooth with an almost hypnotising tone. Something that possibly gave him the edge over his other competitors for this job. There were many candidates that tried to go on to become recruitment officers but very few had the relaxing aura that was oozing from this man’s every pore. He wasn’t oblivious to this fact. The effect he was having on Rose was evident in her face and he revelled in it. He loved being able to change a person’s attitude towards him by simply opening his mouth.
“First things first, my name is Ezra,” he pushed his hand forward forcing Rose to remove hers from the door and place it in his. “I’m here for a very important reason. One that will need a lot of explaining but it is best if your parents don’t know that I’m here. Now I know you are waiting for your friend Beth to come and call for you, which works out perfectly for me really. I want you to tell them that I’m Beth and that you are leaving with her. Okay?”
Rose nodded and yelled to her mother that she was leaving with Beth. As soon as the words had left her mouth she wasn’t entirely sure why she had said them. It was almost like a fog had entered her brain. She remembered having a similar feeling when she had her first boyfriend. He had this power to relax her completely and in return she gave him her complete trust. She listened to everything that he had to say and followed him blindly. Needless to say it didn’t end nicely. As soon as she realised that she wasn’t being herself and began to listen to herself, things got nasty. She vowed that no one would ever have that effect on her again. Still she closed the door anyway and followed the strange man in the suit down the road.
They stopped when they reached a bench. Ezra had sat down and held a briefcase on his lap smiling expectantly at her until she sat down next to him. Which against her better judgement she did. She made sure it was as close to the opposite end to Ezra as she could manage without falling off though.
“Who are you?” the words formed before she even had time to think.
“Someone who could potentially change your life forever,” Ezra replied, the same smile playing on his lips.
“Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” she scoffed.
“They said you might be difficult,” he laughed.
“Who said? Who even are you?!”
“Don’t worry I will explain everything,” he turned his head toward her. His original confident smile changed into one more reassuring.
“Explain what exactly?!” Rose voice was becoming more and more erratic. She regretted leaving her house with this stranger. She wanted to go home to her parents who would tell her everything was going to be okay. “Look I just want to go home. It was a mistake following you out here.” She got up to leave but Ezra grabbed her arm and pulled her back down. He turned her face towards him and stared directly into her eyes.
“Look at me. Do I look like a threat to you? Do you feel, deep down, that I am going to hurt you in anyway?” he asked her. She had to admit to herself that he didn’t. That she was honestly more scared about the fact that she felt natural with him. It felt right to be there. She didn’t, however, have to admit that to him.
“Just tell me who you are or I’m going home.”
“Rose I already have told you. My name is Ezra and I’m the man who is going to change your life forever,” he clicked open the brief case and pulled out the first file. “Now, I think we better start at the beginning, don’t you?”
Rose watched his hand as he opened the file. A small part of her told her to run but she couldn’t escape the feeling that she was supposed to be there. While Ezra was deciding which piece of paper to start with Rose took the opportunity to take him in. His hands moved effortlessly in between each sheet. Rose could tell without even touching them that they were beautifully smooth. She felt uncomfortable as this thought entered her brain so she moved on to his face. His eyes were a piercing green. Something told her it was partly this that caused his power of relaxation. They were the kind of green that you couldn’t tear yourself away from. His smile was natural and emitted charm. She could tell that he was aware of this fact though. His head titled to the side in order to push his strands of silky brown hair out of his eyes. Cropped at the back it was his fringe that caused the problem. A popular hairstyle that Rose had seen on many young men in the past couple of months. Speaking of young, Ezra can’t have been much more than twenty five years old. Though there was something in his eyes that suggested he was older. Under any other circumstance Rose would have turned on her flirtations a matter of minutes ago. This wasn’t a club though and Ezra clearly wasn’t a normal guy. So she focused her attention back on the paper that was shuffling back and forth in Ezra’s hands.
“Ah, here it is. Sorry about that, sometimes the files get mixed up when I travel,” he smiled at her again but her eyes were focused on the file in his hand. “Now I could try and explain the reason why I am here but I think it would be more successful if you were to read it yourself. So we’ll start with this one.”
The light brown file placed on her lap looked as innocent as the ones hidden away in the head teacher’s office. Rose knew however that what she was about to read held more power than the few detention slips in her file at school. Written along the side in bold black letters was “The System.” Those words on their own made all the hairs on the back of her neck stand to attention. That should have been the first clue. A natural reflex that told her she was way out of her comfort zone. Each tiny little hair telling her to turn around and return to what she knew to be a much safer place. Rose would normally listen to them, never being one to ignore her instincts. But her instincts were wrong. Or at least they were contradicting each other. Read it Rose. A whisper from the back of her mind. That’s all she needed. Her hands were shaking as she turned the first page.