Adrian paced the room in front of his boss’s large, wooden desk. Behind it sat a stern man with a steely gray hair, an orderly mustache and a vein in his forehead that looked about ready to burst. Mr. Peterson was not the type of man to tolerate mistakes, especially not ones on this scale. Adrian ran a calloused hand through his dark brown hair, nervously glancing at the furious man.
“I know I messed up. Give me a chance to fix it.”
“Messed up? This wasn’t a little mistake, Adrian,” Mr. Peterson shouted, “It was a catastrophe. These reports say that you were in that room for ten minutes! Tell me how it could possibly take more than five minutes to kill an unarmed lawyer? And what’s more, you didn’t even kill him. He got away!”
“I’m telling you,” Adrian said firmly, “There were two Eugene Banks’ in there. It was like the man had a duplicate.”
“That’s absurd! Every report I’ve seen states that only two people entered that room, Eugene Banks and yourself. And if you had done what we pay you to do, only one would have exited. And then, your delay caused you to be captured by the local police. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is for this organization to have to bail out one of its own agents? This was a disgrace Adrian. You risked the exposure of yourself and every member of our team today.”
“I apologize, sir,” Adrian replied. But his boss’s frustration was far from his mind as he continued to wonder about the two Eugene Banks’. He stared out the large window behind the screaming Mr. Peterson and relived the scene. A deep sigh from the older man brought him back to reality.
“Listen, Adrian. I don’t know what you saw up there. And I’m not going to argue with you about it,” he added quickly as Adrian opened his mouth to defend himself, “All I know is that you’ve been working a lot lately. Take a week off. Go home. Relax. Forget about Eugene Banks.”
“You think I’m crazy,” Adrian accused.
“I think what you’re saying is crazy but not anything that a little rest can’t fix.”
“I know what I saw.”
“I’m not denying that you saw it. In your current mental state you could be seeing a purple alien on top of my bookcase right now. No, Adrian, what I doubt is that what you saw was actually there. Now go home.” Mr. Peterson’s tone told Adrian that this argument was over, regardless of whatever else he wanted to say.
Adrian stormed out of the boss’s office and slammed the door behind him. He wasn’t crazy; of that much he was certain. But he had no evidence that what he had seen was real or that it had actually happened at all. He thought of that small office on the twelfth floor of Banks and Associates Law Firm. There had to be an explanation, a clue, anything.