Chapter 12.2

Once there, Jackie sat on the edge of the little round stool and mentally started sifting through different possible replies from Mike, in her head. One might be: ‘what sort of message did you get from your friend in China? What has gotten you so worried?’ In which case, Jackie would know that he was OK and Kaiying was just blowing smoke up her ass. Any variation of this response would be acceptable. A few more, less pleasant thoughts flitted through her head before ‘DING’. The email message indicator displayed the receipt of one new message. She looked at the clock. It had been thirty-seven minutes. Holding her breath, Jackie opened it quickly.

From: Michael Miller
Subject: Don’t Worry
Date: November 26, 2018 6:52 a.m.
To: Jackie Miller

(CLT): 8 min 6.56 sec

Don’t worry about me. Just try to enjoy yourself on the flight and have a good time. And if anything comes up, I’ll be sure to let you know. You are so funny, sometimes. We are so good together, you and I. You won’t find another one like me. So don’t take any un-necessary chances out there. There could be no one to take your place. For as long as I live, you’re the only one for me and vice versa. In an hour, I’ll have to leave for work. Does this answer your questions?

All for you, Mike

< ≡ ♂ ≡ >

In shock, Jackie’s numb fingers parted and dropped the melamine teacup to the deck. As it bounced across the floor, she tried to scoop it up and instead toppled her stool, with a clang. Valerie happened to be descending the ladder from the HP deck to pour another cup of coffee for herself when she heard the clatter. She tapped on the door, “Jackie, are you OK in there?” she called out.

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