If we are going to be honest
Charles comes home around three in the morning to see Jane asleep in the armchair with her arms hanging over the side of the chair with her head rested on the back of the armchair. He finds her sweet the way she is positioned. He decides to leave her like that as a punishment for drinking his alcohol. Just as he turns to go to his bedroom, he notices the gun clasped in her hand and thinks the worst. He rushes to her and checks her head for a gunshot wound. He remembers the conversation he had with Sarah and Claire about her stability. He now realises that she is still unstable. Once he checks round her head for bullet holes, he is relieved. He quickly moves the gun from her hand, noticing the safety switch was still on.
Charles smiles at Jane while she is slumped in the chair, ‘Blondes.’
He looks at her again and smells her sweet perfume among the smell of his dark rum on her breath. For a moment he is tempted to kiss her on the lips while she is still asleep still. He admires her features with her cute mouth and nose. Jane is too drunk to wake her up. He goes to walk away again but cannot help feeling sorry for her.
He now realises what she cannot say to him and explains everything about her. She does not have to confide in him. He feels sorry for her now and wishes that she could meet someone and fall in love with them. He wishes that he could be that person but she would not be interested in a widower.
He picks her up in his arms and carries her into his second bedroom and places her on the bed and falling on the bed with her. His head almost knocks onto her forehead. Jane murmurs when her head hits his, and he smiles at her. He is almost tempted to kiss her again as he smells her perfume with his nose almost touching her. He focuses on her mouth as it is slightly open and wondering what it would be like to kiss her and taste her sweet lips. He also looks at her eyebrows, cheeks and nose, admiring her beauty. He cannot understand why she has trouble being herself and finding someone to marry. He notices how cute her freckles are on her forehead. Jane moves slightly and thinks she is going to stir but she is still dead to the world.
He decides to take her clothes off including her underwear so she freaks out when she wakes up. He takes her blouse and jeans off while she is on top of the bed with the confidence that she will not be conscious to hit him. Once she in her underwear, he puts the cover over her. Then takes her bra and underwear off under the bedsheets so he cannot see her naked body. Once he has fully undressed her, he has a quick peek of her side view, so he cannot see her intimate parts. He then kisses her on her forehead.
He looks at her with doting eyes, ‘You are s-o beautiful. It is a shame you do not realise that. I could just kiss you.’
Charles then walks out of the room and leaves her to it. He realises what the time is and decides to stay awake and pack his gun back into his bag and wonders what he is going to say to make her realise that she cannot just help herself to his things.
Charles is sat in the armchair when he hears Jane’s alarm go off. He decides to go into the shower to freshen up while he waits for Jane to wake up. When Charles is in the shower, he hears a scream and he chuckles to himself.
I have woken up to find myself naked in bed, ’Aaah!. No!
No! No!. He didn’t just take my clothes off. Charles!!!!!’
Charles ignores her and carries on showering while chuckling to himself still. Once Charles is finished and gets out of the shower, he suddenly remembers that she tried to commit suicide and she could have done that. He realises that this is serious. He waits to find the right time to approach the incident.
I am still shocked that I woke up naked as I distinctively remember falling asleep in the armchair and I did not sleepwalk into a bed after undressing myself naked. I am ready to have a go at Charles when he gets out of the shower.
I think to myself. But wait, I had his gun on me. He must have seen the gun. He must be questioning himself why I would have his gun in my hand or on the floor next to me. I cannot remember if I dropped the gun in my sleep. How can I say that I have no recollection. I hear the door go to the shower room. I realise I am still naked. I quickly put a towel on me that Charles must have left for me. I choose to pretend that I do not know anything by pleading ignorant.
He will have to answer to me for seeing me naked before putting me to bed. I hope I was tidy down there and my armpits were shaved. It doesn’t matter. He cannot question me holding his gun and I cannot question him seeing me naked. Or did he not see me naked? Could he tell that I am still a virgin by seeing my hymen still in tact. Or is it not visible to the naked eye? Or would any non-medical doctor not notice that it is a hymen. Surely he would have to open my vagina up to see the hymen. He is not a pervert? Nah. Obviously he did check or else he could have torn it and I would have seen blood. Of course… I remember when I was at school, that I was kicked there. That must have torn it. But I cannot remember seeing blood then. I cannot believe I am discussing my hymen to myself.
I see a towel on the end of the bed almost falling down from me, moving around in the bed when I was asleep. I grab the towel and go to the bathroom to see if the door is wide open and light switch is off. This was an indication that he has finished and gone to his bedroom. I see the door to the bathroom is wide open with the light off and so I quickly sneak in before he can see me, and shut the door behind me sharply. I am now relaxed and get in the shower making sure I take my time so I do not have to face him anytime soon.
During my shower, I reminiscence about what I was thinking earlier and randomly try to look below to see if my hymen was still there. I bend over thinking I have disjointed limbs to see for myself. Realising that I do not do yoga, I then feel for the membrane by trying to put my finger inside. I think back in my life if I had done any activity that would have naturally torn my hymen. My obvious choice was horse riding but I have not ridden in my life. I think about dancing but the only dancing I have done in is night clubs, not ballet. I then think about the time I was kicked in my lady part when I was bullied at school. I don’t remember ever seeing blood apart from my period. I can’t believe I am having this conversation with myself.
Once I am finished out of the shower and quickly rush back into the bedroom before Charles can see me. I see a mirror on the window ledge. I have an idea. I place the mirror on the bed and I sit in front of the mirror and open my legs apart. I then open the fold of my vagina to take a look. As I am doing this, Charles calls out my name and I naturally turn round and slip off the bed making a loud thud on the carpet. Charles quickly asks if I am okay and I am flustered on what to say.
I am flustering, ‘Oh. I am okay. I was just about to sit on the bed and…’ Think. Quick. Think of something, ‘I knocked over the lamp.’ How lame was that.
Charles is worried about the lamp being broken, ‘Do you want me to see if you have broken it?’
I could imagine him seeing me with my legs in the air completely naked with him thinking I want sex right now, ‘No! It is fine. It just landed awkwardly on the floor. It is okay. It is still working.’ Phew! Why does it always happen to me.
I end up abandoning the idea of seeing if my hymen was intact. If anything, it must surely be torn after doing the splits upside down when I fell off the bed.
The moment comes when both of us are ready and we meet in his living room and he has our bags in his strong arms.
Charles looks at me with a curious look, ‘There is something I want to ask you.’
Please don’t ask about the gun. Please don’t ask about the gun, ‘Yes?’
Charles does not know how to be indirect, ‘Huh, did you drink all my drinks and then think it would be a good idea to play with a loaded gun?’
Oh shoot, ‘Y-e-s. But of course I pulled out the magazine and checked the chamber.’
Charles smiles at me knowing that was a complete lie, ‘Okay. So why were you sat in the armchair with it in your hands?’
I am struggling to come up with a good excuse, ‘I will answer that when you tell me if you saw all of me naked when you undressed me.’
Charles looks embarrassed, ‘I have taken apart a gun and put it back with my eyes closed. Simply undressing you would be a doddle.’
I test him by asking, ‘Oh, so am I blonde down there or dark brown?’
Charles is lost for words, ’Exactly Knight. How would I be able to answer that question?
Charles thinks of what to say next, ‘I will get the taxi.’
I am embarrassed with what I just asked him, ‘Yeah, I will check that all the utilities in your kitchen are switched off. Meet you downstairs?’
Charles winces his eyes, ‘Yes. See you downstairs.’
Once we on the plane bound for the Cayman Islands, I look at my phone still wondering about my hymen. I cannot get it out of my mind. I concluded after searching on the internet that a tampon does not guarantee tearing. Charles is looking at one of the magazines in the pouch when he looks over at what I am staring at on my phone. I quickly move my mobile screen away from his eyesight. I make up conversation to distract him.
Charles is looking out of the window and turns to look at me, ‘What are you looking at? You have been quiet.’
I am looking on an app on my mobile, ‘Just looking on social media. Who was that girl you wandered off with last night?’
Charles picks up a magazine while talking, ‘Why are you asking?’
I put my phone down and look at him, ‘I am just asking. I thought she was rude.’
Charles face goes blank, ‘Rude?’
I think of her comments, ‘She didn’t say nice things about me.’
Charles is thinking back, ‘She asked who you were and wanted to head out.’
I roll my eyes at him, ‘You know what I mean.’
Charles laughs at me, ‘You have a lot to learn about the spy business.’
I look at him with a confused expression, ‘How do you mean?’
Charles sighs, ‘She may be interested, but it does not automatically mean it is reciprocated. Are you jealous?’
I am open-mouthed, ‘No. You’re not my type.’
Charles twists his body in his seat to face me, ‘What is your type.’
I look up thinking, ‘Hmmm. Someone who—’
Charles is impatient, ‘You said you have never had a relationship, so how could you possibly have a type.’
I am caught off guard and lost for words, ‘Er, er, well…’
Charles is annoyed with me, ‘Can you even remember the guy you had your last fling with.’
I struggle to make him up, ‘He is—’
Charles smirks at me, ‘Is? Don’t you mean was. Past tense. Honestly you don’t know what your type is.’
I get flustered, ‘Someone smart, intelligent, kind.’
Charles sits back in his seat and looks out of the window as he smirks, ‘Wow, you just came up with that.’
I think heard him say something, ‘Okay, what is your type?’
Charles turns round to me, ‘Puts others first. I can trust her. We have things in common. Anyone can be smart and intelligent. If you had ever had a relationship, you would know that.’
I get tongue-tied again, ‘You don’t need to be in a relationship to know what you are looking for.’
Charles disagrees, ‘How can you tell if that person is right for you, if you have not been in numerous relationships?’
I use my friends as an example, ‘I observe my friends’ relationships. I look at what they have or don’t have and look for that in a man.’
I do not know what else to say, ‘Well I know what I want.’
Charles ignores me and I go back to looking at my phone. I feel that we did finish the conversation properly. I want to continue the conversation but Charles has his back to me.
After twenty minutes has gone, he makes a remark, ‘She is a marker. She is a gossip girl. I had my people check her out.’
I am stunned he actually told me, ‘For this assignment?’
Charles realises that he could open up a can of worms, ‘No. An old assignment. I thought I lost her. It came out of the blue bumping into her.’
I pluck up the courage to ask what his type is, ‘What features do you see in a woman.’
He ponders, ‘Brunette, almost six feet tall and black.’
That leaves me out. My self-esteem is knocked, ‘How come you have not found her?’
He goes withdrawn, ‘I need some sleep.’
I feel withdrawn now, ‘I will get some sleep as well.’
We both go to sleep for the remaining flight time. I find myself sleeping on his shoulder for comfort. It is natural for me as I see it as finding a comfortable position. We have five more hours of travelling.
I wake up after only forty minutes left of flying time. Charles was already awake. I get paranoid if I have dribbled. Charles is looking at a film.
I am still sleepy, ‘When did you wake up?’
He is still appears withdrawn, ‘About five minutes ago.’
I try to make conversation, ‘Okay. What are you watching?’
He comes across vague, ‘Not sure. It was on already. Did you have a good sleep?’
It is a start, ‘Yeah. Still tired. How much longer till we arrive?’
Charles changes channel on the screen to show the flight plan, ‘About three and a half hours left, based on this.’
To make the time go by, I start to look up on what to do in Cayman on my mobile. Charles changes the channel back to the film. I focus on the day trips to see what excursions are available. I feel that seeing the island before the party will help us to pass off as familiars not strangers. I also want to fit in so we can gain the other guests’ trust to divulge information. Charles seems to be happy going in cold.
Charles asks what I am doing, ‘What’s that you are doing?’
I show him my mobile screen. ‘Looking up what there is to do in the Cayman. If we are asked about our stay, I want to have something to talk about with the other guests. Also fit in.’
Charles looks at me, ‘True. Book a few excursions. I will get us some party-wear. What size are you?’
I think about my size. ‘Eight.’
When we arrive on the Grand Cayman Island at Owen Roberts International Airport, we get a hire car. Charles has booked us in the Marriott hotel named Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. It overlooks the ocean with a beach front. I cannot believe how clear the ocean is. It is just like the Caribbean and I can imagine that the weather and heat is the same. I understand why Vladimir came out here. It is beautiful out here. Charles is used to the heat due to being from Guyana.
We check into our hotel and then Charles wants to meet up with someone at the Cayman National Bank. Before we do that, we go shopping in the boutique of the hotel for appropriate clothes for our time here and also for the party held at Vladimir’s company.
I choose to wear shorts and a vest with a pair of aviation sunglasses in faded brown lens. The vest is to hide my bruised stomach which is clearing up thanks to that substance Charles put on me. Charles decides to wear a white short-sleeve shirt, tailor fitted with beige linen trousers and the same aviation sunglasses with faded brown lenses. We aimed to look like a couple on holiday to hide our persona.
We are driving down Elgin Avenue to get to the meeting that Charles arranged, that will help us while we are here.
We are sat in the lobby of the bank, waiting to have a meeting with a man called Sergio. Charles told me that he manages Vladimir’s account and that we are tax investigators. We do not know what he looks like. Reception desk called him down for us. We only wait for about five minutes before he comes downstairs.
A man comes over to us, ‘You must be Charles and Jane. Welcome to the Cayman Islands.’
Charles makes conversation with him, ‘Hi Sergio, thanks for meeting us.’
He smiles at both of us and takes us upstairs via the lift to his office. Once we are there, we are honest with him and ask for Vladimir’s bank account. His office oversees the sea and a view of the beach. The walls are made of glass and so you have a panoramic view.
H asks us to take a seat, ‘So Mr May. You said you were from the IRS.’
Charles lied about investigating one of his other clients, ‘We are investigating a man by the name of Vladimir Mashkov. We believe he is hiding money off the books. We need his bank records.’
Sergio’s smile disappears, ‘I thought this was about Chevalier Chase.’
Charles smiles, ‘We work for the British government. We need his records now. Any other records on him.’
Sergio goes to call security and Charles stands up to push his chair across the room causing him to crash into the glass. I am open-mouthed as I have never seen him like this.
Charles has anger in his eyes, ‘Now I am going to ask one more time. Get me that information and fast.’ He gets his gun out and presses it against his temple.
Sergio says, ’Okay, okay.
I look at him, ‘I wouldn’t worry, he didn’t see you naked last night.’
Charles grunts, ‘Umm. Jane, Jane I told you I have no idea if you are a true blonde.’
Sergio quickly logs into his computer and prints everything on Vladimir. I can see deeds to properties and various contracts. Charles hit the jackpot.
Charles looks at me smiling, ‘Thanks Sergio. Now if you give Vladimir a heads up, I will kill you.’
Sergio looks at me and I don’t know where to look, ‘Just give us the information and he won’t kill you.’
We walk out with all the records in a file. Sergio just sits there in shock, as the door closes on the lift with us inside.
Charles looks at me, ‘This will be enough to shut down his company. We can go home now if you want. Or we can still go to the party before we head home.’
I agree, ‘We can ignore the party and just get on a plane now.’
Charles looks at me, ‘Nah. Let’s get pissed before we go home.’
I laugh, ‘Yeah. We came all this way.’ I suddenly think about how we get in, ‘Won’t we need a ticket?’
Charles is blasé, ‘We can just walk in. Lie about where we work. Besides I thought Barney was working on our employment.’
I remember, ‘Yes you’re right. What the hell, we will just go.’
We head back to our hotel and relax on the bed. I am going through Vladimir’s financial bank statements, marking material transactions to look into. It felt great being able to get real data that we only dream of back in the London office. I notice my stomach is no longer in pain. I lift my top up and see that my bruises are starting to fade away, but I still cannot wear a bikini.
Charles decides to get ready first for tonight while I start going through the bank statements. Charles leaves me to it without wanting to make input of his own. He goes quiet, but I don’t think anything of it. I do not get that far looking at the other information when I notice Charles acting weird.
Charles is starting to think of last night. Jane with his gun in the armchair, thinking she shot herself with the way she was slouched in the chair. It is eating away at him not having it out with Jane. While he is in the shower, he is mulling over how to approach the subject. Charles recites undressing her and seeing one side of her naked body. Smelling her body odour and alcoholic breath. Being tempted to kiss her.
I am lying on my front with the bits of pages strewn over the bed in front of me with Charles in the bathroom, ‘Right Charles, I think I have got it. Around this time each year, he has money coming in with random amounts of twenty, thirty, ten million. Each time leaving thirty million in the bank. The thirty million is almost drained going to three main people. This is spread over a year. Do you know what I am thinking?’
Charles walks in wearing the hotel’s white towel robe, ‘The thirty million to pay authority to turn a blind eye. The rest is sales from arms deals which then goes into a washing machine. His company, the insurance business, finance and manufacturing. You don’t need a company to window dress it. Just fake customers. He has his company party to mask a business deal, that no one suspects…’
I jump in, ‘Only the buyers know. The rest of the party think it is a booze cruise. What if that Russian guy found out, that is why they killed him.’
Charles dashes the idea, ‘The Salisbury guy was someone else. One of their customers wanted to wipe him out.’
I think about the other records, ‘We can look at the rest of these things when we get back to London.’
I sit up on the bed to look at Charles expecting to discuss our action for tonight. But Charles just looks at me and I do not know how to react. He looks like he wants to talk about something different. He looks anxious and agitated.
Charles looks at me as if he wants to say something, ‘Jane. We need to talk.’
I have no idea and assume it is about our assignment, ‘Yeah sure.’
I get off the bed and walk over to him. I wait for him to talk.
He has a serious look on his face, ‘Why did you have my gun in your hand, when you fell asleep?’
I am caught off guard and flounder, ‘Er, er, um.’ I shrug my shoulders.
Charles asks me again, ‘Why did you look for my gun?’
I look down at the floor and lie, ‘It was just lying there.’
Charles gives me a fed-up look, ’My gun was packed away. You would have to look for it. So one more time,
what were you doing with it?’
I get all upset and walk away from him.
Charles gets his gun as he sees Jane heading for the bathroom.
I shut the door behind me in the bathroom. Charles grabs his gun from the chair he hung the holster on. He then opens the bathroom door to confront me.
Charles points the handle of the gun at me, ‘You are seeking sympathy. You are not suicidal.’
I froze from embarrassment and what he is thinking, ‘Can we just not talk about this.’
Charles does not let this go, ‘I need someone I can trust. Someone who won’t bail out at the last minute.’
I can be relied on, ‘I am here. One hundred percent.’
Charles is still not letting up, ‘Own up to it. You were going to kill yourself last night. Just admit it.’
I completely lie, ‘No. It is your imagination. I had your gun, but I was not doing anything.’
Charles is like a dog on a bone. He does not want to let it go until I admit to him that I tried to commit suicide. I keep refusing to admit to it. I keep turning round from him and he keeps walking round to face me. I look down at the floor to avoid having to make eye contact. He has been going on about it for five minutes.
Charles continues, ‘Admit it, it is nothing to be ashamed of. You can tell me.’
I cannot take it anymore and lash out, ‘I swear to God. I will do it. Just to shut you up, I will do it. Just back off.’ I try to shove him away but he is bigger and stronger than me.
Charles takes the gun and points it at me, ‘Take my gun and shoot yourself.’
I laugh at him, ‘You are kidding, right? This is not funny.’
Charles stills has a serious face, ‘Put this in your mouth. I am not kidding. There you go. Now pull the trigger.’
I have the barrel of the gun in my mouth. I muffle, ‘You want me to do it. You want me to do it. Just pull the trigger.’
Charles eggs me on, ‘Do it. Pull the trigger. If you have a suicidal tendency, pull the damn trigger.’
I am almost tearful now. I am feeling like actually killing myself. I see in Charles’ eyes that he wants to see me try to pull the trigger.
I pull the barrel out of my mouth, ‘You want me to do it, you really want me to do it. Okay, if it will shut you up. I will do it.’
Charles puts the barrel in my mouth again to prompt me. I look in him the eye with a tear falling down my cheek. I am ready to end my life.
I hesitate for a few seconds then close my eyes and pull the trigger. I hear the click, but nothing. I am not afraid anymore and so keep pulling the trigger with my eyes open and just keeps on clicking. Charles pulls the gun out of my mouth in dismay. He is open-mouthed when he witnesses me pulling the trigger for real. Once I realise what I had tried to do, I am in shock and drop to the floor in tears. I cannot stop crying.
Charles is in shock and looks at Jane on the floor crying, in shock. He steps back away from her in disbelief. He did not know what would happen or what to expect.
Charles collects his thoughts, ‘It’s over. It’s over.’
He puts his arms around me as my body shudders in his arms.
Charles hesitates to say, ‘Okay, okay. I… needed to know. Your sister told me you tried to take your own life before. I needed to know if you were getting sympathy. We need to be transparent to survive.’
I finally stop crying, ‘I can’t believe my sister told you. This is embarrassing.’
Charles tries to see my face, ‘Jane. Look at me. Look at me. You have no reason to kill yourself.’
I put my head back down, ‘Ha ha, don’t lie to me.’
Charles lifts my head up with his forefinger, ‘You have no reason to take your own life.’
I look down, ‘It is okay for you. Your life is fine.’
Charles forces me to look at him, ‘Jane, you have everything going for you.’
I naturally don’t believe him, ‘All I have is work. I don’t have a life. No will go out with me.’
’Charles looks frustrated, ‘That is not true.’
I challenge him, ‘Tell me one person who will go out with me.’
Charles hesitates to convince me, ‘There is someone.’
I look straight at him, ‘Who is that?’
Charles struggles to mention at least one person and I laugh in his face. Without warning, he kisses me and I am stunned. I freeze as he kisses me passionately. I pull away.
I look at him, ‘You don’t have to make me feel good by kissing me.’
He looks at me and kisses me again. This time I gradually reciprocate, hesitating at the same time. Charles does not let go. Eventually I stop resisting him and we kiss passionately for a while. He adjusts me, placing me on the bathroom floor as he holds himself above me. He stops and holds my face to examine me before passionately kissing me again. I feel my tummy going in knots as I find him attractive. Eventually I pull away for air.
Charles takes deep breaths, ‘Does that prove it?’
I am breathing heavily as well, ‘I… don’t know. I think you did that because you feel sorry for me. I don’t need sympathy. I am seeing a shrink now.’
He kisses me again and I respond to him. I motion him to change position, so I can lie on top of him. He holds me in his strong arms as he turns me over so I am on top. I then pull away, brush my hair back, and kiss him again. I think I am dreaming and so I do not want to stop before I wake up from this dream.
Charles in between kissing me apologises, ‘I… don’t normally do… this kind of thing. I… I… am a… professional spy. You’re… not… usually my type.’
I believe him, ‘I… am… used to that.’
Charles continues, ‘I prefer brunettes. Preferably… like…my… coffee. But I… don’t know what it is about you. You are cute… gorgeous… sweet… and… a great body.’
I am flustered and do not want this to end, ‘I… won’t… tell… any… one… at… the office.’
We still kiss passionately on the bathroom floor. I put my hands inside his robe and realise he is completely naked. I cannot feel his underwear when I put my hand on his hips. I am still fully clothed and Charles is not attempting to take them off. Charles stops to look at me, while resting the palm of his head on my temple.
Charles smiles, ‘You are so beautiful.’
I think of the negative things said to me, ‘The horrible comments are easier to believe. Don’t you think?’
Charles gasps for air, ‘You… are intelligent… talented and you… have the cutest nose.’
He kisses me again by teasing me with pecks on the lips until I move in to kiss him passionately. We end up staying on the bathroom floor until it is time to rush getting ready for tonight.