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Charlie hovered over an open file in front him as he nibbled on the tip of a pen. For anyone else, it appeared as though Charlie was engrossed in reading the contents of the documents, but Timothy could feel his secretive glances on him as he paced around the room, perturbed.

With his phone glued to his ear, Timothy had spent hours making calls. Whatever his purpose, it had not come to fruition which was obvious from his aggravated movements. This went on for another fifteen minutes before Timothy headed over to Charlie, stretching his arm which was cramped from being locked in the same position for hours. Charlie, who had been waiting for this, now turned his full attention to Timothy, who crashed down into one of the chairs as he flung the mobile on to the table with such force that it slid across to Charlie’s side of the table. Charlie looked down at it and then at Timmy, who was rubbing his face to rid himself of the wariness.

Charlie already knew what Timothy had to say from the transparency of his expression of annoyance, but he prompted him anyway, hoping there would be some new information.

“So…?” he trailed off, not sure if he would set Timothy off, looking at his blaring irritation.

Timothy’s eyes, which were hazy and entranced by the bland blue sky out the window, snapped to Charlie’s and held a death glare over them. He took quick and rapid breaths as he lashed out, letting his frustration get the best of him.

“No. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I have pulled every connection that could have been useful and nothing. Nobody knows. Nobody fucking knows.”

Charlie heaved a deep breath as he felt a similar anger build within him. However, as opposed to Timothy, who let his emotions take over, Charlie tried to maintain his composure, to have a sense of control over everything. He proceeded to ask Timmy about the last source that could have possibly yielded answers or some sort of an explanation.

“Any insight from our primary source?”

“Hasn’t been in contact since the dinner date.”

“What about the secondary source?”

“No way or reason for us to contact them.”

Charlie then leaned back with exasperation and both of them fell into a brooding silence until Charlie leaped forward and grabbed the phone that had been sitting idle on the table. After three taps, Charlie put the phone back down in the middle of the table, as a dial tone reverberated through the still air of the room. Three rings later a voice spoke from the other end.

“Have you called for confirmation?”

“Don’t be presumptuous.” Said Charlie, trying to keep the bitterness out of his voice.

“What else do we have to discuss then?” Said the man from the other end, as the gaiety in his voice transpired through the phone.

Charlie stayed silent as he didn’t have a retort to that sarcastic remark. Catching up to Charlie’s mum, the man spoke up again.

“Your anticipation and my presumption is true. I don’t understand why you still need validation, when the outcome is glaringly obvious. Haven’t we done this enough already?”

Charlie instinctively relaxed a bit and let out all the tension that had been building up in him. He then queried the person on the phone.

“How did you do it?”

“It’s been a while since we caught up. Let’s do that the day after tomorrow and I will explain everything to you in great detail. But first, I have to claim what’s mine.”

Charlie could hear the delight in the man’s voice as he savoured his triumph over Charlie before the line went dead.

“What now?” Blurted out Timothy almost immediately.

“We wait and watch.” Said Charlie disheartened.

Timothy shook his head in response, dismayed.

Charlie picked up the file he was scouring earlier and said, as his eyes fixated on the bottom of the page. The letters clumped together in black and white begged for his attention.

...Project overview by Ray Mconnell

“At least she is safe with him.”

Charlie placed the file back down on the table as he felt Timmy’s questioning gaze on him. He looked up and answered the implied uncertainty in his eyes.

“Safer than with some other people involved.”

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