For the first time in my life, I’m in love. And I think she feels the same about me. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we may have to break up . . . sort of. Shit happens. Allow me to explain.
Her name is Jill; we met early on a Sunday morning. I was jogging along the beach at the water’s edge one minute and the next, I was splayed out in the sand. I had tripped over a woman’s recumbent body.
After the requisite apologies, we started talking. One thing led to another and we ended up having lunch together. That was eight months ago and we’ve barely been out of each other’s sight since.
Today is another Sunday much like the one when Jill and I met, but things are a little different now.
I’m an FBI agent assigned to the Miami Field Office. I was awakened at five o’clock this morning with an urgent phone call to report in immediately. There was a terrorist threat. Hell, this was the granddaddy of all threats. At 4:00 a.m., a local television station received a call stating that there was a nuclear bomb planted within the city, and at exactly 4:00 p.m., it would explode unless certain demands were met. The caller said there was a package sitting in the parking lot of the North Miami office of the FBI that would authenticate the threat.
It turned out to be a small nuclear bomb. An attached note informed us that they had three more just like it, not counting the one already planted. The note also said that if there was any effort to evacuate the populace, the bomb would be detonated the instant word hit the media.
Every law enforcement officer—city, state, and federal—was called in. We were given gadgets that register radiation and assigned grids. Each person would drive his or her grid. If the meter went off, a team would be dispatched with equipment to pinpoint the emanations. Then the eggheads would dismantle the bomb.
That was the plan.
We were ordered to tell no one of the threat, but there were many surreptitious phone calls made that morning, telling family members to drive to West Palm Beach for the day. I made my own call, telling Jill that I had planned a romantic day for the two of us and asked if she would meet me in Boca Raton. I gave her the name of the hotel where I had made a reservation before calling her and said I’d be there by noon. She readily agreed, and now I know that she is safe.
So here it is nearing four o’clock and we’ll soon see if it was a hoax or not. The clock on the dashboard reads 3:59 . . . 4:00 . . . 4:01. Nothing! I’ll be damned, the whole thing was a . . .