You might be wondering who I am, what I do and why I’m writing this story down. And I must say that regardless of whether or not you take my word for it, it really happened. None of these events are faked nor are any of them imaginary. To sum me up, I was living the life of a single and dull man. I’m an average man who works at an office for some giant corporation. There was nothing remarkable about me. I was average looking, I had a slight gut from my lack of exercise and I had no remarkable skills or hobbies. I was average at my job and even more average in my choice of car. It was a beaten up, foreign-built, good on gas mileage, average car. It was even of a dull, neutral gray color. That’s not important. No what is important is that my life was dull and boring. I liked it that way. I hate unplanned things and my life was devoid of this. I had no family, no loved one and I hadn’t had a relationship in months.
My life was what most people hated, but I loved. I had planned on keeping it this way. Until the events of THAT day changed my life forever. Now, I’m one of the most interesting men on the planet and I hate it. I would give anything to have my old life back.
Oops, I got sidetracked. You asked who I was. My name is Bill, Bill Sheep.
Work was the same as always. I sat in my small, rectangular cubicle and filed paperwork on my computer. The day was turning out good, nothing surprising or unusual had occurred. It was my kind of day and I wasn't afraid to let out the bit of satisfaction that had been building in my gut. A small smile stretched the corner of my lip, and then was gone. Humor was something that went against my code of life. There was a knock on the outer wall of my cubicle and I spun my chair around to find one of my managers standing there. Jim, I think his name was. His name wasn’t important, his interruption of my life was.
“Yes?” I muttered turning back to my screen.
“You finish that file I sent you a week back?” His voice carried a hint of nervousness.
“Yes. I emailed it back to you….three days ago. Now if you-“He moved into my cubicle, setting of my inner radar for trouble.
“You weren’t supposed to send it to me. You were supposed to send to Chuck, our sectional manager.” It sounded like he was complaining, and I didn’t care about his troubles.
“I followed your instructions as you told me. I’m not responsible for any mistakes.”
“I don’t think you understand.” Suddenly in front of me, closing the distance between us, and man was he big. He must have worked out several days a week or something, or hit those pills....what were they called again? Steroids! Yes, he must be slipping himself a few each morning with his coffee. Regardless, he was violating my personal space and it was beginning to get uncomfortable.
I sighed, regretting that my streak of boring days would be broken. “Please scoot back.”
“Or what?” His fist closed around my collar and I sighed again.
“Or…I can’t do what you ask.”
“Oh.” His fist loosened its hold and let go altogether.
With a few strokes on my keyboard and a click of my mouse it was done. “There, done.”
“Good, I’ll find you something else to do soon.”
“Great,” I whispered under my breath.
The rest of the day seemed to go by in a blur. I was invited by a group of coworkers to lunch and I politely declined, preferring my solitude and plain sandwich with a fruit snack to their fast food. Then before I knew it, the time to leave for home had arrived. I gathered my things and shrugged into my coat. I walked through the halls, weaving in and out of my coworkers who were making plans for the week, to the elevators. I picked the middle one since it appeared to be vacant. Stepping in, I was greeted by Jim who was talking with a female coworker. Great, well at least he doesn’t seem to have seen me-
“Oh hey, Bill!” Well so much for that thought. “I was just talking with Sally here-“He squeezed her shoulder lightly. “About how you saved my bacon earlier today. I thought I was toast; but, this little guy-”
Suddenly it was awkward as Jim nonchalantly slid his arm around my shoulders and began squeezing. It was both painful and uncomfortable. I squirmed, trying to escape but he only tightened his grip.
“Didn’t ya Bill?” I nodded meekly, glad to help him further inflate his alpha male ego. I was rewarded when Jim idled over to where Sally was and they were once more in deep conversation.
The rest of the ride turned out to be dull as Jim was deeply engrossed in conversation with Sally, which suited me just fine as the less I had to do with Jim, the better I felt at the end of the day. The elevator stopped and the doors slid open with a soft ding. Jim scooted by me, practically dragging the poor girl along with him. Just before he exited the elevator he squeezed my shoulder tightly, eliciting a wince from me as I felt pain flare up the enclosed shoulder.
“See you tomorrow Bill. Have a nice night!” His tone was warm and friendly which was in complete contrast with the constricting grip on my shoulder that slowly eased and faded as he let go and walked out into the garage before getting into his convertible and then speeding off into the night, leaving a trail of tire marks.
“Well, glad that’s over.”
I walked towards my completely ordinary car, a simple clunker that was alright on gas mileage and got me from point A to point B without much complaint or need for work. Which suited me just fine, I felt no need to be flashy or eye-catching, normal and ordinary was fine with me. I pulled into the night, much slower than my manager. The drive was uneventful and was soon over with as I pulled into my driveway. I turned the key and shut off the engine. Reaching across the center console, I grabbed my briefcase when I noted a van a few streets down. Ignoring it, I climbed out of the car and shut the door. I pressed the locking mechanism and was rewarded with two sharp chirps.
I was putting the key into the lock when I felt a presence behind me. Turning around I was surprised to see not one, but two extremely muscled men, almost to the point of ridiculous, standing behind me in two expensive suits. Their eyes were hidden behind a pair of dark shades but I didn’t need to see their eyes to know from their postures that they meant business. Swallowing my Adam’s apple, I turned the key and started to open the door only to have it frustratingly pushed shut.
“Mr. Sheep, we need you to come with us.” One of their hands closed around my arm with a vice-like grip and they started tugging me towards the white van.
“What do you want me for? I’m completely useless. I’m just an average, ordinary man. If you want someone to take, take my manager, Jim. I can give you his address…” I gave up pleading when I noted they were ignoring me completely, as if I wasn’t there.
My need to live outweighed the stupidity of my next action as I kicked at the leg of the one holding my arm. I was rewarded when he released his grip and I took off running down the street. I could hear yelling and the sounds of doors being slammed shut before an engine roared to life. I could feel the van closing behind me and I spurred my tired, aching body on. My lungs ached, my muscles burned and cramped, but still I pushed myself.
Exhausted, my body’s puny energy stores spent, I stopped and turned. The van was closing in fast; I could see the grim looks of determination in the two muscled goons’ faces. I resigned myself to my fate and they could see my surrender and were grinning, sensing an easy victory. One of them turned and looked to the right and motioned for the other to slam on the brakes. It was then that I heard the roar of another engine. An expensive, sports car roared across a lawn and then the tires screeched as the car slid to a stop in between me and the van.
The door flew open and a beautiful woman with dark, luscious hair and suit that hid her figure but hinted at curves motioned for me to get inside. I felt myself staring while a faint echo was tried to pierce the cloud my head was in. Finally with a shake to clear the thick mist, I could hear.
“Get in the car if you want to live.” Little did I know these words would change my life forever.
“Are you sure you have no idea why they’d be after you?” The attractive woman was appearing immensely frustrated with my answers and I couldn’t blame her.
I sighed, leaning back in the chair and wishing I was anywhere but here. “No. I don’t even know who they are. Let alone why they’d want me.”
Here happened to be an abandoned warehouse somewhere fifteen minutes or so out of town. The warehouse was one of the older buildings, complete with leaking pipes and puddles that never seemed to completely dry up. I swear I heard the odd mouse or two as well. Which about the closest guess I could come up with considering how reckless she was driving and the fact we probably broke several speeding violations. Of course she ignored my complaints and recommendations about driving a little safer and questions of ‘didn’t she value her life?’ by shifting gears, causing another roar from the engine and an extra burst of speed. I was having trouble focusing. The sense of danger, the exhaustion from the adrenaline, it was all beginning to take its toll on my body. I just wanted to sleep; but, she seemed intent on trying to get something out of me. What it could be, I had no idea. I just wanted to go home and sleep. I was having trouble focusing. The sense of danger, the exhaustion from the adrenaline, it was all beginning to take its toll on my body. I just wanted to sleep; but, she seemed intent on trying to get something out of me. What it could be, I had no idea. I just wanted to go home and sleep.
“You can’t go home now.” And now apparently she’s a mind reader.
I tried to hide my shock and surprise at her ability to easily discern my inner thoughts…and failed. “And why not?”
“Shouldn’t that be obvious?” She seemed to be becoming extremely frustrated with my lack of cooperation. Again, I don’t even know what’s going on. How can I even begin to know how to help?
I ponder this question carefully before shrugging. “No. Well…maybe to you.”
She rolled her eyes at me and proceeded to slam her palms on the table. “It’d be the same to anyone with half a brain.”
“So….you’re saying I have half a brain?” Where exactly were we going with this conversation?
“No.” She grunted, rolling her eyes again. “Listen..okay? I’m saying that you shouldn’t go home because that’s where they’re going to look for you. Understand?”
“Are you stupid?”
“No. Just confused.”
“Is there a difference?”
“Depends on where you’re from.”
She groans again and begins pacing back and forth. “I’m trying to help you here; but, you’re not really giving me much of an opportunity to do so.”
“I can see that and I appreciate it.” I adjust the collar of my shirt, not really sure what else to do in light of the current situation. “I don’t really know what we’re talking about.”
“So…you are stupid then. Or extremely oblivious.”
“I’d prefer extremely oblivious.”
“Okay, let me try this again.” She lowers herself carefully in the chair and gives me a look that says she’ll kill me if I interrupt her. I smartly choose to stay quiet.
“Those men in suits back there want you. I’ve had dealings with them in the past and they always choose someone for a particular reason. I’m trying to figure out what that reason is. If you can tell me that, I can better understand how to help you.”
I lean forward and say with a painstakingly boring tone, as if lecturing an infant. “And…I told you. There is nothing remotely interesting about me. I’m entirely plain. Boring. Drab. Dull. Take your pick of any word found within the known English dictionary using a similar definition of those words and that’s what I am.”
“You’re being serious?”
“As serious as the expression on my face.”
“You don’t have an expression at the moment.”
She lifts and eyebrow and rubs at her temple. “I’m confused.”
“Easy to see why.”
“It is?” She tries to determine if I’m serious and I simply give her a nod in confirmation.
“You’re trying to understand something that doesn’t exist within your usual, active, exciting lifestyle.” I took her silence as encouragement to continue. “Therefore, you can’t understand the fact that someone would choose a boring lifestyle with absolutely no excitement in it.”
“I still don’t get it.” I shrug in apology, at a loss for options as well. She shifts awkwardly in the silence, fidgeting with her wedding ring. “Regardless, you’re now a target for them and I guess we-“
I can’t help but interrupt. “We?!?’
“Yes, we!” She gives me a glare that warns me to remain quiet or she’ll find a way to shut me up permanently. “Anyways, we need to find out why and then from there, figure out how to keep you safe.”
“You know, you never told me your name.”
She looks up, curiosity coloring her facial expression. “I didn’t?”
“No.” I take that as a sign to introduce myself. “I’m Bill, Bill Sheep.”
She looks at the hand as if were a live grenade and I withdraw it for fear of its safety. “My apologies Mr. Sheep, I’m Mrs. M.”
I couldn’t hide my surprise again. “You’re married?”
She couldn’t hide the angry tone in her voice as she retorted. “Yes. Gotta a problem with that?”
“Nope, was just curious. Never met a spy who was married before.”
“Yes, well. You’re not the first and probably not the last.” She shifted in her seat, her expression serious again. “Well now that we have introductions out of the way, perhaps you could tell me if anything interesting has happened in the past few weeks.”
I thought, like really thought, for probably the first time since high school. “Nope.”
She groaned, her fingers working furiously at her temples. “This isn’t going anywhere.”
“Look,” I was reaching for straws, stirring the cobwebs in my brain to think of anything that might help. “Well, there was this one thing today….”
She actually looked hopeful for the first time since we’d began. “Yes?!?"
“Nevermind, it’s nothing important.”
She climbed to her feet, her expression frustrated and with a muttered ‘I have to make a call’, she left the room. I was left in the awkward, parting silence to try to figure out why my life had to go from being normal to semi-exciting. I didn’t like it. I didn’t want it and I’d do anything she said if it meant I could go back to it.