I slid my freshly pedicured toes into my slingback Jimmy Choo's. They were the perfect compliment to the sexy little black Versace dress I was wearing, which by the way costs more than my mini-van is currently worth. The babysitter would be here any minute. Click, click, click. I made my way down the wood hallway and poked my head into my six year old twins room. With a kiss on their messy tow heads, I had tucked them safely in bed about an hour ago. I'd be back before they even knew I was gone.
Downstairs, I heard Melissa letting herself in the front door. “Looking good Mrs. H!” she called out to me as I carefully took the stairs in my 4 ½ inch heels. “Where's Mr. H tonight?” she asked. Melissa had been our faithful babysitter for the past two years. I relied on her a lot when “Mr. H” was out of town on business, which happened to be pretty much every other week lately.
“Jonathan is in Sweden this weekend at a conference. If he calls, remind him I had the Mentor Program's Charity Ball tonight. The twins are already asleep.”
“I'll take care of everything for you,” she reassured me.
“Thank you. I shouldn't be home too late.” I said as I locked the door behind me.
I only had to drive a few miles to meet the limo that would take me to the gala. But this was an entirely different gala from the one I had mentioned to Melissa. I was living a lie. My husband, my children, my neighbors...they all thought I was a stay at home mom involved with charity work. The true story is when the sun goes down and the stars come out, my work is just beginning.
My eyes adjusted to the dimly lit interior of the limo as my boss filled me in on tonight's activities. I had the best job I never had. Expensive clothes, insane shoes, a limo...what more could a girl ask for?
“You might need this.” he said as he handed me a small black clutch containing a tiny handgun, a lock picking kit disguised as a small manicure kit, and a blank flash drive. I pulled on the elbow length black satin gloves to cover my fingerprints. Finally, he presented me with a large diamond necklace containing a microphone and earrings that allowed my comrades to communicate with me.
I was transformed into an elite socialite from Russia. It helped that I had been a Russian foreign language teacher before I became a stay-at-home mom...before I became a spy. I could play the part and speak the language very well.
The limo driver opened my door and I stepped out onto the red carpet outside a multi-million dollar mansion. I glided up the stone stairway that was sprinkled with party-goers.
I thought of Jonathan and how he would have enjoyed this. I wondered how his conference in Sweden was going. Jonathan's job as product developer at Wexley Corporation took him to exotic locations around the world. But he was always happy to return home to his family. I couldn't ask for a more perfect husband and father. I felt guilty living this double life. But my country needed me. I was a secret agent. A real life Jane Bond.
Tonight an American spy was passing off top secret government intelligence information to an unidentified Russian Operative. And I was going to intercept it. Yeah, that's me. Soccer mom by day. Defender of America by night.
I made my way past the throngs of guests wearing overpriced designer gowns, tuxes and bad hairpieces. Speaking of hairpieces...I brought my hand up to check my own hair. Confident that my fiery red wig was perfect, I continued on my way across the room, mixing and mingling with the guests. I quickly spotted the American spy, watching as he made his way into the bathroom. The transfer would occur there. Everything was right on schedule. I hesitated for just a second to allow him to exit the bathroom, then slid unnoticed inside and locked the door.
“I am in the nest.” I said quietly into my necklace.
“Roger that, Robin. Grab the egg and let's fly this coop.” Larry's smooth voice whispered in my ear. He was our operations guy. He made sure nothing went wrong.
I took the manicure case out of my clutch and went to work on the locked towel cabinet. The door popped open and I quickly swapped out the flash drives. Closing the cabinet, I stood up and flushed the toilet for good effect. I swiftly opened the door to make my escape.
As I stepped through the doorway, I ran right into someone making their way into the bathroom.
“Prastite.” he said in perfect Russian as we tangoed in the doorway.
“Izvinite.” I replied as our eyes locked.
I was swept away in their familiar ocean of blue. I felt my knees weaken a little as I recognized the rest of his face in disguise. His blond hair was professionally covered with a dark hairpiece. Even his eyebrows had been darkened to match. A thin beard and mustache covered his cleanly shaven face that I had kissed goodbye yesterday as he left for the airport. The look on his face gave away that he was as shocked to see me as I was him.
“Robin, do you have the egg, over?” Larry's voice said quietly in my ear.
At that moment, I knew my future was hanging by a thread. I could say nothing and allow him to escape. No one would know he had been here. But I knew our lives would never be the same. I thought about the twins at home sleeping peacefully in their beds. There was only one thing to do. The right thing.
“Copy that. Mayday! Hawk in the nest.” I said remorsefully.
Jonathan looked at me one last time before he turned around and bolted for the cover of the mingling crowd. His eyes reflected mine. Sorrow. Guilt. Anguish. Regret. Love.