I really wanted sweet tea, but in that area, sweet tea wasn’t a thing. Not sure why, it was a bit ridiculous if you asked me. So, I settled for a glass of water. I sat there, sipping on this water, while the other two tossed fond memories back and forth.
Somehow, one of the memories triggered another memory of his time in the army, or special forces. I forget which. The restaurant was full, people passed by without glancing at us. He watched as they passed. It was when he leaned over the table towards us and started whispering, that he caught my attention.
Apparently back in the day, he worked on some top secret something around the town. I can’t remember all of it, but someone built something toxic. He kept using words like, ‘off the record’ and ‘top secret’. Or phrases like, ‘no one knows this’ or ‘I’m not supposed to talk about it’. I distinctly remember thinking, “Then you probably shouldn’t tell us,” for both of our sakes. As he continued talking, I glanced out the windows to see who exactly was watching. I was convinced then, that there were snipers trained on us. At any second, we could all be taken out and it would be covered up. Just for the sake of this secret.
He continued with his story and the more I thought about it, the more unsettling it all became. I was beginning to sweat. I wasn’t even really sure what he was talking about, but my throat suddenly became parched. I sipped on my water to ease the nervousness. I think it would have helped if his next words hadn’t been, “Well, then it leaked into the ground and got into the water system. People died.”
I choked on the water.
He leaned in even closer to finish the story. I had decided it was too late for me anyway, what with just being poisoned and all. I leaned in, if I was going, I needed to know why. He was hushed as he whispered, “But that wasn’t all—”
About that time, our pager that was laying in the middle of table went off. It vibrated so hard, it danced across the table. The sound of the vibration was ten times louder than any pager I had ever heard. All three of us shot three inches out of chair, I almost fell out of mine. It was all I could do to keep from screaming in the crowded restaurant.
I never thought I’d go out like that. I just knew the bullets had started flying.
We sat there for a moment in stunned silence before the other two started laughing. I grabbed the pager and headed for the counter, that was one story they could finish without me.