It is our understanding that your operation has undergone some significant changes in the past few months. Not least-
We now have the capability to intercept communications. Your phone call from Sam Williams (Tues 12th, 17:56), your email to John Cook (Wed 13th, 08:45), your email to David-sodding-Jackson (Wed 13th, 11:52). We have them all on tape, in a secure location. We know the when and the why.
Maybe ‘Sam’ or ‘John’ or ‘David’ – it could matter which one, if those were their real names, if they were even real people – was the man we met when leaving the club at three a.m. that time. The man had long hair and wore a tight t-shirt. He looked like a villain in an action film, muscle with bad direction. Whoever he was, you made no introductions. The two of you spoke for fifteen minutes. I wasn’t really listening.
How do these people know us? How is their business any of our business?
At some point the ‘us‘ and ‘our‘ switched from being me and you. Now my ‘us’ and ‘our’ is not yours. And I am not part of your ‘us‘ and ‘our,’ which is now you, plus, I assume, ‘Sam’, ‘John’, ‘David’… whoever.
It absolutely had to change. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t better before.
Once we had intercepted your communications, decoded them, analysed the situation… we came for you. We wanted to find out exactly what. We – myself along with the professionals who currently form my (and not your) ‘us’ – were hiding in the garden when you went out. We knew where you were going – I’m sorry my love, we knew exactly when you would be back. We had it covered. We examined your shed – which had turned out to be your centre of operations, the reason you were always sneaking off there to check on things, why you sometimes got up and went outside in the middle of the night. We obtained the evidence we needed, waited for you to return.
Sure enough you came back. I did not warn you that it was a trap – that was not part of our plan. But I could have made that decision myself, I could have implemented a plan of my own – my plan, not ours.
You went into your shed and commenced with your work, but we – really ‘them’, the professionals, under my instruction – had rigged up your shed so that it would fall apart at the touch of a button. It was somewhat comical, the way the roof was removed so quickly, like ripping off a plaster. Then the four sides just collapsed, and the entire structure of the shed was just lying flat across the garden, like origami that had been unfolded.
It took about three seconds. That was roughly how long you were given to understand that we were on to you.
You did well – you tried to behave normal, as if everything was just ok.
That was the first moment I considered that I might have been wrong.
I tried to remember how all this had started. I was thinking, then. Forgot and had to stop. And think about what. I had been thinking. Retraced my steps. Thought by thought. Back to the start. To what I had been thinking. Damn. I couldn’t believe I had done this to us.
They surrounded you, the professionals. They had firearms, which I thought was a bit heavy-handed, and which I hadn’t known about before, though if I had thought about it I could probably have guessed. I just watched from near the gooseberry bush. It started to drizzle.
I dissolved my partnership with them, there and then – my ‘us’ and ‘our’ was just me and me alone. And I didn’t see ‘Sam‘ or ‘John‘ or ‘David-sodding-Jackson‘ coming to your rescue, so I guess that your ‘us‘ and ‘our‘ was now just you. We were both outnumbered, it had been a long time since either of us was completely alone.
I would have realigned with you in a heartbeat, we could have reformed the old ‘us’, taken a holiday and called it a comeback tour. It was too late now, but we could have forgotten all about our tangled old alliances, gone away and started anew, reinvented ourselves, invented our own pronouns so nothing like this could happen again.