It has been so good to get back to the writing. My mind has been going in all directions and needs a little focus. Hope you enjoy this:
They sat down in a rather plain room. Utilitarian table and chairs were surrounded by gray walls. Not what Ward had expected after the last go round. Pat sat on one side of the table and pointed to the chair opposite her. Since there was no reason not to sit, Ward did as he was asked. On the table there was a stack of manila folders each filled with papers. Slowly she picked a folder from the pile and handed it to him without saying a word. It was a test, everything they did here was a test, so he waited with folded arms for instructions.
“I want you to read what is in the file,” she opened it for him.
“That all,” Ward knew it wasn’t.
“For now,” and she smiled, “Yes.”
Three hours later he had read through about four of the files. No words had been spoken. Each time he had finished she had just handed him another folder. Each folder contained a mission or job that had been completed by one of the government agencies that tried to enforce the laws of the land. Some of the jobs had ended with what some would call a happy ending and the perpetrator going to jail. Some, most, were still open case files. All of them had to do with domestic violence and murder. None of them had been redacted, making the details all the more personal and horrific. When he closed the fourth file Pat finally spoke.
“Well,” and she leaned back in the chair.
“You picked these cases especially for me to read,” and she nodded slightly, “I also know that you have collected all the information you want to know.” When she said nothing Ward continued, “You wanted to know my reactions to these cases especially because of my mother’s death, but as you have seen, although I find these cases horrific, as anyone would, I will not let it affect my judgement or my feelings.”
“Some of our agents are put on cases like these,” she looked him straight in the eyes as she spoke, “We need to know that you can do the job no matter what you read.”
“You’ve been reading my mind from the moment you talked with me in the cafeteria.” He pushed the file back toward her, “I know I can. All I need to know from you right now is whether or not you think I’m good enough to continue in this program of yours?”