The world is full of people going places. Going places may not mean they are going to change the course of humanity or go down the lanes of history as an innovator or perpetrator of change. These are all people getting along with their lives, jobs, and families. Their ambition is to live another day; it can expand to live the next day better than today. These people must not be looked down on or ignored. Sometimes it is necessary to put away your dreams to live your life. Maddie Wilcox understands this very well. She understands this so well that she had never thought about the dreams she had to put off. For Maddie, her choices were not difficult. They were the next thing she had to do to live a fairly comfortable life. The same could not be said about her cousin. Brenda Nelson's favorite plaything was her mind more precisely her imagination. She could conjure tales more vivid than anyone of her age. She was also very perceptive: she knew if she divulged too much to her peers, she would be perceived as odd. She did not want that kind of attention. So, she played with her friends while yearning to be on her own. As she grew, life became busier, nonetheless, it was not any interesting. So, the little time she was left over after her job at the museum., she dedicated it to her fantasies. Only this time she was preparing for a time when she could realize her ambition.
Then again, life is hectic and one loses a sense of time. suddenly you are on the verge of forty and about to enter middle age where one tends to lose physical form. It was then that Brenda realized that though she does not hate her life, she can find great happiness if she chose to. She found that realization had dawned upon her at the best of times: her old man had passed away last year and her only other relative does not need her as much; she had trained her assistant to become competent enough to run the museum and she had no worthwhile romantic entanglements.
I imagine you imagine Brenda as the typical forty-approaching, chronically single, awkward sweater-wearing museum-geek with thick glasses. Yes, she has glasses but they are quite stylish. Brenda is someone who would be considered attractive by social conventions. Her friends are surprised as to why she does not entertain boyfriends. They have whispered whether 'boy' was not her type and they have made it abundantly clear to her that they had no qualms with her choices or lifestyle. Well, they are going to have a major problem- her new lifestyle. Brenda has decided to disappear. She is disappearing to become a spy. Aren't you happy for her? Some big spy organization has recognized her skills and has offered her a job. But wait, didn't you just tell us she has been turning her back on spy hood. Was this spy organization spying on her? In that case, what did she do that made her worth spying. Is she secretly a bad person? Does she have a past life that she has forgotten because someone wiped her memory.? No. does she have a past life like she was reborn. No. you idiot. Is she an alien? Does she work for a mob and knew nothing about it? Let me stop you right there. Brenda is 100% human with no mob or terrorist affliction consciously or unconsciously.
The fact of the matter is there is no spy organization to recruit her or a mentor to give her life-changing advice in a witty manner. Our Brenda has never even met a spy or anyone who knows the spy, knowingly. Now you want to know how Brenda unknowingly met a spy. It was at the groceries. Her apples fell. She was very clumsy that day. Agent Ramona picked the apples before going on her way to topple a foreign government. You did not know it but you people have seen it all over the news. Now, the more interesting story is when her Grandma Betty briefly dated Mr. Hugo her neighbor. Mr. Hugo was what we call the 'spy of spies. He was legendary, they called him 'the spy'. He was that adroit. It was unfortunate that he broke his hips and died after three dates. Grandma Betty took a new lover, a week after Hugo's funeral. So, we can say that Brenda has met two spies- one live, one dead. Brenda wants to become a self-made spy. She would be the first on Earth. I am not well informed about the other worlds to comment on the self-made spies there. And we cannot count nosy neighbors. They did not dream to become a 'nosy neighbor'. But Brenda did. Not a nosy neighbor! A Spy!
So, she sold her house, cashed out her banks, bought a office which would double as her sleeping quarters in a discreet neighborhood. She has been polishing her karate skills.so she was good to go. She gave her months' notice. Told her friends she was going on a cruise, and then a world tour. They wouldn't be hearing from her for some time. OH, they wanted to know everything: where she was going and the places she would visit. They wanted pictures. So, she told them she was going on a disconnected world tour. She shouldn't have done that. Her phone and social media were bombarded with questions. Is she dying? Is her cancer incurable. Is she going to commit suicide because of the cancer? This crisis made her think whether she was cut out to be a spy. A spy would have simply disappeared. She on the other hand announced a disconnected world tour to her friends when social media was omnipresent. She wrote to her cousin Maddie:
"Even when I am done with the tour I don't plan to return. I am not kidnapped. No. the kidnapper is not making me write this. Notice my hands are not shaking. I am not nervous. Nor am I a kidnapper or murderer writing in Brenda's place. Why did I refer myself in second person? You had a crush on your mailman. You stole from the prom fund. You had nose surgery. Your kid is not your husband's. I am not being tortured for information. So, I don't want you to send the police looking for me. I am not fleeing a crime scene. I have not murdered, robbed, or kidnapped anyone. So, I hope I have made myself clear.
PS. Maybe we will see the thanksgiving after next."
Maddie was worried upon receiving this bizarre letter but she had no choice but to burn the letter which incriminates her on many levels. She considered going to the police, then she thought it was best to let it go. Maybe she doesn't care for her cousin as much as she thought. If Brenda visits the thanksgiving next-to-next year, they are going to have a chat about writing revealing letters.
Having written this letter to Maddie, Brenda's mind was at ease. Her affairs will soon be sorted out and then she only has to vanish into her new existence. How lucky was she to have stumbled upon a mystery a few days after she had been pondering over a new career? Her discovery would have been much early, if only she had more confidence in her suspicions regarding discrepancies at her place of work. But her faith in Mr. Meadow, her employer, obliterated her qualms for the sake of their working relationship and her reverence of the senior Mr. Meadow who was her long-time employer before the younger took over the enterprise. The enterprise which she calls a museum might be misguiding for it was more an antique shop than a museum. But they do have permanent exhibits, some of which are quite valuable. They are involved with more resourceful museums in acquiring new artifacts and in return are allowed to display those at their humble place.
The puzzling matter was as follows: one day Brenda felt obligated to put early hours at work for she had business to done in the afternoon. For all the years she had never been to the museum a minute earlier than she must and there was no one about as she had expected. Curiously, the backyard seemed to have boxes that could have only been new items of historical importance. Mr meadow did not mention procuring any new items and in her rare excitement, she opened the box nearest to her. An obelisk. Did Mr. Meadow find a kind benefactor? Next, an idol of a Hindu goddess. The third box was Crown of Lady Glenda which had been stolen from the private collection of a Northern gentleman. Not allowing herself a moment to fret, Brenda began to pack the opened boxes, removed any signs of her presence. She was about to delete any acknowledgment of her presence on the only camera at the museum when she found the previously functioning camera disconnected; probably by the design of her employers, who she was convinced to have some role in this ploy. She had always known the younger Mr. Meadow to take some of the artifacts home but she never minded for these were returned the next day. She thought Mr. Meadow, being a very pompous man might be flaunting the treasures (not always his) to his friends and his many paramours. But she never imagined him to deal with stolen items. Oh, the disgrace! His dad's poor heart would be shattered. Thus began, Brenda's spying of Mr. Meadow Junior.
She had cameras hidden to observe his dealings. To her distress, she discovered that her place of work was in its after-hours brimming with illegal activity. Now that, she was entirely into the spy business and without a day job, she reviewed the many hours of tape. She now knows the days and times of the arrivals and departures of trucks carrying stolen goods. The museum functions mostly as a temporary storage place. She soon followed the numbers of the trucks and the persons involved. The network was vast and befuddling for it never seemed to lead her to any names or at least to any persons with the knowledge that they were participating in criminal activity. She may not be the most daring of spies for she always kept a safe distance and never let any of her interviewees even doubt her intentions. She attributed this to her newness to the field and having not built many connections to help her out, but the truth was that she was too frightened. She imagined every person to see through her disguises and her questions which could implicate them. Brenda's progress in the matter was slow and her belief in herself was wavering. But with every undetected interrogation or fresh discovery, she became more certain of her skills. Finally, she had enough evidence to at least prompt a police investigation. She was hesitant to drag the good name of Mr. Meadow Sr. She decided that she would send the police all evidence except the tapes of her employer. The police could discover on their own, without the tapes it would buy her some time to break the news of betrayal of the son to father.
Before she could inform the police, she has to remove all the cameras she placed. She cannot have them traced back to her and thankfully she had copied the keys of the museum. Fortune must be kind to her for Brenda faced no difficulties in procuring the cameras. She would have even gone undiscovered if not for Mr. Pint, the owner of the adjoining diner. She always thought him to be a sweet man with a love for mob stories.
"Brenda! Is that you or is old age clouding my poor brains?" Having being contented with Brenda's positive nod, he continued, "Why aren't you on that cruise? Are you well?"
"I am only here for today. I had to cut short my vacation upon hearing my cousin was unwell. But I was too hasty in action, she seems to be fit as ever when I saw her. I thought I might meet Mr. Meadow or Cadence before I leave town but they are unlikely to make an appearance at such an early hour. Well, I cannot wait any longer."
Brenda had to decline Mr. Pint's invitation to breakfast with him. On the way to her office, she dropped her evidence to the police, anonymously. Then, she waited for the events to unfold. First news broke a week afterward with the police thwarting one of the trucks on illicit duty. She was about to contact Mr. Meadow when she got distracted by a familiar face on television. It was the face of Little Jim, a worker at the museum who is responsible for the storage of items. His face had filled her tapes for he seemed to be the second in charge after Mr. Meadow Jr. He seemed to have come forward with information in return for an immunity deal. He admitted the museum to be involved in the recent crimes. He said he was coerced into a life of crime by a former employee: Brenda Nelson.
Brenda was amazed by the turn of events. It appeared that Jim had evidence against her and it must somewhat trustworthy as the police have issued a warrant for her arrest. Brenda was now a fugitive as well as a spy.
The police soon found that she was never cruising and Mr. Pint came forward to inform them that she has been seen in the premises of the now known criminal enterprise recently and Candence, her assistant was vocal about her suspicions from the beginning. Oh! Cadence! You spiteful creature. Much sympathy was received by the Meadows who were conned by their trusted employee. Mr. Meadow Jr. made it seem like she was the one running the museum business. She hastened to prove her innocence; she may no longer be able to protect Mr. Meadow Sr, not when his son was implicating her for his crimes. She thought she must gather more evidence before revealing them to the police. It was then that she made a startling discovery.
One of the long-time exhibits of the museum, an emerald embellished sword was reported missing a long time ago. This was before her or Meadow Jr. began at the museum. She started scrutinizing all the exhibits of the museum. Most of them seemed to have been reported stolen and there is no denying that Meadow Sr was involved. All love was lost and what remained was a strong sense to exonerate herself and begin new somewhere else. So, Brenda sent yet another anonymous package with the tapes, details of the Meadows travels and meetings. She even placed pictures of previous exhibitions in which the stolen items were seen for she was sure the Meadows would have moved them by now and these photos were proof that they owned stolen goods. Brenda was sure that the police would be able to identify that she was the one tipping them but she was not going to make finding her any easy.
Well, Brenda's first case was an incredible success. Father and son were brought to justice and their crimes went beyond Brenda's imagination. Her name was cleared and she was free to resume her business. She even has a new case-the mugging of Bellary Street.