The Different Names of an Immortal

Submitted into Contest #26 in response to: Write about a character who goes by many different names throughout their life.... view prompt

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General

I was born Ester Marie Clarke in the year 1900. I grew up the only child in a rich family. At the age of twenty-one I was in a car accident in which I died for ten minutes. This accident caused me to stop aging. I lived with this secret for ten years before I was approached by special agent Thomas Lacky.

              “I want to offer you a job.” Agent Lacky showed up at my home. “We know about your inability to age and we think it could come in handy for the agency.”

              “What do you mean?” I played dumb. “I am just a secretary for my uncle’s company.”  

              “In the past ten years you haven’t changed. Not a grey hair or even a wrinkle. Join us and we will keep your identity safe and will give you the documents to change your identity every ten years.” Agent Lacky handed Ester a card that only had a phone number. “Call this number and we will get you trained.”

              I called the number and the next day I was sent to what I thought was an abandoned bar. Inside, the building looked anything but abandoned. The building was broken up into two parts. In the first part of the building was a metal desk that sat at the front door. The second part of the building was hidden by a heavy wooden door.

              “Hello.” A petite blonde with sky blue eyes sat at the desk. “How can I help you?”

              “I was told to come here. I’m Ester Clarke.”

              “Oh, Mr. Lacky and Mr. Brooks are waiting behind that door.” The petite blonde smiled and pointed towards the door.

              I opened the door to find Agent Lacky and a man I had never met before. The other man was tall and had slicked back black hair. He had brown eyes the color of chocolate ice cream on a summer day. He looked to be in his mid-twenties.

              “Nice to meet you Ester.” The man with the black hair greeted me. “You can call me agent Brooks.”

              “You will no longer be referred to as Ester. For the next ten years, your name will be Mary St. Claire.”  Agent Lacky handed me my new papers.

              “What will I be doing?” I asked the two men in front of me. “I am not really trained to be an agent.”

              “We will train you to be an agent and then we will send you on missions, possibly out of the country.” Agent Lacky told me.

              

 

              Within six months I was trained and sent to France for my first mission. I was sent with agent Brooks to look for a missing agent that had not been heard from in days.

              It had been my first plane ride and I was nervous. While planes had been a thing for a few years, I never had a need to ride in one. Agent Lacky and Agent Brooks had prepared me for everything but flying.

              “You look nervous?” Agent Brooks said right before takeoff.

              “I’ve never flown before.”  I mumbled.

              Agent Brooks rolled his eyes. “You’re going to be fine. I have flown ever since air travel became open to the public.”

              “I just needed to be distracted, that’s all. Hand me the case file so I can look it over.”

              Agent Brooks hesitated but ended up handing me the file. I read over it as the plane was taking off. I tried focusing on the case, but the fear of flying made it impossible. I spent the plane ride looking around anxiously, which annoyed agent Brooks. Agent Brooks held my hand and let me squeeze it when we hit turbulence.

               

              The plane ride was the worst part of the whole mission. Within twenty-four hours we had found the missing agent and took down a smuggling ring. Within forty-eight hours I was back on the plane on the way back home. Within seventy-two hours I was being debriefed by Agent Lacky and another agent I had never met before.

              

              By the time of my next name change, I had gotten into a routine. I would go on a mission and then come back home to be debriefed. A month later I would go on another mission and the routine would repeat. I even had started to get use of the plane rides.

              The hardest part of the name changes every ten years was remembering my new name. I would get use to one name and then I would be given another. Agent Lacky gave me my next new name, Edith Blake, and he continued to give me my new names until he retired.

              It had been my time as Edith Blake when I met Henry Sheppard. He had dirty blonde hair with brown eyes that looked like amber in the sunlight. He was twenty-four at the time. I was on a mission in Paris, France. I was undercover as a model, looking for a human trafficker. Henry Sheppard was the son of the head of the human traffickers.

              He seemed to be taken with me. Every time I had a photo shoot, he would be with some terrible excuse. He looked at me differently than he did the other models, like he had a soft spot for me. I was instructed to use that weakness for my gain.

              I went on a date with him in order to see what information I could get out of him. Going on a date felt weird after not having a date since I stopped aging. It turned out his father kept him in the dark on the illegal activities. For a second I felt like a normal girl, and I felt that way until I woke up the next morning.

              I met with Agent Lacky, who was also undercover in Paris and I told him Henry Sheppard knew nothing about his father’s human smuggling. Agent Brooks didn’t believe me.

              “Are you sure you aren’t blinded by feelings for him?” Agent Brooks asked, sitting in front of me at the café. “He is pretty handsome.”

              “I have worked with you for over ten years now. You should know that the mission always comes first.” I said angrily. “I know better than to fall for someone, after all I can’t age.”

              “I am sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. It was just hard to believe he doesn’t know anything. He seems to be around his father’s business all the time.”

              “What about you? Have you gotten anywhere on your side?”

              “There looks to be another group of people being smuggled in tonight. I wrote the address down for you.” Agent Brooks handed me a slip of paper.

              “Answer a question for me.” I slipped the paper into my bag and stood up. “What is your first name? Ten years and I only know your last name.”

              “Robert.”

 

              I always thought about how I would never be able to grow old with someone. Knowing this made me distant and at times it made me sorrowful. Coming home from a mission always made the heartache stronger.

              When I got back from Paris, I felt this pain the hardest. I was wrapped up with a blanket, reading a book when I received a knock on the door. Agent Brooks was standing at my door holding a bouquet of red roses. He was disheveled as if he had run all the way here from the agency building.

              “What is going on?” I asked the man in front of me.

              “I have spent ten years secretly loving you and seeing you talk about Henry Shepard was the last straw. I knew I had to tell you after that.”

              “It can’t work between us. I will be twenty-one forever and you will continue to age. You will die and I will not. I have grown to care for you, just as you have grown to care for me, but what can really happen between us?”

              “I know you won’t age, and I don’t care. I love you and I will spend what time I have to be with you.”

              I placed a hand on his check and then leaned up and kissed him. The kiss felt warm on my lips, like the sun on a warm summer morning. It had been a long time since I kissed someone, but this was the best kiss I had ever had and will ever have.

              “Give me time to think about everything.” I slowly broke away from the kiss.

              “I brought this for you.” Agent Brooks handed me the rose.  

              “No one has given me flowers before.” I blushed. “They are beautiful.”

              “I should get going. I have an early morning tomorrow, I just wanted to tell you how I felt.”

              I looked out my window, to see Agent Brooks walking down the street. I watched as he turned the corner, and a smile grazed my face knowing that this handsome man wanted me. He knew all about me and still he wanted to spend the time he had with me. This feeling of joy never faded, until agent Brooks died.

              

              I dated Agent Brooks until his untimely death, ten years after he confessed his feelings for me. I was under my new name, Margert Davis. We were working a mission in Los Angeles, California when Agent Brooks got shot by Henry Shepard. Henry Shepard was not as good a guy as I had assumed, and I knew I would have to leave with that for the rest of my long life. The only comfort I got was not having to see Agent Brooks grow old.

              I got pay back for Agent Brooks by killing Henry Shepard. It was a rainy day in Paris, France when I snuck my way into Henny Shepard’s office. It took only a few minutes to kill him and then get out of the office before anyone knew anything had happened.

              I fell into a depression after Agent Brooks death. I got the notion of leaving the agency after agent Lacky’s retirement the same year of Agent Brooks’ death. I felt I had served my time for my country and was ready to go into hiding.

               Months before his death, Agent Brooks and I would lay in bed and talk about leaving the agency together. We talked about faking our deaths and going to a cabin in Montana. He had even bought a small cabin in a small Montana town.  He had a plan on how to get me out of the agency and I was prepared to use it.

              

              Margert Davis was the last name I used with the agency. The now retired Agent Lacky came back for my last mission to help me fake my own death. I had also made many contacts in my life, many of which I used to get out of the clutches of the agency.


              I go by the name Ester Brooks now. I have lived for 100 years and have had many names. Ester Brooks will be my last name I will ever go by.

February 01, 2020 00:38

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1 comment

Lisa Verdekal
13:12 Feb 06, 2020

A few thoughts that came to mind while reading your great story. I think it should be longer than 10 years before they notice her. Some people can age very slowly. ANYWAY, well done. This could be a much longer story! There is a book with the same idea about not aging by the author who wrote "The Boy in the striped Pajamas", John Boyne. Totally different plot though etc, but might be fun to read for you.

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