I thought we were heading for the border, but I was wrong… after a stop to Wally World to buy things for Milo, and a stop to mom’s safehouse, we went to the airport in Tulsa. The DCA Border Wall puts the Mexican Border Wall to shame. It’s like Great Wall of China of the West World.
Mom pulls up to the drop off curb at Air Canada Ticketing Terminal. She hands me a blue folder. Inside is a ticket a one way Quebec City and fake documents for Milo. His birth certificate says he was born in London, England and now my last name is Bardem? According to my new documents I was born in Madrid, Spain. I went to boarding school in England, just outside of London. Neither Milo or I have dad’s listed on our birth certificates. I have a different mom on mine… What is going on here?
“The safest place for you to be is in the DCA, but unfortunately, you can’t go there as my daughter.”
“And why not?”
“Tucker is smart, I could never pass you off as mine with a different dad than Zave. He knows me too well. The only child I would belong to your father.”
“I still don’t get-,” she cuts me off.
“You don’t need to have a thick Spaniard accent, it can be subtle. When you get compliments your English is really good, sell the boarding school in London, but throw in as a kid your mom took you to the RA a lot. And um, read the background profile I put in there for you, that will help you build your cover…”
“You put a lot of thought into this…”
“Well, you always have to be prepared for things to change. Now, there’s nothing in there about Milo’s father, you’ll have to come up with that, but keep it simple and model him after someone you would go for, you know… and if you give him a name, never come up with last name… just keep it at a first name, but don’t really talk about Milo’s father… Tucker or even Zave is the type to go track him down.”
I try to interject but she just keeps talking.
“The only person you can trust will be Tucker. He won’t be very trusting of you, which is fine… And you’ll want to break down and tell Zave you’re his daughter, but you have to promise me you won’t.”
I nod silently promising to keep the truth from the man I’ve dreamt of meeting my whole life. The way mom talks about him, she wouldn’t be a human being without ever falling in love with him.
“And avoid talking about London at all costs because you haven’t been there in a while. If you meet someone who knows the area well, unless you bring up the place and location, don’t agree with what they say.”
“Clearly, wait, I’ve been to London?”
“You were two, not a big deal… and um… if you ever have to leave the DCA, I left an email address you can contact me once. Don’t directly tell me where you’re going. Use that cipher we created when you were nine.”
“The Grimm Brothers’ Fairytale one?” I double check not understand typing childish gibberish could be useful and still translatable. I don’t even know if I remember how to use it…
“In case you forgot the cipher, I put a cheat code in the folder, for your eyes only.”
Moms think of everything.
She grabs be by the head, digging her hands into my wavy black hair, and she kisses me on the forehead, “I love you so much, you know that…”
“I love you too,” I say, trying not to sound panicked.
She let’s me go, “You don’t have to bring Milo…”
“No,” I say feeling attached to him already. Mom explained that since he imprinted on me, for the first few months of his life, if he’s away from me for than a week he’ll die.
“As soon as take down Guyon and terminate Project Hercules II, I’ll come for the two of you.” Mom promises. We both probably have that eerie feeling, she may never come for us.
We get out of the SUV and she helps me bring in my bags and the stroller while I carry Milo in his carrier. A courtesy escort takes over for mom inside by the ticketing. I set Milo down on the ground and reel mom in for one last hug. My eyes let loose the tear as I cry, preparing to forego life without my mom. Now, I’m supposed to tackle motherhood without her. It’s insane!
On my travels, everyone is super nice. Freakishly kind… even when I drop that I’m a teen mom, still overly polite to me.
I thought for sure on the flight, Milo would wail during takeoff and during landing, but he remained asleep in my arms. The Flight Attendants checked on me like every twenty minutes and worried about Milo’s uncanny ability to sleep all the way through a plane ride. It’s a good thing I can brush his peculiarity off and blame it on him being genetically engineered, otherwise their concern would have me panicked.
According to the lovely backstory mom came up with for me, I was born to disowned Spanish heiress. Her father owned a vineyard and had several business ventures in Spain, France, and England. She went to Madrid to pursue a career as a model but got stuck waiting table, after she got pregnant with me. That’s when her father took her back in, because of me, and I was spoiled to death.
My mother started working for my grandfather. When he started vineyard in the RA, he sent me and my mom out there to look after it. In middle school, I fell in with the wrong crowd and grandpa said boarding school was the answer to fix me. However, they were wrong… I stuck with the bad and go myself pregnant. I was shipped back to my grandfather.
A few weeks ago, I witnessed my grandfather’s death by Guyon’s men. For years, granddaddy was cutting deals with Guyon and his men. My mother’s been an informant for the RA, but becoming close friends with Mara, my real mom, she begged Agent Taylor to take me away and keep somewhere safe. This also includes baby Milo now too.
Tucker will tell his neighbors and friends that I’m the child of an old Interpol buddy who just died in the field. To ensure my safety, I’m to stay with Tucker until his Interpol buddy’s killer is caught and it is safe to say no one is after me. I really don’t know why I just could be the dead Interpol buddy’s kid, but then again, I’m not an official spy… I don’t know how weaving a web of lies convincingly works.
In the waiting area, a gray-haired man dressed in a navy blue suit, white button up, and a red tie held up a sign with me new name one “Elle Bardem”. Me and my courtesy escort walk up to the man I presume to be Colonel Benjamin Tucker.
“Elle and Milo Bardem?” The man asks in a raspy, monotone voice.
“Do I have to call you Colonel or can I just call you Tucker?” I wonder.
He takes the stroller from the escort, while he follows me to baggage claim. He’s definitely the quiet type. This will be interesting…