A Calculated Risk
rating: +112+x

The door to Observation Room 221-D opened, then closed with a muted click. The man who slipped quietly through walked slowly across the room to the table set up in front of the window, and fondly regarded the old, worn calculator propped up facing the outside.

"Hello," the man said by way of greeting.

IS THAT YOU? flashed across the digital screen, jerkily, as if in a state of excitement or agitation.

The man paused for a few moments before answering. "Yeah, it is."

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? scrolled across the screen. DO YOU HAVE ANY CLUE HOW LONG IVE BEEN WAITING?

"Yeah," he whispered, a sad look crossing his face.

Silence. What felt like an eternity passed under the slow ticking of the clock on the wall.

YOURE ALL BIG NOW. it showed.

"Yeah, I guess I am."

Another pause.

I GUESS THAT MEANS THAT WE CANT GO HOME ANY MORE.

"… yeah."

YOURE ALL IMPORTANT NOW, TOO. ITS NOT SAFE FOR YOU TO BE HERE.

"I know. I just… wanted to come and say I'm sorry."

FOR WHAT?

He paused again. "For everything, I guess. Mainly for being selfish. For not thinking of the future."

ITS OKAY. YOU WERE A KID.

They stood for several more minutes in silence, neither of them able to give form to the thoughts in their minds.

"I should go," he finally said. "I can't stay for very long."

WILL YOU COME SEE ME AGAIN? it scrolled, slowly.

"I will, I promise. For real this time."

YOU SHOULD GO SEE THE YARN. HE MISSES YOU.

The man gazed down at the worn calculator for only a moment more before quietly exited the room. The guard stationed at the door started as he walked by, as if waking from a dream.

"S-sir," the guard stammered as he scrambled to attention, his eyes resting on the gold-trimmed ID badge pinned to the man's chest. "I wasn't expecting…"

"Carry on, Agent."

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