John Edward Reynolds hated mornings. It’s not that he wasn’t a morning person, he was, it was that nothing surprising or even interesting ever happened in the morning; or so he had thought until this morning. Sat in the back of a taxi with a well-packed suitcase and enough food to last him all week, he still couldn’t quite believe what had happened. Maybe it was arrogance, but he had never even considered the fact that his wife might accuse him of having an affair. He knew he had been acting strangely, he knew he had been sneaking around and he knew he was raising suspicion; what he didn’t know and didn’t guess was the conclusion his wife would come to. Not for the first time in his life, he had underestimated his wife and now he was having to pay for that mistake.
The taxi journey was not nearly long enough for John to arrange his thoughts. By the time he was pulling up outside of the office, he still had 20 or 30 emails to read, five or six texts to reply to and a couple of phone calls to return, he also had to decide what to do about his wife and prepare for the four meetings he had that day. As he paid the taxi driver, John found himself feeling something unfamiliar, he wished he could curl up in a ball and hide. Instead of hiding, John did what he always did; he strode into the building ignoring everyone around him. He strode into the lift, thankful that he was the only occupant. He strode out of the lift, avoiding eye contact with the few of his employees who were there. He strode into his office and slammed the door behind him. Once inside the security of his private office John Edward Reynolds sat at his desk, put his head in his hands and sighed.
Before there was time to fully regain his composure, there was a knock on the door,
“Sorry Mr Reynolds,” the team secretary poked her head around the door, “there is a guy at reception downstairs to see you, they’ve sent him up.”
John didn’t look up. He listened as the secretary tiptoed away and gently closed the door.
“There’s no rest for the wicked,” John said under his breath as he got up to meet Billy at the lift.
To say John was finding the morning difficult would be an understatement, he was struggling to focus on anything at all and that was a problem because he needed to focus. He knew that the file he had retrieved from the taxi driver was important, he needed to watch that DVD urgently, and as he placed it in the CD tray on his laptop he knew that it would contain exactly what he needed. He knew these things, but still he was finding it difficult to focus his mind.
As the screen of the laptop changed from his generic background to the blackness before the recording, John found his mind instantly jumping into serious mode. The recording had started, but at first John couldn’t see anything; the screen was dark. As his eyes started to make sense of the darkness, John could see the faint outline of the inside of an office. He could see desks and computers and empty chairs; this video had been made at night. For a few minutes there was nothing, the camera was still and there was no noise or movement. Then in the corner of the screen, he saw something. There was someone moving, they must have just come through a door because they weren’t there a second earlier. As the person moved around the darkened office, they gradually got closer to the camera. John was straining to see if he recognised the person. As they passed a window, John caught a glimpse of their blonde hair.
John kept watching and saw the person moving around the office in the darkness. They were walking from desk to desk, inspecting the computers. Occasionally the figure would disappear under a desk for a minute or two and then re-emerge and continue their walk. John watched as the person, who he could now see clearly was male, made his way to a computer nearer the camera. He watched and clearly saw the man under the desk. He appeared to be attaching something to the hard drive. After a couple of minutes of fiddling with wires, the man got up and walked past the camera. John paused the DVD. Rewound it a few seconds. Played it. Paused it as the man’s face came into focus. “I have him,” John grinned with achievement.