Kickoff written by WillMorgan

The Untold

You thought you knew him. You were wrong.

I can't say that everything was completely normal.

I spotted him from across the street, sitting there at the corner table, in front of the restaurant, his back to the window, eyes moving as though he was always on the look out.

I always thought it was kind of cute, the way his eyes narrowed and flitted here and there - like a meerkat. Like one of those cute meerkats that keeps a look out while his friends are eating. I thought it was just a tick, or a twitch.

I looked right and left and crossed behind a taxi that blared its horn at me for no reason. That's when he spotted me. I caught his eye and he beckoned me over quickly, his smiled flashing only for a moment before it faded from his lips.

'Is everything alright?' I asked, sitting down. He scooted closer to me and leaned in. I could see now that his face wasn't the usual cool, chiselled marble, but drawn and gaunt, as though he'd had a fright. My throat tightened.
'James, what is it? What's wrong?'

I feared the worst. A 'it's
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not you, it's me' sort of conversation that would end with tears and heartbreak.

'What is this, James? Tell-'

'Shhh,' He hissed, closing his eyes and dragging in a solemn breath. 'There's no easy way to say this,'

'Oh god, you're breaking up with me, aren't you?' I bleated. A pang of anger rose in me. Just last week, he'd said he loved me so much that it hurt. So much that he wanted to run off together, and live in a straw hut on a beach, just him and me. What a fool I was. I believed it, like some sort of stupid lamb being led to the slaughter.

'What? No!' He said exasperatedly. He snatched my hands up and held them together in his so tightly that I could feel my blood throbbing in them. 'I love you, Eleanor - more than words can express.'

I tore my fingers from his iron grip, my consternation icy. 'Then what is this?' I demanded. 'Is there someone else? Is that is?'

Fire flared in his eyes. 'For god's sake! Just let me speak!' He rasped in a tone I'd never heard before, the slightest
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fleck of a strange and alien accent creeping into his words.

I was taken aback.

I'd never heard that voice before.

He settled a moment later. 'I don't know how else to say this, and I'm sorry. I'm not who you think I am.'

'What do you mean?' I narrowed my eyes back at him now, measuring him in every capacity that I could.

'I can't explain any more. It will just put you in danger if I do. They're coming for me, but I couldn't leave without saying goodbye. I had to see you, to warn you. They'll come for you too. Eleanor, I love you, so much... I'm sorry-'

And with that, he pushed back from the table and stormed away, shaking his head and muttering curses under his breath.

I couldn't help but follow, like a lost puppy. 'James! James!' I called.

He stole a glance over his shoulder and tried to bat me away with a gesture. I couldn't give it up that easy. We'd been together for four years! Four years of happiness, of... of... perfection.

'James-' I called again, this time, the word
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dying in my throat.

Two men in dark suits materialised from a doorway, blocking his path.

They held their hands up for him to halt, and he did.

In a moment of serenity, he was still, hands aloft. The two men, broad and tall, with hands hovering to dive to belts and bulges that could only be concealed pistols.

'Give it up, now.' One said coldly. He wasn't asking.

'Fellas, I don't know what this is, but you've got the wrong guy.' James said coolly, grinning from one to the other.

The other scoffed. 'Yeah, sure, like we're falling for that. Now, hand it over.'

James sighed and his shoulders dropped. His posture changed and his heels slid apart almost imperceptibly. 'Ok, ok.'

He reached backwards, for his pocket.

'Slowly!' The suit hissed.

I hung back, just out of view, shielded by the crowds of people in the street.

In the time it took for a person to pass between us, they were both on the ground, groaning and clutching their heads.

And James? James was gone.
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