An Unfortunate Coincidence

An Unfortunate Coincidence

A Story by Eddie Gao

The short, saddening story of a relationship that ends abruptly in a rather unforeseen twist.



Jane peered over her copy of The Evening Standard at the man standing by the counter. Through the foggy, smoky atmosphere of the pub, she could see his dark hair and green eyes. It always impressed her how well MI6 knew the people they dealed with. They'd pinned his looks exactly in their files. She turned a page, quickly covering her blushing face in one swift motion. Even the mention of his loosely gelled back hair was suprisingly accurate. Pulling out a pencil, she scribbled a coded message on a corner of the newspaper, and ripped the piece of paper off. Swiftly tucking the paper under her arm, Jane sighed, grabbed her purse off the seat next to her and leisurely strolled towards the man. She had to get the list to headquarters, and only three hours to do so.

'Ah, Miss Moore. So, how may I help you?' the lady smoothed her checked apron. 

'Yes. I'd like a cold beer please.' Smiling, Jane briskly pushed the pile of notes across the counter towards the lady, as was their daily routine. The waitress picked up the money, counted through them and discreetly pulled out the piece of paper and read it. 'Mmm...thank you, Miss Moore. You always are so..." she hesitated as she thought for the right word, '...generous.' 

'Is that so?' The man's deep voice sounded out from across the bar. He shuffled closer towards Jane. 'Karl Huber here.' A grin had spread across his face.

'Hello Karl, what a pleasant surprise. I thought I was going to have to sit here all by myself,' Jane pouted her lip, immatating those young girls she saw in magazines. 


Music blared out of huge speakers far away, backed by the distant wailing of a police car siren as the couple strolled away from the pub. 

'Urggghhh, I feel dizzy.' Karl made an impression of vomiting, and Jane, giggling wildly, slapped his shoulders. 

'Oh stop it,' She pointed to the the source of the music. 'That was nothing!' 

Karl sucked in a breath of the freezing air, and pulled the collar of his coat further up his neck. The briefer’s rushed words still rang clearly in his head, despite the cloudiness the drinks had left in his mind. He had four hours to stop this western courier from delivering this  list of spies to British Intelligence, and here he was, wondering around Lambeth with a very pretty lady, drunk. 

‘Even so, you’ve got to admit it was fun!’ said Jane, while slumping down on some steps. Karl turned round and sat next to her, their hands clasped together. 

‘Hey, maybe someday...perhaps, we can do that again?’ his voice sounded deep and slurred. She quietly laughed to herself, then sighed, remembering her almost-forgotten task. ‘I would love to, but I’ve just remembered I have to get to something. I’m sorry, but I need to go.’ 

The two of them looked into each other’s eyes for a moment. It was only one spontaneous moment, but it felt like forever. Then, slowly, Karl leaned forward, and their lips touched. 

And for a second, Jane let herself go with it, falling down into the abyss people call love. 

The earth shifted, and she pulled away. ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean...’ Karl’s voice was shaky as he breathed in.

 ‘No, no. It wasn’t...shoot I’m forgetting how to speak.’ A nervous laugh, ‘Sorry, I need to go. I, sorry...’ Jane quickly walked away before she finished her sentence. Karl Huber stood up, and took off in the other direction, his pistol clinking, hidden in his pocket.


Karl Huber walked out of the dark alleyway into the street. The coffee had paid off, and he was feeling sober again. A gust of cold wind blew at him, and he regretted not wearing a scarf. The street was pitch black, cold, and completely empty, other than him and another cyclist cycling away from him. Karl wondered if that person, by any chance, was the suspect courier that Moscow had told him about. Worth finding out, he thought. All he had to do was stop the courier from getting to Vauxhall Cross with the list, in any way. He might as well shoot the damned man, for all the KGB cared. Running towards the moving cyclist, Karl cursed under his breath. 

Jane Moore pedalled the bicycle with all her might in the direction of headquarters. The street was pitch black, and genuinely cold. Her blond hair blew across her perfect face, her perfect features. Hearing the sound of running feet behind her, she pedalled even faster, eager to escape the frightening atmosphere of the empty place. Darkness engulfed everything, including her pursuer, which made it all the more harder to concentrate on the task that lay ahead. All of a sudden, behind her there was a piercing screeching noise, and the bicycle stopped moving. Jane could feel her heart thumping loudly through her coat as she carelessly tossed her high heels off and started running. There was no way someone could have known where and who she was, but still, the idea of it shocked and scared her to her very soul. Then two huge, heavy arms pinned her down from the back and stopped her in her tracks.

The courier was a woman. And the fact that there were also females working as spies or couriers suprised him. It didn’t matter. He needed the list. ‘You have a list on you, miss. And I need it.’ He grunted when the lady didn’t answer. Out of his pocket, he pulled out the pistol, and shot her once, twice in the back. Karl crouched down and turned the now limp body of the woman to face him. 

Shock, fear, pity, horror and love ran through his mind, and as he fully took in the sight before him, the crimson stain on the corner of her blouse started to drip. 

© 2012 Eddie Gao

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Added on September 3, 2012
Last Updated on September 3, 2012


Eddie Gao
Eddie Gao

Cambridge, AZ, United Kingdom

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