His operator

His operator

A Story by Haim Kadman

Chapter 14 of the thriller "An Irretrievable Step".


An Irretrievable Step

Chapter 14

Why didn't they instruct me to learn Italian all along these two years I wonder? It's a temporary stage my stay there I guess, though it could take a a few months, and then I'll have to move to another country. Doron wondered right after Dan left his apartment.

It's the parting with Tami that bothers me, and that's why I didn't ask him what I wished to know, and I just listened to what he’d to tell me. I'd better start packing Tami is coming in about an hour time, I'd better be ready mentally to meet her; and as for my doubts, I'll be wiser after the meeting with my operator in Milano. He summed up his problems up haphazardly

A short while after Dan left the messenger arrived; Doron tipped him and sent him off. He checked the suit and the jacket and the pair of pants; both were dark gray black almost, and suited him very well. He packed most of his cloths and whatever he needed and left the suitcase open on his bed.

Tami arrived at seven thirty eight and seeing his open suitcase right after entering her lover’s small apartment she was shocked, and she rushed to his arms with a pale face. She clung to him with all the might of her lithe body, and turned her face upwards with shut eyes, and with a heaving bosom.

Doron embraced her without a word, and thus they kept standing locked in each one arms several moments.

'Are you flying tonight Dudi?' She asked him with a shaky hardly audible voice.

'No I’m flying on Saturday morning.'

'I'll drive you to the airport.'

Doron moved his head slowly from side to side. 'No Tami tomorrow is our last day together.'

A silence ensued once again and they kept standing clasped in each other's arms.

'I'll wait for you Dudi no matter how long it will take…'

'I might perish out there…' He whispered in her ear, and kissed the tears that flowed down her cheeks.

At two hours forty five pm Jeremy Magdi landed at Milan's Malpensa airport. He passed the emigration authorities check without any difficulties and rather fast, picked up his suitcase, left the airport hall and lined up at the end of the short queue at the taxi station with some other passengers that have just landed with him. He had no trouble to explain his destination in English to the taxi driver, and was driven to his rented room within thirty five minutes.

He was welcomed very politely at the rental center office, by a female clerk that was speaking fluent English. He wrote his personal details in the reception's log, and was shown to his room by one of the center's porters. He tipped the porter and shut and locked his room's door right after the porter left.

In a quick short survey he checked his room's equipment; it was an impressive ebode compared to his small apartment room, which he has left just a few hours behind him. There is a fridge, a dishwasher, a kitchenette corner, an electric kettle, utensils, everything needed to prepare his own meals in his room, and after that quick survey he undressed and took a shower in the room's narrow shower cabinet. He had plenty of time till his meeting, and as he had lunch on the plane he wasn't bothered with hunger or thirst, and decided to rest a couple of hours before leaving his new abode; he could not know how long his planned meeting would take, as for unpacking his suitcase he will deal with it later, he had no need to rush things.

Three hours later after he woke up he unpacked his suitcase and hung his cloths in the cupboard and filled his drawers with the rest of his garments. The weather was not too cold when he landed, a jacket would suffice he thought as he dressed up; he took his passport and put it in the jacket's left inner pocket as he was advised, ready to go out. The time was six thirty pm local time when he left his room and went to the reception.

'Where's the nearest restaurant? He asked the lone middle aged clerk at the reception counter.

'At 21 Via Pergolesi a two minutes walk,' was the clerk's answer.

A cool breeze was blowing outside but Doron liked the refreshing feelings it endowed him with. The street was broad with impressive edifices on both sides, but it was a quiet neighborhood with a few pedestrians and the traffic was scarce.

It's a perfect choice according to my needs; they've put some thought in it. Doron realized impressed.

He had a light supper and pint of beer as he knew that he will have a second meal with his unknown operator at ten pm tonight. He went right afterwards to the town's center, which happened to be very conveniently close to his studio room, he strolled aimlessly to pass the time and looked for shopping stores, and any other stores that might answer his daily needs. He exchanged a few words in English with some shop assistants and salesmen, and learned a few more words in Italian meanwhile.

When he hailed a cab at nine forty five pm, he knew already how to address the cabby.

'La restorante El Buscia vi prego.' As long as he was not taken as a foreigner that speak Itaian, he knew that he will be driven right to his destination, without circling the town or any other deviations to augment the fare.

The restaurant was a two storey impressive joint. The late hour was chosen to save the need to reserve a table. Jeremy crossed its entrance and chose a table at the far wall opposite the entrance, not too far from the restaurant's bar. He sat with his back to the wall watching the entrance, and looked all around him from time to time. There were just a few guests here and there, couples mostly, and looking around again he realized that he was the only lone guest.

The stools next to the bar were deserted and no one crossed the entrance in the few minutes after his arrival.

A short while after ten pm a guest appeared at last on the restaurant's threshold. Jeremy watched him and threw a glance towards the bar, to see what the bartender is doing; luckily enough the latter was busy with washing goblets and glasses, and he won't the few seconds to witness his meeting with his operator.

Another guest appeared and entered the restaurant, it must be my operator and not a stranger that I’ve nothing to do with him. Doron thought encouraged, as he watched him entering the restaurant.

The stranger a bespectacled type with a bushy moustache went straight to Jeremy's table. As he got nearer he smiled and said: 'Ciao come sta?' (Hello how are you?) And a few more words in Italian to express his joy meeting his friend.

Jeremy stood up smiling shook that stranger's hand and was ready to sit down again, but the stranger nodded his head towards the second floor, and led the way to the staircase.

While mounting the stairs beside his operator, Jeremy looked him up. His guest was of medium height, about an inch shorter than himself, and some ten years at least older, in his mid forties no doubt. They mounted the stairs silently and all alone. His operator chose a third table from the staircase and they sat down next to it.

As they happened to be the only guests on the second floor, one of the bored waiters rushed to their table.

His operator ordered food and wine in Italian and the waiter left towards the staircase, and descended towards the restaurant’s main hall with their order.

'My name is Vito,' his operator opened up in English in a whisper almost, though the other waiter not too far from them, was out of earshot.

'Well you seem to have settled down without any problems, right?'

'Yes I'm okay.' Jeremy hastened to reply.

'Fine if you haven't brought ties with you, you'd better buy half a dozen not gaudy or too conspicuous ties, and don't roam around with an open collar.'

Jeremy nodded his head and waited, they heard the waiter footstep as he was climbing the stairs, and they kept quiet till waiter reached their table, and laid their dishes before each of them; a second waiter came along with the bottle of wine, which Vito ordered and he opened it up.

'Listen Jeremy,' Vito said as soon as the waiters went down again. 'We'll just learn to know each other better and talk shop on our next meetings. I've the phone number of your place and I'll call you in a day or two, meanwhile take care and 'Buon apetito'.

@ Haim Kadman 2017 �" all rights reserved.

© 2020 Haim Kadman

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Added on October 14, 2020
Last Updated on October 14, 2020
Tags: suspense, espionage, intelligence, departue, flight. landing, destination


Haim Kadman
Haim Kadman

Petach-Tikva, Israel

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