The man rushed into the building, hit his fists on the receptionist’s counter and yelled:
-WHERE IS SHE?
The receptionist, an averagely pretty woman in her 30’s with fake fingernails, red glasses and a ponytail, was startled.
-Sir, I don’t underst…
-WHERE IS SHE? WHERE’S MY WIFE?
-I KNOW SHE’S HERE! GIVER HER BACK TO ME
-If you don’t calm down I’m going to call security.
As soon as she said that, a strong man in a black suit approached.
-Is everything ok here?
The man looked his opponent with wide, crazy eyes, and sobbed
-My wife…I want my wife back…
The security guard was unmoved
-Sir, if you don’t calm down, I’ll have to ask you to leave.
The man noticed that his hand reached into his jacket’s inner pocket. Not now.He was tired, angry and slightly drunk. Maybe Margarida wasn’t here. Maybe he was insane with grief. Maybe he should get himself together before he did anything stupid.
-I’m sorry- he told the receptionist-I had a horrible month.
The smile she gave him was devoid of feeling
-How can I help you?
-My wife….she’s been missing for a month now. The cops couldn’t find any clue, and I think they filed the case already, the assholes.I found a card from this company in her belongings, and she called this number from her cell phone several times before disappearing…
-Ok.What is your name sir?
The bitch’s indifference was unsettling.
She typed something on her computer.
-Henrique W. Fausto?
-You are here earlier than expected; your appointment is only at 4 o’clock. You can come back later or wait here.
Henrique was confused. He didn’t schedule any appointment, did he? Did he even call them? If he did, he didn’t remember it. He rubbed his eyes with his fingers.I’m so tired.
The reception had several blue office chairs bolted to the ground. In a basket, some magazines and books, on a corner a water cooler next to a table with plastic coffee cups, sugar and a thermos. The TV on a support next to the ceiling showed an old movie with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves. He took a sit and wondered if he was doing the right thing. The place looked so normal, like any other regular company. He took the business card from his pants pocket.
New Life Trading Company. Specialized services.Paulista Avenue 1266.
Just another office amongst the numerous others in São Paulo’s most expensive avenue. What am I doing here? The man looked at his watch.3:17 pm.He let out a sigh and examined the other…clients? They were a diverse bunch.A white, fat, balding man in an expensive Italian suit, a black army lieutenant with eyes filled with fear, a Chinese old lady dressed in black and a beautiful blonde woman weeping silently. Margarida was also blonde.
He couldn’t remember the first day she met her. They worked together at Nazario Marketing, and for five years he only acknowledged her as a colleague, never really noticing her, until one day, out of the blue, she asked him to go out on a date. This day he remembered well. There was something different about her, she was beautiful. She always were, you just didn’t notice before, you self-centered prick. They went to a pub next to work, where they talked, danced and laughed together, and then they wnet to her apartment to have some passionate sex.When the sun appeared, he was already in love. Later she told him that she always had a crush on him. Lucky bastard.They got married and lived together for 10 years.It wasn’t perfect, they had their fights every once in a while, especially over kids,she refused to have kids or even talk about it, but overall those were magic years.One day, she just disappeared, all that she left was a tear stained note.He read it so many times that he knew it by heart:
I love you more than anything in the world.I may have deceived you, but my love was always true.Those 10 years were the best in my life, and every second spent with you made everything worth it.Unfortunately, I’ve ran out of time.I must go.I tried pleading, but to no avail.I knew from the start this would happen, that’s why I never wanted to have kids.I hope you forgive me.
Every fiber of his body regretted those stupid fights over kids.Two weeks later, the cops gave up.They told him they were still doing their best, but it was a lie.He decided to look for clues himself.He found the business card from New Life and checked her cellphone.She called the company several times before disappearing .He still couldn’t believe on the stupidity of those incompetent fools at the police station, to miss such obvious clues.By then, he was certain that this company had something to do with Margarida being missing, even that they had her somewhere.Now, that certainty was completely gone.He considered leaving, but figured that it was worth a shot, even if now the idea sounded insane.He would just look stupid, he could live with that.Besides, the receptionists reaction to his story was weird, maybe he wasn’t crazy after all…
Henrique was pulled from his thoughts with a scare.His waiting partners now were an old black men in a white suit and an odd kid with tattoos covering his arms and a several piercings.The receptionist called again
He got up and walked towards her
-Down that corridor, mister.Third door on the left.
Henrique thanked her and enter the designated door. The office was small but comfortable, with a vase of plant, a painting on the left wall,a wide window, a shelf with some paperwork, a computer and a wide gray desk.Behind it, an short business man around 40 years old, with receding black hair, a gray suit, a blue shirt and a yellow tie extending his hand.As Henrique shook his hand, he introduced himself.
-I’m José Marins.You must be Henrique Fausto.How can I assist you?
Henrique wasn’t sure on how he was going to explain his case.He sat down.
-I…hummm…this is going to sound crazy, but my wife disappeared a month ago, and the cops barely lift a finger to help her.By now, they already filed the case.I started doing a research of my own, and found out that before she went missing she called New Life several times.It’s a long shot, but maybe you have information that will help me find her.I’m probably hitting a dead end, but I just couldn’t sit a home and do nothing, I have to try something.Anything.
-All right Mr.Fausto, I’ll try to help- said José with a warm smile- What’s your wife’s name
José typed something in the computer
-We have no entries for Margarida Fausto.What’s her maiden name?
The tiny man typed something, and then put on his reading glasses.
-Well, you’re in luck Mr Fausto.We do have a Margarida Plummer on our system.We know where she is, so you can stop looking for her.
The husband was overcome with joy and relief, he gasped for air and stuttered
-Y-y-you found her? R-really?
-She was never missing.She’s with us.
It took Henrique a while to understand
-She’s with us.We took her.
As Jose was turning the computer screen towards his client, Henrique got up, knocking his chair on the floor
-I KNEW IT! GIVE HER BACK RIGHT NOW, YOU SON OF A BITCH! I DEMAND TO SEE HER!
-I can’t do that , if you would just look the computer screen you’ll see your wife signed a contract..
-SHUT UP, YOU PIECE OF SHIT, AND LET HER GO, YOU SON OF A BITCH! Who the fuck do you think you are?
-Sir, if you have any complaints, the costumer service is on the second floor.
-You think I’m joking?!
Henrique reached into his jacket, pulled out an Walther P99 and aimed at the asshole behind the desk
-Tell me where she is right now!
José barely reacted
-If you would calm down, I’ll tell you.We provided her with our services, and last month she came here to pay.
-Pay? How much she owns you? I’ll pay, just give her back to me…
-Oh, she didn’t own us money.It’s all in the contract..
-I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE CONTRACT! You can eat it for all I care, just get her here right now!
-If you want, you can talk to our lawyers about the contract.
-I’ll give 5 seconds.If she’s not here, I’ll kill you.
-We both know that shooting me will accomplish nothing.
Henrique pulled the trigger, but all he heard was a click
Shit.The safety lock.
As Henrique struggled with the pistol, José continued to talk
-We’re just a branch, but even the people at the headquarters can’t release your wife.Our deals are all permanent.If you’d like, we can take you to her.
Henrique unlocked the pistol and pointed it at José again
-What do you mean by “take me to her”?
-Sit down Mr.Fausto.I’m the only one that can help you right now.
Henrique didn’t move
The little man shrugged
-All right, stand if it pleases you.Anyway, in exchange for our very special services, Margarida agreed to our fee.That fee was the most precious thing she had: herself.We only collected it.Now, if you also sign a contract, you’ll also pay the fee, and be with her.Forever.
It took a while for Henrique to figure it out.
-Fee? You mean…my soul?
José’s smile was grim.
-It’s the only way.A small price to pay to see your beautiful wife again, right?
-I’ve had enough of this bullshit.
Henrique shot José right between the eyes, the man was pushed back by the blow and fell behind the desk.The glass window was covered in blood.The killer then sat down, panicking realizing that now he would never find his wife.What have I done?
Suddenly, Henrique saw his victim stand up and sit on his chair again.He was unscathed.
Did I miss him?
-No, you didn’t miss.That bullet went straight into my brain, it was actually really painful.That was uncalled for, but I won’t take it personally.I’m a nice guy, the offer still stands.
Henrique was in a shock:
-What are you?
-I’m just an employee.
Henrique had every reason to doubt what he just saw, to believe that he just lost his mind, yet everything felt too real.He tried to organize his thoughts to make sense of what just happened, but all he could think of was Margarida.Without her, his days were filled with grief and sorrow.That much he knew. He also knew that he was willing to give anything to have her back.Anything else, well, it just didn’t matter.
-It’s a deal.
José spent around ten minutes typing and printing a contract.His newest client asked:
-Do I have to cut my finger with a knife and sign it with blood?
-There’s no need to cut your finger.
The employee touched Henrique’s hand with the tip of a pen and clicked it on the bottom.It stung.
-Just sign right here, the pen already has your blood.
He looked at the contract.It was a regular contract on office paper, nothing grim or evil about it.Quite disappointing for a contract for his soul He signed without reading.
-All right, it was a pleasure doing business with you Mr.Fausto
The bastard had the nerve to extend his hand for a shake.Henrique ignored it.
-Can I see her now?
-Don’t you want to say goodbye to anyone before we go?
Henrique’s parents were dead and he hated his sister.There was nothing left for him, all he wanted was his lover.
-No.Let’s get this over with.
-All right.Follow me.
They walked down a corridor until it’s end.There, stood a metal door with an iron handle.The door seemed ordinary, but somehow, there was a bone-piercing cold coming from it.All of Henrique’s instincts where telling him to run, yet he didn’t.Margarida was more important.José opened the door.
-Right this way.
All Henrique could see behind the door was darkness, as thick as ink.He walked towards the door.When he was next to José, he stopped.
-Wait.Before I go, I have to know.My wife, what did she want? What did she want so badly that made her give her soul away?
The little man smiled.
Henrique stood still for a second, took a deep breath, then turned around and entered the darkness.
Credit To: Me