The Oak Tree HTML version

The Oak Tree| Judish
Director Johnson, tall and poised, looked at her two best agents, and knew they would.
She wasn’t concerned about the frown from Agent Roberts. Nor was she concerned at the
offended look from the other man, Agent Diaz. She remembered that old adage her mother and
many, many other mothers over the years have used, that said if you frown long enough, your
face will freeze that way. Looking at Agents Roberts and Diaz, she was sure that that was what
had happened to these two, but they knew their job -- were the best at it -- and she was confident
that Miss Becker was in good hands. She smiled just a bit to herself. She was stalling. They
wanted to get to work, and knew she was stalling.
Another heavy sigh. She smoothed down her immaculately tailored skirt and picked an
imaginary speck of lint off her jacket.
“All right, let’s get to it. I want to hear from someone every four hours.”
“Yes, Ma’am.”
Roberts nodded to Diaz, and they turned and left the room. The Director locked the
manila envelope away in her filing cabinet as she watched them leave, and then, seeing the
mounds of paperwork waiting for her, tried to get back to work, but there on her desk she spied
one photo of the girl who was her current priority. She had left this photo out when she put the
rest away. It was the photo that most clearly showed the girl’s face. She picked it up and studied
it, paperwork forgotten as this young woman once again stole her attention.
“My poor dear,” she spoke to the photo. “You have no idea that your life is about to
change forever.”