"Mrs. Robinson, where is Sean?" Molly whispered to the striking black woman who sat beside her. They were in the balcony of a coffee house in the Fremont District of Seattle. "I haven't heard from him for three days."
"We have been out of touch with him as well. How did you get my text number?"
"Sean left it in a letter, only to be opened in an emergency. What do you know?"
"Sean's project is extremely sensitive. I don't want you to know very much at this time, for your own safety."
"My life doesn't seem to be worth much lately, I was taken in by Federal agents two days ago, they threatened me with prosecution for being in the WTO protests in 1999."
"A little late for that, I think, no?" The black woman stared into her coffee, avoiding any eye contact. "Evidently they let you go. Do you think you're under surveillance?"
"I had been, until they brought me in, but not since then. I borrowed a friend's phone to text you, just to be on the safe side. Sean told me how to be careful in his letter."
"Molly, how did you get here? Did you drive?"
"No, I took a bus and walked the last three blocks, just to be sure I wasn't being followed."
"My car is around the corner. Let's go for a ride, and I'll tell you what I know."
"It isn't good, is it?"
The women left the shop via the rear entrance, when they were in the car Mrs. Robinson looked at Molly for the first time. Molly saw that Mrs. Robinson's eyes were rimmed with tears.
"Let's go out somewhere, Molly, somewhere by the ocean."
"We could go out to Golden Gardens, it's usually pretty private there." Molly felt a surge of nausea. "Do you know where it is?"
"Yes, I know the way."
As they drove the clouds, which had been sputtering all day, began to break up and by the time they reached the park the bright sunshine was reflecting from millions of water droplets on the dune grass. After they had walked away from the parking lot and were nearing the shore Mrs. Robinson stopped by a small grove of trees.
"Molly, Sean was in Iceland, he went there to meet an old friend from college. His friend was the subject of a search. This morning I received word from the US State Department that Sean had been killed in an accident."
Molly crumpled to the ground and began to softly weep. Mrs Robinson sat beside her and cried as well. After a time Molly quietly spoke:
"H-how? Sean never told me it would be dangerous."
"He was hit by a taxi when crossing a street... it was at night... it was raining. It had nothing to do with his project."
"I don't believe it. He said he'd come back. "
"His body was flown in last night. I'm going to the morgue later to identify it. Will you come?"
Molly slowly regained her composure.
"Yes, let's go now."
They rode to morgue in silence. When they arrived Mrs. Robinson spoke with the attendant. He had them sign forms and then brought them into the examining room.
"His head was severely damaged; just giving fair warning" the attendant said.
He slid the gurney out of the cold vault. He pulled the sheet down, and Molly moved next to the battered figure. She looked closely at his chest, it was relatively unmarked. She said nothing and turned away. Mrs. Robinson nodded and the attendant covered the corpse and returned it to storage. Back in the office, Mrs. Robinson signed more papers and then they left.
Back in the car, Molly remained quiet until Mrs. Robinson stopped in front of her apartment, and then spoke:
"It's not him."