It was the loudest downpour I could imagine. It seemed there was as much rain splashing up as there was coming down. I turned into a gas station on my way home from the Oakland Airport.
I stepped out of my car. There was a wallet at my feet half-submerged in a puddle of water.
It had a shiny FBI badge on one side. There were business cards and eight one hundred dollar bills.
The badge belonged to FBI agent Kelli Rae.
Immediately I knew I had something I shouldn’t have. I looked around for a black car. (Aren’t they all black?)
The lot was empty. There was only me pumping gas in the pouring rain.
I got home. Showed my wife and called the number on the agent’s card. After a few clicks and a pause, a male voice said, “FBI.”
I told him I had found an agent’s wallet and badge at a gas station. I gave him all of the specifics I earlier described.
Still, on the phone, which was a landline, a black car pulled up to my house. The guy on the phone asked if that was me standing at the window.
He asked me how many people were in the house. How long I had been home and if there was access through a back door?
The guy on the phone hung up. He told me to stand by for a call. The phone rang a few minutes later.
It was Kelli Rae.
She told me there would be a knock on my door. That an agent would identify himself and for me to let him in.
He would sit with me and my wife until she arrived.
I imagined what she’d look like. The only FBI agent I knew was Agent Scully on The X-Files.
The agent was tall and thin. He was an imposing black man dressed exactly in black as I expected.
I gave him the wallet. He had a seat and counted the money inside. His phone rang. He only listened. He seemed satisfied by what he heard.
As if he anticipated the doorbell, he stood up. Two cars had driven up. I’m sure one of them contained Kelli Rae.
Two smaller, white males accompanied her. They never sat down. She knew the black agent who handed her the wallet and badge.
She pulled back her hood. A few drops of rain dotted her forehead. Standing in front of me was the spitting image of Dana Scully. Complete with red hair and green eyes.
My wife said my eyes glazed over. None of this could be real.
Kelli enthusiastically shook my hand and greeted me with a smile. Was she glowing or was it me reflecting?
She handed me her business card and wrote a 4-digit number on the back. That was to identify me if I ever needed her favor.
“Criminal? I asked.
“Especially criminal, Tony.” She said with a smile.
She said she was indebted to me.
It gave me this story to tell.