Running Girl, Ch. 6 excerpt: What Will Be, Shall Be

Part 2: “To the Death”

In the silence, Rose walked into the room. She had been standing in a side doorway and neither of them had noticed. She’d heard most of what they’d said, enough to scare her. Walking over to Ted, she put a hand on his arm and left it there.

She looked back and forth between Miriam and him, frowning.

“What does all of this mean?”, she said. Ted felt a quiver go through her body and he pulled her to him.

“It’ll be OK, Rose. Miriam here is a federal agent, and she’s got enough artillery in the back there to take down anything,” he said. But we may have to leave soon. It might be safer that way.”

She straightened and looked up at him, then at Miriam.

“If it’s that bad, then let’s go,” she said. Calm. He looked at her for a second, and then laughed.

“You are one interesting woman,” he said.

“I’ve got to get something from my car first, and then we can go,” she said.

She would deal with whatever had happened, would happen between Miriam and Ted. She at least knew her own mind and heart, now. What his choices would be would be his.

But this other thing was much more frightening, what she overheard about the woman that was after Miriam to kill her. And maybe Ted.

“What will be, shall be,” she said to both of them.

Che sarà sarà. ‘What will be, shall be. 

She’d heard it a number of times from an elderly Italian diplomat at the UN, where she had worked for a few years as a translator. He was in his 70s, but had charmingly tried to seduce her with attention and invitations to quiet conversations with wine and walks and talk of the world and of books and music. 

He was generous and courtly and gentle, and showed genuine appreciation for her beauty and brains. Or, at least, that’s how he made her feel. She ate it up, but always turned  down his gentle propositions to come to his bed with blushing good humor. The old rogue graciously accepted her refusals, sighing as he kissed her hand, invariably murmering “che sarà sarà”

“You have broken my heart, but I am only delayed, not deterred,” he would say, every time. She adored him, but never relented. The last time they met, she asked him why he made such an effort when he knew she would say no.

“Ah, mia cara Rosa,” his mellow, deep voice slipped back forth from English to Italian. “—A name never blessed another so well as it does you, and I mean that most sincerely.

“A woman is always a woman first. She is a woman before she is a mother or wife. And there is nothing more beautiful, no matter her physical gifts, than a woman who is loved for her truth.

“It is only then that she blooms like the rose and spreads light and happiness all around her. Women are wonderful beings, and I do what I do so that the world has more love in it, not less. I do what I can…’ and with this, he always finished with a shrug and a very Italian palms-up gesture of resignation.

She remembered clasping his thin hands in both of hers and kissing him on the cheek with great feeling. He was a hopeless chauvinist and still saw women as best suited for motherhood, but it was hard to resist the charm and genuine admiration and desire he projected.

The last image of him was as she walked away and looked back. He stood in a doorway, tall and thin, impeccably tailored as always in a $4,000 grey suit, blowing her one last kiss, waving with a rueful smile. If she did not have a ticket for the train, she might have turned back.

The memory warmed her still, and she found herself wryly hoping he was still up to his own tricks. She was sure he would be, even with his nurses on his death bed.

What will be, shall be. She felt herself smiling, wistful.

Time enough to sort this out later. She had a business to run, and with a last glance and a smile back at Ted, she turned, nodded slightly to Miriam, and headed down the hall to the kitchen and the back where her car was parked. Her purse. She’d left it there last night. She found herself humming the old Doris Day song, based on the phrase as she went.

“Wait.” Miriam’s voice called from behind her. “I’ll go with you.” Rose paused and Miriam was soon beside her, the Glock in her hand.

“I’ll explain it all to you later, but I need to go with you. And this—“ she raised the gun and showed it to Rose —“is necessary.”

Ted was standing in the hallway, just outside the door to the study by the front entry, the Lab by his leg. He just nodded to Rose and the two women walked down the long hallway toward the kitchen. The sight distracted him and he was full of conflicting emotions all of a sudden.

When Ted tried to remember what happened next, he always had the feeling that it was happening to someone else.

13 Replies to “Running Girl, Ch. 6 excerpt: What Will Be, Shall Be”

  1. I was trying to leave a comment of your ‘Fear’ post but WP was acting all persnickety – if you don’t mind I’ll leave it here. There is a wonderful quote by Floyd Patterson – “Fear was absolutely necessary. Without it, I would have been scared to death.”
    great post by the way and oh, so very spot on!


    1. Got it! 🙂

      You may have seen, but I am sitting here injecting coffee into my veins after only about 4 hours’ sleep. But I’m here. Showing up is 90% of this, isn’t it? I sure hope so. But I love that talk by Gilbert in what I just posted. It is exactly what I go through, and maybe you do, too, with the painting.


      1. Yup. I think if we didn’t have to sweat through life it would be rather dull – a little less anxiety now and again though would be okay by me 🙂 Coffee, by injection, hmm, now where did I leave that syringe I swiped from the vet’s office 😉

        I was perusing your blog and didn’t realize you’d put my name on your Liebster list – I don’t think I ever gave you a proper thank you – so, thank you ever so much. I humbly appreciate…
        I know the Liebster is a bit of work – so I’m going to answer your questions this week, since you took the time to write them. 🙂
        I’d forgotten you dabbled in stain glass…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dabbled, as in past tense for now. But yes. I like working with wood, too. I don’t have a lot of talent, and am self-taught, but I like the tactile, working with physical things instead of abstract ones. I have a few examples sitting around, and I have to confess a small feeling of satisfaction when I look at the glass panels in the windows, or the coffee table. I see all the flaws, but they’re passable objects, and they help me deal with the hyper-critic in me that has kept me paralyzed too often before. They’re proof that the impulse behind them, and the minimal skills to make something that can be used, is a Good Thing. The critic shuts up then. 🙂


    1. That’s really nice to hear. I’m fighting Resistance all the time, all the excuses and avoidances to work, but am still plugging away. 🙂


      1. Your writing is engaging and alive. The characters are inspired. If I had nails I would have been biting them while reading…please do continue to plug away because you will have great success!
        AnnMarie 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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