A Shadow of a Memory

Agent J watches from behind the sand dunes as a silver truck pulls up on the beach and a little boy slides out onto the sand: maybe four or five years old, with a pudgy face and the same dark afro J remembers having as a kid.

K turns, and J doesn't have to see his face to know surprise is written on it.

"Hey, kiddo," K says, carefully standing between the kid and the rest of the dunes, where the guard's body lies.

"Hi," the boy mumbles in a soft, shy voice. "Where's my daddy?"

J can barely make out K's voice, and the pain in it: "Your dad…he has something important to do right now. But I told him I'd take care of you in the meantime."

J frowns.

A shadow of a memory is tugging at the back of his mind, of a sandy beach, a hot, summery day, and a tall, tall man standing in front of him.

That's when K pulls the watch out of his pocket: old, grand and silver, and puts it gently into the little boy's hands.

"Your daddy asked that I give you this," K smiles.

"Thank you," mumbles the boy.

"Would you like to take a walk, kiddo?"

The boy nods, gripping Agent K's hand with his small fingers, the chain of J's father's watch dangling from his hand.

J feels a sharp something in his chest.

Because…K knew all along that his father was a good man after all.

Because his father has been dead all these years and J never knew anything about it.

Because he knows now why K doesn't like to get attached.

But, most of all, because K has taken the shadow of a memory in the back of his mind and cast it into the Florida sunlight.