"You want to trade seats with me?" the man said, rather kindly. He had the window seat. "You look a little bored."
"I'm fine, thanks." Angela smiled. Rarely was someone so kind to her that early in the morning. She shifted her position so she could see out of the window. The countryside rolled along like a snake passing quickly by. "I met my childhood boyfriend on this train," she said, quietly.
The old man raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"
"Yes. I was twelve years old." She laughed. "You probably don't want to hear this."
"No, I do. Go ahead."
"I remember his name was Danny. Danny Richardson." She smiled, a dreamy look glazing her eyes. "This was the same seat we sat inâ€¦Seat 12. I think that's why I came to sit with you in the first place. Anyhow, there was nowhere to sit, so I went to sit with this boy who introduced himself as Danny Richardson. He had beautiful green eyes. I'd never seen anything like them. And he had short brown hair back thenâ€¦so tell me, what do you do for a profession?"
The man laughed. "Why'd you switch the subject?"
"I didn't think you wanted to hear about it."
"If I didn't want to hear about it, I would switch to small talk, wouldn't I?" the man replied. "Go on, go ahead."
"Well, we came on this train every day, and we talked all the time. I trusted him, and he trusted me. One day, he told me, 'Angela, I have something to tell you,' and I said 'All right' and he made me swear not to tell anyone, so I promised. And then he said, 'Angela, I have to tell youâ€¦Danny Richardson isn't my real name' and so I said 'Why isn't it your real name?' And you're not going to believe this. He wouldn't tell me. He said if he told me, he'd have to kill me." She laughed.
"Why would he say that?" the man asked.
"I came to learn that Danny and his family had to change their name. They were part of a protection program, you seeâ€¦Danny's father had been wounded, because he was shot three times in the chest by a gang, and he managed to survive to tell about it. And so Danny's father went to the police, and he knew their lives were in danger, so he moved them to a new state, new cityâ€¦different names, new lives." Angela shook her head. "I never saw Danny again after that day he told me about it."
The man looked interested. "Oh?"
"Nope. Never again. But right before he left, he told me that if I ever wanted to see him again, his surname would be Valenzuela. Pretty easy name to look up, wouldn't it be?â€¦well, there's something Danny didn't know."
"And what was that?" the man asked. His green eyes flickered.
Angela narrowed her eyes. "I might have been twelve years oldâ€¦but I liked money, too. And now, I'll finally get it. I'm going to finally get my cash that I've been waiting for, for thirteen years." She pulled a cell phone out of her pocket, and dialed a number. "The fish has been hooked. 512," she said simply, her teeth clenched. She smiled at the man next to her. "I think you've forgotten one thing," she said quietly.
"Wh-what is that?" the man stammered.
"Your briefcase," she hissed. Her trembling finger pointed out the emblazoned words D. VALENZUELA.