6. Cards on the Table

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      September 4th
      Agent R. Harris is given information about Special Operations. After learning the background of Special Operations, the operative makes an important decision.

      6. Cards on the Table
      Date: September 4th

I was furious. And I had a right to be. But it wasn’t because of the secrets that were kept. It was because of me. I finally found out what everyone was hiding from me, but it didn’t make me feel any better than before. In fact it made me feel worse.

           .          .          .

       “It happened when you were four.”

       Hanging off every word of that sentence, I cross my right leg over my left. I let my eyes scan over the walls of my mother’s office. Everything is so sleek, polished, and futuristic-looking that I can’t find anything about it that I don’t like. Much to my dislike.

      The chair I sit in is uncomfortable, but I keep up a professional front, making sure my body is poised and composed.

       The green eyes of mine that have turned expressionless remain on my mother’s face. In my peripheral vision, though, I am slowly memorizing every inch of her office.

       The glossy white desk and its matching chairs; the gradient gray-to-white walls surrounding us; a lone white compartment that lay in a corner near the door; the small illuminating circles all around me that brought more brightness into the room; and last but not least, a family portrait that consists of Aaron, Mom, Dad and me.

      And then there’s Aaron, who stands with his arms crossed in the northwest corner of the room, behind my mother.

      “We had no idea Special Operations even existed when he told us,” Mom continues. Her laid-back demeanor as she leans against the shining desk switches into a stiff one. “And we didn’t have time to process the information. Richard told us everything he could force out right after he told us he was dying. It was cruel, but that was Richard. And given the circumstances we had no choice but to believe him.”

      I scoff. “And you thought I wouldn’t have believed him?” I raise an eyebrow, my hard expression relieving itself a little. “I was four, Mom. I would’ve believed you if you told me Dad was secretly living a double life as the incredible hulk.”

      Mom’s face shows me how rapidly she’s losing her patience, but I don’t care. It’s been going on like this for the past ten minutes. At this point I’m not even sure what I’m saying is making sense. But I keep talking over her, because I want her to feel what I’m feeling.

      Irritated. Angry.

      I want her to feel guilty.

      And when she realized that after the first five minutes, she learned to keep going as if she wasn’t interrupted. “He told us that he was the owner of a secret organization – an under the table black-ops branch of the government. It existed under his watch, but he was going to die. And things would go wrong if no one was there to control it.”

      “So you two just happily stepped up to the plate,” I intercept, my tone leveled. It isn’t a question. It’s a statement.

       Again, Mom proceeds onward and ignores my jab. It frustrates me. “He made us promise to do our best replacing him. We tried to tell him that it was insane and that he must’ve been really out of it to even be having this conversation. But all he did was grab our hands and make us swear. There was no way to talk him out of it.”

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