SIX

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"You okay?" I heard Melissa ask as we sat in the car, waiting for our plan to unfold.

"Yea, why?"

"Because you're spacing out and that's the last thing you need to be doing right now."

"Don't worry about me," I replied a little too forcefully, "I'll be fine when it counts."

The last conversation with Anna had altered my mood, and now I was taking it out on Melissa. It was wrong, but I never claimed to be a good person. Temperament issues were a plague I constantly dealt with, and it didn't help that I didn't particularly like her.

"Are you always a bitch? Or is it just towards me?"

Taking a deep breath, I tried to calm down. She was right. I was being an asshole. There was no need to talk to her the way I was, at least not right now when there were more important things to worry over

"Sorry," I stated bluntly.

"Thanks," she rolled her eyes, "That was very heartfelt."

"I'm just thinking about my sister," I found myself admitting, realizing it felt good to say it out loud. Even if it was to Melissa. Anna was the whole reason my mood was bad.

"What about her?"

I shook my head, "After everything that happened this weekend she's had enough of me lying. She doesn't trust me, and it doesn't help that I refuse to tell her the truth."

I didn't expect Melissa to answer my rant, I just wanted to get it off of my chest and she was willing to listen. Regretting it later was a possibility but I was tired of overthinking everything. At least venting allowed me to talk it out.

"I know my opinion doesn't matter, but I think you're doing the right thing," she stated. "Anna's young and won't understand. Sure, lying to her is bad. But the cons of telling her the truth outweigh the pros. I for sure wouldn't be able to do what you're doing."

Her kind words resonated somewhere deep in my soul, as if it was something I needed to hear. It wasn't a "good job" or a pat on the back, but it was recognition nonetheless. That, coming from Melissa, was oddly flattering.

"Thanks," I found myself replying as we waited out in the dark street.

Monroe had picked a good spot to perform the heist because there wasn't much light or traffic. The nerves were starting to get to me, but my conversation with Melissa seemed to be a good distraction. The bus was supposed to arrive any minute according to Monroe, but I was growing impatient.

"What's it like?"

I looked over, "What?"

"Having a sister."

Her stone eyes softened at the mentioning of Anna, and I couldn't help but wonder what it was like to be an only sibling. Imagining what my life would've become if Anna hadn't kept me anchored to reality scared me.

I shrugged, "She's my best friend, even when she doesn't quite understand what's going on. I know she's there for me at the end of the day when no one else is... She keeps me grounded."

Melissa just smiled as I allowed myself to look at her. For just a second I felt something other than uneasiness. It had been a sense of comfort, but as soon as the moment had come it was gone.

"So tell me," I started, "Why are you involving yourself in all of this?"

For a moment I watched her contemplate an answer, which naturally made me wary of her again. I hadn't understood her motives since the moment she agreed to help us break into the GIB headquarters. In my opinion her agreement to help hadn't been logical at all.

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