32. One and the Same

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Dedicated to: AnnabearChase

So I always get really surprised when people tell me this story isn't cliche, because it kinda is, at least at certain parts. But it's nice to hear from people that they think this story is unique.

Thanks for reading and giving feedback! c:

Also shoutout to, like, everyone else who commented last chapter. c:

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       32. One and the Same

       Date: September 15th

Neither one of us speaks when we're alone. Alex sits next to me on the couch in our hidden room, his back leaning into the cushions, and stares straight up at the ceiling. He's been sitting like that for thirty minutes. And so have I, despite the occasional glances his way.

       I look at him now, at his face and at his blond hair that has now formed into a short wavy mess. "Alex, we're so screwed."

       He glances at me, his green eyes examining my face for a second, and he says, "Yeah, we are."

       "We're not even undercover anymore," I point out.

       Alex laughs humorlessly. "Rachel, the visit from Officer Reynolds was not the moment we blew our cover."

       "But we still blew it. And it's our fault."

       Alex turns to me now, his entire body facing mine. "No," he disagrees. "It's not  our fault. It's Special Operations' fault."

       “That’s the same thing, Alex.”

       “No,” he repeats forcefully, staring incredulously at me, “it’s not. Why do you keep referring to yourself as Special Operations? As if that’s all you are?”

       I stare at him, taken aback by his question. It surprises me that he takes notice of the words I use, but then, he’s Alex. For a second I have no idea what to say to him; I don’t know how to explain the fact that at the moment, Special Operations really is all I am.

       “Because,” I say after a while, “we’re Special Operations agents.”

       Alex seems to be very passionate about this subject, and I narrow my eyes at him, trying to figure out why. Then he says, “You know, what you do for a living is not who you are.”

       Now I shake my head at him. “Alex, being an undercover agent is not what we do for a living. When we wake up every morning, we have a mission to carry out. We don’t get vacation time. And we don’t get paid, not until we're eighteen.

   “We’re teenagers who’ve been recruited to join an undercover branch of the government that we work for, live with, and follow the rules of, because they determine whether or not we actually get to see the outside world. What we do is not just a job. It’s our lives.”

       “It’s not my life,” Alex fires at me, “and it wasn’t yours either until about two years ago.”

       I’m about to retort something, but then I realize exactly what it is he’s said.

       “Alex, what do you mean it’s not your life?” I ask, watching him.

       He looks back at me, and there’s something about his eyes and his expression that leaves me completely clueless. And time goes by, and eventually he looks away, and now his eyes are staring straight ahead.

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