rc_999: Ilraen's usual uncertain look. (nervous)
I met someone new this morning. I was in the courtyard for my run, and for the first time I can remember, someone else was there, sitting on one of the benches. I think I startled her, coming up from behind, but I was so excited to see another agent there that I could not wait to say hello.

I could tell something was wrong as soon as I saw her face. I am certain she had been crying before I came along and interrupted, but she did not seem offended. She asked about my species, and we talked for a little while about casual things—home continuum and such. Her name is Agent Cinderella, and she is a Beauxbatons witch from the Harry Potter universe.

I thought she would ask me to leave once the polite amount of conversation was over, but instead she asked me to stay. That moved me deeply. She seemed so lost and lonely, and if I am honest, I am unused to anyone seeking out my company of their own free will. Being wanted . . . I felt I must try to help however I could.

The talk turned to missions, and it came about that Cindy had been subject to something terrible during her last one, something that provoked her to an action she regrets. For her privacy, I will not reveal what it was, but I could see how much it hurt her. She was afraid she might do this bad thing again, afraid of what that would make her. Worse, I think she believed she had to suffer alone. She was incredulous when I told her I, too, have things in my past that I regret. And so I told her my own story of shame and failure.

It helped. I think, when people trust each other with their demons, it sets them free for at least a little while. We live such isolated, insulated lives here in Headquarters, but we are not alone. Others have fought the same battles as we have; others toil as we toil; and others will reach out to us if we reach out to them.

Cindy and I exchanged response center numbers before we parted. I hope I will see her again.

May 2015

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