A/N: I have no problems coming up with new stories, that's becoming more clear to me every day. I don't really know what made me think of this one, but here it is. I'll be working on my other ones as well, don't worry. Thank you to everyone who follows me as an author, and my stories as well. Enjoy!
Sarah Bartowski was always late. No matter how early she'd leave home, no matter how many alarms she'd set for the morning, she could never seem to show up anywhere on time. Her husband would buy her a watch each Christmas, a running gag they started when they first met. Today was one of the greatest importance, and she promised herself she would get to her destination early. But, like every other day, she was late. Her first stop after work was the Safeway by the local hospital, as she needed to pick up flowers for the big event of the day. She stood in the aisle debating between the gerber daisies and the sunflowers, but knew that it wouldn't really matter in the end. After they were wrapped by the florist in the store, she briskly walked back out to her car. Cars scared her. She hated walking through parking lots or crossing the street. The place that scared her the most was the hospital. The most important thing in her life was hooked up to a machine, laying in a bed made for people who were dying. It took most of her courage to get to the hospital, but took all of her heart to walk inside.
"I thought you said five o'clock?" Nurse Clarke had become one of the most trusted personnel that Sarah went to for any questions.
"I know. I couldn't decide between these or daisies." Sarah sighed, signing in at the front desk. "How is he today?"
"I'm afraid it's the same."
"Sarah, Doctor Graham wants to talk to you today before you go."
"And if I don't want to talk to him?"
"You don't have a choice, hun." She gave Sarah a sympathetic look, knowing exactly what the doctor wanted to talk about. Sarah dropped the pen she was writing with, and made her way down the long hallway to her left. The walk to room 105 became longer and longer with each visit. The visits themselves became harder, too. She stood outside the room for a while, breathing deep before finally entering. The slow, repetitive beeping of the monitor made Sarah's heart beat faster. She hated the sound. Although the sound was keeping him alive, she knew it meant he still wasn't awake.
"He's steady today." The nurse inside the room noticed Sarah enter.
"That's good, right?"
"He's steady." The nurse gave a slight smile, turning back to checking the fluids and monitors.
"Sarah?" A voice came from the doorway behind her.
"Doctor Graham." She nodded stiffly toward the doctor.
"We need to talk about his condition."
"We talked about it last month."
"And there's still no change."
"But we have ninety days. His DNR says after ninety days if there's no change, he wants off of life support."
"No buts. Ninety days. Come talk to me about it then." She turned her back on the doctor, and sat next to the bed. She knew he was still there.
June 1st, 2010
Summer was Sarah's favorite time of year. At twenty-eight, she felt as though she was finally at her prime. Her first major painting was going to be on display at one of the most established galleries in Los Angeles, she had just moved into a bigger apartment in Burbank, with a boyfriend who she could see herself with for the rest of her life.
"Why the hell are you all the way out here?"
"I was just thinking about you." Sarah looked up to see her boyfriend, Daniel, standing over her. "Isn't it beautiful?"
"Sandy maybe, but not beautiful. C'mon, let's go." He grabbed her hand and helped her up.
"Go? I wanted to watch the sun go down."
"Quit pouting, I have a surprise for you." He kissed her quickly and pulled her away from the amazing beach in front of them. The drive back to the city was quiet, even though Daniel had been away for a few weeks. He was a business man, although Sarah wasn't exactly sure what his actual title was. He traveled a lot, which wasn't ideal, but she knew she'd be okay.
"I want you to have an open mind, okay?" He asked, pulling into the apartment complex.
"Okay." Sarah nodded. Daniel parked in their spot, and helped her out of the car, covering her eyes as he did so. "Please tell me you didn't get a dog."
"I didn't get a dog." He replied instantly.
"Then what's with all the secrecy?"
"Just keeps those eyes closed."
"They're closed." She said, before stopping suddenly.
"Okay, wait here for just a second." The sound of jangling keys opening the door filled her ears. She felt his hands grab hers, leading her inside. "Keep them closed."
"They'll be closed until you say open, I promise." She assured him.
"Alright, open!" He said with assertion. When she opened her eyes, a frown formed on her face.
"Packed boxes." He smiled.
"Why are the boxes we just unpacked, packed again?"
"Because we're going to Italy."
"The company offered me a job today."
"In Italy." She said flatly.
"Why aren't you excited?"
"Because I'm not going to Italy."
"You're kidding, right? My art is finally starting to-"
"Starting to what? One gallery isn't a big break."
"I'm just saying...I already bought you a ticket."
"You should've asked me, Daniel. I'm not going to just uproot my life."
"Do you even love me?" She asked, the air becoming so still.
"What kind of a question is that?" He asked, irritated.
"I mean, you basically just made the decision to move to Italy without even talking to me."
"Because I thought you'd be excited."
"Well then you obviously don't know me at all."
"Great. Goodbye then. I'm going to Italy." And with that, the tall, muscular, raven-haired man left the apartment with the slam of a door. It didn't hit Sarah until about an hour into unpacking again that Daniel had really left. What was she supposed to do now? Without realizing it, she fell asleep. Waking upon the hard floor of the living room wasn't exactly the start to a good morning. The loud beep of her newly set up answering machine wasn't the greatest either.
"Sarah! Where the hell are you? You said Lucky Bean at nine, and it's nine thirty. I'm not staying here, so I'll see you at the studio I guess." The sassy voice of Carina Miller filled the apartment. Sarah sat up, rubbing her eyes open.
"Jesus." She mumbled to herself, before pulling herself up and into the shower. She wasn't one to cry, but let herself do so as the hot water washed over her. An abrasive knock at the front door interrupted her mourning period. She turned the water off and wrapped a towel around her body, making her way to the door.
"Shit." Carina looked her up and down as the door opened.
"You look terrible." The redhead made her way inside, plopping down on the couch.
"What's with the pity party look? Didn't Dan get back last night?"
"Yep." Sarah closed the door, making her way to the kitchen.
"And? How was the sex?"
"There was none."
"The guy has been gone for a few weeks and no sex?"
"Where is he?"
"Halfway to Italy I think."
"We broke up."
"Shut. Up." Carina stared at the blonde. "Like for real?"
"Why? Really? He just shows up and says lets go to Italy and expects me to go? I don't think so. I have a piece being shown in two days."
"My art is important to me."
"More important than your future husband?"
"The more I think about it, the more I realize he wasn't ever going to be my husband."
"I think you made a huge mistake, but hey, it isn't my life." Carina said.
"You're right, it isn't." Sarah snapped. "Sorry, it's still fresh."
"Do we need to binge on ice cream and watch When Harry Met Sally?"
"Definitely not, I'm fine."
"I'm actually headed to the studio this time. Just had to make sure you were alive." Carina got up just as quickly as she had sat down, and left. Sarah sighed, taking her time as she got ready for the day. Her morning routine always consisted of the Lucky Bean, her favorite coffee shop in Burbank, before heading to the studio to work. Carina was also a painter, and her aunt kindly gave her and Sarah a space to work at in her studio downtown LA.
"Hey! Sarah!" Her favorite barista, Sam, was working behind the counter.
"Morning, Sam." She forced a smile.
"Uh oh. Double shot?" He asked.
"Make it a triple." She gave a genuine chuckle. Turning around to pay at the counter, she collided with a scalding coffee cup.
"Oh my god, I am so sorry!" A tall man with a geek-ish charm stared at her coffee covered chest in horror.
"My eyes are up here." She demanded, pointing to her eyes with her right index finger.
"I wasn't-I-I'm so sorry. I wasn't really looking and you turned and-"
"It's fine." She stared at her drenched shirt.
"Can I pay for your dry cleaning? Or your coffee?" He asked, still mortified.
"How about we just exchange insurance and let our lawyers handle it."
"Uh, sure, I-"
"I was kidding." She smiled. "It was an accident. I'm just having an off day, don't worry about it."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm Chuck, just in case you need to look me up for insurance purposes later. Chuck Bartowski." He held his hand out.
"Sarah Walker." She shook his hand.
"I hope the rest of your day isn't as eventful as this moment."
"I'm sure it won't be.
"Sometimes I play old voicemails or videos just to hear your voice. It's hard out here in the real world without you." Sarah said quietly.
"Hey girl." Carina appeared in the doorway to the room.
"You skipped out early today and then I remembered what today was so I thought I'd come and sit with you for a while."
"How is he?"
"He'll wake up."
"I used to think that, too. But now I'm not so sure."
"I think he will." Carina turned to the bed. "Dude, wake up."
"He can't hear you."
"Maybe you should come back to the studio and paint. You've been doing really well."
"Yeah, maybe in a bit. I just want to sit with him for a while."
"I get it. Can I stay?"
"Of course." They sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity. Carina eventually left, but made sure Sarah would be fine by herself. The nurse from earlier came back in, checking his IV's and monitors once again.
"His vitals are staying steady, that's a good sign." She would say every few minutes, noticing Sarah's blank stare.
"It's our anniversary today." Sarah whispered.
"How many years?"
"Four. We were trying to have a baby before the accident."
"I'm sorry." The nurse bowed her head and left the room, giving Sarah some privacy.
"Babe, if you can hear me, I'm here. I'll be here every day until you wake up, okay?" She took her husband's hand in hers. "Chuck? Please come back to me."