She stands in front of the sink in the break room; her head tilted back, eyes closed, holding a tissue to her nose. She hears the door open and close and she blinks her eyes open slowly, turning to see who has come in.
She gives Jim a small smile.
"Hey." Comes her muffled voice from behind the tissue.
He drops his lunch on the table and walks around to her, eyes full of concern. He takes her face in his hand as she pulls away the blood stained tissue.
She tries to smile again. "It's nothing, just a nose bleed."
"You've been having a lot of those lately." She can feel more blood leaking from her nose and she puts her other hand up to stop it from dripping down further. Jim leans over her and grabs a paper towel from the sink. He bunches it up and holds it to her nose, using his other free hand to hold her head steady.
She closes her eyes at the warmth of his touch. She has that feeling in her stomach that she gets every time she lies to him.
Not big ones. But small ones that cover up a bigger secret.
It's killing her more than the disease that's eating away at her body.
She feels his thumb going over her cheek softly and she sighs contently. His voice breaks through the quiet.
"How long have you been sick?"
Her eyes open and he's looking at her sadly. She backs away, letting his hands drop to his side and turns her back to him.
"I'm not sick. It's just a nosebleed. I get them when I'm under stress. It is all this wedding cancellation. I just-"
She stops when she feels his hand on her back between her shoulder blades. She slouches forward and her chin falls to her chest.
"Two months." She whispers.
"You're early." She says as she answers the door in a sweatshirt and a winter hat with those flaps that cover your ears. He smiles at her appearance and steps inside.
"Yeah, I figured we could go get something to eat before your treatment. Maybe go to the library and get some of the art books so you have something to look at and distract you while they-"
He lets his sentence stop abruptly and she looks over her shoulder, smiling at him softly. He is momentarily distracted by the light playing on her skin. She walks toward him and pats him lightly on the chest.
"Thank you." She whispers.
He smiles down at her and tries to stop his heart from beating so hard.
His phone rings in the middle of the night and he squints at it groggily from the middle of the bed. He practically falls out of his sheets as he reaches for it, knocking over his alarm clock and a picture of him and Pam at a company party, years ago.
"Yeah?" He says, bitter, his voice loud in the quiet room.
There is a sniffle on the other end and then a heavy sigh. Jim sits up and the blood rushes to his head causing him to see spots.
"Jim, I didn't mean to wake you."
He runs a hand through his unruly hair. "It's okay. I told you to call me when this happened. Is it your head?"
"Yeah." Comes her voice, small and quiet. "I can't sleep. This is the worst its ever been."
"Did you take your medicine?"
"I'll be right over."
"I'll be right over." He says again firmly. He hangs up after he's sure she has and grabs a coat on the way out.
He drives quickly on the empty roads, running through several red lights. When he gets to her small apartment, he knocks quietly. She answers the door, circles under her eyes and body wrapped in a blanket. She squints at the light above her door.
"Hi." She says timidly.
"Hey." He whispers and he smiles down at her. She shuffles back and lets him in and he makes sure to shut the door quietly behind him.
She doesn't call when she is supposed to. She doesn't show up at work and he is worried. He gets up after ten minutes of waiting by her desk and walks out the door, shouting over his shoulder to Michael that he is taking his lunch early today.
He goes to her apartment and rings the doorbell. When no one answers, the beating in his chest grows even more frantic. He takes the spare key off of the light and swings the door open.
She is in the middle of the floor, a broken coffee cup next to her limp body, coffee spreading around her like blood.
He forgets to breathe as he calls an ambulance and holds her small hand in his.
She's lying in the hospital bed, looking like a little girl swallowed by an ocean of white sheets. He's staring at her carefully, willing her to open her eyes and give him that smile. Just one smile.
It is dark out now and visiting hours were over hours ago. The nurse comes in to politely ask him to leave but when he turns to her with moisture on cheeks and bloodshot eyes and asks for five more minutes, she nods and leaves them alone together.
He kisses her forehead and quietly asks her to wake up. Please, wake up now because he is nothing without her and if she isn't there, what is he going to do?
He pushes her down the hospital wing in her wheelchair so fast her hair blows behind her head and she closes her eyes and laughs. If she breathes in, she feels like she's flying.
He slows down as they exit through the doors and she turns to look him in the eye.
"I love you, you know."
He smiles and kisses her forehead. She closes her eyes and puts her hand on his cheek.
"Everything is going to be okay now." He whispers softly.
She is walking through the front door and he is following behind her, bracing her body with his arms. She rolls her eyes at his concern.
"Jim, it's been two months."
"Yeah, but the doctor still said to take it easy."
"It's only a check up. I haven't been sick in two. Whole. Months."
He ignores her, walking in front of her and opening her car door. He tries to help her in but she swats him with her left hand, ring finger glistening.
He gives her a sheepish grin. "Can't help it."
She smiles as she watches him walk in front of the car to get in on the drivers side. She takes his hand and kisses his knuckle softly as he starts the car. He turns his head and smiles.
"If you act like this in three months when I actually start to show my pregnancy, I'm going to kill you." She says, smiling.
He laughs and puts the car in drive. "That's just the hormones talking."