Lifting my ringing cell phone to my ear and answering the unknown caller with a overly formal 'sidle' I waited for a response - yet received nothing but silence, I continued my walk down the corridor - speaking once again into the phone - "Hello".
After a few moments had passed, and just before I was about to end the call I hared it, my name, spoken softly, painfully - "Sara?" it said as a question to which the answer was already known.
I stopped dead in my tracks not caring who's way I stood in or who was stood watching - nothing else mattered but this. In that moment I hared my name spoken, as I stood their, my surroundings all faded off into the distant - the echoing of the lab halls, the ringing of the phone in the office to my left, the sound of life all seemed a thousand miles away. All I could hear was the laboured breathing, of the caller, on the other end of the phone.
I feared to speak, not from lack of things to say - because there was so much that could be said - sadly too much, and none of it positive. I feared to speak, I feared to even breath because each passing moment possibly could and probably would be pain filled and heart aching.
"Its…" The woman on the other end of the line attempted after what seemed a lifetime of silence filled only by slow, heavy breaths. I knew she was just a scared as I was, hurting just as much. Just heaving her voice, hearing her breathing - brought back so much - too much. I struggled to hold it together as - for the first time since I hared her say my name - I spoke.
"I know who it is" It was harsh, in a way cold, though I knew my emotion was just as clear to her as hers was to me. As if there was even a possibility that I could ever forget. This again brought silence - I didn't know what I should, or even could managed to say in this moment. For the first time I now became aware that I was standing in the middle of the busy crime lab corridors and I was drawing attention from my co-workers. I clutched the folder I held in one hand closer to my chest in a pathetic was to try and protect myself, as I turned and walked into the office - the same one that had only moments earlier held the ringing phone.
It was dark in there, the blinds were drawn and the lights were off - only the light from the corridors outside filtered through the small slits echoing across the room. I didn't mind this, in fact I welcomed it - the need to be alone at this moment in time was ever growing. I shut the office door and walked over to the chair that was placed in front of the desk. I let my folder drop onto the desk as I became more aware of the long gap I had left after responding to her last words - I took a deep shaky breath, "I …err…" I was now unsure of myself, not knowing where to start, what to say.
"I need to see you" She blurted out, as if she would lose the courage if she left it any longer. I didn't respond - officially not knowing how to now. I opened my mouth in an attempt to say something … anything… but nothing came out, my jaw clenched shut. "Sara… I…" This time she cut herself off, and I'm sure I hared a sob escape from her. I was unable to respond to this, she took shaky breaths before again saying my name, "Sara… please…" She was near on begging me, "I need…" before she could continue any further my anger and hurt got the better of me.
"You need?" I echoed her last words, in a hard yet surprisingly low tone, pain obvious even to me "huh…sure…why not…" I spit the words with disgust, "tell me what you need…"
Now I know she was crying, though the sobs were only faint, I could read her breathing - I'd spent enough time lay next to her, being with her, to know her. "I…err" She faltered at first as if unsure whether or not she should continue.
"You what?" I asked again, this time, even surprising to me - it was soft and even caring. Though I did care, and feared I always would - and she knew that, its why she was ringing. She knew she held me, even now, in such a way I could never walk away fully, no matter how hard I tried.
"I … need you…" in no more than a whisper, as if she was terrified of those words, they echoed down the phone and I was jolted, as if by a physical force I was pushed back and it hurt deep in my chest. I was unable now to hold back the tears, unable to hold in my emotion. My eyes filled slowly, and tears - cautiously at first tumbled over and down my cheek - but the flood gated had opened and silent, yet violent trails rolled down my face. I lowered my head in to my hand that I had rested on my knee as I lent forward now looking down at the floor in the office.
"Don't do this…" I near on beg, I can't do this - not now. I'm unsure if the emotion is held from my voice, I fear it isn't. "I… can't… do this" I eventually manage.
After what seemed like a life time, her voice now weaker broke the painful silence, "I'm sorry… I …" Again she stopped only this time for a moment, "I shouldn't have called…"
I could have said something, and it could be argued I should have said something - but I didn't, I sat there, hurting, aching even - as memories of a past battered me - memories that tore at my heart. Still as I closed my eyes and saw her face, a face I thought at one time I would be unable to live without, I didn't utter a word. I was met by the click of her ending the call - then deafening silence. She was gone - again.
I brought the phone down and looked at the screen - the words 'call ended' boldly showed in the dull office. My ability to hold of the emotion crumbled completely as the feelings of hurt and pain fully took me I put my head now in both of my hands. Sobs ripping through my body - no longer silent but quiet.
My eyes shut, I was seeing the woman who moments earlier was on the phone, this only hurt me deeper. Though unsure, if asked to make a guess, I would say it had been over fifteen minuets has passed since she had ended the call, yet I still couldn't face to open the door and leave this room - I was no longer crying, but I knew it wouldn't be hard to tell I had been.
That's when I hared the door click open, and I was finally hit with the realisation of whose office I had actually walked into. Silently I cursed to myself, why couldn't it have been another office, any other office. I looked over briefly to see the blond co-worker walk in looking at a file in her hands - pushing the door shut with her elbow. She took a few steps forward before looking up and realising she wasn't alone in the room. I could tell by her reaction she had been a little startled - "Oh…" she pulled herself together however, "Shit…you scared me." She offered as an excuse, "Did you need to see me?" She asked. Closing the file in her hand, she then looked at me again - this time noticing that something was wrong. I saw the concern filter into her deep blue eyes.
I looked to the floor, before standing to my feet and taking the folder from her desk into the hand that wasn't holding my cell phone. "Sorry… I…took a call…" I explained though I'm sure I wasn't offering much of an explanation for my current state. I clipped my phone back onto my belt before turning in an attempt to leave the room - though I knew it wouldn't be that easy.
She took a step forward, successfully placing her hand on my arm and keeping me there, she through the file to her desk, letting me know I would be receiving her full attention - something that right now I didn't want. "Hey… are you okay?"
"rough shift" was all I said to her, not wanting or knowing how to talk about this. I looked to where her hand was against my arm, then looked to her face - eyes letting me know that now she was more than a little worried.
She moved her hand to my cheek, it wasn't often that the blond who was now making sure I didn't walk away showed this kind of affection at work, as it was against the rules that we had set for our relationship. Know one knew about us - a joint decision. "You've been crying…"
I look away, ashamed in away. "I have to go" I tell her. I glance up now, only to see hurt mixed in with the concern. I turn away and take a few steps only to turn back, she's looking at me, "I'm fine…" I offer a small smile, "Don't worry…"
"Doesn't work like that" she tells me, and I know that it was stupid to ask her not to worry. If the table had been turned and I had been the one to walk in on her in this state - I would do nothing but worry.
I just nodded my head, "Yeah…I know…" I go to turn away again but stop myself, "We'll talk later" I promise, though I have no clue how it is possible I could explain this to her. She nods her head, and with that I turn and walk away.
Just as I get to the door, before pulling it open she says my name - "Sara?" I glance back, "Will I see you later?"
"Yeah" I tell her, "I'll come by after shift."