Brief introspection set to numbers; thirteen parts to The Job.
Status: Complete [one-shot]
Spoilers: Spoilers up to The Job.
I've been sitting on this for over a year, and then I rewrote two parts (ten and eleven) and frankly a lot of this has a lot more significance for me, from the numbers to the incidences themselves, than anything else I've ever written for fandom so far, and I hope it works. (: Tell me what you think!
There are times when she stares and stares and stares, straight forward, past the desks and chairs and windows - and when he watches her, he wonders why she looks as though she's reaching for something. Or trying to. Something.
Things about her will always be beyond him, and he's come to accept it.
You should tell him.
June 13th sees her with empty hands, empty closets, empty desks.
She doesn't tell him.
His fascination for words has him picking them from the most absurd places. The main reason he has no trouble talking to people would be the fact that he knows that he has words to describe everything he may ever want to say.
The only way to describe how she makes him feel would be full, he thinks. Full.
and he chooses not to speak of things he knows he cannot speak of.
When he was twelve, his bedroom window broke at 12:09a.m.; that's what the police records say. They also talk about a bullet from a gun licensed to a Mr Adrian M. Robert, who'd been dead for five years.
It wasn't an attempt on his life (he was twelve); it was an isolated incident, a mistake. But two feet to the right -
During a summer when he tries to forget a night of blues, he recalls an equivalent: mistake.
Five times he remembers being ready to tell her - from between a folded sheet of plain soft card to elevator conversations in dim lighting. He built himself up; prepared, rehearsed, shielded himself readily from the inevitable reaction that he didn't want to see. When he finally tells her, he isn't ready.
songs she can remember from when she was four: the mouse went up the clock, a pocket full of posies, my fair lady.
She remembers painting on her overalls with grass stains. She remembers drawing houses. She remembers sketching horses and knights.
She remembers putting her paints in a box, remembers renting an apartment, remembers a truck and a football player.
It would not be wrong to say she hates him almost as much as she loves him. The only one she wants to talk to about her best friend would be her best friend. Her best friend lives states away and is probably snorkeling near the Great Barrier Reef half a world across.
Some best friend.
They'll say that they united over Dwight and Michael and the mysteries of Dunder Mifflin. That would be true. They'll claim that they stay together because of the pranks. That would not be true.
If he looks at their time spent together as a relationship of a hundred days, he would say that nineteen days are spent talking about Dwight. Eleven about the people at work, in general. Two days go to the time they spend with people they're romantically linked to. Sixteen about the people they aren't romantically linked to - family, friends. Seventeen days about small things, silly things. Twenty-seven about them, together or separate. Four about dreams. Four days would be spent silent.
They stay together because of those four days. And all the rest.
She can pinpoint a singular moment to everything - when she knows she wants to cycle, when she knows she wants to marry Roy, when she knows she wants to paint.
This is when she knows she can: he steps away, lets go of her hands, turns around, and leaves.
His ring for her was diamond, simple and small, and for days after it was slid on her finger she would love to watch the way it sparkled. In the right lighting, if she bent her hand correctly, flashes of light would follow her movement across the room, and she was happy.
The problem with diamonds is that you don't expect them to scratch. She's refilling the jellybean dispenser at work, distracted as she talks to the new paper salesman, when her ring scratches and scars the plastic. Jim makes a face and wry comment which don't register as she stares at the deep scratch, annoyed with herself (annoyed with the fact that this happened because she was distracted by someone she shouldn't be distracted by). This is the first time she slips off her ring.
It's four months away from a ten year anniversary when she takes off the ring the last time. She is tired of the scars.
He sees everything in twos, every second of his life following mistaken confessions. Along beaches, despite the people walking alone as they push past him, he seeks out the people in pairs, their hands interlocked, their thumbs folding over the other, steps in tandem.
He moves into his new office and notes the way the desks are kept apart. Everything that everyone keeps looks too neat, too organised. His colleagues rarely interact unless necessary (except the guy who sits in front of him, who enjoys hounding him during breaks), and everything feels distant and unconnected. He thinks maybe it's a lesson to learn, to keep things from overlapping.
He tries but fails. On the wrong hemisphere, continents away; in a new state, hours away; he feels like his life should be turned upside-down, but it reads exactly the same: his heart aches twice as much as it used to. Time moves half as fast.
She wishes she spoke more. She wishes she told him things.
She wishes she didn't just stare at him when he looked like he wanted to say things. She wishes she didn't deflect when he looked like he was going to say things.
She wishes she replied when he finally said things.
Her radio is broken, which is unlucky, and she can't go to the repair guy's until the weekend, which is even unluckier. It keeps switching stations as it pleases.
She's sitting in the car during lunch with her hand curled around a purple Sharpie, held over a slip of paper that she'd found in her desk, old and unused, under a bunch of pens that don't work.
She wants to do something. She just doesn't know if she should. And she doesn't know if she can.
Her radio switches from rock to something lighter, and the line she happens to hear - all it takes is a little faith and a lot of heart. She imagines the next lines before they play, a trick she's perfected since her car developed this infliction, and all she sees is courage and honesty and if she listens hard enough, the beginnings of happy ending.