Drowning in words she headed toward the cafeteria.
“Kate, I heard what happened, I…” Kate waved the comment away. She couldn’t handle any more. Changing course she stormed through the fire exit.
Fingers fumbling she lit a cigarette glaring defiantly at the office windows. They meant well but…
A chill wind stirred the leaves amid the vacant cars, a comforting emptiness surrounded her. Trapped in her brain words kept pounding, trying to get out, a surging tide they engulfed her entwined together by the statement “It’s malignant.”
“It’s not fair…” she muttered to the leaves. The tiny words, finding a crack, forced outward like water breaching a dam.
“It’s not fair! I don’t want to die!” she yelled, the wind scattering words like leaves about the plot. She glimpsed anxious faces pressed at the windows. Sinking to her knees she covered her face as shameful, angry tears enveloped her.
She felt someone beside her, a warm arm slid across her shoulders. She looked up into the boss’ eyes.
“It’s not fair…” she muttered pleadingly.
Eyes looked back in compassion as he drew her into his arms slowly raising her to her feet.
“No it’s not.” He responded. He held her silently as she stained his shirt with tears. Somehow it helped that fatherly contact, the understanding smile.
“It’s cold out here and neither of us are dressed for it, let’s go in my office where it’s warm and you can tell me about it.”
“No, it’s OK now. I just needed to let it out… no one understood what I needed…You must think me an ass.”
“No, we all need a shoulder to cry on from time to time – me too.” He gave that schoolboy grin so odd in a man of his years gently leading her inside.