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Rated: E · Assignment · Emotional · #2228760
Show vs Tell, assignment 5
Hours later, Jessie sat at her desk across from Adam. She could not believe she had had a panic attack. In front of him. She shook her head, doing her best to keep a safe, emotional distance from the man who saw her in a frenzied emotional state. The only good thing was that no one else came into the office. It was bad enough that Adam witnessed her panic and gasping for air.

Now she did not even know how to act in his presence. Her mind whirled as embarrassment wound its way into her thoughts. What would he think of her now? She still couldn’t believe that she unloaded that horrible day on him, but the fact that she cried like a child, and then had a panic attack made it worse. Jessie grimaced and sat back in the chair, wishing she had something to do to occupy her time. There were still two hours left of her workday. She was so tense, her body ached.

The phone rang, and Adam answered it. Jessie breathed a sigh of relief and stood. She went to Nolan’s desk and grabbed the latest pile of paperwork and brought it to her desk. If nothing more, she could at least separate each job and all equipment used into piles and then alphabetize them as a distraction.

Adam hung up the phone. “I need to run and give them a hand at Corey’s house. I shouldn’t be long,” he said.

Jessie kept her focus on the paperwork before her. “Okay. Take your time.”

Adam waited for a moment, before heading to the door and out of the building.

Jessie slid her chair back and closed her eyes. Her words from earlier that day floated through her mind. She grimaced and wrapped her arms around her as her body trembled again. Adam’s reassuring voice entered her mind. Calm. Strong. Reassuring.

Breathe, Jessie. It’s going to be okay. Breathe.

She focused on steady breaths.

Jessie jumped up out of her seat as the office door slammed shut.

With wide eyes she stared at Nolan, her heart pounding wildly in her chest.

“What in the hell?” he said, moving toward her like lightening. “What happened? What’s wrong?”

His level of concern for her sent tears filling her eyes. She closed her eyes, doing her best to stop them from becoming a waterfall, and took a few steps back.

Jessie waved a hand in the air and stared down at the ground. “It’s nothing.”

Nolan pulled her into his arms. “I know it’s not easy being here, thinking about what happened to your mom and dad.”

This was so foreign to her. She barely knew her cousin and yet here he was, doing his best to comfort her. Just like Adam had. She took a deep breath and pulled out of his arms.

“Thank you for your concern,” she said. She shook her head dismayed.

Nolan stared at her for a quiet moment. “What?”

“I can’t get over how nice everyone has been. How concerned you all are.”

Nolan stepped closer and smiled. “Listen, people in Endurance are great. As for our fathers,” he said, shaking his head. “Whatever their issues were, has nothing to do with us.”

Jessie’s jaw dropped. She closed her mouth, her thoughts a whirl thinking about the rift between the brothers that kept her from knowing this side of her family.

“Thank you for that.”

Nolan stood in front of Jessie, grasped her hands, and pulled her in for another hug. Jessie squeezed her eyes shut and accepted the embrace. It dawned on her that she didn’t mind being comforted by her cousin. The rock that sat on her shoulder crumbled, releasing the tension that had built up since she unloaded on Adam.

Nolan released her. Jessie looked up at him and smiled. “Since we’re related and all, you might as well know that I probably had a panic attack today.”

Nolan’s eyes bulged. “Mind if I ask what brought that on?”

“Adam.”

He threw his head back and roared, his shoulders bouncing as he laughed. “Whatever he did, I’m sure he didn’t mean it.”

Jessie shook her head and smiled. “No, it wasn’t like that. I told him about that day I came home to find. . .” She really didn’t want to say the words.

“Ah. That’s understandable. You know,” he said, “Anna has had a few herself. If you ever need someone to talk to about it, I’m sure she’d be happy to give you a few pointers about heading them off before they get out of control.”

Jessie reached out and rested her hand on his forearm. “I think I’d welcome that. God,” she said, shaking her head, “I am so embarrassed for crying and then panicking in front of Adam.”

“Why?” Nolan asked.

“It’s completely out of character for me. I hardly know him.”

Nolan laughed. “You’ve been working together for a few weeks now; I doubt he’s put off by it.”

“Still,” she said. Tears burned her eyes, threatening to fall again.

“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We all have moments when we need someone. You couldn’t find a better sounding board than Adam.”

Just hearing that from Nolan made Jessie feel so much better about what happened. In all honesty, she was grateful someone was there when she needed them.

“Even you?”
Nolan nodded, “Even me.”

Jessie moved to her chair and sat down. “I made it through all of the paperwork on your desk.” Nolan sat and they made eye contact. “You know, when you’re ready, of course, a few upgrades and we could have this office running like a finely oiled machine.”

His eyebrow rose. “Adam been telling you how I hate change and suck at technology?”

Jessie laughed. “Did he need to? I’ve been here long enough to see just how outdated everything is.”

Nolan shrugged. “I suppose that’s true. What do you have in mind?”

Jessie beamed. If Nolan was willing to finally listen to what she had in mind, maybe there was a possibility he’d implement some of her ideas. Just the thought of new computers and printers with the latest software sent tingling sensations down her spine. She loved computers and loved efficient software even better.

WC: 1046


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