Manhattan, 7:12 AM.
Two months had already passed by since that night, and she hadn't heard from Daniel in weeks.
It was seven in the morning, Nancy was sitting on the toilet, still in her pajamas, and she was brushing her daughter Liv's air, while the girl was reading a book.
"Mom" muttered the sleepy six-year-old, "are you happy?"
Nancy was surprised, she didn't expect such important questions so early in the morning.
"Well yes, of course I am happy, as long as I have you near me" she smirked and kissed her daughter in the forehead. "What about you?"
"I am, sometimes."
Nancy loved those moments, when she could have almost 'adult conversations' with Liv. The kid was really smart for her age, and Nancy wanted their relationship to be as strong and open as possible.
"What do you mean sometimes, honey?"
"You know, I miss daddy." Liv's big blue eyes met her mother's ones.
"I miss him too you know." said Nancy "A lot. I loved your dad more than I ever loved anyone else in my life."
Her daughter cracked a little smile "More than you love me?" she joked.
"No silly, not more than I love you. Now go put on a sweatshirt, breakfast is on the table."
Liv ran to her bedroom, as Nancy was tidying up the bathroom.
Her phone buzzed: 'please God, make it be Daniel' she thought. But it was her best friend Emma, asking if she needed anything, she was going to the supermarket. How cute.
It was very hard living such a situation with Daniel: she missed him a lot, and she could imagine that he was missing her too, but none of them had the courage to show up, they were behaving like if they were in high school again.
'Well, I'm not gonna step up first' she said to herself. Then she turned off the lights of the bathroom and walked towards the kitchen while adjusting her hair in a messy bun.
As she woke up, she could clearly feel her neck aching. 'Oh my, ouch, how have I slept..' she thought, raising her head. In a fraction of a second, she realized that she was in a hospital room, and everything that happened the night before occurred to her mind.
"Jeff.. Where is he? Jeff!" She stood up so quickly that the chair tumbled down, and so her bag. She lowered to pick up all her stuff, when a middle aged woman in a white coat came near her.
"Yes, that's me, where is my husband? Why haven't you woken me up? What happened?" she said in one breathe.
"Your husband's conditions collapsed two hours ago.. He's in surgery right now, but-"
"Oh my God, so he is alive!" she screamed.
"Not exactly madame.. We actually don't know anything yet-"
A tall doctor got in the room before she could finish the sentence, "Dr Walsh," he said, addressing the woman, but then he looked at Nancy. "Oh, I supposed you are mrs Parker.."
Nancy open her eyes widely, almost like begging him to not say what he was going to say.
"Well.. We did all we could, but her husband's lungs were-"
"WERE? WERE?!" she screamed. "HE CAN'T BE, HE CAN'T BE GONE, LET ME GO TO HIM, LET ME GO!"
The tall doctor expertly grabbed and stopped her from running in the hallway yelling, but Nancy seemed like she had gone crazy as she had heard that past tense.
"Let me.. Let me go!" She wiggled and kicked the doctor away, but she couldn't reach the door, because she felt dizzy and she stopped, hanging on the jamb.
"He is not dead, please tell me he is not." she turned to the doctor, her eyes red and swollen because of the tears.
The tall doctor got closer and sustained her as she tried to get up. "I am sorry madame, I wish I could tell you he is not, I really do."
"The bring me there."
"Of course madame." The tall doctor guided her to a cold white room, and let her alone.
As Nancy dropped Liv at school, her phone buzzed again: "hey sweetheart. i really can't stand not seeing you anymore. are you free at lunchtime today? dan"
'Yes, yes! Thanks' she thought, and then texted back "that was all i was waiting for. shall we meet at the sandwich place near my office?"
She was in heaven. She couldn't even really say why she was that happy, all she knew was that she felt to need someone near her, she have been needed it all since Jeff's death. That obviously was not a replacement, she could never replace his husband, 'not with..Daniel!' she thought. Although, her answer was a bit of a flirtation, not that she read it again.
She really needed to get her mind on her priorities. But now she had to rush to work, she was already 10 minutes late, so she got in her car, with a sense of guilty pleasure she could not fully understand.
At work, Nancy couldn't concentrate: she felt like a girl that has to go on her first date. That was silly, and wrong. Why all those feelings, for Daniel?
So she left her desk for a couple minutes and locked herself inside the small bathroom: the mirror was chipped on the left side, but she could look at almost all of her face on the good side of it. She was particularly good looking today: her brown-reddish hair was wavy and shiny, and her eyes seemed wider thanks to her new mascara. She drank a sip of water from the sink, and then she got back to her office, trying not to stare at the clock the whole two hours left until lunchtime.
Manhattan at noon is a mess: Nancy arrived fifteen minutes late. It was the first time she found Daniel actually waiting for her.
Good Lord he looked hot today: jeans, white shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, and shagged hair.
"Hi, sorry I am late" she panted, laying her purse.
"Hi there" he smiled and opened his arms: Nancy practically plunged into his chest, and he held her tight.
"It has been a while" he said, still hugging her, "I have to be honest, I thought you would have been the one writing to me."
She raised her face, their nose almost touched. "Well, you always say I am too proud, so I didn't want to disappoint you" she answered with a smirk.
"That would have been a pleasant disappointment though," he held her even tighter.
Nancy blushed and slowly slipped away from his hug and took a seat.
"So, beer?" she looked at him, waiting for a nod.
"How do you feel?" He hadn't even heard the question.
"How do I feel? Well, tired. I'm getting used to the single-working-mom lifestyle, but it's rough. I have to do it though, for Liv."
They stayed awkwardly silent for some seconds, until a young waitress came to take their orders.
"What do you guys wanna order?" she asked in a funny australian accent, chewing a gum with her mouth a bit too open.
"I guess beers, right Nance?"
"Of course, as usual" she agreed.
"Fine" the girl wrote something down and went back to take their beers.
"Well, how's Liv doin-"
"I've missed you, you know." she blurted out as he tried to keep the conversation alive.
"I've missed you too Nance. A lot." He took her hand into his. "I want to help you, you know. I wanna do something to make your life easier, if I can.."
Nancy smiled, "Thanks pal. But I'm fine. I mean.. Things are going quite great. I'm grateful I've got you near me though. Your friendship means the world to me."
"And yours as well. I mean, who else will I ever eat ice cream for an entire week of holiday with, just because our wallets had been stolen at the airport?"
She laughed, "Yeah, we literally ate only ice cream during the whole vacation! Those are great memories."
"Your beers!" the waitress looked very hesitating with those to big glasses of beers on the tray, and Nancy could heard her relieved sigh as she put them on their table. "Enjoy your drink" she said, and rushed away.
"To us," said Daniel, flashing her a wide sexy smile.
"Yes, to us."
They both raised their glasses, as the sun started going beyond the horizon.
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