As the week wore on, Matt and Stephanie met in the hallways almost everyday. Without knowing, Stephanie was unconsciously starting to let down her wall when Matt was around. They even started chatting in the hallways.
One day, Matt walked out of his office looking tired and dejected. Stephanie saw him and asked "What's wrong?"
Matt answered, "Everything," then sighed and continued, "I have a best friend from university, Connor, who is sick with leukemia. The doctors think that his only chance would be to have a bone marrow transplant. I don't know, I guess, I just feel useless knowing that there's nothing I can do, but go there and see him."
"Where is he hospitalized?" Asked Stephanie.
"At Scarborough Grace," Matt answered.
"You mean in Canada, in Toronto?" Questioned Stephanie.
"Yes," Matt replied.
"Wow, what a small world," Stephanie whispered, "I grew up in Toronto."
Stephanie looked in his eyes and saw how tired and exhausted he was. "Would you like me to visit Connor with you?" She asked impulsively.
Matt looked up looking surprised, "Really?" He asked, "Thank you so much. I'm going to drive up to Canada and visit him this weekend. Be prepared to see a very thin guy with no hair, which fell out due to all his chemotherapy treatments," he warned.
"Don't worry," reassured Stephanie, "I've seen cancer patients before." At that, a haunted look crossed her face.
Matt saw the change on Stephanie's face and wondered if she would ever tell him whatever it was that always seemed to haunt her.
On Saturday, Matt picked Stephanie up early in the morning and they drove up north to Toronto. The drive was quiet, as they both had thoughts on their minds. Matt wondered what Connor would look like this time and how much of a chance he had of living. At that thought, Matt's hands tightened on the steering wheel, making his knuckles turn white. Stephanie was having similar thoughts, too. She recalled a very similar situation from 10 years ago.
Stephanie sat at Amber's funeral service dressed all in black. She sat with the rest of her cousins in the first two pews, even closer up than Amber's parents, because the adults had felt that the kids were all closer to Amber than anyone else had been.
After the funeral, as everyone gathered in Amber's house, recalling old memories and crying on each others' shoulders. That was the last time any of her family members had ever seen her cry.
After that day, it was as if a part of Stephanie was shut down. She became more and more reserved. Yet, no one noticed, because everyone else was busy dealing with their grief alone, leaving Stephanie to bury her pain deep inside of her, never being able to grieve properly, for the loss of a cousin, a sister and also a best friend.
Stephanie shook her head to get rid of those memories. She looked out the window and realized that they were nearly there.
Soon, they arrived at the hospital and the two of them walked in together. They walked down the halls looking for room 127. As they walked down the hallway, they nearly bumped into a nurse. When Stephanie looked up, she saw the face of Amanda, her face turned into one of shock and recognition. The same expression was mirrored in Amanda's face. The two hugged each other and Amanda asked, dazed, "What are you doing here?"
"We're here to visit a friend of Matt's. This is Matthew Jacobs, a colleague of mine. Matt this is Amanda," Stephanie introduced.
"Who are you looking for?" Asked Amanda.
"Connor," Matt replied, "He's a leukemia patient."
Amanda's face turned into another one of shock again. "You're here to see Connor?"
"Yes," Matt replied, with confusion on his face.
"Oh, he's just down the hall, on the right side," Amanda said.
The two thanked her and continued down the hall. Soon they were standing outside the room, preparing themselves for what they would see inside. Matt turned the doorknob and walked in first, with Stephanie right behind him. When Stephanie saw the face of Connor, she gasped and staggered back. Both men turned to look at her. "Connor?" Stephanie asked.
A/N: Sorry for the late update. Please review!