Cathy tries to be sympathetic about the breakup with Sean; she hides the airquotes -- if not the smile -- in her voice, as she talks about the relationship with her brother as though it could have ever really been one. Rebecca is numb, full of cauterized futures: "Sean and I have this weird connection that was starting to make sense. He challenged me, and I was starting to get through to him..." Cathy laughs, hurting her feelings again: She wasn't. "Trying to save Sean is a slippery slope. I have wasted precious time on that project." Rebecca cedes the point, and moves on. Apparently they're downsizing the Chicago region, so she's locked into Minneapolis. Cathy assures her that at least three months out of the year, in Minneapolis, are almost completely bearable. We're coming to the end of them now.
Marlene enters, snapping at them for cackling, and gives Cathy her mail. "Either the mail guy screwed up again, or he's just real invested in getting us to talk." She makes fun of them for drinking; it's an elaborate façade to see Cathy, but they both know that. Cathy invites her to sit with them -- Rebecca will love her -- but Marlene invites them instead to lunch. It's a place with a free buffet, with coupons, all the things old ladies love, and so Rebecca laughs. "Fuck Sean, I'm in!" Marlene smiles less widely than she feels it inside.
Paul knocks softly on Cheryl's wall, near the lightswitch. She's a Director, in HR. He works in Creative; she's trepidatious as to why he's visiting her, but friendly. She has no idea what he's talking about. "I heard about what you're going through and I just found out yesterday that my wife has cancer and I was wondering if I could talk to you about it." She nods, sadly, still confused. He admires her husband's hair, in the picture on her desk.
"I just thought it was so great that there's two people here in the office that are going through this at the same time. Not great, but you know, convenient. Not even convenient, serendipitous. Is that the word I'm looking for?" It still isn't. She nods, faster and faster, itching; she scoops papers off her desk and runs to a meeting, the sadness in her eyes eclipsing everything but his need. "Maybe later this afternoon? Could I come by later this afternoon?" She lies, and says okay; he leaves his number on her desk. He feels less alone. Cheryl feels more alone than ever. They don't share a story.