Since I'm feel down about Thursday's epsiode, here's this. This is the first of a few one shots.

The first time he doesn't answer, she's discouraged but tried to think nothing of it.

Hey, it's Alex. I can't come to the phone right now so leave a message or whatever

*beep*

"Alex, hey. Look, I know you probably don't want to be bothered now but I just wanted to tell you that I love you and I hope your mom is doing okay. Bye."

He probably just needed time to think. He left in a hast, without much being said between them. She assumed that whatever happened with his mom was big if it meant he had to drive all the way out there to Iowa. It killed Jo to know that whatever the reason, it was really bothering him. She'd given him a hug and he barely hugged her back.

Deep in the back of her mind, those worries and concerns and insecurities resurfaced. It wasn't like Alex to not be affectionate. Was he mad at her? Had she done something wrong and not know it? She tried to shrug those thoughts away. Alex was fine and he'd call her back as soon as he could. She was just being paranoid.

Hey, it's Alex. I can't come to the phone right now so leave a message or whatever

*beep*

"You didn't call me back. Is everything okay? Did you make it to your moms safely? Grey and I are working on our next project. It's really exciting, I feel like I'm actually making a difference. Anyway, I wish you were here and I love you. Bye."

Meredith reassured her that everything was probably okay and this was a very Alex-like thing to do. But Jo wasn't easily fooled. She could see the doubt clouding over Meredith's eyes and it only sinks the metaphorical knife deeper into her stomach.

She didn't want to be right. She didn't want to think of the worst possible outcomes or else she might actually break down and cry and she can't let Dr. Bailey see her like this. She had to get it together.

But she was scared, terrified that Alex was doing what she feared all along. She hoped this was an overreaction and he was with his mom now, dealing with the latest crisis and would come home and hold her as she cried and admitted her worries to him.

He had to.

She needed him to.

Hey, it's Alex. I can't come to the phone right now so leave a message or whatever

*beep*

"Alex, you're really starting to worry me. It's been almost two weeks, what's going on? I-I'm sorry if I did something wrong. I know I screw up a lot but you know I don't mean to. Please call me back, babe. I need you."

The weeks passed by and time seemed to stand still. The days are blurring together. Jo has the same, everyday routine. It was almost too much; to go to work everyday and wonder if he was going to show up or call her.

The word had started to get out after awhile. Some are speculating while most are pitying her. Their eyes follow her everywhere she goes. Only Link and Meredith don't succumb to the gossip (well, and Bailey but she's...Bailey). They're the only ones that don't approach her with caution, like she was some dainty China doll.

Hey, it's Alex. I can't come to the phone right now so leave a message or whatever

*beep*

"Alex, please. Please just answer me. I-I just need to hear your voice. You never ignore me."

Hey, it's Alex. I can't come to the phone right now so leave a message or whatever

*beep*

"Come on, Alex, it's been weeks. I'm not mad and I don't hate you. I just want to know if everything is okay. Did something happen with your mom? Did you get in an accident on the way there? Please call me back."

Jo's resolve was breaking. He hadn't replied, not only to her, but to Meredith or anyone else in weeks. She was sick with worry-her stomach is constantly in knots.

A thought lingered in her mind. What if he grew tired of her and the life he has and just up and left her? It was the only explanation.

The only explanation. It scares her to her core.

She promptly vomited.

Hey, it's Alex. I can't come to the phone right now so leave a message or whatever

*beep*

"I know you're not at your mom's house. I called her and she said you never made it there. Alex, don't do this. Don't. I can't take it. If you have to leave, say it to my face. Don't leave me wondering."

Link came to visit her. He brought food and was talking about something but she didn't comprehend most of it. Alex's mom's words were still ringing in her mind.

She confided everything to Link. He didn't believe her, he didn't believe Alex was capable. Quite frankly, she wished she didn't either. After everything they've been through as a couple, Jo would've never thought he'd be willing to throw it all away. So easily. As if it meant nothing to him.

When she finally broke down, choking on her own sobs, Link embraced her. He wrapped his strong arms around her, whispering soothing words in her ear.

But he wasn't Alex.

She didn't feel the same level of comfort. She didn't relax and let out all the tension in her body when he hugged her. It felt so wrong, hugging and hearing those words from the man who wasn't her husband.

At the very least, she hoped this was some, sick way of teaching her a lesson for disappearing on him without letting him know. If that was the case, she understood. Loud and clear. It hurt her, it freaking hurt to be ignored.

It left an aching feeling in her heart that couldn't be repaired.

Hey, it's Alex. I can't come to the phone right now so leave a message or whatever

*beep*

"It's been a month and you haven't gotten back to me. I want to be heartbroken and angry at you but I can't. I can't bring myself to do it. I can only hope that whatever you're doing, you're happy."

She hung up for the last time and glanced at their wedding picture that was on the nightstand.